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From antiquity to the present, religion has provided a vocabulary for individuals to confront ultimate questions about the meaning of life. At the societal level, religion drives the formation of community and conflict. The rise of militant Buddhism in Myanmar, the role of Evangelicals in US politics, and the struggle for legitimacy among contemporary Muslims are only a few contemporary examples of the relevance of religious studies. Understanding the role of religion is critical for analyzing socio-political forces shaping the world today.
Here’s what’s happening in the Religious Studies Department
In The Apocalypse of Empire, Stephen J. Shoemaker argues that earliest Islam was a movement driven by urgent eschatological belief that focused on the conquest, or liberation, of the biblical Holy Land and situates this belief within a broader cultural environment of apocalyptic anticipation. Shoemaker looks to the Qur’an’s fervent representation of the imminent end of the world and the importance Muhammad and his earliest followers placed on imperial expansion. Offering important contemporary context for the imperial eschatology that seems to have fueled the rise of Islam, he...
The Annual Jack T. Sanders Memorial Award
Deadline for receipt of nominations: April 15 of Spring Term