REL Adds New Faculty Member

Jeri Wieringa head shotThe Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama is extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Jeri E. Wieringa — a digital historian and affiliate faculty member with the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University — will be joining the faculty as a tenure-track Assistant Professor for the start of the Fall 2020 semester. She received her Ph.D. in History from George Mason University (2019); her M.A. in Religion, with a concentration in the History of Christianity, from Yale Divinity School (2011); and her B.A from Calvin College, with double majors in Philosophy and English (2008). Continue reading

The Study Religion Podcast is now on Spotify

Did you know that we have a podcast called Study Religion? Well, we do. You can find it on Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud. But now, you can also find it on Spotify. We just added our podcast to their wonderful collection. So go find us wherever you listen to podcasts and catch up on some of our best episodes. Here are some ones to start with:

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“Happy Arbitrary New Year”

January 2020 calendar

A friend on social media wished everyone a “happy arbitrary new year” last night. And it got me thinking.

We all know — right? — that there’s a variety of dating systems that have existed historically, let alone today (case in point: see the January 25th Chinese new year on that image up above…?). So, at some level, most of us surely understand that it isn’t really the start of a new year today. Instead, should we grant the Gregorian calendar‘s legitimacy for how we organize time, then, yes, today is the start of a new year. Continue reading

True or False or a Mix of Both? The Dissonance of the Gospels presented in Galatia

Rebekah Pearson ’22 is a Religious Studies-Dance Performance double major. In Prof. Newton’s Introduction to the New Testament course, she examined Paul’s Letter to the Galatians as an artifact of competing social definitions. This essay was part of her group’s Bible in Culture zine. Learn more in the firstsecond, third, and fourth posts of the series. 

Imagine this: You have been running for over an hour and you finally make it to what you think is the finish line of your first 10K. But wait! There is no finish line and no crowd cheering you on. All of a sudden you realize that at some point along the way you have made a wrong turn. Now not only are you lost, but you also have to turn around and backtrack to the starting line, only to re-run the entire race. In the biblical Epistle to the Church at Galatia, commonly known as “Galatians,” the recipients of Paul’s letter must have felt similarly. As the people of Galatia are being told many versions of what being a part of the new Christian collective means, Paul, in his epistle to the church at Galatia, rebukes the false teachings that are being spread and reminds his churches of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He establishes not only his authority, but also the authority of the message of faith he preaches so that the Galatians can be certain that they are not living their lives in vain.

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Need Something to Listen to During Your Holiday Travel?

The Study Religion podcast makes great holiday travel listening. We just released the third episode in our series titled “Making the Jump” that features interviews with people who made a big change in their academic career by taking a risk and trying something new. You can find all three episodes below or on iTunes or SoundCloud.

 

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Study Religion Podcast: Making the Jump Part 2 w/ Shayna Sheinfeld

Photo of Shayna SheinfeldThis is the second in our three episode series that features interviews with people who decided to take a risk and make a jump in their careers. They found new ways to use their training in religious studies and made their own path. In this episode we talk with Shayna Sheinfeld about her work as an academic coach, what exactly an academic coach is, and how she found her way to her work.

 

Find out more about Dr. Sheinfeld and her academic coaching at shaynasheinfeld.com

 

Have You Met Emily Crews?

Title card reading: we sat down with Emily Crews and asked her some questions

Emily Crews is in the second year of teaching full-time in REL (while finishing her dissertation at the University of Chicago), devoting her time mostly to Honors intro courses but also teaching our monthly evening film class.

If you’ve not had a class with her then this is your chance
to get to know a little more about her work.

Thanks to REL students Kyle Ashley
and Savannah Aldridge for the movie magic.