Advancing creative and critical scholarship on religion in the world


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. A sample of religion-related courses in the spring are listed below: Sufism: The Mysticism of … Continue reading

Anna Hennessey joins BCSR as a Visiting Scholar through September 2020. Anna Hennessey is a San Francisco author and scholar whose work explores the religious, artistic, and philosophical dimensions of birth. Her recent book, Imagery, Ritual, and Birth: Ontology Between the Sacred and the Secular (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) explores ways in which religious imagery is secularized … Continue reading

Ethan Shagan, a BCSR affiliated faculty member and winner of the 2019 Distinguished Teaching Award, will be teaching the new course History 20: Introduction to the History of Religion this spring. The course will introduce students to the history of religion from the earliest written records to the modern world, including the monotheistic traditions of … Continue reading

Now in its seventh year, BCSR recently added several new members to its advisory board. Robert Braun (Sociology), Stefania Pandolfo (Anthropology) and Ronit Stahl (History) will join current board members Charles Hirschkind, Asma Kazmi, Niklaus Largier, Joanna Picciotto and Jonathan Sheehan, and BCSR co-directors Karen Barkey and David Marno. Robert Braun combines archival work with geographical … Continue reading

BCSR is proud to announce that Karen Barkey has joined David Marno as Co-director for the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion. Karen succeeds Co-founder Jonathan Sheehan, whose leadership has been pivotal in establishing BCSR and ensuring the success of the $1M grant in Public Theology from the Henry Luce Foundation, now in its final year. Jonathan will continue to … Continue reading

For the fourth consecutive year, BCSR faculty will mentor an intellectually diverse set of New Directions in Theology grant winners throughout the academic year. Representing eight disciplines, with interests ranging from antiquity to the present, the incoming New Directions students will regularly meet with BCSR faculty to discuss contemporary religious research and to refine their … Continue reading

May 2019 Dear Friends of BCSR, 2018-2019 has been an exceptional year for the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion. We’d like to bring you up to date on our current and planned activities, and thank you for helping to make this year such a success. Our biggest efforts and events revolved around the … Continue reading

An ongoing series on current and recent Berkeley grads working on religion. Simon Brown, PhD Candidate, Department of History As part of our series spotlighting UC Berkeley graduate student research, BCSR recently had the opportunity to sit down with Simon Brown, a doctoral candidate in European History. His dissertation is tentatively titled “Useful Subjects: English Practical Divinity and … Continue reading

The Center has been busy! Recordings of the following events are available on Soundcloud or YouTube. April 25: “‘Doing’ Political Theology Today: Promises and Pitfalls” Ruth Marshall: SoundCloud Recording April 3: “The Creative Repercussions of Counterculture” Haroon Mirza: SoundCloud Recording March 13: “What’s Theology Got to Do With It? An Eighteenth-Century Chinese Emperor Debating Religions … Continue reading

For the past two years, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, has convened a series of workshops and seminars concerning, broadly speaking, the place of theology in the university. From the outset, our goal was to challenge narrow conceptions of both secular learning and “theology,” in hopes … Continue reading