A Lesson on Origins at #REL50th

Our 50th anniversary celebrations have come to an end (but we’ll post a fun fact each Monday for the rest of the semester) — and, if you ask me, it was a great success.

We filmed parts of it (i.e., the two faculty lectures, by Profs. Altman and Trost, and the opening to the next night’s Grad Tales panel — featuring five grads who returned to help mark the occasion [scroll down here to see who they were]); these movies are now being produced in the main office. They’ll probably be posted in a few weeks. Continue reading

Readying the Ground for Us

I’ve got some plants in my office that William Doty gave me back in 2001.

Peace lilies.

I was thinking about that yesterday, during a memorial service for William (who passed away on January 2, 2017, at the age of 77), at which people said some kind words and told a few stories — some of which were about his passion for cooking and, yes, gardening.

When I moved into my new office, here in historic Manly Hall (once belonging to the late-Leon Weinberger), just a few doors down from the office William occupied for many years, he gave me some plants to spruce up the place. Continue reading

50th Anniversary Fun Fact #1

Although dating to 1932, in 2016-17 we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, given how the Department was reinvented in 1966-7 — in keeping with how the study of religion was established then across public universities in the US. No longer confessionally-oriented and staffed by campus ministers, it became a cross-culturally comparative and interdisciplinary field.

So all semester, each Monday we’ll be posting a weekly fun fact from 1966 — not that long ago for some of us yet ancient history for others. Continue reading

There’s a New M.A. in Town

relmug

What better way to mark fifty years of studying religion at the University of Alabama than to institute our first graduate degree — something that’s been in planning for several years now? Continue reading

Coming Attractions: REL’s Undergrad Research Symposium 2017

undergradresearchbooklet

Those who have been here for the past few years might know that REL instituted its own undergraduate research symposium — an annual event that’s now going into its fourth year. (This is quite apart from UA’s campus-wide event — a venue where REL students have also excelled, by the way.)

This year it will be organized, once again, by Prof. Bagger, and will take place on March 29, going from about 9:30 am until 12:30 pm, in Gorgas 205. It is part of our 50th anniversary celebrations — more on that soon….

If you’re interested in presenting your original research at this event, research carried out in an REL class, then the first step is for you to talk to your REL professor about how your paper could be revised for the occasion. Papers must be approx. 10 minutes in length.

There’ll be more news about this event in the future, but it’s never too early to start thinking about it. And we hope to make a booklet, like last year, with a sample of our students work, that we’ll once again mail out to people around campus and also to alumni and friends of the Department throughout the country (last year’s is pictured above) — as an example of the interesting work being done by our students.

Want a copy of last year’s booklet?
Just ask at the REL main office.

“Celebrating Merrily Their Happy Anniversary…”

50th Anniv Logo FinalYes, we’re celebrating the Department’s 50th anniversary throughout 2016-17.

Although we’ll wait until later to let you know precisely what that celebration will entail, I thought I’d let you know the rationale for why we’re celebrating this now. Continue reading