CofC Department of Religious Studies

The Department of Religious Studies at the College of Charleston

he Department of Religious Studies at the College of Charleston offers both a major and minor degree in religious studies. With eight full-time faculty members, the department supports a wide-ranging, diverse curriculum and fosters close interaction between students and faculty. Students may choose to specialize in individual religions or subject areas through special topics courses and tutorials. The flexibility of the curriculum gives students the opportunity to explore diverse cultures and religions, while providing them with important tools to understand and interpret these worldviews critically. The religious studies department introduces students to the academic study of religion, which engages in the descriptive and cross-cultural analysis of religious beliefs, practices and institutions, both past and present. The teaching orientation is comparative and non-sectarian in that it does not promote any specific religious tradition to the exclusion of others. The department offers a broad range of courses in religious traditions from around the world. It encourages students to complete courses in the areas of western traditions (such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), eastern traditions (such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions) and American religions (such as Native American, African American, and many New Religious Movements). Students become more deeply aware of their own cultural traditions by studying those of others, and will approach other religions with greater empathy and sensitivity to their respective complexity. Religious studies at the College of Charleston is both a comparative and interdisciplinary enterprise. It serves as a bridge between various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, particularly those of history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy and literature, as well as various language programs. Courses explore various religions through a variety of dimensions and themes – ritual, myth, symbol, mystical experience, cognitive patterns, gender, ethnicity, identity – and they also consider the role played by political, economic and social factors on the development of religions in their global context. Religious studies thus provides a coherent disciplinary context where students can engage in a holistic and sustained examination of the history, diversity and ingenuity of human belief and behavior, one of the hallmarks of a liberal arts and sciences education.

Mission: The academic study of religion at the College of Charleston is an integral part of the liberal arts. The department's curriculum provides students with an understanding of diverse religious traditions, an exposure to a variety of approaches employed within the academic study of religion as well as an opportunity to explore different intellectual, social-theoretical and ethical issues that arise when one considers the varying roles of religion in human life. Our courses do not aim to promote or undermine any particular religion or worldview; the academic study of religion seeks to examine religion from outside the framework of any particular worldview or belief system.

[04/17/19]   Thanks to Dr. Jalane Schmidt for her wonderful lecture about her experiences in Charlottesville during the Alt Right protests 2017 and what we can do to stand against white surpremcy here.

Tuesday, April 16 at 3:30 pm at Beatty 115 (School of Business).

Next week the Religious Studies department plays host to Dr. Jalane Schmidt, a religious studies professor at UVA who will deliver the lecture “Holding Space in Charlottesville: Showing Up Against White Supremacy” on Tuesday, April 16 at 3:30PM in Beatty 115.

She will speak on her experience organizing the anti-white supremacist counter-protests in Charlottesville, VA in the spring and summer of 2017. Among other subjects, her talk will touch on the ways religious communities in Charlottesville were divided about how best to respond to white supremacist organizing as well as the ways religious activism in the “Summer of Hate” was remembered differently, after the fact.

Spread the word and hope to see you there!

Discussing the Impact of Climate Change on the Indigenous Peoples of Greenland with Kalaallit Shaman Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 5:30 pm in Education Center 118

Next week the Religious Studies department plays host to Dr. Jalane Schmidt, a religious studies professor at UVA who will deliver the lecture “Holding Space in Charlottesville: Showing Up Against White Supremacy” on Tuesday, April 16 at 3:30PM in Beatty 115.

She will speak on her experience organizing the anti-white supremacist counter-protests in Charlottesville, VA in the spring and summer of 2017. Among other subjects, her talk will touch on the ways religious communities in Charlottesville were divided about how best to respond to white supremacist organizing as well as the ways religious activism in the “Summer of Hate” was remembered differently, after the fact.

Spread the word and hope to see you there!

See you tonight, I hope!

This Tuesday! Learn from Coptic Christians in SC about their faith and their story of suffering and hope in the Middle East.

Dr. Siegler and some of our RELS seniors attended the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR) Conference in Greensboro, SC last weekend.

Dr. Greg Grieve (UNC-Greensboro) gave a facinating talk about the intersection between religion and video games, specifically the game Far Cry 5 on 3/7/19 in a full Arnold Hall. RELS students/faculty, as well as Communication and Computer Sciences students/faculty, enjoyed Dr. Grieve's lecture. Many thanks to the departments of Communications and Computer Science for their assistance in bringing Dr. Grive to CofC.

Meet the faculty. Meet current and prospective majors and minors. Preview the RELS courses for Summer and Fall 2019. All students are welcome. Drinks and refreshments will be provided. 3/5/19 at 3:15 pm.

Religion and Videos Games??? Yes, they do go together. Come join Dr. Grieve as he shares this fascinating connection with the CofC community on 3/7/19.

Religious Studies friends, don't miss this!

Coming up THURSDAY 2/21 at 5:30 p.m.:
Dr. Sara Ronis of St. Mary's University presents, "How to Control Demons and Influence People: Jewish Identity Formation and the Demonic in Sasanian Babylonia."
Location: Arnold Hall (96 Wentworth St.)

RELS 115 - Religion and Society Spring 2019

RELS 115 - Religion and Society

Today at 3:30 pm Dr. Elijah Siegler will present his sabbatical research in Arnold Hall in the Jewish Studies Center. He will share his insight and observations of how four traditions (New Age, “Indigenous”, “Daoist”, and Wiccan) celebrate the Summer Solstice, and how he did it all in four days. This event is open to the public.

On Thursday (11/29/18), Dr. Elijah Siegler will present his sabbatical research at 3:30 pm in Arnold Hall in the Jewish Studies Center. He will share his insight and observations of how four traditions (New Age, “Indigenous”, “Daoist”, and Wiccan) celebrate the Summer Solstice, and how he did it all in four days. This event is open to the public.

On Thursday (11/29/18), Dr. Elijah Siegler will present his sabbatical research at 3:30 pm in Arnold Hall in the Jewish Studies Center. He will share his insight and observations of how four traditions (New Age, “Indigenous”, “Daoist”, and Wiccan) celebrate the Summer Solstice, and how he did it all in four days. This event is open to the public.

It's not too late to join us for Dr. Denison's lecture, Powwows and Christmas Trees. All welcomed.

The RELS department excited to have Religious Studies professor, Dr. Brandi Denison, here to speak on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 at 3:30 pm in Arnold Hall. Her lecture is open to all.

religiousstudies.cofc.edu

Spring Registration is underway. Review the course offering on our website.

religiousstudies.cofc.edu

religiousstudies.cofc.edu

Check out our course offerings for Spring 2019. Registration starts soon. Majors will need to see their advisors prior to registration. http://religiousstudies.cofc.edu/images/2018-19-documents/Spring%202019%20brochure.pdf

religiousstudies.cofc.edu

Meet the faculty. Meet current and prospective majors and minors. Preview the RELS courses for Spring 19. All students are welcome. Drinks and refreshments will be provided. 10/9/18 at 3:15 pm.

Please join the Department of Religious Studies for Dr. John Huddlestun's Sabbatical Talk - "Drunken Festival Songs, Love Poetry, and Dimly Lit Tombs." Dr. Huddlestun's talk will take place on Tuesday, April 3 at 3:30 p.m. in Addlestone Library 227.

[03/27/18]   Dr. Simran Jeet Singh comes to the College of Charleston TODAY. His talk is titled "Turbans, Beards, and White Supremacy: Intersections of Religion and Race in Modern America." Hope to see you at 3:30 pm in Arnold Hall-Jewish Studies Center.

Mark your calendars. In 26 days Dr. Simran Jeet Singh comes to the College of Charleston. His talk is titled "Turbans, Beards, and White Supremacy: Intersections of Religion and Race in Modern America." Hope to see you there!

Katherine Browne, CofC and RELS alum (09) speaking 3/1/18.

today.cofc.edu

Food and Faith Event Finds Common Ground in Judaism, Islam

Great article about a great event co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, the Jewish Student Union/Hillel, and the CofC Arabic Club.

today.cofc.edu The second annual Food and Faith celebration held Monday in partnership with the Christian-Jewish Council of Greater Charleston and the College of Charleston sought to bridge differences with common ground.

Drs. Cressler and Rabin (Jewish Studies) will have a panel discussion on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6 pm in Arnold Hall about the two books they have recently published, "Authentically Black and Truly Catholic" and "Jews on the Frontier". Dr. Siegler will moderate. This event is open to the public. Students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please see flyer for details.

Dr. Huddlestun has seats in both sections of his Approaches to Religious course for Spring 2018. TTh, 10:50 am and 12:15 pm. All RELS courses meet the Gen Ed Humanities requirement, and no religious education or pre-requisites are needed. Click link in profile for more info. #cofc #religiousstudies

The Spring 2018 semester starts today, but Dr. McDaniel still has seats in both of her sections of her Intro to World Religions course. All RELS courses meet the Gen Ed Humanities requirement, and no religious education or pre-requisites are needed. Click link in profile for more info. #cofc #religiousstudies

instagram.com

Instagram post by CofC Dept of Religious Studies • Dec 20, 2017 at 6:29am UTC

Yoda? Haitian zombies? Yes, and a whole lot more in Dr. Lowe's Intro to World Religion classes (RELS 105. 01 and. 02) TTh 9:25 and 10:50. All RELS courses meet the Gen Ed Humanities requirement, and no religious education or pre-requisites are needed. Click link in profile for more info. #cofc #religiousstudies

3 Likes, 1 Comments - CofC Dept of Religious Studies (@cofc_religious_studies) on Instagram: “Yoda? Haitian zombies? Yes, and a whole lot more in Dr. Lowe's Intro to World Religion classes…”

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Instagram post by CofC Dept of Religious Studies • Dec 12, 2017 at 12:05am UTC

Let Dr. Irwin tell you all about his Approaches to Religion: Afterlife (RELS 101.05) course offered MWF at 1 pm for Spring 2018. All RELS courses meet the Gen Ed Humanities requirement, and no religious education or pre-requisites are needed. Click link in profile for more info. #cofc #religiousstudies

4 Likes, 1 Comments - CofC Dept of Religious Studies (@cofc_religious_studies) on Instagram: “Let Dr. Irwin tell you all about his Approaches to Religion: "Afterlife" (RELS 102.05) course…”

instagram.com

Instagram post by CofC Dept of Religious Studies • Dec 12, 2017 at 3:31pm UTC

Dr. Tepera gives a brief rundown on her Spring 2018 course, Intro to World Religions: Coexist or Contradict (RELS 105) offered MWF at 9 am and 12 pm. All RELS courses meet the Gen Ed Humanities requirement, and no religious education or pre-requisites are needed. Click link in profile for more info. #cofc #religiousstudies

0 Likes, 1 Comments - CofC Dept of Religious Studies (@cofc_religious_studies) on Instagram: “Up next, Dr. Tepera gives a brief rundown on her Spring 2018 course, Intro to World Religions:…”

Just a few of the great courses being offered Spring 2018 in Religious Studies. No religious education required. No pre-reqs. All courses meet General Education Humanities requirements as well. For more detailed course infomation, please see our brochure http://religiousstudies.cofc.edu/undergrad-progs/course%20brochures/Spring%202018%20brochure.pdf

instagram.com

"CofC Dept of Religious Studies (\u0040cofc_religious_studies) \u2022 Instagram photos and videos"

Religious studies is now on Instagram!!! Come follow us @cofc_religious_studies.

https://www.instagram.com/cofc_religious_studies/

instagram.com "22 Followers, 37 Following, 2 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from CofC Dept of Religious Studies (\u0040cofc_religious_studies)"

The RELS department had a wonderful time celebrating Dr. Cressler, Irwin, LaVasseur and Siegler during their book release reception on 12/5/17. We thank all who came out to congratulate them. We hope you enjoyed their entertaining book summaries, the refreshments, and the fellowship.

Wishing our RELS majors/minors and all CofC students good luck on all of their finals this week!!!

Religious Studies had four of its faculty publish books this semester, and we want to celebrate their accomplishments. On Tuesday, Dec. 5th at 3:00 pm in the School of Business, Tate 202, we will gather to congratulate Drs. Cressler, Irwin, LeVasseur and Siegler on being published. All faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

Movie screening, "The Sultan and the Saint" this Saturday, 11/18 @ 3:30 pm in School of Math and Sciences Building Auditorium. Free and open to the public. Get you ticket here https://charlestonsultansaint.eventbrite.com

Check out what Dr. Siegler is up to this week while on sabbatical this academic year.

hss.cofc.edu

Rachael Arora '11 - College of Charleston

Read how majoring in Religious Studies benefits CofC alum, Rachael Arora ('11), in her work as a public defender in Charleston. http://hss.cofc.edu/school-news/rachael-arora/index.php

hss.cofc.edu A top 10 fastest-growing city for software and Internet technology, an emerging hub for aerospace, and a hotbed for healthcare and biosciences.

sunypress.edu

Religious Agrarianism and the Return of Place

The pen is mighty in Religious Studies this fall. Congrats to Dr. Todd LeVasseur on his recent book, Religious Agrarianism and the Return of Place: From Values to Practice in Sustainable Agriculture (SUNY, 2017). http://www.sunypress.edu/p-6473-religious-agrarianism-and-the-r.aspx

sunypress.edu Religious Agrarianism and the Return of Place

theatlantic.com

There Are More Black Catholics in the U.S. Than Members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Our own Dr. Matthew Cressler has authored a new book, Authentically Black and Truly Catholic (NYU 2017). He was recently interviewed about his book, and it appears on The Atlantic website. Here is the link. Congratulations Dr. Cressler!!! https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/black-catholics/544754/

theatlantic.com How black Americans defy religious stereotypes—and navigate race relations in historically white, European spaces.

Adv. Topics in American Religion (RELS 370):
Colonialism, Freedom, and African American Religion.
Spring 2018. Spread the word. And get hyped!

practicumreligionblog.blogspot.com

Explaining A Religious Studies Degree

File this away for the next time somebody says "Religious studies major, huh? What are you going to *do* with that?"

http://practicumreligionblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/explaining-religious-studies-degree.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PracticumCriticalTheoryReligionAndPedagogyBlog+%28Practicum%3A+Critical+Theory%2C+Religion%2C+and+Pedagogy+Blog%29

practicumreligionblog.blogspot.com We recently asked educators to weigh in on a problem some students face while completing their religious studies degree: figuring out ho...

practicumreligionblog.blogspot.com

Explaining A Religious Studies Degree

Fantastic article. This advice doesn't only apply to Religious Studies, but to any academic study in the Humanities. http://practicumreligionblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/explaining-religious-studies-degree.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PracticumCriticalTheoryReligionAndPedagogyBlog+%28Practicum%3A+Critical+Theory%2C+Religion%2C+and+Pedagogy+Blog%29

practicumreligionblog.blogspot.com We recently asked educators to weigh in on a problem some students face while completing their religious studies degree: figuring out ho...

Death serves as the horizon against which our lives unfold, and shapes the choices we make about how to live. Religious traditions are among the most important sources of human understandings of death and what, if anything, lies beyond. Since death is a human universal, it makes an excellent topic for comparative reflection.

Dr. Mark Berkson will focus on views of death and the afterlife in Judaism, Islam and Buddhism, and we will explore similarities and differences among the three traditions, as well as the significant diversity of beliefs and practices regarding death found within each tradition.

October 30, 2017 at 3:30 pm at College of Charleston in the Jewish Studies Building, Arnold Hall.

washingtonpost.com

Perspective | Yes, your kid will do something with that philosophy degree after all

Yes, there are many places in the job market for those liberal arts/humanities degrees.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/09/29/yes-your-kid-will-do-something-with-that-philosophy-degree-after-all/?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.a02a8d194cef

washingtonpost.com Perspective Interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data, as well as anticipating how events might unfold based on past events

rowman.com

Reincarnation-in-America-An-Esoteric-History

Kudos to our own Dr. Lee Irwin (Reincarnation in America: An Esoteric History) https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498554077/Reincarnation-in-America-An-Esoteric-History, and CofC RELS alum 2006, Mike Altman (Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu) https://global.oup.com/academic/product/heathen-hindoo-hindu-9780190654924?cc=us&lang=en on their recents publications. Great job gentleman!!!

rowman.com This book presents a history of reincarnation, from ancient times to the present; it is written for a diverse readership interested in theories of life after death. The survey offers an exciting...

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RELS 115 - Religion and Society Spring 2019

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4 Glebe St
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