Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 25 Oct 2013

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In this issue:

  • Seeking Your Help

  • Amazon

  • Journals

  • Books

  • Conferences

  • Call for papers

  • Jobs

  • Fellowships


Given that the RSP has been running for nearly 2 years now, and in light of the website redesign, David and Chris thought it was about time to have another major publicity push. The email at the link below has already been circulated around the DOLMEN, BASR, and NSRN lists. If you are a member of any other vaguely relevant mailing list – particularly of academic associations – please considering copying it and circulating among friends, colleagues, and interested parties.

Here’s the link:


You can help to financially support the RSP simply by shopping on Amazon – and at no additional cost to you!

The Religious Studies Project is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

If you click through to or through these links, and buy ANY product during your visit, the RSP will earn referral fees. There will be no additional cost. Why not add a shortcut to your bookmarks bar and use these links every time you shop?


Sociology of Religion, advance access

The Journal of Religion and Gender has published a special issue on postcoloniality in the study of religions. You can read it here:


Tibetan Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction – Matthew T. Kapstein

(Oxford University Press).


The work is particularly designed for general readers and use in courses in which only a session or two can be devoted to introducing the Tibetan tradition. For further information, please consult the OUP site:


Religious Statues and Personhood: Testing the Role of Materiality

Amy Whitehead


Published 12-09-2013

ISBN 9781441110282

Online price: £58.50

 Objects such as statues and icons have long been problematic in the study of religion, especially in European Christianities. Through examining two groups, the contemporary Pagan Glastonbury Goddess religion in the Southwest of England and a cult of the Virgin Mary in Andalusia, Spain, Amy Whitehead asserts that objects can be more than representational or symbolic. In the context of increasing academic interest in materiality in religions and cultures, she shows how statues, or ‘things’, are not always interacted with as if they are inert material against which we typically define ourselves as ‘modern’ humans.

Bringing two distinct cultures and religions into tension, animism and ‘the fetish’ are used as ways in which to think about how humans interact with religious statues in Western Europe and beyond. Both theoretical and descriptive, the book illustrates how religions and cultural practices can be re-examined as performances that necessarily involve not only human persons, but also objects.


Ancient Egyptian Sky Lore: Rethinking the Conventional Wisdom

Joanne Conman

“This book presents an illuminating in-depth investigation which demonstrates that the deep-rooted, fervently defended belief in ancient Egyptian astronomy is false, that it is a myth disseminated by scholars who have failed to make sense of the evidence in the archaeological record. The author’s meticulous detective work has led to a breakthrough that reveals the reality of the sky for the ancient Egyptians. Beginning where Egyptology first went wrong, the Greco-Roman temple zodiacs and the Enlightenment-era scholars, the book provides a comprehensive review of the material that has been offered as support for the identifications of Orion and the Big Dipper for the last two centuries, convincingly demonstrating how it fails. The author reveals artistic and textual evidence that challenges the prevailing dogma and uncovers the roots of astrology in ancient Egyptian religion.”


20th Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference:  In/Tangibility: The Mystical, The Material and the Messy  In-Between

Location: Quebec

Date: 2013-12-05

Description: In/Tangibility: The Mystical, The Material and the Messy In-Between Submissions are welcomed for the 20th Annual  Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference, to be held March 6th, 2014, Concordia University We invite papers from graduate students from all areas of the humanities, social sciences and  fine  …

Contact: agic.concordia [at]


Announcement ID: 207676


The African Association meets every two years in a different location in Africa. The last one met in 2012 and focussed on Religion and Sport. The focus on a theme worked well, and we continue this for 2014 on Ecology and the Environment.


Columbia University Seminar on Religion and Writing Tuesday, 29 October 2013

411 Fayerweather Hall, 6.00-8.00 pm

1180 Amsterdam Ave., New York, N.Y.  10027

Emile Schrijver, Professor of Jewish Book History at the University of


Natural and Unnatural Boundaries of the Jewish Book

An abstract of the talk is available on our website:

Professor Schrijver’s presentation will begin at 6.00 pm sharp. Dinner will be held at Community Food and Juice after the seminar around 8.00pm.

If you would like to join us for dinner, please RSVP to the seminar’s rapporteur Hannah Barker (hkb2106 [at] no later than Thursday, October 24.

Fayerweather Hall is located on the northeast side of the Columbia Morningside campus. A map is available here:

Columbia University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.  University Seminar participants with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may contact the Office of Disability Services at 212-854-2388 or disability [at] Disability accommodations, including sign-language interpreters, are available on request.  Requests for accommodations should be made two weeks in advance.  On campus, Seminar participants with disabilities should alert a Public Safety Officer that they need assistance accessing campus.

We look forward to seeing you at the October meeting of the Seminar on Religion and Writing.

Mahnaz Moazami & Dagmar Riedel, co-chairs Hannah Barker, rapporteur

Columbia University Seminar on Religion and Writing Tuesday, 29 October 2013

411 Fayerweather Hall, 6.00-8.00 pm



CFP: Comparative Studies of South Asia,  Africa and the Middle East

Description: Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (CSSAAME) is pleased to announce exciting changes in 2013. With volume 33 and issue 2 (Fall 2013), CSSAAME will be under the direction of senior editors Timothy Mitchell and  Anupama Rao, in coordination with an editorial collective of  int …

Contact: cssaame [at]


Announcement ID: 207551


CFP: CULT/UREThe Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School

Date: 2013-12-22

Description: CULT/URE The Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School Cult/ure is the student-‐run academic journal of Harvard Divinity School and the only graduate journal of religion at Harvard University. We publish exemplary student scholarship in the areas of religious studies, ministry studies, and t …

Contact: cultandculturecfp [at]


Announcement ID: 207546


CFP for 2014 ICA Pre-Conference on Media and Religion: Betwixt and Between

Location: Washington

Date: 2013-12-15

Description: Call for Papers for ICA Pre-Conference on Media and  Religion: Betwixt and Between Sponsored by the Philosophy, Theory and Critique Division of the International Communication Association 22 May 2014 at the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington Media and religion is a phra …

Contact: heidic [at]


Announcement ID: 207604


Abstracts for the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study are due on November 1.

The conference is March 13-15, on the campus of Yale University. This conference will be held in conjunction with the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies.


CFP: the 11th ISORECEA conference. The conference will take place in Kaunas, Lithuania, 24-27 April 2014. The final date for the submission of abstracts is 15 November 2013.

CFP: The New Department of Hebrew at the University of the Free State

(Bleomfontein, South Africa) is organizing an International Conference on New Research in Hebrew Language and Culture, 27 – 29 January 2014

The conference will deal with a variety of topics, including:

Hebrew Language and Culture in Africa

The Bible and its Commentaries

Ancient and Modern Translations of the Bible (especially in Africa)

Linguistic Approaches to Hebrew

Comparative and Typological Approaches to Hebrew

Rabbinical Literature

Philosophical Sources in Hebrew

Comparative Study of Hebrew Language, Literature and Religion

Hebrew Language and Science

Hebrew Language and Politics

Hebrew Language and Law

Papers on additional themes related to Hebrew will also be eligible. Paper proposals for 25 minute talks related to the conference themes should be sent by 15th November 2013. The primary and preferred language of the conference is English. Papers in Hebrew may be accepted provided that the full text in English is supplied for conference participants. Abstracts [in English or Hebrew] should be emailed to Dr Gudrun Lier gelier [at]

Conference organisers:

Prof. Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé, University of the Free State (millercl [at]

Prof. Jacobus A. Naudé, University of the Free State (naudej [at]

Dr. Gudrun Eli Lier, University of Johannesburg (gelier [at]

Prof. Yosef Rivlin, Bar-Ilan University (joseph.rivlin [at]




Proposals are invited for 30-minute papers at a Conference on Indian and Greek Thought, at the University of Exeter, July 9-12, 2014.

This is part of the AHRC-funded project  ‘Ātman and Psyche. Cosmology and the Self in Ancient India and Ancient Greece’, conducted by Dr. Richard Fynes of de Montfort University and Professor Richard Seaford of the University of Exeter.

More information about the project appears at

The theme of the conference is the striking similarities (and reasons for the similarities) in philosophical thought between India and Greece in the period before Alexander crossed the Indus in 326 BCE. Papers that concentrate mainly on one or other of the two cultures, or on a later period, are not necessarily ineligible, provided that they are likely to stimulate discussion of the main theme.

If you would like to be on the circulation list, please contact If you would also like to give a paper, please send an abstract (300 words maximum).

Funding may be available for the expenses of those giving papers.


Aarhus University – Assistant or Associate Professor in Arab and Islamic Studies <>

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University – Assistant Professor, Middle East History <>


Florida International University – Assistant Professor, Japanese Studies <>

University of Maryland – Curator, Gordon W. Prange Collection and Librarian for East Asian Studies <>

University of Oklahoma – Norman – Assistant Professor, Christian Studies <>

University of Oklahoma – Norman – Assistant Professor, Hinduism/South Asian Studies <>

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University – Assistant Professor, Middle East History <>


Position in Anthropology of religion at USP ( Universidade de Sao Paulo). Find more details at :


University of Potsdam – W1 Endowed Professorship of Jewish Liturgy and Comparative Ritual Studies <>


University of Chester – Islamic Studies


Oriental Institute Job Posting: Post-Doctoral Fellow at the rank of Instructor

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago invites applications for the Oriental Institute’s Annual Post-Doctoral Fellow Conference program for the 2014–2016 academic years.  This is a twenty-four-month, non-renewable appointment.  During the first year of the appointment, the Post-Doctoral Fellow will organize and conduct a two-day conference at the Oriental Institute on key comparatively oriented theoretical or methodological issues in the field of ancient studies (archaeological, text-based, and/or art historical avenues of research).  We encourage cross-disciplinary proposals that deal with the ancient Near East (including Egypt) or that compare the Near East with other cultural areas.  Applicants should take into consideration the research interests represented at the Oriental Institute.  The conference will take place in early March 2015. Following the conference, the Post-Doctoral Fellow will work with publication staff to assemble and edit the proceedings for publication in the “Oriental Institute Seminars” series.  During the second year of the appointment, the Post-Doctoral Fellow will assist in organizing a series of faculty seminars at the Oriental Institute. The incumbent is also encouraged to pursue his or her own research while in residence and to interact with the Oriental Institute community.

Information on past Oriental Institute Annual symposia can be viewed at:


Qualifications: Ph.D. in a discipline relating to ancient studies must be completed at the time of appointment.  Applicants must provide:


-Cover letter

-Curriculum Vitae

-5-page proposal outlining the nature and structure of the conference (including the names and paper topics of six to eight key participants who have agreed to make presentations, should the conference be funded; for budgetary reasons, international participants should constitute no more than half of the list of six to eight invited speakers)

-The names of three referees

Please apply online to the University of Chicago’s Academic Career Opportunity website: <>

Deadline for application submission is Monday, January 12th, 2014. Start date is September 1st, 2014

Inquiries can be directed to <oi-administration [at]> with the subject heading “Post-Doctoral Fellow.”


Call for the Application to The 9th Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship [Deadline:October 31]

Date: 2013-10-31

Description: The Hakuho Foundation Japanese Research Fellowship invites leading international researchers of the Japanese language, Japanese language instruction, Japanese literature and Japanese culture to Japan to conduct residential research.

Following the addition of Japanese literature and Japanese culture, …

Contact: hakuhoip [AT]


Announcement ID: 207500



Ph.D and Postdoctoral fellowships at Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Date: 2013-12-01

Description: The Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Department of Religious Diversity in  Gttingen is offering Ph.D. Fellowships and Postdoctoral Fellowships The Ph.D. fellowships are for 3-4 years. The dissertation will be defended at Utrecht University. The postdoctoral fellow …

Contact: vdvOffice [at]


Announcement ID: 207468



MA and PhD and Post-doctoral Fellowships Available (University of Manitoba)


Two to three MA and/or PhD Fellowships and a post-doctoral fellowship are available in the Department of Anthropology (and Near Eastern and Biblical Archaeology Laboratory) of the University of Manitoba under the supervision of Prof. Haskel Greenfield, as part of his “Nature of early urban neighbourhoods in the southern Levant: Early Bronze Age at Tell es-Safi (EBAS)”, SSHRC Partnership Research Program with Bar-Ilan University, Israel.


The term of funding for the MA is for two years (minimum of $12,000/year) and the PhD for four years (minimum of $18,000/year),beginning September 1, 2014. PhD students or Post-docs may have the opportunity for sessional (part-time) teaching if courses are available, contingent on funding.


The successful candidate is expected to have a background in archaeology and science, Near Eastern Archaeology (i.e., urbanisation of the EBA in the southern Levant), the archaeology of complex societies, and archaeological field work and methods.


The fellowships are for the scientific analysis of remains from the EBA of levels at Tell es-Safi, Israel, including (but not limited to):


·       Lidar scanning technology and archaeological imaging

·       Ceramics lipids

·       GIS and spatial analysis

·       Archaeobotany

·       Micro-debris analysis

·       Lithic source analysis

·       Trace element analysis

·       aDNA and microscopic use wear of zooarchaeological material

·       Database management

·       Geoarchaeology


Knowledge of any of the above archaeological methods, in addition to ceramic analysis, zooarchaeology, geology, chemistry, chronometric analysis, and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction are beneficial.


Experience in archaeological data management and knowledge of Microsoft Office products, imaging software, spatial analytic (e.g. GIS) programs, Leica Cyclone, and SQL databases (e.g., DB2) would be an asset.


Applicants who are not Canadian citizens or landed residents must have their applications approved by Immigration Canada and acceptance by the Faculty of Graduate Studies by the start date of the fellowship.


Interested applicants should contact Prof. Haskel Greenfield (Haskel.Greenfield [at] by December 1, 2014.


Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

– Ph.D and Postdoctoral Fellowships on Religion and Ethnicity in Southwest China <>



The Schusterman Center announces three fellowship opportunities for 2014:

Doctoral fellowships in Israel Studies, for PhD candidates accepted in Brandeis’ Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Post-doctoral fellowship for the academic year 2014-2015. Candidates teach one course per semester in Israel Studies, related to programs in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Israeli arts and culture, politics, sociology, economics, or other relevant disciplines. The deadline for applications is January 14, 2014.

Summer Institute for Israel Studies fellowships, for professors being asked to provide their university with courses in Israel Studies. SIIS takes place June 16-30 at Brandeis and July 1-10 in Israel. Deadline for applications is January 21st.

More information: