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News from the Religious Studies Chair November 2015

Conference Participation and Invited Talks, Publications, Graduate Student Presentations and Publications

Nov 30, 2015

November found many members of the department in Atlanta for the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the American Academy of Religion (AAR). A few were in Denver for the American Anthropological Association. One person managed to be in both Denver and Atlanta. In addition to presenting papers and participating in panels, members of the department also play leading roles in the organization of program units of these and other scholarly societies. It's always encouraging to see the amount of dedication that goes into ensuring that our professional guilds are well run. I'm also pleased to note the prominent role played by our graduate students in presenting their research and organising panels at these important international meetings.

Conference Participation and Invited Talks

Ellen Badone chaired a session at the meetings of the American Anthropological Association in Denver on Seductions of Pilgrimage: Sacred Journeys Afar and Astray in The Western Religious Tradition. The session included papers by a number of contributors to a book with the same title, which came out in November 2015 with Ashgate, edited by Michael Di Giovine and David Picard.  Dr. Badone's contribution to that book is “Seduction in the ‘Gypsy Pilgrimage’ at Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.”  

Dr. Badone was also discussant for a panel at the AAR annual meeting, entitled Transnational Flows and Cultural Borrowing: Ethnographies of Influence.

Daniel Machiela gave a paper at the SBL meeting on "Wisdom Motifs in the Compositional Strategy of the Genesis Apocryphon and Other Aramaic Texts from Qumran."

Liyakat Takim, “Charismatic Appeal or Communitas? Visitation to the Shrines of the Imams.” University of Houston, Centre for International and Comparative Studies.
“The Khoja Community in the Diaspora”  Florida International University,  Western Indian Ocean Studies Workshop


Daniel Machiela, “Luke 13:10-13: “Woman, You Have Been Set Free From Your Ailment” – Illness, Demon Possession, and Laying on Hands in Light of Second Temple Period Jewish Literature,” in The Gospels in First Century Judaea (ed. R. S. Notley and J. P. Garcia; AJCE; Leiden: Brill, 2015) 122-135.
“The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls: Coherence and Context of the Qumran Library,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran and the Concept of a Library (ed. S. White Crawford and C. Wassen; STDJ 116; Leiden Brill, 2015), 243-58.

Graduate Student Presentations and Publications 

Chris Handy (PhD candidate, Asian) organized a panel at the AAR annual meeting, and presented two papers. The panel was "Etiquette and Religion," in which he spoke on “Indian Buddhist Lavatory Rituals and the Aesthetics of Etiquette in Early India.” He also presented a paper in Chris Jensen's panel (see below), "Mahāyāna by Number: An Experiment in Automated Genre Analysis."
Chris Jensen (PhD candidate, Asian) organized a panel at the AAR annual meeting on "Data-Driven Approaches in Contemporary Buddhist Studies: Perspectives on Textual and Praxis Lineages," during which he delivered a paper entitled “Mapping Oneiric Practice in Medieval Chinese Buddhism: Using GIS Software to Analyze Historical Trends in the Biographies of Eminent Monks Corpus.”
Andrew Knight-Messenger (PhD candidate, Biblical), gave a presentation on "Early Jewish Court Narratives in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls" at the SBL annual meeting.
Anthony Meyer (PhD Candidate, Biblical), “The Use and Non-Use of the Divine Name in Aramaic Texts of Early Judaism.” SBL annual meeting,
Jordan Ryan (PhD candidate, Biblical) presented a paper titled "“Imagining Jesus: R.G. Collingwood’s Philosophy of History and Method in Historical Jesus Research” for a special session on the future of historical Jesus research at the annual meeting of SBL.

And Finally...

Thanks for reading November's News from the Chair.  Please let me know of any errors or omissions.  Please remember that you can always find the department on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Be seeing you!

James A. Benn