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 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 »

While a graduate student at Santa Clara University in California, Jonathan Homrighausen became fascinated by a hand-written, hand-illustrated version of the bible in the school’s collection. It was a copy of the Saint John’s Bible, commissioned in the late 1990s by Saint John’s University in Minnesota to bring the bible with contemporary flourishes and interpretation to a modern audience. It was created by a team of scribes and artists who wrote the bible’s text by hand while illuminating it with colorful visuals. Along… read more about The Bible As You've Never Seen It Before »

A number of GPR students and faculty will be presenting in the AAR/SBL to be held in San Diego, California November 23-26, 2019. The annual conference of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature is perhaps the most important conference of the year for those in the field of Religious Studies.  More than 1,200 events—academic sessions, additional meetings, receptions, tours, and workshops—will be offered at this annual conference.  Graduate Program in Religion students who plan to… read more about The GPR is Well-Represented at the AAR/SBL »

Our faculty member Jennifer Knust was recently interviewed on "The Bible for Normal People" on To listen, click here. read more about Jenny Knust Interviewed on The Bible as a Living Document »

Our sixth year PhD Candidate in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament writes from Israel, "I am a 2019-2020 Resident Doctoral Fellow at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. Tantur’s graduate student fellowship program, which is administered by the University of Notre Dame, supports dissertation research with potential relevance for ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. Tantur’s facility provides housing and meals onsite, as well as a library office space for dissertation writing. My dissertation project,… read more about Matthew Harber's Research in Israel »

Congratulations to the recent graduates of the Ph.D.!  The Graduate Program in Religion graduated nine Ph.D. students in the period from September 2018 - May 2019.  September: Kara Slade (CTS, Advisor- Willie Jennings); Marvin Wickware (CTS, Advisor Willie J. Jennings); David Smith (NT, Advisor - Joel Marcus). December: Diana Abernethy (HB/OT, Advisor - Stephen B. Chapman); Yael Lazar (R&M, Advisor - Leela Prasad). May: Joseph… read more about Graduation 2019 »

The National Humanities Center has announced Duke's own Mohsen Kadivar one of its 37 Fellows for the academic year 2019–20. These newly appointed Fellows will constitute the forty-second class of resident scholars to be admitted since the Center opened in 1978. Robert D. Newman, president and director of the National Humanities Center, said, “These outstanding scholars, who were selected from the record number of applications we received this year, are conducting exciting work that promises to influence thinking in a wide… read more about Mohsen Kadivar Receives NHC Fellowship »

Duke's own Prof. Marc Z. Brettler was recently granted a audience with Pope Francis on March 27. He and Duke alumna Amy-Jill Levine co-authored “The Jewish Annotated New Testament”, first published in 2011. As Levine is teaching in Rome at the moment and Brettler was to give a lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the circumstances allowed for this momentous occasion to occur. Together, they presented a signed copy of their work to the pontiff. Their book is meant for Jewish readers but can also be a resource… read more about Prof. Marc Z. Brettler Given Papal Audience »

Duke's own Leela Prasad has officially accepted the Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship. Leela will conduct ethnographic research in Maharashtra, India, a state that collaborates with NGOs to run a “Gandhi Study Program” in its prisons. Her goal is to study how ex-prisoners exposed to Gandhi’s writings during prison-time incorporate Gandhian principles and practices into their post-prison life. She plans to write a  book that will explore how meaning is installed into being human at the margin, and how the figuration of Gandhi plays… read more about Prof. Leela Prasad Receives Fulbright »

Our very own Dr. Mark Goodacre is one of the scholars featured in History Channel's new series "Jesus: His Life!" The series explores the story of Jesus Christ through a unique lens: the people in his life who were closest to him. Each of the eight chapters is told from the perspective of different biblical figures, all of whom played a pivotal role in Jesus’ life including Joseph, John the Baptist, Mary Mother of Jesus, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalene and Peter. It airs on Mondays at 8pm ET… read more about Mark Goodacre in "Jesus: His Life" »

Kate Bowler writes about our finitude in this reflection on Lent. read more about Bowler Blogs about Fat Tuesday »