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Memberdeniseopeia

DENISE STARKEY is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at The College of St. Scholastica. She is the recipient of the 1st Benedictine Professor of General Education Award. Her academic interests include Feminist, Liberation and Political Theologies; Spirituality and Mystical Theology; Christian Ethics and Social Justice; Feminist Theory/Philosophy/Ethics; and Theology and Psychology. Denise received her Ph.D. in Constructive Theology (with highest honors) from Loyola University-Chicago. She is the author of The Shame that Lingers: A Survivor-centered Critique of Catholic Sin-talk (2009) and a contributing author to Religion and Men’s Violence Against Women (2015). Her current research explores practices of pilgrimage and multiple religious belonging in order to construct a nomadic spirituality of home for survivors of violence. She is also president of the Board of Directors of the FaithTrust Institute, a national, multifaith organization working to end sexual and domestic violence.

MemberSteven Vose

Dr. Vose’s main areas for research and teaching are the religious traditions of South Asia, primarily in Jainism and secondarily in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Islam. He examines the history of interactions within and between these traditions to understand the meaning and contexts of community identity formation, religious authority, and the relationships between religious communities and the state in the medieval and early modern periods. Dr. Vose is interested in devotional practices as public religious expressions, especially pilgrimage and temple ritual; and the place of “tantra” and alchemy in medieval Indian society. Dr. Vose also works on the development of vernacular literary traditions, especially in Old Gujarati, and the interaction of Sanskrit, Prakrit and vernacular languages and literatures. Finally, his work examines architecture, sculpture and manuscript painting practices, especially in western India. More broadly, he is interested in historiography in the study of religion, literary theory and religious reading practices, modern and premodern religious identity politics, religious and ethno-nationalism, conflict and non-violence in South Asia. His early training was primarily anthropological, and he brings a focus on the lived reality of religious life to his study of the medieval and early modern Indian past.

MemberErin Johnson-Williams

Erin Johnson-Williams is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Music. Her research focuses on music and de/colonialism, the imperial legacies of music education, trauma studies, gender and maternity, and soundscapes of colonial violence. Erin’s current Leverhulme project, entitled ‘Audible Incarceration: Singing Communal Religion in Colonial Concentration Camps’, examines the role of singing, religious experience and trauma in spaces of colonial incarceration, with particular focus on the concentration camps of the Boer War in South Africa. Erin’s current Leverhulme project, entitled ‘Audible Incarceration: Singing Communal Religion in Colonial Concentration Camps’, examines the role of singing, religious experience and trauma in spaces of colonial incarceration, with particular focus on the concentration camps of the Boer War in South Africa.

MemberMark McEntire

I am currently Professor of Biblical Studies at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where I have taught since 2000. My courses include Introduction to the Old Testament, Biblical Hebrew, The Pentateuch, The Prophetic Literature, Old Testament Theology, and “God, the Bible and Scientific Discovery.” My research interests are deliberately eclectic and include: A Chorus of Prophetic Voices: Introducing the Prophetic Literature of Ancient Israel (2015), An Apocryphal God (2015), Portraits of a Mature God (2013), Struggling with God: An Introduction to the Pentateuch (2008), Raising Cain, Fleeing Egypt, and Fighting Philistines: The Old Testament in Popular Music (2006). I recently do-edited a special issue of Perspectives in Religious Studies on “Violence in the Bible” (2015). One of my current projects is a book that explores how biblical texts portray cities and urban life and the implications of those portrayals for modern urban readers. Not Scattered or Confused: The Bible in an Urban World is forthcoming from Westminster John Knox Press in 2019. I frequently lead a study abroad program called Belmont in the Biblical World, which visits places like Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, and Greece.  

MemberCeleste McNamara

I am a historian of early modern Italy, focusing on religious and popular culture. I am currently an assistant professor of history at SUNY Cortland, and I hold a Ph.D. from Northwestern University.   My first book, The Bishop’s Burden: Reforming the Catholic Church in Early Modern Italy, explores how attempts to reform the Catholic Church in the wake of the Protestant Reformation were negotiated and enacted in seventeenth-century Italy. Although the Catholic Church charged bishops with implementing significant changes, it failed to provide concrete guidance. This lack of institutional support forced bishops to build their own reform programs, which allowed for creativity as they encountered unique challenges and negotiated changes with parish clergy and communities.   I am currently working on a book-length study of the control of sexual sin and crime by both Church and state in 16th-18th century Venice. In this period, both authorities increased their efforts to control the behavior of ordinary people, as part of projects of confessionalization and statebuilding. Examining trials for sins and crimes including seduction, bigamy, concubinage, sexual violence, and prostitution, allow me to hear the voices and learn about the lives of Venetians, cutting across boundaries of class, gender, age, ethnicity, and religious identity.  

MemberJeremy Cohen

Jeremy Cohen’s ethnographic research focuses on communities and new religious movements seeking radical-longevity and immortality, as well as the historical and cultural framework of changing North American relationships to technology and death. Jeremy Cohen is currently ABD in the department of Religious Studies at McMaster University. He has presented his research at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Society for the Anthropology of Religion (SAR), and has given numerous guest lectures on transhumanism, immortality and the ethics of radical-longevity. His research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). B.A in Jewish Studies. M.A in Religious Studies, exploring digital mourning practices.