Religion Department News

  • Always Lost: A Meditation on War

    October 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm


    WEITZ 148 - 7:30pm

    "War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost." - Gertrude Stein

    In fall 2008, Western Nevada College sociology professor Don Carlson was stopped in his tracks by The New York Times' Roster of the Dead. "Four thousand faces of American military who had perished in Iraq stared at me," he said, "and I realized that this war has been perhaps one of the most impersonal wars ever fought."

    The heart of Always Lost is the Wall of the Dead: individual photographs with names of the more than 6,500 U.S. military war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. The exhibition has evolved into a powerful meditation on the effect of war on each of us. It has become a sacred space in which to contemplate the personal costs and collective sacrifice of these particular conflicts, and consequently, of all wars. In the meantime, casualties continue to mount, and the Wall of the Dead continues to grow.

    The opening reception for Always Lost is on October 13 at 7:30PM in Weitz 148. The exhibition will run through October 24. It is open to the public.

    The nationally touring humanities exhibit is on loan to the Minnesota Humanities Center from Western Nevada College and is sponsored by Carleton Humanities Center and Arts @ Carleton.

  • The Spring Barbour Lecture is planned to honor the late Professor Ian Barbour, emeritus.  Guest panelists of five distinguished scholars will take the stage on the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema to discuss topics that were central to the intellectual work of Ian Barbour:  theology and evolution; environmental ethics; process philosophy; and ethics, technology, and the human person.

    The scholars are: 

    Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology

    Celia Deane-Drummond, University of Notre Dame

    Nancy Howell, St. Paul School of Theology

    Ted Peters, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

    Bob Russell, Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA)

    The sponsors of this event are the Religion Department, the Office of the President, Dean of the College Office, Elizabeth Nason Distinguished Women Visitor's Fund and ENTS.


  • 3:15 - 4:15pm in Weitz Center, Lounge Over Main Entrance (LOME)

    We will discuss selections from The Hindus and a New York Review of Books article. 

    RSVP to Sandy Saari ( by MAY 5th due to limited seating. 

    Here are the links to the readings:

    Excerpt (conclusion) from The Hindus - An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger


  • Lori Pearson, Carleton College Chair of Religion Department, Professor of Religion was awarded a New Directions Fellowship from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation - read more about it here.

  • Ian Barbour, came to Carleton in 1955 and was a pioneer in founding the Science, Technology and Public Policy program at Carleton (now ENTS) and began his career at Carleton teaching Physics and Religion. He was instrumental in integrating faith and contemporary science and was internationally known and respected in the Religion field.  Ian will be greatly missed.

    A memorial service was held on January 18th at 3pm in Skinner Chapel on Carleton College's campus, followed by a reception for family and friends in Great Hall.

    For farewell tributes, please view this site.


  • Weitz Cinema, Historic memory or memory of history, by Noemi Schory, award-winning Israeli filmmaker, Forkosh Family Lecture in Judaic Studies. Contact Louis Newman.

  • Religion Dept.'s "life after Carleton meeting".  Deb Olien (Career Center), Asuka Sango (Religion) and Beth Wright '93 talk with students.  Lunch provided

    Deb, Asuka and Beth will talk with students covering such topics as:

    1. How what you learn at Carleton will impact your life beyond/after Carleton.
    2. Unique skills that you, as a religion major, possess.
    3. How to get started with searching for jobs or internships.
    4. How the Career Center can help you with that.
    5. Any questions, concerns or anxieties you may have about your future.

    Non majors or those who are considering the Religion major are welcome to attend!


  • Learn about the Religion department and any questions/concerns about the major requirements, course offerings, career planning, etc.  Pizza will be served.  Professors Michael McNally and Asuka Sango will be on hand to field any questions you may have.  Location - Religion Lounge - 3rd floor Leighton

  • Professor Naomi Seidman's talk is "The Marriage Plot:  Sexuality, Secularization and the Emergence of Modern Jewish Literature". 

    This talk will explore how secularizing processes in the late 18th and 19th centuries worked through art forms, such as fiction, to educate about and cultivate new Jewish heterosexual norms and ideals, which countered and challenged, among other things, homo social and sexual norms in the "traditional" religious world.

  • Larry L. Rasmussen, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Ethics Emeritus at Union Theological Seminary in NYC, is the guest lecturer honoring Carleton's Ian Barbour, Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Science, Technology and Society, Emeritus.  A brief synopsis of his discussion:  He will contend that while, on the one hand, there is growing recognition of a planetary ecological crisis, on the other there is widespread denial that the chief underlying reasons (the industrial paradigm, now global capitalism, and unprecedented human population) must be addressed in ways that fundamentally call them into question. This poses basic challenges both to modern science and to religion - which he will expand on during his talk.   The Barbour Lecture is jointly sponsored by the Religion Department, ENTS and EThIC.

  • Severance Great Hall is the location of a talk by noted scholar in the history of philosophy and Islamic thought, Souleymane Bachir Diagne. Diagne is Professor of French at Columbia University and will deliver a lecture entitled:  "What is African Philosophy?  The Discussion of Orality and Islamic Thought in Francophone Africa."  Diagne's visit coincides with the introduction of a new religion department course entitled "Islamic Africa" in which students will have the opportunity to engage this scholar on his cutting-edge research in the literatures and cultures of the Muslim Sahel.

    In addition to being the author of numerous critically-acclaimed works on topics ranging from the writings of Leopold Senghor to the Arabic manuscripts of Timbuktu, Diagne is also the parent of a member of Carleton's class of 2012.

    This event is sponsored by the Religion, Philosophy, French, AF/AFAM Departments and the Dean of the College Office.