Fall 2019

Tuesday, August 27, 3-4:30 p.m. Foster Auditorium 

Sylvia Chan-Malik
Associate Professor, Departments of American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies
Rutgers University

“Being Muslim: Women of Color in American Islam.”

In this lecture, Professor Chan-Malik will focus on the lives, subjectivities, and labors of U.S. Muslim women as a means to understand Islam’s historical presence in the United States as both Black protest religion and universal faith tradition. Drawing on archival images, cultural texts, popular media, and interviews, she addresses how communities of American Islam became sites of safety, support, spirituality, and social activism, and how women of color were central to their formation. By accounting for American Islam’s rich histories of mobilization and community, she will highlight the forms of resistance that U.S. Muslims, and in particular, U.S. Muslim women, have engaged, and continue to engage, in the 20th-21st-century United States. Through engagement with lineages of Black and women-of-color feminism, liberation theology, and social justice movements, Chan-Malik offers a new vocabulary for understanding U.S. Muslim communities and identity formation that is as conscious of race, gender, sexuality, and nation, as it is region and religion.

 

Spring 2019 Events

Thursday, March 28, 5:30-7:00 p.m.  107 Business

Tinu Ruparell
Associate Professor in Indian and Comparative Philosophy, Department of Classics and Religion, University of Calgary
“Religion and/as technology: Re-entering the Public Sphere”
2019 Harshbarger lecture in Religious Studies

 

Thursday, March 28, 12-1:30 p.m.  102 Weaver

Society for the Study of Religion seminar with Tinu Ruparell

“Professionalising Religious Studies”

Catherine Wanner responding

Light lunch will be served.

 

Monday, Feb 4, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sparks 124

Sarah Garibova, Assistant Teaching Professor in Jewish Studies

“Jewish Burial Culture and the Exhumation of Holocaust Mass Graves in Postwar Belarus and Ukraine”

This talk will examine Soviet Jews’ post-Holocaust efforts to reconcile traditional parameters of proper burial with the catastrophic burial landscape created by the Nazi and Romanian occupations of Eastern Europe. These survivors’ frequent use of grave exhumations complicates overly-simplistic narratives of both “tradition” and “secularization.”

Christopher Heaney responding

Light lunch will be served.

Fall 2018 Events

October 22nd – 26th: Tibetan Buddhist Monks Visit from Tashi Kyil Monastery

Monday, October 22 

6:30 p.m. – 45-minute Tibetan Mantra Meditation

Tuesday, October 23

12:00 p.m. – Lunch discussion cosponsored by the Rock Ethics Institute; light lunch provided

7:00 p.m. – Arts Workshop: Sand painting, butter sculpting, and mani stones

Wednesday, October 24

2:30 p.m. – 75-minute class discussion on mindfulness and mantra recitation

6:30 p.m. – Skeleton, Panda, and Black Hat dances with explanations

Thursday, October 25

2:00 p.m. – Slideshow on death and dying from the Buddhist perspective

April 4th Seminar with Menahem Ben-Sasson

Readings:

“The Mature Scholarly Community of Kairouan, 880–950”, Jonathan Brockopp

“Linked States of Knowledge”, Janina Safran

“Varieties of Inter-Communal Relations in the Geonic Period”, Menahem Ben-Sasson

Schedule:

Wednesday, April 4th, 2 – 5pm in 102 Weaver: Symposium. Kairouan – a Mediterranean Society model

2:00pm –  Linked States of Knowledge in the Islamic West (c. 800-1150):
Nina Safran

2:30pm –  The Jewish communities of Kairouan as part of a Mediterranean Society:
Menachem Ben Sasson

3:00pm – Muslim scholarly communities – a deep dive into the libraries of Kairouan:
Jonathan Brockopp

3:30pm – Break

4:00pm – Roundtable on recovering the lost histories of early Muslim North Africa

 

Spring 2018 Events

Wednesday, January 31st, 4 – 5pm in Sparks 133: Roundtable on Social Science approaches to the Study of Religion.

Gary Adler, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Wendell Schwab, Senior Undergraduate Studies Adviser
Cathy Wanner, Professor of History, Anthropology and Religious Studies, Barry Director of the Paterno Fellows Program

Wednesday, February 21st, 4 – 5pm in Borland 121:  “Exploring the Resources of the The Association of Religion Data Archives (theARDA.com)”

Roger Finke, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Religious Studies, and International Affairs, Director of the Association of Religion Data Archives

Respondent, Scott Bennett, Associate Dean for Research, Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science

Quick Facts on theARDA.com

Tuesday, March 27th, 2:30 – 4pm at Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development, Memorial Lounge: “A GlobalPlus conversation: How religion and science can work together for the common good”

Join three leading scholars, Elaine Ecklund, Christopher Scheitle, and Jenny Trinitapoli, in a global dialogue on science and religion. The GlobalPlus conversation, the second of a five-part series exploring critical issues in religion at major universities throughout the world, features groundbreaking research offering new pathways to cooperative efforts on issues from evolution and climate change to eradicating disease.

Tuesday, March 27th, 7 – 8:30pm in Alumni Lounge at the Nittany Lion Inn: Harshbarger Lecture in Religious Studies.

WHAT RELIGIOUS PEOPLE THINK ABOUT SCIENCE AND SCIENTISTS THINK ABOUT RELIGION

Elaine Ecklund, Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology, Rice University

Based on five years of data collection Ecklund will tell us the real story of the relationship between science and religion in American culture, one that is more nuanced and complex than the media and pundits would lead us to believe.

CO-SPONSORED BY
The Humanities Institute, The Rock Ethics Institute, Center for Ethics and Spiritual Development, The Department of Sociology, The Association of Religion Data Archives and the International Association of Religion Journalists.

Tuesday, April 3rd, 5 – 6pm in Alumni Lounge, Nittany Lion Inn: “Qayrawā­n in the making of the new Jewish ‘Bookshelf’”

Menahem Ben-Sasson, Chancellor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Professor of the History of the Jewish People

Wednesday, April 4th, 2 – 5p in 102 Weaver: Symposium. Kairouan – a Mediterranean Society model

2:00pm –  Linked States of Knowledge in the Islamic West (c. 800-1150):
Nina Safran

2:30pm –  The Jewish communities of Kairouan as part of a Mediterranean Society:
Menachem Ben Sasson

3:00pm – Muslim scholarly communities – a deep dive into the libraries of Kairouan:
Jonathan Brockopp

3:30pm – Break

4:00pm – Roundtable on recovering the lost histories of early Muslim North Africa

Readings:

“The Mature Scholarly Community of Kairouan, 880–950”, Jonathan Brockopp

“Linked States of Knowledge”, Janina Safran

“Varieties of Inter-Communal Relations in the Geonic Period”, Menahem Ben-Sasson

Welcome to Fall, 2017

September 12, 4:30 p.m.: Harshbarger Lecturer in Religious Studies : Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College: “Orientalism in a different key” Foster Auditorium

October 10, 3 p.m.: Michael Swartz, Ohio State University: “Divination and its Discontents.” 102 Weaver Building. Respondent: Gonzalo Rubio

November 8, 3 p.m.: Daniel Falk, Penn State University: “Definitional borders of prayer.” 102 Weaver Building. Respondent: Charlotte Eubanks.

Spring 2017 Events

The co-convenors of the Society for the Study of Religion, Daniel Falk and Jonathan Brockopp, are holding a series of conversations to gather ideas about the study of religion in the Academy as a whole, and to begin imaging what a robust program at Penn State might look like. We hope you will consider attending.

Friday, March 17 3:30-4:30 p.m. 121 Borland round table discussion with Penn State colleagues

Tuesday, April 4 10-11 a.m., 121 Borland with Jon Butler (Yale)

For more information, see details on our “events” page.

Fall 2016 seminars are set

We are pleased to announce our fall line-up of faculty seminars as we begin our first year as an officially sponsored Institute for the Arts and Humanities Interdisciplinary Colloquium.

 

Wednesday, September 28, from 12:30 to 1:30 in Weaver 102

Erica Brindley, Professor of Asian Studies and History and Director of Graduate Studies, Asian Studies

“An Ancient Chinese Genesis Story From A Recently Uncovered Manuscript”

 

 

Wednesday,  October 19, from 3:30-4:30 in Burrowes 463

Marica S. Tacconi, Professor of Musicology and Associate Director, School of Music
“‘Entering’ the Sacred Page: The Medici and the Service Books of the Florentine Cathedral.”

 

 

Wednesday,  November 9, from 3:30-4:30 in Burrowes 463

Charlotte Eubanks, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Japanese & Asian Studies and Director of Graduate Studies, Comparative Literature

“Playing Dice for Paradise: The Print Culture of Buddhist Board Games.”