"Divine Currency"

In his new book, Divine Currency: The Theological Power of Money in the West (Stanford University Press; April, 2018), Assistant Professor of Religion Devin Singh shows how early economic ideas structured Christian thought and society, giving crucial insight into why money holds such power in the West. Monetary metaphors and images, including the minting of coins and debt slavery, provided frameworks for theologians to explain what happens in salvation. God became an economic administrator, and Christ functioned as a currency to purchase humanity's freedom. Such ideas, in turn, provided models for pastors and Christian emperors as they oversaw both resources and people. In this book, Singh argues that this longstanding association of money with divine activity has contributed over the centuries to money's ever increasing significance, justifying various forms of politics that manage citizens along the way. Read an excerpt from the book here.

New Fall Term Religion Course: Religion & Technology

This Fall Term, 2018, Jeremy Sabella, who has taught at Boston College and Yale Divinity School and currently teaches at Kalamazoo College, and taught Rel. 11.01, “God & Money,” and Rel. 74.14, “Religion and Social Struggle in the Americas,” here this past Winter Term, will be back to teach Rel. 1.01 and a new Religion course:

Christian Theology's Economy of Conquest

In an article for the Stanford University Press blog, Assistant Professor of Religion Devin Singh explores Martin Luther King Jr.'s "challenge to the American church's capitalist God of war" and observes that, "Ensconced in the theologies, liturgies, and paeans of praise inherited by Christian communities over the centuries was a portrait of God who was, among many things, a conquering economist and savvy resource manager." Singh's new book, Divine Currency: The Theological Power of Money in the West (Stanford Univ. Pr.) was just published.

Professor Ayubi awarded New Directions in Humanities Scholarship

Assistant Professor of Religion Zahra Ayubi has just been awarded a New Directions in Humanities Scholarship, a new program of the Office of the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities with funding from the Office of the President that encourages faculty in the arts and humanities to pursue projects outside their primary fields of expertise. Professor Ayubi will be studying contemporary gender ethics in Muslim communities and how ontological understandings of women's bodies affect medical decision-making in a traditionally male-oriented religious context. “Bioethics is not my field," she says, "yet I find that the precarious situation of patients in tough medical circumstances that require consideration of religion and bioethics is telling of deep underlying philosophical ideas—in Muslim traditions specifically—about the nature of women’s humanity.” Read more about the grant in Dartmouth News.

"Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination"

Professor Reiko Ohnuma‘s Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2017) is "a masterful treatment of animals in Indian Buddhist literature," comments Natasha Heller, Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, in her podcast interview with Professor Ohuma in New Books Network. "Although they are lower than humans in the paths of rebirth, stories about animals show them as virtuous and generous—and often the victim of human failings. In the life stories of the Buddha, animals serve as 'doubles,' thereby adding nuance and complexity to various episodes in the Buddha’s life.

New visiting professor: Kijan Bloomfield

Kijan Bloomfield is a doctoral candidate in the Religion, Ethics, and Politics subfield at Princeton. Her reearch areas include African American religious thought, religion in the African Diaspora, global pentecostalism, and Caribbean philosophy. Her Ph.D. dissertion is an interdisciplinary project that explores the role of religious ethics in the history of social change in Jamaica from the late 19th century to the present. She is here at Dartmouth this Spring Term to teach Religion 19.25, Religions of the Caribbean (taught at the 11 hour), and Religion 19.26, Global Pentecostalism (10A). Both courses are open to all students. (Course syllabi may be viewed here.)

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.

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