New Religion Department Faculty

This fall, the Religion Department will be welcoming two new faculty members, Zahra Ayubi and Devin Singh.

Zahra Ayubi, who comes to us from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and who will be teaching Religion 8 (Introduction to Islam) and Religion 26 (Islam in America) in Fall Term, has focussed her research on women and gender in prescriptive discourses and ethical thought in both pre-modern and modern Islam. Her scholarship is a feminist engagement with the Islamic intellectual tradition that seeks to advance understandings of the ways that gender is constructed in Islamic philosophy and operates in historical and contemporary transnational Muslim communities. At Dartmouth, she also teaches courses in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

Professor Susannah Heschel on the Massacre in Charleston

 “When are we going to have reparation—for slavery, for Jim Crow, for the new Jim Crow? Unless you give back, there is no repentance for you,” says Susannah Heschel, Professor of Religion and Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, in a recent panel discussion on MSNBC.

Professor Randall Balmer on presidential candidate Mike Huckabee

Dartmouth Now reports that in a Los Angeles Tmes opinion piece, Professor Randall Balmer says that Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is employing rhetoric that casts members of the religious right as victims of intolerance who are scorned for what they believe, and could even be jailed for it. Balmer writes, "Whereas a candidate such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky worries about personal liberties, Huckabee warns about religious persecution. 'I came to New Hampshire to announce that I will fight for your right to be left alone,' Paul declared at the beginning of his campaign." Professor Balmer will be teaching a class in "Religion, Politics, and the Presidency" (REL 62) in the Fall 2015 Term.

Dartmouth's Geneva Bibles

Abby Thornburg '15, who is working on an independent study project with Religion Professor Susan Ackerman this term, has mounted a small exhibit in Rauner Library focused on her research topic, Dartmouth's Geneva Bibles. You can see a photo, and read Abby's blog post here -- http://raunerlibrary.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-geneva-bible.html -- and we'd also advise a stop by Rauner to see the exhibit as well: Abby's done a great job in putting it together! It's on the ground floor, just inside the entrance and to the right. Enjoy!

Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Dartmouth

Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Dartmouth: Thinking with Nancy K. Frankenberry and Ronald M. Green

Saturday, May 30, 2015
041 Haldeman Hall
Free & open to all

This one-day symposium marks the retirement of Nancy Frankenberry and Ronald Green. The symposium focuses on Nancy and Ron’s nationally recognized work in the fields of philosophy of religion and ethics. Robert Neville (Boston University) and Terry Godlove (Hofstra) will engage with Nancy’s work, and Stephen Palmquist (Hong Kong Baptist University) and Karen Lebacqz (Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley/Pacific School of Religion) will examine Ron’s. These presentations will be followed by responses by both professors.

Program Schedule

8:30am                 Coffee and morning pastries

9:00am                 Welcome

  • Adrian Randolph, Associate Dean, Arts & Humanities, Dartmouth College
  • Randall Balmer, Chair, Religion Department
  • Susan Ackerman, Preston H. Kelsey Professor of Religion

  9:15-10:15am     

Professor Susan Ackerman on cultural vandalism in Iraq

Professor Susan Ackerman '80, Preston H. Kelsey Professor in Religion, professor of women's and gender studies and Jewish studies at Dartmouth, and also president of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), was interviewed for Dartmouth Now about the destruction of ancient Assyrian artifacts by Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq, which has led to a joint statement from ASOR, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Society for American Archaeology deploring the destruction and calling on authorities to support the archaeological community's efforts to repair damaged works if possible, and to find an reclaim missing objects. Read the entire interview here.

Professor Susannah Heschel on the Selma to Montgomery March

“Few events in history of the United States are as inspiring as the march from Selma. Walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge (named for a Confederate general) opened a door, inviting all Americans to join in unity against segregation and racism,” says Professor Susannah Heschel in a Jewish Daily Forward opinion piece about her father, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who was among those who marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Professor Randall Balmer named Faculty Fellow

Professor Randall Balmer (upper left) has been appointed by Dartmouth president Philip Hanlon to serve as a faculty fellow in the new Dartmouth Society of Fellows, an interdisciplinary community that will support the integration of research and teaching excellence. The faculty fellows will mentor a cohort of newly-minted postdoctoral fellows, who will arrive on campus a year from now. Professor Balmer says the Society will play a central role in energizing intellectual life and scholarly productivity at the College. "I'm honored that the president has chosen me to lead this initiative, and I look forward to working with the other faculty fellows during its formative stages," he says.

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