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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

Forming the Early Chinese Court: Rituals, Spaces, Roles

It is our great pleasure to announce that Luke Haberstad’s book, Forming the Early Chinese Court: Rituals, Spaces, Roles is now in print and available for order from the University of Washington Press and good independent bookstores near you.

Forming the Early Chinese Court builds on new directions in comparative studies of royal courts in the ancient world to present a pioneering study of early Chinese court culture. Rejecting divides between literary, political, and administrative texts, Luke Habberstad examines sources from


Sanders Award

The Annual Jack T. Sanders Memorial Award

Deadline for receipt of nominations: April 15 of Spring Term

Click here for more information on how to apply.

Previous winners:

Year Student Paper Title 2016 Will Dickerson (UO ’17) “Meeting in the Field of Non-Duality: A Comparative Approach to Rumi and Ryokan” Michelle Maujean (UO ’16) 2017 Daniel Sanders

The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences

Thursday, May 3

4:00 pm

McKenzie Hall 125

Presented by: Jason A. Josephson-Storm

Many theorists have argued that a defining feature of modernity is that people no longer believe in spirits, myths, or magic. In a talk based on his new book, Jason Ā Josephson-Storm will argue that as broad cultural history goes, this narrative is wrong, as attempts to suppress magic have failed more often than they have suc-ceeded—even within the human sciences. But then how did a magical, spiritual, mesmerized Europe ever convince itself that it was disenchanted? Josephson-Storm traces the history of the