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!

DESR Open House and Information Session Recording Now Available

Miranda Schonbrun

The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion (DESR) recently held an Online Open House and Information Session with Mark Csikszentmihalyi (DESR Chair, BCSR Co-founder, East Asian Languages and Cultures) and David Marno (DESR Board Member, BCSR Co-director, English) for a discussion and Q&A about the DE in the Study of Religion …

DESR Fall 2021 Courses Announced

Miranda Schonbrun

The DESR has approved 9 fall 2021 courses to count towards the Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion (DESR). These courses reflect the interdisciplinary breadth of the DESR, with core and elective options in Ancient History & Mediterranean Archaeology, Buddhist Studies, Classics, History, History of Art, Italian Studies, Jewish Studies, Music, Near Eastern Studies, and Study of Religion …

2021-22 BCSR New Directions Cohort Announced

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR faculty will mentor an intellectually diverse set of New Directions in Theology grant winners throughout the academic year. The incoming New Directions students will regularly meet with BCSR faculty to discuss contemporary religious research and to refine their academic projects. 

BCSR welcomes the incoming New Directions cohort and looks forward to working with them in 2021-2022 and beyond! …

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 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! …