Courses for Spring 2023 and Statement of Solidarity

Please see our spring 2023 undergraduate and graduate course publicity. 

Statement of Solidarity: The Department of Religious Studies stands with countless others in supporting religious pluralism, inclusion, and equality on our campus and beyond. We were motivated to respond when we learned that on September 22, 2022, a Sikh student was handcuffed by campus police in the Student Union after another student called 911 to report the student had a knife. That object was a kirpan, a dull, single-edged knife that is one of five mandatory articles of faith considered sacred to initiated Sikhs. Many schools and government bodies nationwide justifiably provide appropriate accommodations that override “no weapons” policies. The police officer did not know or consider those facts when he chose to detain the student. This is not an isolated incident: the Sikh community – along with Muslims and other members of Arab, South Asian, and Asian communities – has experienced ongoing bias and violence, often fueled by white supremacy and nationalism, in our country for far too long.

While ignorance harms us all, as individuals and as a collective, that harm is borne more heavily by some bodies than others. We see that simple and tragic fact play out in the news every day in the over-policing of Black and Brown bodies. We are committed to fulfilling our department's mission, which is “to educate students, university colleagues, and the broader public about the ways religion shapes and is shaped by global societies, particularly regarding race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and power.” We recognize that the diversity we claim to embrace must include religion (and non-religion) if it is to be meaningful on our campus. As we teach our classes and do our research, we will also be working with the Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer to develop programming and training for students, faculty, and staff to help foster a more educated and inclusive community.  

If you have any questions about the academic study of religion or the work of our department, please contact Joanne Maguire, Department Chair, at 



Thiede book cover

Congratulations to Dr. Barbara Thiede on her recent publication of Male Friendship, Homosociality, and Women in the Hebrew Bible: Malignant Fraternities. Routledge, 2021.

Brief summary:

"Male alliances, partnerships, and friendships are fundamental to the Hebrew Bible. This book offers a detailed and explicit exploration of the ways in which shared sexual use of women and women’s bodies engenders, sustains, and nourishes such relationships in the Hebrew Bible." Read more about this book on the Routledge website.

Dr. Chris Greenough, co-director of the Shiloh Project, enjoyed the book so much, he wrote the following comments to Dr. Thiede: 

"The text is so well written, the argument is highly persuasive throughout - whip-smart writing.  I particulary loved the endnotes too - the first time I've ever read through every endnote in a text, just because I didn't want to miss more of your gems! I'll certainly be using it in my own research. Thank you for wriiting and publishing it!"

The book can be purchased on the Routledge website or read online through Taylor and Francis ebooks.