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.
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 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.
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!
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!
Videos of other exciting panels can be found on the Jaipur Festival website.
Professor of Religious Studies Carl Ernst discusses his new book, How to Read the Qur’an, with Frank Stasio on WUNC’s “The State of Things.” Click here listen to an audio recording of their discussion.
Members of the Religious Studies department facilitated, presented, and acted as respondents at this year’s joint national meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature.
Friday, 18 November
Jenna Tiitsman presided over the Religion and Media Workshop, “What’s Next for Texts: Scripting Religion in a Networked World.” Juliane Hammer served as a panelist.
Saturday, 19 November
In the first session, Jenna Tiitsman presented on the Religion, Media, and Culture Group’s “Surveying Our Understanding of Digital Religion” panel. Jill Peterfeso presented on the Mormon Studies Group’s “Mormon Women and Modernity” panel.
In the afternoon, Brannon Ingram presented on the Islamic Mysticism Group’s “‘It’s Not Made By Great Men’: Sufism Understood from the Side of the People” panel. This group’s business meeting was presided over by Omid Safi. Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst presented on the Religion and Colonialism Group’s “Defining Religion in Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial Contexts” panel. Megan Goodwin presented on the North American Religions Section’s “Rethinking Key Paradigms in American Religion: ‘Black Church’, ‘Queering Religion’, ‘Nature Religion’ and ‘Material Culture’.” panel.
David Lambert presented on a Biblical Lexicography panel themed “50 Years of Barr’s Semantics in Biblical Language.” Matthew J. Grey presented on a Levites and Priests in History and Tradition panel. Benjamin White presided over a panel on Teaching Biblical Studies in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Context, on which Jason A. Staples was a panelist.
Sunday, 20 November
In the morning session, Juliane Hammer responded to the Study of Islam Section’s panel on “Islamic/Muslim Marriage in Discourse and Practice.” Brandi Denison presented on the Religion in the American West Seminar’s “Land, Identity, and Transnational Wests” panel. Jill Peterfeso presented on the Religion and Sexuality Group’s “Contesting Bodies, Configuring Sexuality” panel. Rose Aslan presented on the Space, Place, and Religious Meaning Group’s “Spatial Theory and Religion” panel. And David Lambert presented on the Book of Job for a panel on Wisdom in Israelite and Cognate Traditions.
In the afternoon, Jenna Tiitsman presided over the Religion, Media, and Culture Group’s “Production of Religion: Making Nations, Technologies, Ideologies, and Other Spectacles” panel. Barbara Ambros presided over the Japanese Religions Group’s “Recontextualizing Japanese Religions in Popular Culture” panel. And Bart Ehrman presented on a panel titled: “What is the Future of Biblical Studies in Academia? Questions, Challenges, Visions.”
In the evening, Bart Ehrman presented on a panel on Believers, Scholars, and Culture: Assessing the Impact of Two Centuries of Critical Biblical Scholarship.
Monday, 21 November
In the morning session, Matthew Hotham presented on the Comparative Studies in Religion Section’s “Comparative Grammars of Ineffability” panel. Carl Ernst presided over a joint panel between the Study of Islam Section and the Islamic Mysticism Group, themed: “Sufism after the ‘Linguistic Turn’.” Yaakov Ariel presented on the Study of Judaism Section’s panel on “American Judaisms.” Shannon Harvey presented on the New Religious Movements Group’s panel on “Religious Appropriation of Secular Culture.” John-Charles Duffy presented on a joint panel between the Death, Dying, and Beyond Group and the Mormon Studies Group, themed: “Death and Beyond in the Mormon Tradition.”
In the afternoon, Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst presented on the Comparative Studies of Religion Section’s panel “Other People’s Scriptures: The Use of Sacred Texts across Religious Boundaries.” Kathleen Foody presented on a panel called “Pious Publics/Critical Publics: Theologies of Self and State in Contemporary Islam,” co-sponsored by the Contemporary Islam and Liberal Theologies Groups. Jenna Tiitsman presented on the Philosophy of Religion Section’s panel on “Affect, Passion, and Rationality.” Bart Ehrman was respondent to a paper on a panel about the Extent of Theological Diversity in Earliest Christianity themed “Gospels in the Second Century.”
Carl Ernst presented on a panel titled “Mughal Bhakti: Devotees, Sufis, Yogis, and Literati in Early Modern North India,” cosponsored by the Religion in South Asia Section and the Hinduism Group. David Lambert presented on the Cultural History of the Study of Religion Group’s “‘Religion’: Contexts for Its Emergence” panel, and the following business meeting was presided over by Randall Styers.
Shenandoah Nieuwsma presented on the Religion, Medicines, and Healing Group’s “Spirituality and the Medicalization of Religion in Mental Health Care” panel. And Barbara Ambros presided over the business meeting for the Japanese Religions Group.
Tuesday, 22 November
During the last session of the conference, Anne Blankenship presented on the History of Christianity Section’s panel on “Interreligious Conflict in the History of Christianity: Modern Examples.” Randal Styers presided over the North American Religions Section’s panel on “Industrial Effervescence: Manufacturing Economic Selves and Producing Religious Collectivity in American Religious History.” Jason C. Bivins (adjunct) was the respondent for this panel. And Jessica Boon presented on the Queer Studies in Religion Group’s panel on “Queerly Rereading Texts and Traditions.”
Michael Muhammad Knight, UNC graduate student in Religious Studies, is profiled in the New York Times for his research and engagement with Islam, hip-hop, and the Five Percenters, a small but culturally influential offshoot of the Nation of Islam.