Religion Department News


  • Vincent L. Wimbush is a scholar of religion and founding director of the Institute for Signifying Scriptures, an independent international trans-disciplinary organization that engages “scriptures” and “scripturalizing” as cultural phenomena and as analytical wedges for critical comparative inquiry in discourse and power and social formation, thereby modeling and advancing a new field of critical research. His current research interests and projects involve theorizing scriptures as window onto the formation of African diasporas, and the formation of African diasporas as window onto the phenomenon of scripturalizing as modern formation. He is the author of scores of essays and articles and is author or editor of more than 12 books, including White Men’s Magic:  Scripturalization as Slavery; Scripturalizing the Human: The Written as the Political; MisReading America:  Scriptures and Difference; Theorizing Scriptures; and African Americans and the Bible.  He is also executive producer of a documentary film, Finding God in the City of Angels.

  • Bardwell Smith, Distinguished Asian scholar and Professor Emeritus at Carleton College, walked the Shikoku pilgrimage route in sections on seven occasions between 1983 and 2002, including twice with 30-40 American students from the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) founded in 1970 by Carleton and Amherst.  The talk will take place from noon - 1pm in Weitz 236 on Thursday, April 7th, 2016.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” [Matsuo Basho]

    "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." [African proverb]


  • Barbour Lecture on Religion and Modernity:  Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., Princeton University, is the guest speaker for this event.  The title of his talk is "Democracy in Black:  How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul.  Eddie Glaude, the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton since 2002 was recently recognized in "News at Princeton" on Jan. 4, 2016.  Click here for the link to that article.

    Author Glaude will speak in Severance Great Hall at Carleton College on Thursday, February 11th at 7pm. 

    TAPED LECTURE at Carleton - please click here

  • Louis Newman, John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies and Associate Dean of the College, will be interviewed on Krista Tippett's NPR program, "On Being" (formerly called, "Speaking of Faith") on Sunday, September 20, 2015.  The program focuses on his work on Jewish views of repentance, published a few years ago, and is timed to coincide with the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when repentance is a primary theme.  Check your MPR schedule for broadcast times, or the podcast can be downloaded here:

  • Anne E. Patrick, William H. Laird Professor of Religion and the Liberal Arts, Emerita, has published two online articles recently: "Women in the Church in the Age of Francis," and "The Vatican, 'Feminism', and U.S. Women Religious.

  • Roger Jackson, John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion, published three articles over the summer: "Did Tsongkhapa Teach Mahāmudrā?" came out in Zentralasiatische Studien (Bonn), while revised versions of his pieces on "Mahāmudrā in India" and "Mahāmudrā in Tibet" were posted by Oxford Bibliographies Online


  • Lori Pearson, Professor of Religion, presented a chapter on "Gender and Embodiment" at Oxford University for a workshop on "Dimensions of Nineteenth-Century Christian Thought" on June 22, and gave a public talk at Oxford on June 24.


    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.