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January 26, 2017

Comparing Early Empires: Rome and China

The Admiral David E. Jeremiah and Mrs. Connie Jeremiah Lecture Series

Lecture by Michael Nylan, Professor of History, University of California at Berkeley

Friday, February 10

4:00 p.m.

Crater Lake North, EMU

University of Oregon

At their heights, Rome and China were two empires commanding approximately the same size territories and populations, operating at similar technological levels. However, the two empires could hardly have been run on more different bases, in terms of their treatment of their own populations, methods political deliberation, financial arrangements, expectations of service from members of the governing elite and from allies, and even the arrangement of their capitals. This talk will explore such differences, asking what presumptions shaped their decision-making processes, as a way of reflecting upon larger East-West debates.

This lecture series is presented by the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. It is cosponsored by the Confucius Institute, the Department of History, the Asian Studies Program, the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, and the Department of Classics. The Crater Lake North Room is located in the Erb Memorial Union (EMU). For more information, please call 541-346-5068.

“The Jewish Virtue of Manliness: Maccabean Judea between Greece and Rome”

Professor Kevin L. Osterloh, Ancient History & Religions, Oregon State University

Thursday, February 16th

4:00 p.m.

Susan Campbell Hall 111

Sponsored by the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies and the American Academy for Jewish Research.

Free and open to the public.

October 21, 2016

“What Happened to Christianity in Post-Socialist Europe?”


Presented by István Povedák, Research Group for the Study of Religious Culture, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and University of
Szeged, Senior Research Fellow

Monday, October 24, 2016


Knight Library Browsing Room

1501 Kincaid St. Eugene, OR


Dr. István Povedák is a Senior Research Fellow of the Research Group for the Study of Religious Culture, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and University of Szeged. His main fields of research are contemporary vernacular religiosity, modern mythologies, and the cult of heroes and celebrities. His books include Pseudo Heroes and Fake Gods? (in Hungarian); Heroes and Celebrities in Central Eastern Europe; Landscape as a Factor for Creating Identity; and Shamans Everywhere: The Multidisciplinary Analysis of Contemporary Paganism (in Hungarian).

Sponsors: Ira E. Gaston Bequest, Folklore Program, Oregon Humanities Center, Department of Religious Studies, European Studies, Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Free and open to the public

May 9, 2016

The Myth of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Daniel Falk

Gaston Lecture presented by Dr. Daniel Falk, Pennsylvania State University

Thursday, May 12, 2016

4:00 pm

Chiles 128


Celebration of Life for Jack Sanders

Jack Sanders

The Jack T. Sanders Celebration of Life at the University of Oregon will take place on Thursday, May 12, beginning at 10 am in the Knight Library Browsing Room. Both Jack’s wife of over thirty-six years, Susan Elizabeth Plass, and Jack’s son, Collin Thomas Sanders, will be in attendance. Around 11:15 am, the group will proceed from the library to a location nearby for the planting of a flowering dogwood tree dedicated to Jack’s memory. Afterward, a buffet lunch will be served in the Browsing Room of Knight Library. At 4 pm that day in Chiles 128 (corner of Kincaid and 13th), former colleague Daniel Falk will deliver a lecture entitled “The Myth of the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Everyone is welcome to attend any and all of these free public events on May 12th.

Thursday, May 12th

Knight Library Browsing Room

10:00 am Celebration of Life

11:15 am Tree Planting

11:45 am Lunch Buffet

March 22, 2016

Buddhism and Science

A public lecture by Dr. Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies, Columbia University


Professor Thurman is the pre-eminent scholar of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, founder and president of Tibet House, an intimate friend and colleague of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for over 40 years, and a prolific author and scholar.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

7:00 pm

Lillis 182

955 E. 13th Ave. University of Oregon

Respondent, Dr. Mark Johnson, Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon

Book signing to follow.

Co-sponsored by Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs, Department of Religious Studies, and Oregon Humanities Center

“The Spiritual Power of the Outrageous: Holy Fools in Eastern Orthodox Christianity”

Lecture by Priscilla Hunt

Holy Foolishness emerged within Eastern Orthodox Christianity, flourished in medieval Russia, and is alive in Russia today. Originating in ancient Byzantium, its defining characteristic is an imitation of Christ through an exhibition of madness. The fool engages in outrageous behavior to provoke a response from the audience that is a form of spiritual teaching and catalyst to personal change.

This presentation will introduce the holy foolish behavioral paradigm and describe its place in the culture of the Byzantine and Russian Middle Ages. We will investigate how the fool combines madness, provocation, and the holy, and what this tells us about the Russian reception of Eastern Orthodoxy.

April 12, 2016


Gerlinger Lounge

1468 University Street



Sponsored by the University of Oregon Gaston Fund in Religious Studies.

March 2, 2015

“The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins”

Lecture by Stephen Patterson, Willamette University.

In this lecture, Stephen J. Patterson will show how the Gospel of Thomas and a lost gospel known simply as “Q” have changed the way scholars imagine Christian origins.

March 10, 2015


Gerlinger Lounge


Sponsored by University of Oregon Gaston Fund in Religious Studies.
February 2, 2015

“The Debate over Islam’s Origins and an Enigmatic Arabic Papyrus”

Lecture by Fred Donner, Professor of Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago.

February 20, 2015


Lillis 112

Fred Donner

Sponsored by the Gaston Fund in Religious Studies.
August 13, 2014

Trip to Mt. Pisgah

The religious studies department will be hosting a Fall Fieldtrip to Mt. Pisgah, just east of Eugene, on the afternoon of Friday October 10. The exact time of the trip will be decided by the participants. Snacks will be provided, and participation is FREE to all REL majors, minors, staff and faculty. Fill out the short form “REL Fall Field Trip” by October 3 to register:


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