News

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 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 »

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 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 »

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

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 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 »

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 »

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" »

Duke Religious Studies and Graduate Program in Religion faculty member Dr. Leela Prasad's classroom is unlike others at Duke.  It's located at Butner Correctional Institute, and includes incarcerated individuals alongside Duke graduate students. Her project "Being Human at the Margin: Gandhian Traces After Life-in-Prison" aims to connect educational efforts in U.S. prisons with those in India to examine prison reform and rehabilitation.  She is exploring the impact that Gandhian teaching has on post-prison lives. Read more… read more about Prasad's Classroom in Prison »

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

The Provost has granted tenure and promotion to Joe Winters!  Winters is now a new Associate Professor of Religious Studies! Winters' first book, Hope Draped in Black: Race, Melancholy, and the Agony of Progress(Duke University Press, June 2016) examines how black literature and aesthetic practices challenge post-racial fantasies and triumphant accounts of freedom. The book shows how authors like WEB Du Bois and Toni Morrison link hope and possibility to melancholy, remembrance, and a recalcitrant sense of the… read more about Provost Awards Tenure »

The Chronicle, Duke's student newspaper, has selected Kate Bowler as an iconic figure at Duke this year in its Chron15.  Honorees are selected for exemplifying the Duke community at its best. To read more, including what Dean L. Gregory Jones had to say about her, click here. read more about Bowler Selected as Iconic »

Graduate Program in Religion alumnus Dr. Thomas McGlothlin, whose 2015 dissertation was directed by Dr. J. Warren Smith, was awarded the 2019 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise. McGlothlin, who currently teaches at the Christian Academy in Japan, won with his publication Resurrection as Salvation: Development and Conflict in Pre-Nicene Paulinism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). From the FIIT (Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology, Heidelberg) website: "The… read more about McGlothlin Wins 2019 Award »

GPR's Associate Professor Leela Prasad has been awarded the 2019 Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring!  Along with the recognition, there is a $3,000 prize attached to this award. The recipients will be honored at a ceremony on Wednesday, March 27, at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Read more here. read more about Prasad Wins Dean's Award »

Diana Abernethy, of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, successfully defended her dissertation November 13, 2018. Her dissertation was titled "Profiles in Deception: Lying and Falsehood in 1 Samuel." Dr. Stephen B. Chapman directed the dissertation, and Carol L. Meyers, Anathea Portier-Young, Kathi Weeks and Jennie Grillo were the other committee members, with Grillo attending remotely. Abernethy is Assistant Professor of Religion at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL as of August. Her degree will be conferred by The Graduate… read more about Dr. Diana Abernethy »

Yael Lazar successfully defended her doctoral dissertation "Networked Devotion: Hindu Adoption of Digital Media" November 14, 2018. Yael, Oren and children will be moving back to Israel in December. Pictured are Negar Mottahedeh, Laurie Patton (remote), Yael Lazar, Leela Prasad (chair), and David Morgan. Yael's degree will be conferred by The Graduate School in December. read more about Dr. Yael Lazar »

As part of the Teaching and Learning Luncheon, we were joined by Julia Trimmer and Lamont Cannon from Duke’s Office of the Provost, Finance and Administration to learn about Scholars@Duke which features the research, scholarship and activities of Duke faculty members and academic staff. As a research discovery system, Scholars@Duke displays web profiles that summarize a person's roles at Duke and displays their connections with colleagues. Visitors can search for faculty members by name, keyword or subject area or anything… read more about Teaching & Learning Holds Session on Scholars@Duke »

Chris Howell, PhD student in American Religion, was quoted in an article by The Chronicle for his upcoming class "Harry Potter and Religion."  Read more here. read more about Chris Howell's Class Featured in Chronicle Article »

Jill Hicks-Keeton, a Duke Graduate Program in Religion alumna, has released her new book, Arguing with Aseneth: Gentile Access to Israel's Living God in Jewish Antiquity. One of the central controversies of the early church was whether or not gentile converts would be required to be circumcised before entering into the New Covenant. This is, obviously, an inherently male issue. So, in a community where there is now "neither male nor female," how does this dilemma apply to women?  One way to approach this story is… read more about Arguing with Aseneth: Gentile Access to Israel's Living God in Jewish Antiquity »

A number of GPR students and faculty will be presenting in the AAR/SBL to be held in Denver, Colorado November 17-20. 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 present include… read more about Duke is Well Represented at AAR/SBL »

A first-year PhD student in Duke's Graduate Program in Religion, Jonathan Homrighausen has recently published a new book. Illuminating Justice explores the call to social ethics in The Saint John's Bible, the first major handwritten and hand-illuminated Christian Bible since the invention of the printing press. Situating his close analysis of The Saint John's Bible's illuminations in the context of contemporary biblical exegesis and Catholic teaching, Homrighausen shows how this project stimulates… read more about Illuminating Justice »

Wen Reagan, an alumnus of the Graduate Program in Religion, has recently released a new live album: "A Live Retrospective: 2017-2018!" These recordings are the sounds of teachers, physicians, accountants, students, speech therapists, and engineers, all volunteers in a 200-person congregation, offering what little time they could (usually 1-2 hours a week) to practice and then lead their church family in musical worship on Sundays. In this, these songs document the lovely and messy singing life of a congregation led by… read more about A Live Retrospective: 2017-2018 »

Recent alumnus Scott Muir reflects on his journey searching for tenure-track jobs while writing his dissertation, and where it has led. Read more here. read more about Dr. Scott Muir Reflects on "Postdoc Purgatory" »

Asian Religions alumna Mani Rao's new book Living Mantra was just released in the Palgrave Macmillan Contemporary Anthropology of Religion series. "An intellectual journey through mantra practice at three Goddess-centered mantra communities in Andhra-Telangana, India Combines narrative, autoethnography, andrecentscholarship to paint a full picture of mantra as lived experience Reinterprets mantra in the light of fieldwork to bring a new understanding of mantra to… read more about Alumna Dr. Mani Rao's Book Release »