As a student studying Religion at New College, you will work closely with your faculty advisor to devise a plan of study that matches your interests and goals. You will also learn to be self aware as you explore questions that engage both religious faith and practice. Our students tell us this freedom to drive their own education energizes their studies. As one New College Religion professor said, “I love teaching religion because we help our students engage this complex, important and often neglected area of academic thought.”
As a student studying religion at New College, you will be immersed in the critical examination of issues, positions and reasoning that lie at the heart of human history and religious philosophy. You will look at different societies and practices and explore everything from human meaning to ethics and values. And you will do it by using a wide variety of methodologies: literary, historical, anthropological, philosophical and sociological, to name a few. The study of religion at New College is intentionally interdisciplinary. What you will learn here is religious literacy — allowing you to dive into beliefs and practices in a variety of traditions.
Our Religion AOC draws students from all walks of life. We encourage our students to wrestle with the boundaries between academic pursuits and individual faith, helping them articulate and develop ways to be smart, strong and compassionate in a complicated world. It’s one of the reasons our Religion students graduate with the kind of critical thinking and communication skills that are attractive to a wide range of potential employers. Our graduates have become everything from lawyers and ambassadors to social workers, community organizers and more. Most pursue post-graduate degrees in religion, law or education or work for an NGO. Others have taken career paths such as entrepreneur, wine maker, graphic novel writer, illustrator, lobbyist for National Mortuary Industry, assistant for a Canadian financial services group, nutrition research; yoga instructor/business owner and software developer. For those wanting to continue their studies toward a Ph.D., our Religion students have been very successful gaining entry into a wide variety of top programs including Harvard, Boston University, Duke and Emory.
The Religion faculty at New College cover a wide variety of topics and approaches. But in each they help students develop the critical thinking, analysis and communications skills that are crucial to success not only within the field of religion but to all others as well. The Religion program at New College aims to:
• Develop empathetic insight into the fundamental ideas and values of other peoples, times and places that are key to effective communication with those outside one’s own culture and time.
• Encourage critical thinking about religious ideals and practices in history.
• Foster critical self-consciousness about the values and commitments of one’s own age and society and thus learn about the historically developed content of one’s own culture as well as that of others.
In the face of the influence of religion in the intellectual heritage of both Western and non-Western cultures, the program provides the beginning student with an understanding of the complexity of religious phenomena and offers the advanced student a variety of methods appropriate to such study.
Prospective students in Religion should consult with faculty to construct an individualized plan of study. Typically this plan will include:
• An introduction to the study of religion to foster communication concerning the central ideas of the discipline.
• Expansion of content knowledge including work in ethics, exploration of the sacred scriptures of a religious tradition, coverage of the history and development of a particular religious tradition and study in a tradition distinctly different from one’s major focus.
• Work in a variety of approaches to the study of religion to develop aspects of critical thinking, including conceptual approaches to the study of religion, as well as religion in society.
Interdisciplinary majors, or senior projects linking religion to other areas of inquiry, are particularly encouraged.
Through a combination of introductory courses, advanced seminars and courses offered in cooperation with other disciplines (such as art history, classics, history, literature and philosophy) the Religion program works towards these goals of nurturing critical thinking, effective communication skills and content knowledge. Advanced students examine philosophical issues in religious thought, method in the study of religion, religious texts and religious ethics. Strong attention is given to historical study, analysis of the relationship between religion and society, and in-depth study of key thinkers and traditional problems in religion. Faculty in allied fields and visiting faculty provide additional opportunities to pursue diverse traditions and approaches.
Our students must complete seven contracts, three Independent Study Projects and a senior thesis project to graduate. Contracts consist of three to five academic activities — courses, tutorials, internships, independent reading projects, etc. — that will develop your personal educational goals during a semester.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Religion:
The American branch of the Roman Catholic Church is arguably the most innovative and the most influential community within this world-wide church. We will investigate the roots of the so-called “Immigrant Church” with an eye to articulating its enduring qualities. Turning to the effect of Vatican II and various papal encyclicals on the American Roman Catholic Church, we will examine the changes in this religious community and its future prospects.
This team-taught class is a study of the development, nature, and purpose of extended prose fiction in antiquity, which will reflect the concerns of both Classics and of Early Judaism and Christianity. We will do close readings of a wide variety of primary sources, considering the social, political, and religious backgrounds to the works, and the nature of ancient texts, authors and readers. We will also explore some of these themes in the secondary literature. Readings include Greek and Roman novels such as Chariton’s Chaereas and Callirhoe, Achilles Tatius’ Leucippe and Clitophon, Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe, Petronius’ Satyrica, and Apuleius’ Metamorphoses; narratives found in canonical Jewish and/or Christian Scriptures such as Esther, Daniel/Susannah, Maccabees, Judith, and short selections from the New Testament; and extracanonical works including Apocryphal Acts, Joseph and Aseneth, and Martyrdom accounts. Students will write several short explorations and two papers.
Asia produced a wide variety of religious traditions that profoundly influenced the development of Asian cultures. This course will survey this rich diversity with an emphasis on the interactions between the specific religions and their cultural contexts. Among the themes we will consider are: the relationship between an individual’s religious and societal obligations; the role of religion in the legitimation of secular authority; transcendent religious ideals and the realities of human existence; religion in Asian arts and sciences.
Who was the Buddha? Can you become a Buddha? Can there be a religion without God? Do we have a soul? (and what is the soul anyway?) What does it mean to be a Buddhist? Is rebirth possible? This course introduces students to the history, literature, doctrines, and rituals of Buddhism and will try to answer these questions (and more) from a Buddhist perspective. The course readings will emphasize primary sources: a biography of the Buddha, fragments from canonical texts, the teachings of a Zen master (prone to yelling at and hitting his students), the life of the Dalai Lama, and the thoughts of a western scientist who decided to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. These works will be read alongside a textbook and complemented by several films and documentaries about Buddhism.
This course will provide a survey of the various texts that have been read as Christian Scriptures. We will consider some of the individual and communal perspectives that these writings imply. Readings will include New Testament, the so-called Apocryphal literature as well as texts known only from the Nag Hamadi discoveries. We will discuss reoccurring themes and address issues such as how various texts came to be included within a “canon” while others were excluded. Claims to orthodoxy as opposed to heresy will reveal some of what is at stake within competing interpretations of scriptures.
This seminar will explore Tibetan Buddhism as found in Tibet and the Himalayas. We will study the history, texts, doctrines, practices, and rituals of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as lived and understood by a wide variety of actors: monks living in large monasteries, nuns fighting for full ordination, yogis practicing in solitary mountain caves, individuals performing pilgrimage to sacred places, etc. We will learn about the complex historical relationship between Tibet and China, about the life and the institution of the Dalai Lamas, and about the practice of sky burial. You will also read Buddhist scriptures, meditation manuals, ritual manuals, biographies, autobiographies, hagiographies, poetry, and philosophical treatises. No previous study of Buddhism is presumed, but you will need to have taken a previous course in religious studies or philosophy.
The goal of this course is to introduce students to Asian philosophical thought through the study of classic as well as contemporary philosophical and religious texts from India, China, Tibet, and Japan. The course wants to explore traditional philosophical issues such as the nature of reality, the existence of God, the origin of the universe, the nature of the self, ethics, etc. from a non-Western perspective. Throughout the course you will read texts like the Upaniṣads, the Bhagavad-gītā, Confucius’ Analects, the Daodejing, Buddhist works by Nagarjuna, Shantideva, and the 14th Dalai Lama, and many others.Human
What can the AMC show “The Walking Dead” and HBO’s “True Detective” tell us about existential philosophy and the idea that God may be dead? What can the irreverent (and extremely intelligent) humor of South Park tells us about the role of religion in society? How does Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie “The Master” explore the complex nature of the founder of a new religious movement (and what is the difference between a charlatan and a savior?) How does the recent success of Superhero movies reflect the hopes, fears, and anxieties of a post 9/11 world? What can Tony Soprano (of HBO’s “The Sopranos”), and Walter White (from AMC’s “Breaking Bad”) tells us about the dark side of human nature? The main goal of this course is to discuss these and many other important religious and philosophical questions as explored in contemporary popular culture. Popular culture will also be a gateway to our reading of important religious and philosophical works, from the Book of Revelations to Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Designed primarily for those already concentrating in Religion, this discussion-based course will survey the several senses in which human freedom has been a problematic issue within modern Christian thought. Against the background of the theme of the “bondage of the will” in Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and others, emerging modern conceptions of freedom have created a series of provocative challenges for theologians. The course will include consideration of the theological strategy of driving freedom “inward,” as a hidden part of the self, and the more recent insistence that authentic freedom must be social and political in nature, as in contemporary liberation theology. In addition, the course will consider thinkers who maintain that religious belief and authentic freedom are simply incompatible. Enrollment limited to twenty students; permission of the instructor required.
This course is an introduction to the rich and diverse religious traditions that have been labeled “Hinduism.” Thus, we will explore the history of Hinduism from its very early developments to its present day. We will read important scriptures, such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita. We will explore its rituals and festivals. We will discuss Hinduism’s social structure (the caste system), as well as its notions of gender. We will also explore Hinduism from the perspective of those who are not always represented in traditional historical accounts (lower castes, outcasts, women, etc.). During the course we will also watch several documentaries, movies, and even read some fiction that will allow us by the end of the semester to have a complex and nuanced sense of the history, doctrines, and practices of Hinduism. No previous study of Hinduism is presumed, but you will need to have taken a previous course in religious studies or philosophy.
This course is an introduction to the history of religion in the United States. It is organized thematically into five narrative sections that cover a general range of religious traditions in the United States, including Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. In each section, we will trace scholarly attempts to narrate the history of religion in the United States alongside primary sources. We will address such topics as disestablishment and democratization, immigration, race and ethnicity, social reform, urban religious life, revivals and awakenings, and religious diversity.
This course is an introduction to the study of the origins and nature of Islam as a religious and cultural force. We will give special attention to its history, its founder, its sacred literature, its theological diversity, its cultural movements, its communities, and its representation. The course is divided into five sections. First, we begin by asking how western scholars approach the study of Islam. Second, we discuss the sacred sources of Islamic tradition. Third, we survey key themes of religion and culture in early Islamic civilization. Fourth, we trace cultural Islamic movements in transnational contexts, such as global Hajj. This section also includes American encounters with Islam in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from the World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2001. Fifth, we read about particular Islamic communities in the United States. In this section, we emphasize cultural encounters with both America and modernity, two discursive categories critical to the construction of Muslim identities in the 21st century.
This course is an introduction to the study of the forms, functions, and meanings of religious practices as observed in human cultures. Emphasizing the relationship between ritual practice, place, and sacred space, we will examine how scholars have approached the study of religion. It will quickly become clear that few scholars agree on the best methods for study. Nor do they agree on a definition for the subject of study, “religion.” This course will encourage you to define your subject of study and construct your own methods of theoretical analysis. To help you with this task, we will work together on specific examples of religious practices in particular places.
Much recent interest in “Jewish mysticism” stems from a desire for “spirituality” often absent in the modern world. But when is such an excursion into Jewish esoteric literature an exploration of “received wisdom,” or kabbalah, and when does it mask a rejection of traditional Jewish legalistic texts as too Jewish? When do such investigations explore what these texts say, and when do they recreate what one might like them to say? In this course we will look at texts that detail visions of God, heavenly ascensions, and efficacious practices. We will consider the nature of religious experience, and how we find these experiences transmitted. We will also explore the history, social setting, and construction of gender of those who have authored and read these texts, whether in late antiquity in Israel, in medieval Spain or in modern day Hollywood. On the way we will have tremendous opportunities to investigate the nature of Judaism, of religion and religious studies.
This course will offer an overview of authoritative sources within early Judaism. The first half of the course will consider the Torah, Prophets and Writings that make up the Jewish Bible as it is known today. The second half will examine various interpretative traditions within the Greco-Roman world, only some of which will themselves become recognized as sacred texts. Students will read allegorical works by Philo, historical writings by Josephus, pesher fragments found at the Dead Sea, and a sampling of Talmudic literature. Discussion will focus upon understanding these writings within the context of diverse early Jewish communities.
Over time, Judaism has developed certain notions about protecting the environment and respecting natural resources. This course will trace these ideas from the Bible until today, focusing on the creation of both legal and conceptual traditions. Students will explore a variety of early rabbinic, medieval and modern texts. In addition, readings and discussion will consider the special challenges and rewards of constructing a dialogue between ancient traditions and modern concerns.
Soren Kierkegaard, the grandfather of existentialism, was the most intriguing philosopher-theologian of the nineteenth century. Reacting against Hegel and his followers, he emphasized the existing individual and the arationality of religion. As an intellectual descendant of Kierkegaard, Tillich pursued Kierkegaard’s existentialist program as posing the existing individual’s concerns; but he found his theological answers within a framework of psychology and a classically oriented philosophy. Readings will include several of the two thinkers’ major works.
See description under Philosophy
Designed for first-year students, this seminar will survey developments in Christian theology from the Enlightenment to the present, with an emphasis on the twentieth century. During this period, Christian theologians faced an array of challenges to traditional Christian belief, due especially to developments in natural science and the historical criticism of the Bible. Progressive Christian theology during this period would thus become remarkably inventive in its efforts to restate or revise what Christianity might mean, in light of these challenges. Readings will include such authors as Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Barth, Bultmann, and Tillich. Biweekly short papers and one longer paper. This seminar is limited to first-time-in-college students, with enrollment limited to 15.
Subtitled “From Greco-Roman Meal to the establishment of a Seder/Order,” this module course will provide an opportunity for students of Jewish Scriptures and/or Christian Scriptures to build upon their earlier studies. We will look particularly at new scholarship concerning Second Temple Passover practice, the meal context, and the co-emergence of Jewish and Christian liturgical material. We will use secondary sources as guides to explorations of a number of primary texts including Bible, Mishnah and the Passover Hagaddah. In addition to group explorations, each student will write and present a final research paper. Prerequisite: Jewish Scriptures, Christian Scriptures or consent of instructor.
If God exists and is omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good, why is there evil? This is the theological problem of evil, and many people have used it to argue that God does not exist. Other people have offered solutions (theodicies) to the problem. We will examine the problem and various proposed solutions to it. In this examination, we will have to pay particular attention to the nature of the divine attributes as well as the burdens of proof that fall on both those who accept the argument and those who dismiss it.
This course is an introduction to basic thinking about cultural difference and the study of religion in the American South. The course encourages you to examine the ways social paradigms shape how we act, think, and imagine ourselves in this effusively religious region called the South. We will tackle some of the myths, tensions, and ironies of religious life in the South. For example, is it true that evangelical Christians in the south have been opposed to modernity and modern things? Or, in the antebellum South, how did white southern Protestants use the Bible to defend slavery? In addition to these questions, we will also address the increasing cultural and religious diversity in the South. The region is a much more diverse place today than it was ten or twenty years ago. How are new immigrants reshaping the cultural and religious landscape of the South? And how are Protestants, long entrenched in the region, reacting to these changes? Using social theory together with selected histories of regional religious practices, we will try to answer these kinds of questions while developing informed interpretations of cultural diversity in the American South.
Writers often discuss the nature of religion in their writings by dealing with religious characters, problems, or issues. For some, this discussion is peripheral to their interests; for others, the discussion is a principal fascination. The format of the short story or the novel allows the writer to portray religious issues in a variety of ways and from a variety of points of view, and this is often part of the writer’s artistic achievement. In the course we will examine religious themes in some of the works of such authors as Dostoyevsky, Camus, Flannery O’Connor, John Updike, and Walter Percy.
Rites exist at the heart of religion. Yet how does one study ritual? The term ‘ritual’ comes into being in the modern world. A variety of theories use the word ‘ritual’ in order to insinuate competing value judgments about the relationship of ‘ritual’ and ‘belief.’ Together we will examine ideas about sacrifice, symbolic actions, rites of passage and practice. Experience will be an important tool for reflecting upon the strengths and weaknesses of competing theoretical frameworks. We will research and explore the hidden assumptions and conceptual insights of competing models of practice.
This course will consider modern Jewish movements and currents in Jewish thought. We will explore the Jewish religious identities that developed in Europe, America and Israel, including Reform, Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Hasidic and others. In addition we will trace Zionism and other explorations of Jewish ethnicity and culture that are not necessarily defined in religious terms. Additional explorations of Jewish philosophy, mysticism, and activism will allow us to pursue overlapping and competing ideas within these various streams.
Do the religious lives of women differ from those of men? And if so, in what ways? This course will consider some of the roles filled by women within Christianity, Judaism and Islam as well as within certain Goddess traditions. We will examine historical exclusions and inclusions, focusing especially on the insights provided by contemporary challenges and innovations. Theoretical models will help us to understand diverse beliefs and practices and to evaluate the usefulness of various definitions of “religion.”
For a complete list of courses, click here.
Ilene Gillispie — Before graduating from New College in 2012, Ilene Gillispie was awarded a highly competitive Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. State Department to study Punjabi in Chandigarh, India. While there she lived with a host family and studied Punjabi intensively for 10 weeks. But Ilene’s trip to Chandigarh was not her first excursion abroad. Thanks to her study of Indian religions at New College, she also had studied abroad during spring 2011 at Madras University, in Chennai, South India. And to prepare for her senior thesis, “Daughters of Waheguru: Examining Politics of Gender in the Global Sikh Community,” she conducted research in northern India during the January 2012 Interterm.
“Since learning about Sikhism in a course at New College during my first year, it has been a dream of mine to learn Punjabi, and now it’s one that will come to fruition,” Ilene said about her CLS scholarship. “I hope to use Punjabi language in my efforts to educate others about the Sikh religion.” As far as future plans, Gillispie plans to attend seminary in preparation for ministry in the Unitarian church. She hopes to raise awareness about “the beautiful, ecumenical spirit” of the Sikh religion. “This has been a goal in my thesis work and will be an aim in my ministry as well.”
New College is proud of the many Religion graduates who have contributed to the field. Here’s a sampling of some of our graduates:
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Religion
Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Religion:
“The Positive Value of Death: A Reevaluation of Suicide and Self-Sacrifice” by Erin Dyles
“What About the Agape?: Understanding the Communal Love-Feast of Early Christianity” by Delaney Anderson
“Daughters of Waheguru: Examining Politics of Gender in the Global Sikh Community” by Ilene Gillispie
“El-Oh-El Laughing Out Loud in the Book of Job” by Brian D. Johnson
“Embodying the Holy Spirit A Phenomenology of Tongues” by Jake Elrod
“The Divine Feminine: A Feminist Study of Goddess Appropriation within the Jewish Renewal Movement and Western Interpretations of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism” by Zoe Rayor
“Learning to Live and to Lead: How Post-Secondary Religious Education Helps Women to Shape Modern Orthodox Judaism in Israel” by Rachel Atwood
“A Re-Evaluation of Early Christian Pilgramage: The Letters of Gregory of Nyssa, Jerome, and Egeria” by Emma Cawlfield
“Luke: The Canonical Remnant of a Marcionite Orthodoxy” by Troy Konicki
“Western Notions of Canon is Buddhism: Obscuring the Nature of a Multiplex Scriptural Tradition” by Rachel McLean
“”Texts as Relics, Relics as Texts”: Shedding Light on the Terma Tradition of Tebetan Buddhism” by Evan Sigmund
“Pachomius and the Nag Hammadi Codices” by Charles Carter
“In Defense of Jewish Manhood: Monotheism, Circumcision, and Gender in Freud’s Construction of Jewish Identity” by Jeremy Zorn
“People Helping People: Community, Identity, Memory, and Place at the Senior Friendship Center” by Loren Mora
“Journeys To the Promised Land: An Analysis of Three Feminist Haggadahs” by Jaclyn Schwanemann
“To the Synagogue: Constructions of Place in Ancient Judaea” by Austin Taylor
“Looking East: Muslim Identity in the Archaeological Record of American Enslavement” by Kacie Allen
“Soteriology as a Gift System: Religious Practice Among the First Tibetan Buddhist Nun Scholars” by Junmei Georgia Kashnig
“Preaching Cleanliness and Peddling Purity:The Sacred and Secular of Soap” by Charles Harris Dohn
“The Irreligious American: Italian Immigrants in Ybor City, Florida” by Madeline Edison
“Lie With Me!: UnBounded Female Sexuality in Early Biblical Interpretation” by Samantha Samson
“Love in the Time of GMOs: Feminist Theolgies and the Ethics of Transgenic Organisms” by Brooke Denmark
“New Prophecy, New Orthodoxy: The Evolution of Early Christian Authority in Second Century Asia Minor” by Samyntha Kay Francis
“”All of You are One in Christ:” Messages of Unity in the Ministry of Benny Hinn” by Teagan Keating
“The External Hindoo: A History of the Construction of Hindu Identity” by Jaclyn Lysinger
“Ritualization in the Sevillian Holy Week: Theory on Its Practice and the Practice of Theory” by Mikhail Petersen
“A Cross Fertilization Of Identities: The Meeting of Jews and Buddhism in America” by Benjamin Praff
“The Castaneda Phenomenon and the Creation of the Toltec Movement or “Damn … I Want the Money”” by Rio Taylor
“The Ethiopian Jewish Community: Transition and Change in Israel” by Miriam Schwartz
“Jewish Art and the Second Commandment” by Andrew Heber
“Asserting Identity: Jewish Repatriates in the GDR” by Alia Schultz
“The Word the Self-Perpetuating Narrative of Christ” by Gwendolyn Roberts
“Questioning Authority: A Skeptical Approach to Reading Plato” by P. N. Eldred
“St. Augustine Movement: An Indigenous Movement or Outside Agitators” by April Barnwell
“Gaudapada’s “Treatise on Quelling the Firebrand:” A Comparative Study of Early Advaita Venanta and Mahayana Buddhism” by Matthew J. Ezzi
“Placing Mercy in Hume’s Catalogue of Moral Virtues” by Kathryn Mesh Iserman
“On Divine Foreknowledge and Human Libertarian Freedom” by Gustavo de Lima Torres Oliveira
“The Legalization of Conscience: Quaker Pacifism in the American Civil War” by Aidan Delgado
“Comparing Two Systems of Religion Grounded in Reason Alone: Je Tsong-Kha-Pa’s Lam-Rim Chenmo and Kant’s Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone” by Chelsea Hall
“The Multidimensional Fabric of Karma: Individual, Interpersonal, and Collective Levels of Buddhist Karma Doctrine” by Erica Sirotich
“Archibald MacLeish’s J.B.: The Experimental Theistic Thesis” by Patrick Young
“Kant on the Problem of Evil” by Michelle Chaplin
“Hesychasm: A Mystical Treasure of the Orthodox Church” by Eris Laureen Budzinski
“Female Authority in Paul’s Letter to Rome: Placing Junia and Phoebe in Context” by Peter Fernandez
“Basic Ecclesial Communities in Mexico: Beyond Liberation Theology” by Josef Mitkevicius
“The Social Transmission of Moral and Religious Beliefs” by Daina Crafa
“Satanism: Yesterday and Today” by Franchescha Judd
“Poetics and Politics of Pilgrimage at the Swiss Shrine of Einsiedeln” by Emily Kearney
“An All-Consuming Faith: Kierkegaard and Religious Existence” by Robert Hutchison
“Our Bunnies, Our selves: An Exploration of the Ethical Status of Animals” by Robin Jacobs
“Substaining Subjectivity through Metapatriarchal Metaphor and the Dynamic Divine: Language and Ontology in Mary Daly’s Texts” by Kellie L. Adkins
“The Question of Tathagatagarbha: Emptiness and(or) Essence in Indic-Tibetan Doctrinal Interpretations — Finding Egolessness and Compassion in Difference” by Katherine L. Borse
“The Irony of Metaethics: Humility & the Quasi-Divine Imagination” by Richard Harry
“Jesus as Intelligent Interpreter and Societal Savior: William Ellery Channing’s Chistology” by Jasmine L. Hoover
“We Build the Road and the Road Builds Us’ An Exploration of Socially Engaged Buddhism” by Jamie McDaniel
“Christianity and Coercion” by Ethan Moore
“Fractured Selves & (En)Folded Perspectives A History of Ideas Tracing the Doctrines of Not-Self and Emptiness in Indian Buddhist Thought” by Josh Sonstroem
“Spiritual Agency, Secular Adjustments: Religion as a Provider of Status Mobility in the Hindu Caste System” by Jill Arterburn Collum
“Like a Revival Starting’: An Examination of the Religious Ideas and the Religious Ideals of the Montgomery Bus Boycott” by Shelley M. Fite
“Rational Ecstasy?: An Exploration of the Conditions of Possibility of Entheogenic Religious Practice in the Modern U.S.” by Sarah Hussin
“Calculating Virtue: An Analysis of Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, and the Process of Canonization” by Emily Meade
“Spiritual Awakening in The Short Fiction of Flannery O’Connor” by Natalie Botero
“Buddhism and the American Media: A Critical Exploration of Tricycle: A Buddhist Review” by Emilee Baum
“History of American Anti-Catholicism” by Joseph Budzinski
“The Ambiguity of Kant’s Doctrine of the Highest Good” by Jamie S. Campbell
“Interdependence as Self or The Reconciliation of the Doctrines of Rebirth and No-Self by a New Interpretation of the Buddhist Theory of Interdependence” by Chris Limburg
“Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve: Religious Queerphobia as Spiritual Violence” by Michael Shannon
“Buddhism and Ethnic Identity in Sri Lanka: An Historical Examination” by Justin Fischer
“Jungian Psychology and Tibetan Buddhism: A Comparative Study” by Allison Kane
“Defining Her ‘Self’: The Fundamental Function of Narrative in Feminist Theology” by Kelly McCarthy
“Existence in the Inquiry: The Dynamism of Feminist Existentialism” by Sara Irwin
The Jane Bancroft Cook Library at New College is home to a broad assortment of books, scholarly journals, national and international databases, and other print and electronic media related to the study of religion and is available to students throughout the year. Also available at the library is the Dr. Helen N. Fagin Holocaust Collection. Named in honor of Holocaust survivor and New College benefactress Dr. Helen Fagin, the collection holds materials related to the Holocaust, genocide and humanitarian studies. The Fagin room can be reserved for occasional small meetings connected with the collection.
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The annual Klingenstein Lecture features a guest lecturer in Judaic Studies.
New College hosts the Biennial New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, which draws top scholars in history, literature, art history, philosophy and other fields. Students have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the scholars and attend the conference presentations.
New Topics New College is a public lecture series that runs from October through March. Free to students, the series features guest speakers discussing a wide range of current topics and issues — local, national and international.