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!

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 https://www.aarwr.com/annual-meetings.html. 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! …

Faculty Spotlight: Henrike Lange

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR is proud to share with the community a Faculty Spotlight with Henrike Lange, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of History of Art and Italian Studies. …

Spring 2021 Religion Courses

Miranda Schonbrun

BCSR faculty and affiliates are offering a wide variety of courses related to religion in spring 2021, spanning diverse fields including Anthropology, Buddhist Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Ethnic Studies, History, History of Art, Italian Studies, Jewish Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and Political Science! …

Poulomi Saha and Grace Goudiss Resource Recommendations 

Miranda Schonbrun

Accompanying the online reflection “Enthralled Subjects: Cults, Conversion, and Quarantine Fixations,” Poulomi Saha and Grace Goudiss provided resource recommendations on the topics of popular media surrounding “cults,” faith, and the history of “cults”/new religious movements. …