Religion Department

Alumni Stories: Jane Lonnquist '88

Growing up, faith (and doubt) were important parts of my evolving identity. Studying religion helped me figure out
my own belief system (agnostic, unaffiliated, and humble, like so many who have studied world religions closely).
Majoring in religion was originally a way to "round-out" my intended pre-med studies. Instead, I left the pre-med
track and used my religion as the perfect lens through which to view liberal arts content that intrigued me:
philosophy, science, feminism, ethics, and language. Having Professors Oden and Henricks for Religion 101 played
a big role in my decision as well. It turns out my husband took that same class -- we never knew each other at
Dartmouth but pinned down that commonality after discussing the final, moving lecture of that powerful course.

Zahra Ayubi receives grant from Greenwall Foundation

Assistant Professor of Religion Zahra Ayubi has received a grant from the Greenwall Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics to continue her research on the intersections of bioethics, gender, and religion within the context of Islam. She is one of four scholars from around the country to receive the award this year.

The Faculty Scholars Program provides financial support—half of a full-time faculty salary—for three years, but the benefits of the grant extend far beyond funding, Ayubi says. The program includes the opportunity to receive mentorship from senior scholars, participate in biannual conferences, and become part of the Greenwall Foundation’s larger community of bioethics researchers.

“The foundation is really interested in mentoring early- and mid-career researchers,” Ayubi says. “There’s a lot of support, and that’s exciting for me. At our home institutions, we exist in our own research silos, so being able to be plugged into a larger bioethics community is invaluable.”

2019 Student prizes awarded

Congratulations to the graduating Religion majors who were awarded Department prizes at the Department's Commencement Reception on Saturday, June 8:

  • Dickinson Senior Writing Prize in Religion
    Established June 2004, The Dickinson Senior Writing Prize in Religion is awarded during the senior year by vote of the Religion Department faculty to that senior or seniors that have produced the best writing project as a culminating experience in the major or in a senior year seminar course.
    • Monika C. Gabriele '19
    • Makena A. Kauhane '19
  • Hans H. Penner Prize in the Study of Religion
    Established in 2014, the Hans Penner Prize is given to a graduating major in the Department of Religion whose work demonstrates dexterity in theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of religion.
    • Marshall S. Harris '19





























"Is Dartmouth a Religion?"

"Religion is about community and how societies organize and structure themselves," says Religion professor Susan Ackerman '80, who majored in Religion and has taught in the department for 29 years. This Spring Term, Prof. Ackerman taught a special 250th anniversary class, a freshman seminar entitled "Is Dartmouth a Religion?" Read about the class and her students' thoughts and comments in the current issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.

J. Edward Wright returns to Religion Department for Spring 2019 Term

J. Edward Wright is returning again this Spring Term for his seventh teaching term at Dartmouth! Professor Wright has been a distinguished visiting professor at Dartmouth over the years since 2006, and has consistently received student praise for quality teaching, great lectures, guided discussions, mentorship, and being available outside of class. He is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Arizona and serves as the Director of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies.

The Study of Religion at Dartmouth

Religion lies at the core of all cultures and societies. An objective understanding of religion is thus a crucial component of a liberal arts education. The Department of Religion offers a rich list of courses on the major religions of the ancient and modern world, as well as courses on religion and ethics, the nature of religious belief, myth and ritual, religion and gender, and many other topics. The Department also offers a foreign study program at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Many students find that a major, modified major, or minor in Religion is an excellent choice of concentration in the liberal arts. Watch our brief video here:

A Pioneering Surgeon's Journey from Liberal Arts to Medicine

The Geisel School of Medicine News profiles noted physician-researcher Andrea Hayes-Jordan D'87, MED '91, a Religion major at Dartmouth who worked in a leukemia lab at the medical school as an undergraduate and is now professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Read more about her in Dartmouth Medicine and the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.


Faculty Search: Lecturer in Asian Religions

The Department of Religion at Dartmouth College invites applications for a one-year Lecturer position in Asian Religions during the 2019-20 academic year (September 2019-June 2020). We seek applications from candidates who specialize in either Japanese 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.

Vaughn Booker Jr. gives keynote address at Martin Luther King Jr. employee breakfast

At the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. employee breakfast Monday, Assistant Professor Vaughn Booker Jr. ’07 drew on the words of King and fellow civil rights leaders James Lawson and Mary Lou Williams to talk about the transformative value and dignity of work. View Prof. Booker's talk here.

Booker quoted King from a sermon at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1965: “What makes a job menial? I’m tired of this stuff about menial labor. What makes it menial is that we don’t pay folk anything. Give somebody a job and pay them some money so they can live and educate their children and buy a home and have the basic necessities of life. And no matter what the job is, it takes on dignity.”