The Department of Religious Studies is excited to welcome back our students, faculty, and staff to campus for the new academic year! We would like to invite you as well as interested students and alumni to our RELS Welcome Back Open House on Friday, August 26 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. in our offices on the first floor of Robertson Hall. Snacks will be provided.
Welcome Back, RELS!
Wendy Mallette Joins RELS Faculty
The Department of Religious Studies is excited to welcome Wendy Mallette to our religious studies faculty this fall. Mallette comes to us from Yale University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies as well as a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Mallette also has a master of arts in religion degree from Yale Divinity School and a bachelor of arts degree from Valparaiso University. She is currently working on a book manuscript that draws on the archives of lesbian feminist public cultures of the 1960s through the 1980s to intervene in conversations in queer studies and religious studies. Mallette mentored students at Yale, and she is eager to work with our students. She will diversify our course offerings and help us forge connections with units across campus. Come introduce yourself at our Fall Welcome Back Week Open House. Welcome to the department, Wendy Mallette!
RELS Fall 2022 Newsletter
Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Ph.D. Public Lecture and Panel Discussion
"Jesus and John Wayne and the Evangelical Reckoning"
The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma presents a public lecture and panel discussion featuring Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Ph.D. titled "Jesus and John Wayne and the Evangelical Reckoning" in Meacham Auditorium at Oklahoma Memorial Union at the University of Oklahoma on Thursday, September 8, 2022 from 5:30 - 7 PM. Panelists include Sam Perry, Ph.D., Jill Hicks-Keeton, Ph.D., and James Howard Hill, Jr., Ph.D. The event is co-sponsored by Department of Sociology, the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Honors College, the Arts and Humanities Forum, the Department of History, and the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
Congratulations to our graduating Class of 2022! We are incredibly proud of your accomplishments. You are what makes us great! 👩🎓🧑🎓👨🎓🅾️🙌🎉
The Department of Religious Studies would like to extend a hearty congratulations to our scholarship recipients for this academic year! Your achievements are exemplary & we are proud. Well done! 🎉
The Reverend Larry & Gloria Angus Endowed Scholarship:
The Bernita L. Thompson Endowed Scholarship for Undergraduate Research & Writing:
The Timothy Cole Stephenson Scholarship:
The Heather Nicole Stephenson Scholarship:
The David D. LeNorman Scholarship for Religious Studies:
The Make a Difference Scholarship:
The Tom W. Boyd Endowed Scholarship:
RELS had an amazing time together celebrating the accomplishments of our students and our department at our End of Year Celebration. Thank you to all of those who attended. We love to see you!
Congrats to our faculty members Jill Hicks-Keeton & David Vishanoff who received Dodge Family College of Arts & Sciences Senior Faculty Summer Fellowships for 2022! Well done!
The Department of Religious Studies is excited to announce that we are broadening our social media outreach! Please give us a follow on your favorite social media platforms here:
YouTube: OU Religious Studies
The Department of Religious Studies is pleased to announce the publication of *Islamic Legal Theory: A Critical Introduction," by Associate Professor David Vishanoff. Along with a critical edition and English translation of a classic handbook of Islamic legal theory, it offers a novel commentary that highlights the significance of medieval debates for the contemporary concerns of both students and specialists. You can find out more and pre-order print copies here.
Congratulations, Dr. Vishanoff!
Some reviews include:
"In this brilliant, innovative, and engaging book, Vishanoff guides readers through some of the most fundamental questions Muslims have debated, and struggled with, for centuries. Most Muslim scholars' books on these topics are dense and difficult. But here Vishanoff takes one such book—al-Juwaynī’s classic Waraqat—and explains, with lucidity and precision, its complex and obscure arguments. Through this book, readers will reach a better understanding of why such debates mattered to Muslims in the past, why they matter now, and how they affect the ways in which the Sharia—God’s law—might be understood in the future."
—Robert Gleave, University of Exeter
"A gem! David Vishanoff ’s translation of, and commentary on, al-Juwaynī’s short treatise on legal theory is cleverly conceptualized, clearly organized, and lucidly presented. It will engage and instruct those new to the study of Islamic law while inviting specialists to appreciate, reflect on, and perhaps question its comparative and interpretive choices. Highly recommended."
—Kecia Ali, Boston University
Donald S. Lopez Phi Beta Kappa Lecture:
When Buddha Was an Idol: European Encounters With an Ancient Asian Sage
April 11, 2022
The Department of Religious Studies and the Phi Beta Kappa Society Visiting Scholars Program would like to thank Donald S. Lopez, Ph.D. for his lecture on Monday, April 11, When Buddha Was an Idol: European Encounters With an Ancient Asian Sage.
The lecture was engaging and well-attended, and a healthy question-and-answer session followed. We greatly extend our thanks to Dr. Lopez for his time with us at OU!
The Department of Religious Studies and the Phi Beta Kappa Society Visiting Scholars Program Present:
Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan
5 p.m. Monday, April 11
Oklahoma Memorial Union
The Department of Religious Studies would like to invite you to the 26th Annual Conference of The Western Jewish Studies Association from March 27-28, 2002 hosted by the Schusterman Center for Judaic & Israel Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
The conference will feature keynote speaker Andrew Porwancher, and the plenary lunch speaker will be our own Jill Hicks-Keeton speaking on History and Heritage at the Museum of the Bible.
For more information, please visit the WJSA at OU page.
The Department of Religious Studies is pleased to announce Princeton University's The Crossroad Project recently named Acting Assistant Professor James Howard Hill, Jr. as a fellow. Congratulations!
For more about The Crossroad Project and Hill's research, please visit their website here.
The Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies presents: "I'll Be Grotesque Before Your Eyes:" Religion, Race, and the Michael Jackson Cacophony by James Howard Hill, Jr., Ph.D. on Thursday, Feb. 24 at Noon via Zoom
Access by Zoom here.
This talk takes up James Baldwin's thesis on Jackson by analyzing the "Michael Jackson Cacophony" as nothing less than a national haunting braided by the discourses of religion and race in the United States of America. Beginning with the advent of the Jackson 5 in the late 1960s and culminating with Jackson's disidentification with the Jehovah's Witnesses in the late 1980s, this talk evinces the constitutive role religion and race played in producing one of the most gifted, enigmatic, and troubled figures in the history of the modern world.
For additional information or accommodations, please contact the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies (405) 325-2327. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. www.ou.edu/eoo
The Department of Religious Studies presents: Understanding Indigenous Religions: Insights from Religious Studies and Indigenous Studies by Abel Gomez, Ph.D., Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Native American Studies
Thursday, November 11; noon to 1 p.m.
Heritage Room, Oklahoma Memorial Union
Pizza and snacks will be provided.
Accommodations on the basis of disability are available by contacting Rebecca Hall-Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
The Department of Religious Studies welcomed our students, faculty, staff, and alumni back to campus at our RELS Welcome Back event on Friday, August 27th. It was good to see faces new and old come together and celebrate the department. Here's to an amazing academic year to come!
Introducing James Howard Hill, Jr. - Meet the Newest Addition to the RELS Faculty
The Department of Religious Studies is excited to welcome James Hill to our faculty this fall. Hill is finishing his Ph.D. at Northwestern University and is scheduled to defend his dissertation, titled “Transgressive Witness: Religion, Race Governance and the Michael Jackson Cacophony.”
He is the author of several published and forthcoming articles and essays dealing with such topics as hip hop theopoetics, kneeling and Black athletic protest, Black politics and religion and religion in HBO’s Watchmen.
Hill will design and offer new courses inspired by his own research and interests, and he will utilize his own expertise and approaches to courses that make up the core religious studies curriculum. Hill comes to us with a rich background in mentorship programs and is eager to work with our students.