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News & Accolades


June, 2014

Gustav Niebuhr (Associate Professor) has writtenLincoln's Bishop: A President, A Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors (Harper Collins, 2014)

June, 2014

Jenny Caplan (PhD ABD) is Visiting Instructor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Western Illinois University for 2014-2015.

May, 2014

Robert M. Ruehl earned his Ph.D. and was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Prize from the Graduate School at Syracuse University for his dissertation, "Thoreau's A Week, Religion as Preservative Care: Opposing the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, Manifest Destiny, and a Religion of Subjection" (directed by Prof. Phil Arnold).

May, 2014

Dorina Miller Parmenter (PhD 2009) has been approved for tenure and promoted to Associate Professor at Spalding University.

April, 2014

Ann Grodzins Gold (Watson Professor) has been named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for 2014-15; she has also been awarded a  9-month residential writing fellowship at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina and will be living in Chapel Hill for the coming academic year.  She will be completing a book manuscript  provisionally titled Shiptown: North Indian Lives between Rural and Urban. (more)

April, 2014

William Robert (Assistant Professor) has been awarded a faculty fellowship by the SU Humanities Center. He will be on research leave for the 2014-15 academic year and writing a book about the medieval mystic, Angela of Foligno.

April, 2014

Dan Cheifer (PhD ABD) has been awarded a dissertation fellowship by the SU Humanities Center for 2014-15. His dissertation topic is “Science and Spirituality in the All World Gayatri Pariwar.”

March, 2014

Gareth Fisher (Assistant Professor) will be promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and has been recommended for tenure in the College of Arts and Sciences.

March, 2014

Gustav Niebuhr (Associate Professor) has been recommended for tenure in the Newhouse School of Public Communications and will continue to teach half in the Department of Religion.

February, 2014

Corrine Dempsey (PhD 1996) has been named Rose Marie Beston Chair for International Studies at Nazareth College.

February, 2014

Carson Webb (PhD ABD) was written, "Enthusiasm (Begeistring, Enthusiasme, Sværmeri)," in Kierkegaard's Concepts, Tome 2: Classicism to Enthusiasm (Ashgate 2014), 2:235-241.

January, 2014

Joanne Punzo Waghorne (Professor) has written "Reading Walden Pond at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore," in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion 82/1 (2014).

January, 2014

Virginia Burrus (Ledden Professor) has published with Marco Conti The Life of Saint Helia: Critical Edition, Translation, Introduction and Commentary (Oxford, 2014).

December, 2013

M. Gail Hamner (Professor) has written "Religion and Film: A Pedagogical Review" in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion 81/4 (2013), 1139-50.

December, 2013 Ann Grodzins Gold (Watson Professor) has been invited to address the Ecologies of Urbanism in Asia II conference in Hong Kong in June, 2014, on the theme of "Conservation in the City."
November, 2013 Fifteen faculty members and students of Syracuse University will appear on the programs of the concurrent AAR and SBL meetings in Baltimore (see list of SU presenters here).
November, 2013 Joanne Punzo Waghorne (Professor) has written "Engineering an Artful Practice: On Jaggi Vasudev's Isha Yoga and Sri Sri Ravishankar's Art of Living," in Gurus of Modern Yoga (ed. E. Goldberg and M. Singleton), and "Beyond Pluralism: Global Gurus and the Third Stream of American Religiosity," in Religious Pluralism in Modern America (ed. C. L. Cohen and R. L. Numbers), both from Oxford University Press (2013).
October, 2013 Chirevo Kwenda (PhD 1993) passed away on October 16th. He was Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. 
October, 2013 James W. Watts (Professor) has written Leviticus 1-10 in the Historical Commentary on the Old Testament series (Peeters, 2013)
October, 2013 Joanna Macy (PhD 1978) will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and give the keynote address at the National Bioneers Conference.
September, 2013 John C. Caputo (Emeritus Professor) has written The Insistance of God: A Theology of Perhaps (Indiana University Press, 2013).
Fall, 2013 Edward F. Mooney has given lectures on Kierkegaard in Vilnius, Reykjavik, Frankfort; and at the following universities: Johns Hopkins, Auburn, Dartmouth, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem.
August, 2013 David L. Miller (Emeritus Professor) had published an eBook version of Gods and Games: Toward a Theology of Play (Stillpoint Digital Press, 2013).
July, 2013 Diana Walsh Pasulka (PhD 2003) served as religion advisor on the box-office smash film, The Conjuring (see here and here). Pasulka is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at UNC Wilmington.
June, 2013 Jill P. Adams successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "Irreconcilable Mourning: Inheritance, Redemption, and the Critique of History" (directed by John D. Caputo and M. Gail Hamner).
May, 2013 James W. Watts (Professor) edited Iconic Books and Texts (Equinox, 2013) which includes among its 22 chapters two of his essays as well as chapters by Joanne Waghorne (Professor), Philip Arnold (Associate Professor), Yohan Yoo (Ph.D. 2005), Dorina Miller Parmenter (Ph.D. 2009), Jason Larson (Ph.D. 2012), and Shawn Loner (Ph.D. student).
April, 2013 Francis Sanzaro (PhD 2012) has writtenThe Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering (Stone Country, 2013).
April, 2013 Virginia Burrus has been appointed the Bishop W. Earl Ledden Professor in the Department of Religion. Prof. Burrus is a well-known scholar of religion in late antiquity. She has authored or co-authored seven books and more than sixty journal articles or book chapters. She will assume responsibility in the Department for teaching courses in ancient Christianities and Greco-Roman religions, starting August, 2013.
March, 2013 Carson Webb (PhD ABD) has received Kierkegaard Foundation House Fellowship to support a one-year research residencancy at the Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College.  
March, 2013 Jenny Caplan (PhD ABD) has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Rollins College. 
March, 2013 Clark West successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "The Deconstruction of Hell: A History of the Resignatio ad Infernum Tradition" (directed by Prof. John Caputo). He is the Episcopal chaplain at Cornell University.  
February, 2013 Zachary J. Braiterman has been promoted to (full) Professor of Religion on the basis of his outstanding research, teaching and service contributions to the Department, to Syracuse University, and to the fields of Judaic Studies and Religious Studies. 
February, 2013 M. Gail Hamner has been promoted to (full) Professor of Religion on the basis of her outstanding research, teaching and service contributions to the Department, to Syracuse University, and to the field of Religious Studies. 
November, 2012 Philip Arnold (Associate Professor of Religion) has been appointed Founding Director of the Great Law of Peace Educational Center being developed on Onondaga Lake by the Onondaga Historical Association in collaboration with the Onondaga Nation and Onondaga County. Phil will be on leave from the Department in 2013 to work on the Center. Story in SUNews and Post-Standard once and again.
November, 2012 "Harvesting water chestnuts," a photo by Ann Gold (Watson Professor of Religion), was voted one of the best in the AAA 2012 photo contest. 
August, 2012 Edward Mooney (Professor of Religion and Philosophy) has written Excursions with Kierkegaard: Others, Goods, Death, Final Faith (Continuum, November 2012)
August, 2012 Craig Martin (PhD 2007) has written A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion (Equinox, 2012) and co-edited Collaborative Futures: Critical Reflections on Publicly Active Graduate Education (Syracuse University Press, 2012).
July, 2012 A new thematic issue of the journal Postscripts on iconic books and texts includes articles by Profs. Philip Arnold, Joanne Waghorne, and James Watts and alumni Yohan Yoo ('05), Dorina Miller Parmenter ('09), and Jason Larson ('12).
July, 2012 Edward F. Mooney (Professor of Religion and Philosophy) was interviewed on philosophy, literature and religion in The Vitalist.
July, 2012 Donovan Schaefer (PhD 2012) has published "Do Animals have Religion? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Religion and Embodiment" in Anthrozoos 25 (2012).
July, 2012 Dan Miller (PhD 2010) has been named Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Landmark College.
June, 2012 Francis Sanzaro successfully defended his PhD dissertation, "The Immanent Body: A Thematic Study of the Logic of Immanence in Christology, Philosophy and Aesthetics" (directed by Prof. John Caputo). He is Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Morgan State University.
June, 2012 T. Wilson Dickinson (PhD 2011) has been named Associate Dean of Religious Life at Transylvania University.
May, 2012 Edward F. Mooney (Professor of Religion and Philosophy) presented "Thoreau and Creation" to the Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology in Los Angles in April, "Thoreau, Bristlecone Pines, and Interdisciplinarity" to the American Literature Association in San Francisco in May and will lead a seminar on Kierkegaard, Buber, Heidegger, and Existential Psychotherapy in Tel Aviv in August.
May, 2012 Jason Larson (PhD 2012) has been appointed to the faculty of the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut.
May, 2012 Zachary Braiterman (Associate Professor of Religion) has edited with Martin Kavka and David Novak the Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy: The Modern Era (Cambridge, 2012).
May, 2012 Philip Arnold (Associate Professor of Religion) has been chosen to receive SU University College's Excellence in Teaching Award for 2012.
May, 2012 Margaret Spinoza (BA Religion 2012) has been awarded the Theta Alpha Kappa Achievement Award from the SU chapter, Theta Chi Beta, and the Joseph J. Kalina Prize for the best essay on a Holocaust relate3d theme from the Judaic Studies Program.
May, 2012 Tarayn Ryan (BA Religion 2012) has been awarded the Kenmore Wesley Haight & Phyllis Haight LeGro Award from the Religion Department.
May, 2012

Syracuse people who presented at the Eastern International Regional meeting of the AAR, May 4-5, included: Emma M. Brodeur (PhD student), "The Rhetoric of Medicine, Magic and Writing on the Basis of the Edwin Smith Papyrus"; Michael E Chaness (PhD student), "The Final Solution v the Final Dilution: Nazi Death Camps and Federal Indian Reservations"; Craig Martin (PhD 2007), "Cross-Dressing and Killing the Bible: Student Responses to Introductory Course Projects"; Daniel J. Moseson (PhD student), "Religious Diversity, Spirituality and Moral Subjectivity"; Karl Ivan Solibakke (Assistant Research Professor in German), "Identity, Mimesis and Script: Walter Benjamin's Mimetic Function Revisited"; Olga Solovieva (PhD 2009), "Safavid Storytellers and Shiite Religious Authorities: Competitors in Context"; James W. Watts (Professor of Religion), "Relic Books"; Carson Webb (PhD student), "The Laughs and Giggles of Jacques Derrida: Deconstruction, Kierkegaard, and the Absurdity of Happiness"

April, 2012 Donovan Schaefer (PhD 2012) has received a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Haverford College, 2012-14.
April, 2012 Angela Rudert successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "'She's an All-In-One Guru': Devotion to a 21st-Century Mystic" (directed by Profs. Joanne Waghorne and Ann Gold). Her dissertation has also been selected for a Doctoral Dissertation Prize from the Graduate School at Syracuse University.
April, 2012 William Robert (Assistant Professor of Religion) has received a NEH Enduring Questions Pilot Course Grant to develop a lower division undergraduate course, "What is Belief?" which he will teach this coming fall.
April, 2012 Vincent Lloyd (Assistant Professor of Religion) edited Race and Political Theology (Stanford, 2012)
April, 2012 Edward Mooney (Professor of Religion and Philosophy) and Lyman Mower (PhD student) published "Witness to the Face of a River: Thinking with Levinas and Thoreau," in Facing Nature: Levinas and Environmental Thought (Duquesne University Press, 2012).
March, 2012 Airen Hall successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "Experiencing Zion: Contemporary Pilgrimage in the Latter-Day Saint Tradition" (directed by Prof. Joanne Punzo Waghorne)
March, 2012 Shannon Grimes (PhD 2006) has been tenured and promoted to Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Meredith College. 
February-March, 2012 Joanne Punzo Waghorne (Professor of Religion) presented, “Gods in the High-Rise: Hindu Gurus Above It All,” the Fourth Annual South Asia Religions Distinguished Lecture at McGill University on March 9, 2012. In February, she spoke on “Reading Walden Pond at Marina Bay Sands” at Surveying Sacred Space: An Interdisciplinary, Interfaith Symposium, Pepperdine University, Malibu, February 17 & 18, 2012.
January, 2011 Donovan Schaefer successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Animal Religion: Evolution, Affect and Radical Embodiment" (directed by Prof. John D. Caputo) 
December, 2011 Guy Beck (PhD 1989) published Vaishnava Temple Music in Vrindaban: The Radhavallahbha Songbook (Blazing Saphire, 2011).
November, 2011 Eighteen Syracuse people presented twenty-one papers at the meetings of the American Academy of Religion and SOciety of Biblical Literature in San Francisco (see list).
November, 2011 Edward F. Mooney (Professor of Religion) is the newly-elected President of the North American Kierkegaard Society. His work over the years on Kierkegaard (and also Thoreau) was the topic of an AAR session, "The Thought of Edward F. Mooney."
November, 2011 Vincent W. Lloyd (Assistant Professor of Religion) has received an Individual Research Grant from the American Academy of Religion for his project, "Black Natural Law."
October, 2011 Jason T. Larson successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Gospels as Ritualized Sites of Memory in Late Ancient Imperial Culture" (directed by Prof. James W. Watts)
October, 2011 Cory Sage (Religion major) has been designated a Crown Scholar in the Renee Crown University Honors Program. 
October, 2011 M. Gail Hamner (Associate Professor of Religion) has written Imaging Religion in Film: The Politics of Nostalgia (Palgrave Macmillan, December 2011).
September, 2011  Craig Martin (PhD 2007) has been named Executive Secretary of the North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR). He has also published Masking Hegemony: A Genealogy of Liberalism, Religion, and the Private Sphere (Equinox, 2010).
August, 2011 James W. Watts (Professor of Religion and Department Chair) has been appointed the William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities for 2011-13 (see news release).
July, 2011 T. Wilson Dickinson successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Specters of Truth: Exercising Philosophy and Theology" (directed by Prof. John D. Caputo)
May, 2011 Ann Grodzins Gold (Professor of Religion and Anthropology) has been named the Thomas J. Watson Professor.  
May, 2011 William Robert has been appointed to the tenure-track as Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Religion. Dr. Robert holds a B.A. from Davidson College, two MAs from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Trials: Of Antigone and Jesus (2010). He was a Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow from 2006 to 2010 and Visiting Assistant Professor from 2010 to 2011 in the Department of Religion.  
May, 2011 Nell Champoux (PhD ABD) has received a SU Humanities Center dissertation fellowship for 2011-12.
May, 2011 Margaret Spinoza (Religion major) has been awarded a Newell W. Rossman, Jr. Scholarship for 2011-12. 
May, 2011 Alex Snow (PhD 2009) has been appointed Teaching Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian Religions at West Virginia University.
May, 2011 Daniel Miller (PhD 2010) has been appointed Visiting Professor of Christianity and Culture at Mount Allison University.
April 25, 2011 Gareth Fisher (Assistant Professor of Religion) has been awarded a residential fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Gottingen, Germany for the 2011-12 academic year.
April, 2011 Vincent Lloyd has been appointed Assistant Professor of Continental Philosophy of Religion in the Department of Religion. Dr. Lloyd holds B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Law and Transcendence (2009) and The Problem with Grace (2011). He will begin teaching at SU this fall.    
April 1, 2011 Donovan Schaefer (PhD student & Humanities Center Dissertation Fellow) organizes this symposium on "The Anatomy of Affect: Perspectives on Embodied Emotion," which includes presentations by Kimerer LaMothe, Karmen MacKendirck, Gail Hamner, and himself.
March, 2011 Ahmed Abdel Meguid has been appointed Assistant Professor of Islamic Thought in the Department of Religion. Mr. Meguid holds a B.A. from the American University in Cairo and an M.A. from Emory University, where he is currently completing his Ph.D. dissertation on "The Hermeneutics of Religious Imagination and the Meaning of Human Nature in Kant and Ibn al-'Arabi." He will begin teaching at SU this fall.
January, 2011 Kandace Geldmeier (PhD student) has received a Research Experience in Ethics and Health fellowship to represent SUNY Upstate U. and the Maxwell School to the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics for this coming summer.
December, 2010 David Liptay successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Beauty and/as Theology: The Theological Aesthetics of Hans Urs von Balthasar" (directed by Prof. John D. Caputo).
October 1 The Department of Religion participated in a grant development and will provide ongoing assistance to ESF as it implements a three year grant for developing and implementing a "Northeast Ethics Education Partnership" with Brown University¿s Center for Environmental Studies. A total grant of $397,000 was received from the National Science Foundation¿s grant program for ¿Ethics Education in Science and Engineering¿. Professor David Sonnenfeld will provide supervision to the activities at SUNY-ESF and Dianne Quigley, SU Religion Ph.D. 2009 and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Research at Brown University, will conduct and manage many of the activities at both Brown and ESF. SU Religion Professors Philip P. Arnold and Ernest Wallwork are consulting faculty on the project which commences October 1.
October, 2010 Gustav Niebuhr (Associate Professor of Religion and Media) will be the moderator of a panel of a distinguished group of thinkers from four religious traditions discussing the enduring relevance of Reinhold Niebuhr¿s Christian Realism in the anxious opening decades of the 21st century. This event will be the opening session in the inaugural Niebuhr Forum on Religion in Public Life at Elmhurst College. The Forum is part of a year-long focus on interfaith engagement Still Speaking: Conversations on Faith which marks the graduation centennial of two of Elmhurst¿s most esteemed alumni, Reinhold Niebuhr (1919) and H. Richard Niebuhr (1912). Professor Gustav Niebuhr is the grandson of theologian H. Richard Niebuhr and the great nephew of Reinhold Niebuhr.
September, 2010 Gustav Niebuhr (Associate Professor of Religion and Media) received the William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award from the Religion Newswriters Association on Sept. 25. The association, in existence for about 60 years, comprises U.S. and Canadian journalists who cover religion as news in the secular news media. The award, begun in 2001, is named for the first African-American journalist to work full-time for The Nashville Tennessean; among other things, he covered religion.
July, 2010 Dianne Quigley (PhD 2009) is Co-PI on a new National Science Foundation grant for Ethics Education for Science and Engineering in a partnership between Brown U. and SUNY-ESF. Profs. Ernest Wallwork and Philip Arnold will be consultants on this three-year project.
July, 2010 Eglute Trinkauske (PhD 2008) has been awarded a research fellowship in the Department of Folk Narrative at the Institute of Lithuanian Language and Folklore.