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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

Hanan Elsherif received the Thomas F. Herman Award for Specialized Pedagogy

Congratulations to Hanan Elsherif for receiving the Thomas F. Herman Award for Specialized Pedagogy!  Hanan is a Senior Instructor in the Religious Studies department teaching Arabic Language.

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  “Teresa of Avila: Mysticism Through the Eyes of William James and Evelyn Underhill”  2018  Julie Langenberg  “Purest of Pure: The Qumran Community’s Elevated Value of Purity”

Tibetan Buddhism in the World

Monday, May 14, 2018


182 Lillis Hall

University of Oregon Dalai Lama Commemorative Lecture

Sara Shneiderman, Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Sienna Craig, Anthropology, Dartmouth College

Tulku Jigme Rinpoche, Palmo Center for Peace and Education


Free and open to the public

Co-sponsors: Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs, Oregon Humanities Center, Department of Religious Studies, and Center for Asian and Pacific Studies