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Department of Religious Studies

Debris Man
made by daniel johnson entirely from stuff found in CC-11,
is the newest addition to the Religious Studies office.



Meet our newest faculty members!

Ann Gleig


Ann Gleig is the second holder of our gift-supported Teaching Fellow position! Ann is from Liverpool, England, but comes to Millsaps from Rice University.  She is teaching Religion and Psychology this semester and will be teaching Religion and Sexuality in the spring.


Bennie Reynolds comes to Millsaps as a visiting professor. Bennie holds a Ph.D from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He is teaching Hebrew Scriptures this semester and will be teaching a course on Apocalypse in the spring.



In June, James Bowley led a study abroad trip to Israel with Religious Studies majors Chelsey Overstreet, Amanda Hoak, Allison Purves, and Laura Cost as well as Ginny Sanborn, Karoline Kremers and Mary Blessey.



Millsaps now has a chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national Religious Studies and Theology honor society. Two majors and a minor were inducted as charter members of TAK in the Spring of 2010, and more will soon join them!

James Bowley was cited by the Mississippi Humanities Council as the Millsaps humanities professor of the year and gave a talk, "Living by Fragments," on October 21, 2009.  His co-edited Dead Sea Scroll Concordance, Vol. 2, was published by Brill, and he was asked by Oxford University Press to write the major article "Bible" in the forthcoming Oxford Dictionary of Books of the Bible.

Ann Gleig plans to defend her dissertation, "Enlightenment After the Enlightenment:  American Transformations of Asian Contemplative Traditions," this fall.  A recent publication is "The Enlightened Body in A.H. Almaas's Diamond Approach" in Thomas Cattoi and June McDaniel, eds. The Mystical Sensuality: Seeking the Divine in One's Body (Hastings: Palgrave and MacMillian, 2010).  She will be presenting a paper at the upcoming American Academy of Religion conference in Atlanta on "The Triumph of Tantra: The Rise of A Modern American Tantric Orientation" for a joint panel of the Tantric Studies Consultation and Western Esotericism and presiding at a wildcard panel titled "The Participatory Turn: Studying Religion Beyond the Philosophies of Consciousness and Constructivism."

Darby Ray worked during her 2009-2010 sabbatical on a contracted book for Fortress Press, Working

Bennie Reynolds has co-edited two books to be released in November 2010, Light Against Darkness: Dualism in Ancient Mediterranean Religion and the Contemporary World (JAJSup 2; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010) and The Dead Sea Scrolls in Context: Integrating the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Study of Ancient Texts, Languages, and Cultures, Vol. 1 (VTSup 140; Brill: 2010).  He has an essay in The Dead Sea Scrolls in Context, "Adjusting the Apocalypse: How 4QApocryphon of Jeremiah C updates the Book of Daniel."  He has contributed two entries for the first volume of the new Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten (The Theological Dictionary of the Qumran Texts), "Assur" ["Assyria"] and "ba'al" ["lord"], to appear in December of 2010.  Finally, Dr. Reynolds published a news-article on the meetings devoted to Qumran at the 2009 International Society of Biblical Literature (Rome) in Henoch 32:1 (2010).   

Steve Smith published "The Structure of Unlimited Action Sharing," Philosophical Frontiers, 4 (July-December 2009), 57-71; "Hume, Kant, and Road Runner on Causation," Film and Philosophy, 14 (2010), 63-70; and "Intrinsic Value, Goodness, and the Appeals of Things," International Philosophical Quarterly, 50 (June 2010), 167-181.  He also gave a talk called "Staging Shared Action: The Museum as Historical Mobilizer" at the Third Annual Conference on the Inclusive Museum, Istanbul, June 29, 2010, based partly on his work with the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson.

Lola Williamson made two presentations at the American Academy of Religion during the fall 2009 conference in Montreal, "American Models of the Guru-Disciple Relationship" for the North American Hinduism Consultation and "Creation of Social and Religious Meaning in Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements" for the New Religious Movements Section.  She was also invited to speak about her research at Syracuse University in the spring.  Her book Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion (New York University Press) was released in January, 2010, and she contributed a chapter, "Death is Not Final: Attitudes toward Dying, Death and Medicalization among American Hindus" to Religion, Death, and Dying, ed. Lucy Bregman (Praeger Press, 2009).  She and Teaching Fellow Ann Gleig are discussing a proposal for a co-edited book called Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism with State University of New York Press.


One week's symbol challenge:  "Chaos"