Faculty

The following professors teach courses in Religious Studies:

Peter M. Antoci has taught Religious Studies courses at universities throughout the Washington-Baltimore area.  Many of these courses have focused upon Biblical Studies or World Religion. In addition, he is one of the official university chaplains at Maryland, representing the Episcopal and Anglican community.

Janna Bianchini is Assistant Professor of the European High Middle Ages.  Her research interests include the history of power, women, and religious conflict, particularly in medieval Iberia but across Western Europe as well.  Dr. Bianchini has held research fellowships from the Fulbright Association, the Medieval Academy of America, the Program for Cultural Cooperation Between Spain and United States Universities, and the Real Colegio Complutense.

Antoine Borrut specializes in early Islamic history and historiography. His course offerings include "Islamic Civilization," "Transition to Islam: From the Ancient to the Medieval Muslim World," and "History and Memory in Medieval Islam." He is the author of Entre mémoire et pouvoir: l’espace syrien sous les derniers Omeyyades et les premiers Abbassides (v. 72-193/692-809) [Between memory and power: the Syrian space under the last Umayyads and the first Abbasids (ca. 72-193/692-809)]. 

Alejandro Caneque’s main area of research is the political and religious cultures of the early modern Spanish world, with an emphasis on colonial Spanish America and the Spanish Atlantic world. He is at work on a book-length study of the politics of evangelization and the phenomenon of martyrdom on the frontiers of the Spanish empire in the seventeenth century. This book project explores the historical significance of the propagation of stories and images of martyrdom around the Spanish empire in the seventeenth century and tries to elucidate the extent to which the circulation of these religious ideas and images played a crucial role in the consolidation of Spanish imperial power.

John L. Caughey is a cultural anthropologist and professor of American Studies. He is particularly interested in Asian spriritual traditions including Taoism, Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zen and their reception in the United States. He regularly teaches Amst 418L, Asian Religions and American Culture.

Bernard Dov Cooperman teaches Jewish history in the Department of History and the Jewish Studies program. His research interests include the study of Jewish religious, legal and theological texts, especially as these provide insight into the interaction between Jewish and non-Jewish society. Courses include explorations of Jewish history and culture in the medieval and early modern periods, the "construction" of Jewish knowledge, and the challenges, assumptions, and methods that shaped rabbinic exegesis of the Bible. Publications include studies of Jewish memoirs, sermons, legal texts, and community records.

L. Suzanne Gordon is a Lecturer in the Department of American Studies and is on the Affiliate Faculty of Loyola University (formerly College) in Maryland. Her PhD dissertation, Field Notes from the Light, was the first ethnographic study to focus on the lives and life-history narratives of near-death experiencers. As a researcher, her focus is on consciousness and cultural change.

Maxine L. Grossman is an associate professor of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies. She teaches courses on ancient Judaism, Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls, gender studies, and methods and theories in the study of religion. Her current research focuses on constructions of gender in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and she remains fascinated by articulations of religion in contemporary American culture.

Sheila Jelen

Katie King is an associate professor of Women’s Studies, with affiliate standing in Comparative Literature, American, LGBT, and Performance Studies. She is also a fellow of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. She draws upon studies of gender, power, technology, and culture to examine the practices of 17th c. Quaker women, and to examine scholarly practices that find in them alternative paradigms for studies of religion, history, women, and writing technologies. 

Jason C. Kuo

Hayim Lapin

James Maffie does research in the area of contact-era Nahua (Aztec) philosophy and religion. He is also interested in and teaches courses in Confucian and Islamic philosophy as well as indigenous philosophies/religions of the Americas.

Charles H. Manekin

Rachel Manekin

Marsha Rozenblit

Steven H. Rutledge is an associate professor in the Department of Classics. He teaches Latin courses at all levels as well as courses on ancient Roman literature and culture, including an upper level course on Roman religion. He is the author of Imperial Inquisitions: Prosecutors and Informants from Tiberius to Domitian (Routledge 2001), and of Ancient Rome as a Museum: Power, Identity, and the CUlture of Collection (Oxford, forthcoming 2012).

Allen Stairs is a member of the philosophy department, where he is associate chair. In addition to his work in philosophy of science he has taught courses on the philosophy of religion, the history of magical ideas and on the connection between problems of personal identity and contemplative practice. He is co-author of A Thinkers' Guide to the Philosophy of Religion, with Christopher Bernard.

Eva Stehle

Yui Suzuki is a historian of early Japanese Art. She is particularly interested in the contextual examination of Buddhist icons, their production, dissemination, iconography, and ritual functions. Her forthcoming book, Medicine Master Buddha: The Iconic Worship of Yakushi in Heian Japan, explores the primary role that images played in the devotional worship of the Medicine Buddha during the Heian period (794-1185).

Marjorie S. Venit specializes in the art and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean world with an emphasis on the Greek center and its periphery considered both geographically and temporally. She is especially interested in the religion of the afterlife in both Greece and Egypt as evidenced by her book, Monumental Tombs of Ancient Alexandria: The Theater of the Dead (Cambridge University Press).

Stefano Villani has worked on the Quaker missions in the Mediterranean and is the author of Tremolanti e papisti (Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1996) and Il calzolaio quacchero e il finto cadì (Palermo: Sellerio, 2001), as well as the editor of a modern edition of a text recounting the foreign travels of two English Quaker women (Pisa: Scuola Normale Superiore, 2003). He has done research on the religious history of the early modern English community in Leghorn and on Italian Inquisition's dealings with protestant foreigners. His current research project is on seventeenth century Italian translations of the Book of Common Prayer.

Ian Ward is a political philosopher by training, with research interests in the intersections of democratic theory, religious studies, and critical thought. He is completing a book manuscript titled Democracy After Secularism: Negotiating Patterns of Religious Difference, Political Domination, and Civic Solidarity. He teaches courses in the history of political thought and contemporary political theory, with a special emphasis on social criticism, democratic theory and practice, and religion in the public sphere.

Madeline Zilfi

© 2010 The Minor in Religious Studies, University of Maryland.