First Exchange student from Syracuse to Bochum

John Abercrombie

John Abercrombie

February 14, 2019

John Abercrombie (PhD student) has returned from four months in the Center of Religions Studies (CERES) at Ruhr University Bochum, in Germany. He is the first SU student to take advantage of a new graduate-student exchange program between CERES and the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. A CERES PhD student, Lisa Wevelsiep, is spending the spring semester in the Syracuse Department. John writes: 

"Studying in Bochum for this past Winter semester helped deepen my training in ancient Daoism and classical Chinese, while at the same time allowing me to take part in the active research community at CERES through the Kate Hamburger Kolleg symposia on Mondays. The weekly discussions with scholars of different backgrounds and research areas were stimulating and gave me a window into how collaborative research projects are taking place in Europe. I also can’t speak highly enough of the Christmas markets."

The exchange has been designed flexibly to allow graduate students to take advantage of the different faculty and resources of these collaborating universities, as well as their relatively central locations in Europe and North America. John, for example, studies Daoist history and classical texts with CERES faculty who focus on the history of Chinese religion. He also gained some insight and experience in the structures and processes that shape religious studies in German and European universities. For more about his experience, see this story about him from CERES. 


The graduate-student exchange is one part of a broader cooperation in research and teaching between CERES at RUB and REL at SU. The research collaboration will take a major step forward with a joint colloquium at Syracuse on March 3-4 with ten members of the CERES faculty.