New course: Religion & Social Struggle in the Americas

This Winter Term, Professor Jeremy Sabella will be teaching a new Religion course, Rel. 74.14, "Religion & Social Struggle in the Americas." This course examines twentieth and twenty-first century social struggles through a religious lens. Karl Marx described religion as the "opiate of the masses," but in practice, religion has been a resource for resistance as well as a mechanism of control. Drawing on case studies from the U.S. and Latin America. the course analyzes how both sides of a conflict understand and deploy religious concepts. How do those in power approach religion? How does this differ from how those outside power structures mobilize it? How do uses of religion evolve to accommodate different cultural contexts and new political circumstances? These are some of the questions the course will consider in preparation for analyzing contemporary movements such as Standing Rock and Black Lives Matter. Offered at the 2A Hour, and open to all classes.

Randall Balmer on evangelical Christianity's close ties to conservative politics

In an article on the Roy Moore scandal in the Salt Lake City, Utah, Deseret News, Religion Department chair Randall Balmer observes that "Evangelical Christianity's close ties to conservative politics are driving people away from the flock. People are looking for other labels to identify themselves with because they find the term 'evangelical' so fraught and associated with things they don't embrace."

Faculty search: Tenure-Track Position in Asian Religions

DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, Hanover, New Hampshire. The Department of Religion at Dartmouth College invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position in Asian Religions. Appointment to begin as early as July 1, 2018. We especially encourage applications from candidates who specialize in Japanese, Tibetan/Himalayan, or Southeast Asian religions, whose academic specialization lies in religion or in an academic discipline relating to the study of religion. The successful candidate will be grounded in both theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of religion, as well as the relevant primary languages.

Qualifications include Ph.D.,or ABD in their final year will also be considered, along with a record of outstanding scholarship and effective teaching. Requirements include teaching four courses per year (0-2 per quarter over 3 quarters) and normal department service. Competitive salary, benefits and research support. The successful candidate will be expected to teach a broad range of introductory, intermediate-level, and advanced courses within his or her specialization, as well as contributing to the Department’s theoretical and methodological offerings.

Susan Ackerman receives award for "outstanding teaching of undergraduates"

Congratulations to Susan Ackerman '80, Preston H. Kelsey Professor in Religion, who was just presented with the Elizabeth Howland Hand-Otis Norton Pierce Award for a Faculty Member Who is an Outstanding Teacher of Undergraduates by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. Read more here.

Zahra Ayubi receives Dean of the Faculty Mentoring Award

Assistant Professor of Religion Zahra Ayubi was recently honored with a Dean of the Faculty Mentoring Award for 2016-2017 for her outstanding work as a mentor of Dartmouth students. The award is funded and supported by the Provost and the Mellon Foundation.

OnScript with Susannah Heschel

In a recent interview with Matthew Lynch (Westminster Theological Centre, UK) for OnScript, which provides author interviews on new and noteworthy publications in biblical studies, Professor Susannah Heschel talks about her book The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press, 2008). You can read or listen to the podcast interview here: http://onscript.study/podcast/susannah-heschel-the-aryan-jesus/

Tracing the Roots of Africa's Many Indigenous Religions

Tracing the Roots of Africa’s Many Indigenous Religions

 from Dartmouth Now, February 27, 2017,  by Charlotte Albright

 

For over 40 years, Associate Professor Robert Baum has shuttled between the U.S. and West Africa, learning and writing about religious prophets in rural southern Senegal. Now, with a senior faculty grant and a Wilson Faculty Research Fellowship, he will embark on a huge undertaking: writing the first continent-wide history of African religion, with a focus on indigenous religions.

Religion Department opposes U.S. Executive Order

We, the members of the Dartmouth College Religion Department, voice our strong opposition to the US Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” issued on January 27, 2017. This Executive Order, among other things, suspends the entry of permanent residents, refugees, immigrants, students, visitors, researchers and nonimmigrant citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the United States for the next ninety days, and possibly for a longer period still. The Executive Order also indicates that additional countries may be recommended for similar treatment, and that members of a particular religion may be banned.

Randall Balmer on Politics and the Pulpit

In an opinion piece in the Sunday, October 30, Valley News, Professor Randall Balmer observes that "leaders of the Religious Right in recent years...have been pushing for a repeal of the Johnson Amendment [a provision in the tax code that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from openly supporting political candidates, passed by Congress in 1954 and named for Lyndon Johnson, then a U.S. senator]." The Religious Right argues that "pastors should be able to make political endorsements from the pulpit without jeopardinzing their churches' tax exemptions [and]the fact that they cannot now do so...represents an infringement on their religious freedom." Balmer argues, however, that "the Johnson Amendment is a good idea and should not be repealed.

Susannah Heschel presented with prestigious Moses Mendelssohn Award

Susannah Heschel, the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, has just been presented with the Leo Baeck Institute's prestigious Moses Mendelssohn Award for her "outstanding scholarly contributions" to the study of German-Jewish culture. "It's a great honor to receive an award for my scholarship from colleagues in my field," she says. "It's wonderful." At the September 25 award ceremony in New York, she gave the 59th Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture, "The Other in the Mirror: Jewish Interpretations of Christian and Islamic Origins," focussing on the work of pioneering 19th-century scholars Abraham Geiger and Heinrich Graetz. Read more in the Dartmouth News.

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