DESR Spring 2023 Courses Announced

Bex Sussman

The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion (DESR) is pleased to announce our spring 2023 courses that count towards the core and elective requirements for the DE. These courses reflect the interdisciplinary breadth of the DESR, with core and elective options in South & Southeast Asian Studies, Comparative Literature/German, History, Public Health, Buddhist Studies, Jewish Studies, Anthropology, and Social …

Berkeley News Article | Crisis of Faith: Christian Nationalism and the Threat to U.S. Democracy

Bex Sussman

Berkeley News is examining threats to American democracy in a new series drawing on the expertise of UC Berkeley scholars. One article from the series, Crisis of faith: Christian nationalism and the threat to U.S. democracy, features several professors involved with BCSR alongside colleagues specializing in law, political science, and sociology. Read contributions from BCSR Co-Director Carolyn Chen (Ethnic Studies), …

American Academy of Religion Western Region (AAR/WR) 2023 Annual Conference | Call For Papers

Bex Sussman

The American Academy of Religion Western Region (AAR/WR) is the largest and most diverse region of the American Academy of Religion. Its annual conference will be held in person at UC Davis, March 24-26, 2023. This is a wonderful opportunity for all scholars to network and present their research on the religion, especially for those in Northern California. 

Call for Applications: New Directions in Theology Grants for Graduate Students 

Bex Sussman

For the Spring 2023 semester, BCSR is offering eight fellowships of $3,750 each for graduate students to explore the relationship between democracy and theology through a focus on religion and health. Led by two BCSR faculty members (Ronit Y. Stahl and Munir Jiwa), students will meet bi-weekly to read key texts in the history of religion, explore research topics, and …

Invitation to Submit Proposals for BCSR Graduate Student Working Groups

Bex Sussman

The BCSR invites proposals for graduate student working groups focusing on a specific topic in the study of religion, such as ethnographic approaches to religion, African religion, or poetry and religion, etc. The purpose of the working groups is to offer graduate students of religion a supportive interdisciplinary community to share work, discuss readings, and meet religion scholars.

APARRI Announces Research and Working Group Grants

Bex Sussman

The Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI) will be supporting the growth and development of scholarship and public knowledge on Asian Pacific American religions. These initiatives serve three primary interrelated functions: building and diversifying scholarship, strengthening the academic pipeline, and promoting public engagement. Research Grants Overview The Asia Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI) Research Grant supports scholarship that …

BCSR Graduate Student Welcome Reception

Bex Sussman

Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 5-6:30 pm
554 Social Sciences Building, Barbara Christian Conference Room
RSVP at info.bcsr@berkeley.edu (subject: Open House)

Please join us for the BCSR’s Graduate Student Open House! Come meet fellow graduate students studying religion, co-directors David Marno and Carolyn Chen, and learn about opportunities to create BCSR-funded working groups. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Message from the Directors

Bex Sussman

Dear Friends of BCSR, This past year brought us back together for lectures, conversations and working groups, and we want to recognize the faculty, students, visitors and audiences whose dedication enriches our intellectual community. The study of religion, at its best, brings together scholars and publics in dialogue, and the work of our colleagues and affiliates with BCSR has made …

Congratulations to the New DE in the Study of Religion Students

Bex Sussman

The Graduate Group in the Study of Religion is thrilled to welcome the latest cohort of the DE in the Study of Religion. The new cohort includes graduate students from Berkeley departments in the humanities. Please join us in welcoming our two new DESR students! Hu Hsu is a third-year PhD student in the Department of History at the University …

Faculty Spotlight: Ethan Katz

Bex Sussman

Ethan Katz was educated at Amherst College (B.A., History & French, 2002) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.A., History, 2005; PhD, History, 2009). He is currently Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also is the co-founder and co-director of the Antisemitism Education Initiative. Before coming to Berkeley, he taught for eight years at the University of Cincinnati, and for one year as a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Spotlight Interview with CICI Faculty Director Debarati Sanyal

Bex Sussman

BCSR was delighted to speak recently with Professor Debarati Sanyal, the new Faculty Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry (CICI), which supports BCSR. She is Professor of French and affiliated with Critical Theory, The Center for Race and Gender, and European Studies. Her research and teaching interests include critical refugee studies; aesthetics and biopolitics; human rights and humanitarianism; postwar French and Francophone culture; transcultural memory studies; Holocaust studies; critical theory; and 19th-century French literature.

DESR Fall 2022 Courses Announced

Hannah Hartt News

The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion (DESR) is pleased to announce the fall 2022 courses that count towards the core and elective requirements for the DE. These courses reflect the interdisciplinary breadth of the DESR, with core and elective options in Buddhist Studies, French, Hebrew, History, History of Art, Italian, Rhetoric, and Scandinavian. For more information on fall …

BCSR Receives $1,000,000 Grant from Henry Luce Foundation for the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI)

Hannah Hartt

The Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR) is pleased to announce a $1,000,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation in support of a 4-year project with the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI). This grant will support APARRI in its mission to advance the interdisciplinary study of Asian Pacific American religions and to ensure the legacy of …

Rolling Deadline: Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion Applications

Khai Thu Nguyen

Applications for the Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion are now accepted on a rolling basis. Program Description: 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 …

DESR Spring 2022 Courses Announced

Miranda Schonbrun

The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion (DESR) is pleased to announce our spring 2022 courses that count towards the core and elective requirements for the DE. These courses reflect the interdisciplinary breadth of the DESR, with core and elective options in Buddhist Studies/South & Southeast Asian Studies/East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, Ethnic Studies, History/History of Art/Middle Eastern …

Grad Student Spotlight: Joshua Benjamins

Miranda Schonbrun

Joshua Benjamins is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ancient Greek and Roman Studies. Before coming to Berkeley, he earned a BA in Latin and History at Hillsdale College and an MA in Early Christian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in the intellectual and cultural history of the later Roman Empire, with a special focus …

Spring 2022 Undergraduate Religion Courses

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR faculty and affiliates are offering a wide variety of undergraduate courses related to religion in spring 2022, spanning the humanities and social sciences. …

Graduate Working Group on Religion

Miranda Schonbrun

The Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion has launched a Graduate Working Group on Religion for 2021–2022, coordinated by Mohamad Jarada (PhD candidate, Anthropology) for graduate students interested in the study of religion, broadly construed. Working group funds are available to organize a symposium, invite scholars to visit and give public lectures, and create other possible forums to share …

Spotlight Interview with BCSR Co-Director Carolyn Chen

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR was thrilled to recently sit down with our new Co-Director Carolyn Chen for a spotlight feature. Carolyn Chen is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, whose research interests include ethnicity, immigration, race, religion, and work. Carolyn Chen has taught courses on comparative analysis of religion, race and ethnicity, social science methods in ethnic studies, religions of Asian Americans (including Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Christianity), and contemporary issues in Asian American communities. She is author of Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience (Princeton 2008). Her new book, Work Pray Code: When Work Replaces Religion in Silicon Valley about the transformation in work, religion, and community in late capitalist America, will be published this spring by Princeton University Press. …

Faculty Accomplishments from Spring and Summer 2021

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is proud to share a sample of recent accomplishments, publications, awards, and news from affiliated faculty. Please join us in congratulating our affiliated faculty members Diliana Angelova, Robert Braun, Ethan Katz, Henrike Lange, Robert Sharf, and Ronit Stahl on these accomplishments! …

Carolyn Chen Named New Co-Director of BCSR

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is proud to announce that Carolyn Chen has joined David Marno as Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion. Carolyn Chen is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. She is author of Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience (Princeton 2008) and co-editor of Sustaining Faith Traditions: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion among …

Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion Community Outreach Program

Miranda Schonbrun

For 2021-2022, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion at UC Berkeley is delighted to announce a new Community Outreach Program.

BCSR is offering free interactive presentations and workshops by experts about the place of religion in our world today and the history of religion since antiquity …

BCSR Welcomes Research Associate Steven Barrie-Anthony

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is delighted to announce the recent three-year appointment of Steven Barrie-Anthony, PhD, PsyD, as a Research Associate. In his position, Barrie-Anthony will work with Director David Marno and BCSR affiliated faculty to advance the creative and critical study of religion. 

Barrie-Anthony is a scholar of religion and a research psychoanalyst with a clinical practice in the Bay Area …

Message from the Directors

Miranda Schonbrun

Dear Friends of BCSR,

As we look forward to gathering in person in the fall, we also want to reflect on and acknowledge the extraordinary work of BCSR’s faculty, staff, students, and affiliates throughout an extraordinary year. We thank our community, guest speakers, and partner organizations for their engagement, dedication to remaining connected while physically apart, and commitment to the pursuit of the study of religion …

Congratulations to the New DE in the Study of Religion Students

Miranda Schonbrun

The Graduate Group in the Study of Religion is thrilled to welcome the inaugural cohort of the DE in the Study of Religion. The new cohort includes graduate students from Berkeley departments in the social sciences, humanities, and professional schools. Please join us in welcoming our five new DESR students!

Syed Shiraz Ali, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures
Courtney Bither, History
Yesenia Brambila, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Bonnie Cherry, Jurisprudence and Social Policy, Berkeley Law
Allyson Tang, East Asian Languages and Cultures

Congratulations, all!