Announcing Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion | Applications Due April 30th

Miranda Schonbrun

Applications for the first cohort of the Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion are now open. Please note that applications are due Friday, April 30, 2021 at 5 pm.

The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion (DESR) supports graduate training in Religious Studies and in the Theory of the Study of Religion, promotes graduate research on topics related to religion, and brings together a cross-disciplinary faculty Group in the Study of Religion…

BCSR New Directions in Theology Grants for Graduate Students | Applications Due April 12th

Miranda Schonbrun

For the 2021 fall semester, BCSR is offering eight fellowships in the amount of $3,750 each for graduate students to explore the relationship between democracy and religion. Led by two BCSR faculty members, students will meet bi-weekly to read key texts in the history of religion, explore research topics, and meet Berkeley and visiting faculty working in the field. Awardees …

Grad Student Spotlight: Rachel Lim

Miranda Schonbrun

Rachel Lim is a PhD Candidate in Ethnic Studies studying Korean diaspora in the Americas. She is completing a dissertation entitled “Itinerant Belonging: Korean Transnational Migration to and from Mexico.” Her work has been recently published or is forthcoming in The Journal of Asian American Studies and Verge: Studies in Global Asias.

Grad Student Spotlight: Aaron Eldridge

Miranda Schonbrun

Aaron Eldridge is an anthropologist specializing in contemporary asceticism in the Levant. His interdisciplinary research interests include Muslim-Christian entanglements in the Eastern Mediterranean, postcolonial political theologies, historical consciousness, as well as theories of destruction and form of life. His work has appeared in Exchange (2020) and Qui Parle (forthcoming). …

Registration for the March 19-21 Conference of the American Academy of Religion

Miranda Schonbrun

Registration for the March 19-21 Conference of the American Academy of Religion, Western Region is now available online. The conference, which will be held virtually but is technically hosted by the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, will be of interest to Bay Area scholars working in the area of religious studies. Registration can be found at https://www.aarwr.com/annual-meetings.html. The registration …

Faculty Accomplishments from Fall 2020

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is proud to share a sample of recent accomplishments, publications, awards, and news from affiliated faculty from fall 2020.

Please join us in congratulating our affiliated faculty members Charles Hirschkind, Ethan Katz, Rita Lucarelli, and Ronit Stahl on these achievements! …

Faculty Spotlight: Henrike Lange

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is proud to share with the community a Faculty Spotlight with Henrike Lange, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of History of Art and Italian Studies. …

Spring 2021 Religion Courses

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR faculty and affiliates are offering a wide variety of courses related to religion in spring 2021, spanning diverse fields including Anthropology, Buddhist Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Ethnic Studies, History, History of Art, Italian Studies, Jewish Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and Political Science! …

Poulomi Saha and Grace Goudiss Resource Recommendations 

Miranda Schonbrun

Accompanying the online reflection “Enthralled Subjects: Cults, Conversion, and Quarantine Fixations,” Poulomi Saha and Grace Goudiss provided resource recommendations on the topics of popular media surrounding “cults,” faith, and the history of “cults”/new religious movements. …

Carolyn Chen Resource Recommendations

Miranda Schonbrun

Accompanying the online reflection “The Work of Salvation, the Salvation of Work: Searching for Belonging in an Age of Global Precarity” Carolyn Chen provided resource recommendations on the topics of work, capitalism, and religion. …

Arlie Russell Hochschild Resource Recommendations

Miranda Schonbrun

Accompanying the online reflection “Crossing Divides in a Precarious Future: The White Working Class and the Upcoming General Election” Arlie Russell Hochschild provided resource recommendations on the topics of American right, the polarization of politics, and the dismantling of the working class. …

Niklaus Largier Resource Recommendations

Miranda Schonbrun

Accompanying the online reflection “The Textures of the Soul: Isolation Throughout History and Religion” Niklaus Largier provided resource recommendations on the topics of religion, history, and isolation. …

Thomas W. Laqueur Resource Recommendations

Miranda Schonbrun

Accompanying the online reflection “From Providentialism to Epidemiology: Understanding Pandemics through History” Thomas W. Laqueur provided resource recommendations on the topics of democracy, religion, medicine, government, and death from a historical perspective. …

Announcing BCSR’s Public Forum on Religion and Pandemic

Miranda Schonbrun

As part of the Berkeley Democracy and Public Theology Program, BCSR’s Public Forum on Religion and Pandemic brings together scholars and the public to address the current pandemic and its commensurate crises.

Asking what it means to live, write, and think in the present moment, these conversations explore the intersection between religion and timely topics such as the environment, public health, elections and democracy, religious freedom, and nationalism in order to foster public dialogue and reflection. …

BCSR Receives $500,000 Grant from Henry Luce Foundation for Berkeley Democracy and Public Theology Program

Miranda Schonbrun

Now in its eighth year, UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion appreciatively announces that it has received a $500,000 grant spanning three years from the Henry Luce Foundation to examine how theology has influenced, and continues to influence, democratic practices. Professors and BCSR Co-Directors Karen Barkey (UC Berkeley) and David Marno (UC Berkeley), and Professor and BCSR Co-founder Jonathan Sheehan (UC Berkeley), will be the Principal Investigators. …

Message from the Directors

Miranda Schonbrun

Dear Friends of BCSR,

We hope that this letter finds you and your loved ones healthy and well as we return to a fall semester unlike any in recent history. Facing unparallelled challenges from the pandemic, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion endeavors to grow our scholarship and community. We want to thank all of you who continue to support us, and to give you an update on the Center’s new programs and exciting initiatives. …

Faculty Accomplishments from Spring and Summer 2020

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is proud to share a sample of recent accomplishments, publications, awards, and news from affiliated faculty from spring and summer 2020. Please join us in congratulating our affiliated faculty members Robert Alter, Karen Barkey, Robert Braun, Charles Hirschkind, Ethan Katz, Henrike C. Lange, Rita Lucarelli, Joanna Picciotto, Ronit Stahl, Jonathan Sheehan, and Francesco Spagnolo on these achievements! …

New BCSR Website and Social Media

Miranda Schonbrun

We are proud to share that over the summer we made some updates to the BCSR website and social media presence in order to boost the visibility of the study of religions at Berkeley. Be sure to like/follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest updates! …

Fall 2020 Religion Courses

Brandon Schneider News, Research

Be sure to check out BCSR faculty and affiliates’ fall courses related to religion, spanning diverse fields including Buddhist Studies, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, German, History, Jewish Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and South and Southeast Asian Studies! …

Postponements: BCSR Events Spring 2020

Brandon Schneider

Due to ongoing changes designed to help limit coronavirus (COVID-19) risk on campus, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion regretfully announces that the following events have been POSTPONED until further notice. …

Recent Alumni Spotlight: Basit Iqbal

Brandon Schneider

As part of our ongoing interview series, BCSR recently caught up with Basit Iqbal, who was a 2018 recipient of a BCSR summer research grant. He is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. He received his PhD from the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology with a designated emphasis in critical theory in December 2019. …

Grad Student Spotlight: Madeline Lesser

Brandon Schneider

As part of our series spotlighting UC Berkeley graduate student research, BCSR recently had the opportunity to sit down with Madeline Lesser, a PhD student in English. Her dissertation is titled “Bad Prophets: the Aesthetics of Uncertainty in Revolutionary England.” BCSR: Could you tell us about your doctoral research topic more broadly and how you feel it contributes to the study of religion? …

Faculty Accomplishments from Fall 2019

Brandon Schneider News

Fall 2019 was an excellent and busy semester for the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion’s affiliated faculty. BCSR is proud to share a sample of recent accomplishments, publications, awards, and news from affiliated faculty from the fall 2019 semester. Please join us in congratulating our affiliated faculty members Carolyn Chen, David A. Hollinger, Rita Lucarelli, Diego Pirillo, and Francesco Spagnolo on these achievements! …

Spring 2020 Religion Courses

Brandon Schneider

BCSR faculty and affiliates will offer an array of undergraduate and graduate courses on religion in spring 2020. Covering numerous faiths, regions, periods, and methods, the courses are a testament to the interdisciplinary breadth and historical depth of our offerings. …