News

Dr. Ian Mills, who graduated in December from the Graduate Program in Religion, is eligible for the May hooding and commencement ceremony at Duke University. Mills was one of the few applicants chosen for the Graduate Program in Religion who came to us directly following his undergraduate degree, a B.A. from the University of Minnesota. During his time at Duke, Mills published three peer-reviewed journal articles, two book chapters and two book reviews. He had extensive teaching experience as well, acting as a teaching… read more about Ian Mills Eligible for May Commencement »

Our candidate for the PhD, Zexi (Jesse) Sun, will graduate this May along with two others in the Graduate Program in Religion.  Sun’s dissertation “War, Revolution and Chinese Protestant Intellectuals: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey” was advised by Dr. Xi Lian. Sun holds a B. A. with Honors from Calvin College, M.A. from Stanford University, and M.T.S. from Calvin Theological Seminary. Sun has written and published extensively during his five short years in the program, with five peer reviewed articles, two… read more about Zexi (Jesse) Sun Prepares to Graduate »

Grazina Bielousova, PhD candidate in Religion, Aesthetics and Society, successfully defended her dissertation March 31, 2022.  She wrote on the topic “The Making of Savage Europe: Religious Difference and The Idea of Eastern Europe” and her committee was co-chaired by Dr. J. Kameron Carter and Dr. Joseph Winters. Her PhD from Duke University will be conferred in May, 2022. She has been awarded the Certificate in College Teaching from Duke University and the Coaching Skills for Learner-Centered Conversation… read more about Grazina Bielousova Graduating in May »

Cody David will be graduating with his PhD in May, 2022 after just five years in the Graduate Program in Religion studying Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. His academic career has been marked by excellence – valedictorian at Ave Maria University and very high grade-point averages at both the University of Notre Dame (Master of Theological Studies) and Duke University. His awards include the Saint Thomas Aquinas Award for Balance and Eutrapalia, the Classics Department Award at Ave Maria University and the 2020… read more about Cody David Set to Graduate »

Three GPR students have successfully defended their dissertation, and are set for a May 2022 graduation. Candidates Cody David, Jesse (Zexi) Sun, and Grazina Bielousova will be invited to attend a hooding ceremony on May 7, among other Duke commencement activities on the weekend of May 6-8. Cody David's dissertation committee for "The Economics of Redemption and Retribution in Isaiah 40-66" was chaired by Dr. Marc Brettler. The defense was held over Zoom on March 22, 2022. Cody has been part of the… read more about Congratulations to Spring 2022 Defenders »

Dr. Emily Dubie, recent alumna of the Graduate Program in Religion, has been selected as one of the ten winners of the 2022 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise.  The awards ceremony will take place in the "Alte Aula," the Old Hall of the University of Heidelberg, Germany on May 27.  There will be a colloquium on May 28 and 30, in which Dr. Dubie and other awardees will be asked to present for 20 minutes on their next major research project.   read more about Emily Dubie Selected as a 2022 Winner »

Andrew Remington Rillera (New Testament) successfully defended his dissertation “Paul’s Philonic Opponent: Unveiling the One Who Calls Himself a Jew in Romans 2:17” on July 20, 2021 in time for September graduation.  Prof. Douglas Campbell was his dissertation advisor, and others serving on the committee were Drs. Curtis Freeman, J. Ross Wagner, and Susan Eastman.  Rillera came to our program via Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and was chosen as a Dean’s Graduate Fellow. Rillera has published quite a… read more about Rillera Successfully Defends Dissertation »

Krishni Metivier, doctoral student in the Asian Religions track, successfully defended her dissertation “Can A Hindu Be Black?: A Study of Black Americans in Hinduism” on July 19, 2021, in time for September graduation.  Drs. Richard Jaffe and Joseph Winters co-chaired her committee; Drs. Leela Prasad and Jason Bivins also served on the committee.  She has also completed work for the Certificate in College Teaching. Metivier has given extensive service to the university and our program during her study in the Graduate… read more about Metivier Successfully Defends Dissertation »

PhD candidate Ryan Juskus successfully defended his dissertation, titled “The Ecopolitics of Truth and Sacrifice: An Ethnographic and Theological Study of Citizen Science, Environmental Justice, and Christian Witness in Coal’s Sacrifice Zones,” on March 25, 2021.  Drs. Luke Bretherton and Norman Wirzba were co-advisors on the doctoral committee, and other members of the committee included Drs. Christine Folch and Edgardo Colon-Emeric.  Juskus’s teaching experience is extensive, and includes courses taught in El Salvador… read more about Juskus Successfully Defends Dissertation »

Christopher Howell successfully defended his doctoral dissertation March 23, 2021.  Howell is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Program in Religion in the American Religion track and his work on “Designer Science: An Intellectual History of Intelligent Design” was advised by Dr. David Morgan.  Others present on his committee were (from Duke) Drs. Kate Bowler, Joseph Winters, Mohsen Kadivar and (from University of Wisconsin-Madison) Dr. Ronald Numbers. Howell is notable in the Department of Religious Studies for his role as… read more about Howell Successfully Defends Dissertation »

Professor Leela Prasad has a new book. Read more here. read more about The Audacious Raconteur »

A hearty welcome to our new faculty member Anna Sun! Anna Sun is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University. She earned her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton and her B.A from Berkeley. Sun is a scholar of Confucianism in particular and of contemporary Chinese religious life in general. Her research interests include the 19th century production of knowledge about Chinese religions; the development of Global Confucianisms in the 21st century; comparative ritual theory; and theoretical and methodological… read more about Duke Welcomes Dr. Anna Sun »

EEWC-Christian Feminism Today Honors Two with Seventh Annual Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship Indianapolis—Thanks to a generous donation, EEWC-Christian Feminism Today has been able to award two full scholarships for the seventh annual Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship. The recipients are Elizabeth Schrader of Durham, NC, and Shavon Walker of Fremont, CA Ms. Schrader is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religion at Duke University in Durham, NC. Her studies focus on early Christianity and the New… read more about Schrader One of Two Honored with Hardesty Scholarship »

GPR students Ian Mills and Laura Robinson, who manage a podcast called NT Review, joined Prof. Mark Goodacre for his podcast NT Pod 93.  They plan to have another crossover episode, this time having Mark Goodacre join Mills and Robinson on NT Review.  If New Testament topics interest you, you will want to listen. The topics covered in this episode are (in order): Ben Hur (novel) Ben Hur (film) The Robe Barabbas (film) Greatest Story Ever Told King of Kings read more about Three GPR Podcasters Join Forces »

The Graduate Program in Religion graduated two new PhD students in May 2020.  Rebecca Mendelson graduated in Asian Religions, and her dissertation committee was chaired by Richard Jaffe.  Julie Newberry graduated in New Testament, and her dissertation was directed by C. Kavin Rowe. Duke's commencement would have been May 10, 2020 if not for the restrictions due to COVID-19.  However, there are celebratory messages on Duke's Marking the Moment Duke 2020 website.  In addition to the spring 2020 graduates, we would have… read more about GPR Graduates Two PhD Students in May 2020 »

Congratulations to Emily Dubie, who has won a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship award for the 2020-2021 academic year! Emily is a 6th year student in Christian Theological Studies. Read more about fellowships offered by Louisville Institute and  Emily's project. read more about Dubie Wins Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship for 2020 »

Congratulations to Michael Grigoni who has won a two-year fellowship (2020-2022) from UNC Chapel Hill's Center for the Science of Moral Understanding (CSMU). As an Emerging Scholar with the CSMU, Michael plans to extend his dissertation research on guns and Christianity in U.S. American life while also bringing this work to publication. read more about Grigoni Wins Two-Year Fellowship »

Graduate student Michael Grigoni was spotlighted on North Carolina Public Radio WUNC 91.5 regarding his dissertation findings about religion and the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. Read and hear more at WUNC.org. read more about Thoughts, Prayers And More Ammunition: Meet Mike Grigoni »

Three students from the Graduate Program in Religion were recently awarded the Bass Instructional Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year - Ryan Juskus, Torang Asadi, and Chris Howell.  All three were awarded the "Instructor of Record" fellowship, and Ms. Asadi was additionally awarded a teaching assistant fellowship.  Each award funds $12,150 for the semester in which the teaching occurs.  The cost of tuition and fees as well as the compensation for instruction is paid through the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Endowment… read more about Graduate School Awards Bass Fellowships to 3 GPR Students »