UNC Religious Studies at AAR/SBL 2013

UNC at AAR/SBL/ASOR Baltimore

November 2013

Thursday, November 21

4:25PM: Jodi Magness reads a paper The Role of Exact Science from the Perspective of an Archaeologist.

Friday, November 22

1PM: Omid Safi and Danielle Widmann Abraham in a “Rethinking Islamic Studies Workshop.”

Saturday, November 23

9AM: Shenandoah Nieuwsma reads a paper Cutting Through the Fog: “Spirituality” as Discursive Strategy in Post-WWII Medical Literature.  Abdallah Lipton reads a paper Universalizing Ibn ‘Arabi: Aryanism and the Perennialist Discourse of Religious Authenticity.

1PM: Andrew Aghapour is a panelist in the “Cognitive Science of Religion Group and Science, Technology, and Religion Group.” Shenandoah Nieuwsma reads a paper Exploring a Politics of Healing: Spirituality as a Nonreligious Health Technique in the US Military. Juliane Hammer reads a paper Equity, Equality, or Hierarchy: American Tafsir on Gender Roles in Marriage. Joseph Lam reads a paper The Biblical Hebrew Root BHL in light of New Ugaritic Evidence.

4PM: Matthew Hotham reads a paper ‘His Minty Breath Was Antidote to Scorpio’s Sting’: Muhammad’s Bodily Ascension in Nizami Ganjavi’s Makhzan al-Asrar. Stephanie Gaskill reads a paper Performing Race and Repentance: The History of Racialized Criminality in Angola’s The Life of Jesus Christ Play. Randall Styers presents in panel discussion titled “Training Graduate Students for a Twenty-first Century World.”

Sunday, November 24

1PM: David Lambert reads a paper Linguistic Change Within the Domain of Concepts: The Case of “Shub”.

3PM: Stephanie Gaskill reads a paper ‘The Worst Thing That Ever Happened To Me’: Anti-Catholicism in George Jackson’s Soledad Brother.

5PM: Randall Styers is panelist in Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer Persons in the Profession. Samuel Kessler  reads a paper Jewish Identity as Moral Choice: A Reading of Malamud’s “The Lady of the Lake.”

*7PM: UNC Religious Studies Reception

Monday, November 25

9AM: Barbara Ambros responds on the panel “Buddhist Masculinities: Rhetorics and Representations.” Leif Tornquist reads a paper ‘This Mighty Struggle for Life’: Anglo-American Protestant Ministers, Biopolitical Violence, and Negative Eugenics in the 1920s United States. Omid Safi responds to “Memory Work and Culture Making.” Todd Ochoa is a panelist on “Conceiving Encounter, Evading Lack.”

1PM: Randall Styers presides on “Religious Change and Technological Mediation in Modern America.” Juliane Hammer presides on “On Normativity in the Field of Islamic Studies.” Travis Proctor reads a paper John, ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’?: Religious Competition and the (De-)Construction of Apostolic Lineages in the Acts of John.

4PM: Barbara Ambros responds on “Thinking Animals, Rethinking Religious Identities.”

Tuesday, November 26

8:30AM: Andrew Aghapour presides on “Religion, Technology, and Affect.” Cynthia Hogan reads a paper The Apocalypse and the Art Museum: The Paintings of the Reverend McKendree Robbins Long

Dr. Maffly-Kipp Recognized for Work to Strengthen University-Community Relations

Dr. Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Professor of Religious Studies, was one of eight Carolina faculty members honored recently for distinguishing themselves as engaged scholars through their commitment to connecting their research and teaching to real-life issues. As part of the Faculty Engaged Scholars program, these professors further developed connections to strengthen university-community partnerships through projects like integrating refugee children into local schools and developing custom assistive technology products for people with disabilities.

“My participation in the Faculty Engaged Scholars program, and particularly conversations with other scholars interested in reaching beyond the walls of the university, not only gave me new ways to think about my research and its significance, but also inspired me to consider all of my work in terms of broader outcomes,” said Dr. Maffly-Kipp. “I was encouraged—indeed pushed—to think more creatively and imaginatively.”

The program is an initiative of the Carolina Center for Public Service and has the goal of promoting engaged scholarship at the university. The curriculum is highly interactive and experiential, involving on site-visits and discussions with other Carolina faculty members and their community partners.

Dr. Maffly-Kipp worked to educate various communities about religious diversity and to encourage and facilitate more open dialogue of religious differences. Her work as a Faculty Engaged Scholar ranged from leading seminars for high school teachers around the nation to writing articles on Mormonism for the New York Times and the Congressional Quarterly. She also leads talks for audiences seeking to better understand the nature of religious faith in American political life.

The first class of Faculty Engaged Scholars was selected in October 2007. At least eight new scholars enter the program every other year. To date, 34 Faculty Engaged Scholars representing 21 departments have participated in the program. The third class graduated from the program on Nov. 2.

Read more about the 2012 graduating class of Faculty Engaged Scholars here.

About the Carolina Center for Public Service

The Carolina Center for Public Service engages and supports the faculty, students and staff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in meeting the needs of North Carolina and beyond. The Center strengthens the University’s public service commitment by promoting scholarship and service that are responsive to the concerns of the state and contribute to the common good. This award was established in 1995 to recognize the importance of graduate student mentorship to the health and vitality of UNC’s intellectual community. Faculty members are nominated through letters submitted by their students and are selected through an intensive review process.

UNC Religious Studies at AAR/SBL 2012

Members of the Religious Studies department are facilitating, presenting, and acting as respondents at this year’s joint national meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature.

Friday, November 16

9:30AM: Jenna Supp-Montgomerie and J. Barton Scott preside over the panel Theme: Religion and Media Workshop – Feeling Political: Religion, Media, and the Politics of Emotion

2PM: Randall Styers and Monica Miller presents a paper “Analytical Research in the Eye of a Normative Claims Storm.”

Saturday, November 17

9AM: Stephanie Gaskill is reading a paper “Resisting the “Politics of Respectability”: Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow and the Mobilization of Religious Leaders against Mass Incarceration”

9AM: Megan Goodwin is reading a paper “Common Sense is No Match for the Voice of God:” Krakauer’s Misreading of Elizabeth Smart”

9AM: Juliane Hammer is reading a paper “Protective Patriarchy, Feminist Gender Justice: Researching Muslim Efforts against Domestic Violence”

9AM: Barbara Ambros is reading a paper “Gender Bending and Gender Affirmation: A Performance of the Anan Kōshiki at a Contemporary Sōtō Zen Convent”

1PM: Yaakov Ariel is reading a paper “Conversions and De-Conversions during the Holocaust”

1PM: Randall Styers presides over the panel The Centenary of The Elementary Forms of Religious Life -The Enduring Analytical Impact of Émile Durkheim

4PM: Joseph Lam is reading a paper “Psalm 2 and the Disinheritance of Earthly Rulers”

4PM: Michael Knight is a panelist on Everyday Islam and Ethnographic Methodologies

4PM: Barbara Ambros is reading a paper “Masking Commodification and Sacralizing Consumption: Buddhist Animal Memorial Rites in Twentieth-Century Japan

4PM: Shaily Patel is reading a paper “Exorcism and Enlightenment in Antiquity and Modernity: History as a Mythological Construct”

Sunday, November 18

9AM: Jodi Magness is presenting a paper “Conspicuous Consumption: Dining on Meat in the Ancient World”

9AM: Matthew Dougherty is reading a paper “Brethren, Stretch Forth Your Hands:” The Male Body in American Masonic Ritual, 1859-1900”

9AM: Jason Staples is reading a paper “Rise, Kill, and Eat”: Animals as Nations in Apocalyptic Judaism and Acts 10.”

1PM: Randall Styers is a panelist in a cluster themed Social Theory and Religion, 2013-2015

1PM: Jodie Magness is a respondent on the panel Archaeology of Religion in the Roman World

1PM: Travis Proctor is reading a paper “A Rhetorical Absurdity and the Demonic Jesus: The Function of an Apocryphal Resurrection Appearance in Ignatius’ Letter to the Smyrnaeans”

3PM:Randall Styers is responding to the panel Religious Exchanges and Transactions in North America

3PM: Tehseen Thaver is reading a paper “Metaphor, Hermeneutics and the formations Shi‘i Identity in al-Sharif al-Radi’s (d.1015C.E.) Qur’an commentary”

4PM: Bart Ehrman will be introducing a book he co-edited, The Texts of the New Testament in Contemporary Research.

4PM: Joseph Lam is reading a paper “The Place of Metaphor in the Baal, Aqhat, and Kirta Texts”

4PM: Jason Combs is reading a paper “Dreams(’) Matter: Idol-Demons and Early Christian Oneiric Techniques”

5PM: Jenna Supp-Montgomerie is reading a paper “Quilting Points: How Religion Makes Meaning in American Globalization”

5PM: Andrew Aghapour is presiding over the panel Critical Approaches to the Use of Media for Religious Purposes

**7PM: UNC Reception**

Monday, November 19

9AM: Yaakov Ariel is reading a paper “From the Institutum Judaicum to the International Christian Embassy: Christian Zionism with a Different Accent”

1PM: Randall Styers is presiding over the panel Time, Space, and Difference on which Jenna Supp-Montgomerie is reading a paper “The “Greatest of All Schemes”: American Missionary Discourse and Nineteenth-Century Globalization”

1PM: David Lambert is reading a paper “Objectifications of Personhood in Ancient Israel: The Case of ‘lev’”

4PM: Juliane Hammer is reading a paper “Religion vs. Culture: Islamic Marriage, Healthy Families, and Domestic Violence”

4PM: Joseph Lam is presiding over the panel “Texts and Interpretations”

Tuesday, November 20

9AM: David Lambert is reading a paper “The Genealogy of Repentance”

Bart Ehrman Blogs About Christianity to Raise Money for Charity



Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, has started a new Blog, “Christianity in Antiquity [CIA]: The Bart Ehrman Blog,” at www.ehrmanblog.org.

The Blog includes a public site with postings available to anyone who logs in; most postings, however, will be on the members-only site, which may be joined by paying a subscription fee.

None of the money collected from the site will be lining Prof. Ehrman’s pocket; he is giving all of it away to charities dealing with hunger and homelessness. And so, while the Blog is designed to deal with issues involving the New Testament and early Christianity, its ultimate goal is to raise money for those in need.

Randall Styers Recognized for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentorship

Dr. Randall Styers, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, was recently awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction. On February 11th, during half-time of the UNC-Virginia basketball game, Dr. Styers and three other faculty members were honored before an audience of students, alumni, and fans.

This award was established in 1995 to recognize the importance of graduate student mentorship to the health and vitality of UNC’s intellectual community. Faculty members are nominated through letters submitted by their students and are selected through an intensive review process.

Thanks to Randall for all his hard work on behalf of graduate students and congratulations on these well-deserved accolades!

Jason Combs Wins Tanner Award

PhD student Jason Combs was recently awarded the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Graduate Teaching Assistants. On February 11th, during half-time of the UNC-Virginia basketball game, Jason and four other graduate students were honored before an audience of students, alumni, and fans.

According to UNC: “The awards were created in 1952 with a bequest by Kenneth Spencer Tanner, class of 1911, and his sister, Sara Tanner Crawford (and by them on behalf of their deceased brothers, Simpson Bobo Tanner, Jr. and Jesse Spencer Tanner), establishing an endowment fund in memory of their parents, Lola Spencer and Simpson Bobo Tanner. The award was established to recognize excellence in inspirational teaching of undergraduate students, particularly first- and second-year students.”

Congratulations to Jason on this well-deserved recognition!

Carl Ernst at Jaipur Literature Festival

Video footage from the 2012 Jaipur Literature Festival featuring UNC’s Carl Ernst is now available online.

The first panel, ‘Reconstructing Rumi‘, also features Farrukh Dhondy and was chaired by Sunil Kumar.
Violent Mystics‘ features James Mallinson and Carl Ernst in conversation with Sunil Kumar.

Videos of other exciting panels can be found on the Jaipur Festival website.