Religion Department

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.

Dr. Martin Luthur King, Jr., was a mensch, says Susannah Heschel

In an interview for Public Radio International, just aired on WNYC, Religion Professor Susannah Heschel (also Chair of the Jewish Studies Program at Dartmouth), who met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., several times, recalls that, “He was always so gentle and kind and friendly to me.” And in an article in the January 16, 2017, issue of Haaretz, the oldest daily newspaper of Israel, "How John Lewis Became a Hero for American Jews," Professor Heschel, whose father was a rabbi who marched with King, tells how the Hebrew Bible inspired civil rights activists in the ‘60s.

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 Balmer argues, however, that "the Johnson Amendment is a good idea and should not be repealed.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.

Faculty Search

 The Department of Religion at Dartmouth College seeks to hire an open-rank tenured or tenure-track scholar in Religion and Science with a specialty in one or more of the following: medical ethics or bioethics, history of science, medicine in intercultural and transnational perspective, or scientific discourse around categories of race, gender, and sexuality. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate conversance with at least one religious tradition and an articulated sensibility toward theoretical and methodological issues concerning the religion and science dialogue.

I Read, Therefore I Think

"What place do theological and confessionally religious texts have in a secular, private liberal arts curriculum?" asks Religion Professor Devin Singh in his feature article, "I Read, Therefore I Think," in the September-October, 2016, issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. Singh believes that including theology in the liberal arts curriculum can help foster generous and empathetic reading, helps disrupt the myth of academic objectivity, provides unique insights into Western culture and society, projects alternative possible worlds, and invites critical analysis. "Even as theology helped shape humanistic perspectives in the Western university and provided a framework for the liberal arts," he concludes, "its presence continues to help prepare students to analyze and respond to the full scope of human experience in the world today."

Religion Department First-Year Student Open House

Thursday, September 8, 2016
1 - 2pm
210 Thornton Hall

The Department of Religion offers a rich list of courses on a subject that you will encounter in many other departments. This is because religion is at the core of all cultures and societies. An objective understanding of this subject, therefore, is a crucial component of a liberal-arts education. The Department offers courses on the major religions of the ancient and modern world, as well as courses on religion and ethics, the nature of religious belief and language, myth and ritual, women and religion, and many other topics on the intermediate and advanced seminar levels. The Department also offers a foreign study program at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Many students find that either a major or modified major in religion is an excellent choice for a concentration in the liberal arts. Please visit the Department website for a complete listing of courses - http://religion.dartmouth.edu/undergraduate/courses - and come to our open house to meet our faculty and learn about our course offerings.

New Religion Faculty

Thirty-six scholars - including two new Religion Department faculty - joined the Dartmouth faculty in 2016. Read more about Professors Zahra Ayubi, whose research is on women and gender in prescriptive discourses and ethical thought in both pre-modern and modern Islam and also teaches in the Women and Sexuality Studies Program, and Devin Singh, who studies how the framework of religion is helpful in understanding the influence of money in economy and society, in Dartmouth Now.

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