The University of Virginia Democracy Initiative’s Religion, Race & Democracy Lab (RRD Lab), co-directed by Religious Studies Professors, Kurtis R. Schaeffer and Martien A.

Professor Vanessa Ochs was featured in The New York Times on the use of QR codes to access the Haggadah.

Professor Martien Halvorson-Taylor's Audible short course, Writing the Bible, was released this morning.

A newly awarded $250,000 Henry Luce Foundation grant will support a novel collaboration between the Democracy Initiative’s Religion, Race & Democracy Lab and Memory Project that will advance pu

Jalane Schmidt (Religious Studies) was interviewed by Charlottesville’s WVIR/NBC29 about her personal experiences in activism in and around Charlottesville and her research in Cuba

Larycia Hawkins (Politics, Religious Studies) was quoted in a Charlottesville Tomorrow article about the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center’s proposal to tr

In an article for TricycleErik Braun (Religious Studies) suggested that the origin of the widespread popularity of mindfulness could be traced back to the British invasi

 Deep Knowledge: Ways of Knowing in Sufism and Ifa, Two West Africa Intellectual Traditions has been selected as the winner of the 2021 ASWAD Outstanding First Book Prize.

Professor Ashon Crawley (Religious Studies, African American and African Studies) was one of eight recipients of an UNDO Fellowship by the UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art.

The Religion, Race & Democracy Lab seeks story ideas from first-generation undergraduate students on how religion and race contribute to, challenge, and complicate democratic societies.

Join Assistant Professor Nichole Flores, Bryan Massingale (James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics at Fordham University) and Rúben Rosario Rodríguez (Professor of Systematic Theo

Watch the Religious Studies 2021 graduation ceremony video here. Congratulations, UVA Religious Studies graduates!

Jalane Schmidt (Religious Studies) appeared on NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" to discuss the Memory Project, a new Democracy Initiative project she's directing that explores poli

Congratulations to Kevin Rose and Essam Fahim, who have won All-University Graduate Teaching Awards!

Eben Yonnetti was selected for a Robert H. N.

Jalane Schmidt (Religious Studies) wrote an article for Slate about how the history of postwar Germany could inform the current debate over Confederate monuments:  

From March 24, 2021, edition of UVA Inside A&S:

New Co-Directors Appointed for College Fellows Program. 

UVA Religious Studies alumni Rebecca Epstein-Levi is featured in Letter 60 of "100 Days, 100 Letters," a national campaign of "American Values, Religious Voices." Rebecca Epstein-Levi, who complete

Charles Marsh (Religious Studies) is having his book God's Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights adapted into a biopic about civil rights activis

Matthew Hedstrom (Religious Studies) was interviewed by Vice about young people's relationships with organized religion, explaining that "the values, social ties,

Ron Pagitt, Executive Director of Vote Common Good, and host of the new daily program 

Religious Studies alumni Rachel Gross published a recent article titled "The Politics of Nostalgia" in Religion & Politics.

In a recent New York Times article on how the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville inspired President Bident to run, Professor Jalane Schmidt speaks on the need for accountability and ju

On "Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast," Professor Vanessa Ochs is asked : Where do Jewish  customs come from? Why were the rabbis so worried about preserving local custom?

Religious Studies PhD student Rebecca Draughon was interviewed in UVA Today about her recent analysis, completed with Hamilton Lombard and Qian Cai, called “The Misleading Narrative of a Disappeari

Professor Paul D. Jones has been featured on the BBC Radio Wales program, "All Things Considered," in which he speaks on the relationship between the concept of "patience" and the Christian faith.

Photo from article: Protesting shutdown orders in Borough Park, Brooklyn, which has had a spike in coronavirus cases. Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

The Department of Religious Studies has decided to decrease the number of students admitted to the PhD Program for the 2021-22 academic year down to four students, in order to direct a substantial

Religious Studies professor Jalane Schmidt was intereviewed by the Washington Post about the recent removal of a Confederate statue located near the site of the violent 2017 Unite the Right rally.

Photo: from the Times of Israel. A socially distanced outdoor service at the Green Road Synagogue, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Cleveland, Ohio, in August 2020.

James Childress (Professor Emeritus, Religious Studies) has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine's Committee on Equitable Allocation of Va

UVA Today featured new books by UVA authors that "can spice up your summer reading." The list includes two recent publications by UVA Religious Studies professors Ashon Crawley and Harry Gamble.

Professor Vanessa Ochs' class, "The Passover Haggadah: A Community Engagement Class,” was featured in UVA Today as a "unique Religious Studies course" that adds "new dimensions" to the study of the

On June 1st, Professor Sonam Kachru will participate in a webinar hosted by Delhi University, giving a talk: 

Ethics and Epidemics: Reflections from Ancient India

Third-year PhD Candidate Samuel Grimes was featured in UVA Today as a recipient of the "Double Hoo" research award.

UVa graduate Carly Misenheimer has been featured in the New York Times among hospital chaplains serving during the coronavirus pandemic.

Professor Vanessa Ochs's new book The Passover Haggadah: A Biography was featured in the podcast Adventures in Jewish Studies (Season 2, Episode 4).

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announced that the Religion, Race, and Democracy Lab at the University of Virginia has been selected as a 2020 grantee of the Luce/ACLS Program in R

Three recent UVA PhDs presented at the “New Paths in Teaching Buddhist Studies” workshop at the Robert H.N.

In January, Kevin Hart gave the Thomas Aquinas Lecture at the University of Dallas, and was also awarded the Aquinas Medal from the University of Dallas.

Vanessa Ochs was the consulting editor for the most recent issue of Nashim:  A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues, published by Indiana University Press.

Read about fourth-year student Misran Dolan's research into the persecution of Uyghers in China

On October 18, Professor Nichole Flores will be speaking in the University of Notre Dame's series of lectures titled "Religion Beyond Me

The Religion, Race & Democracy Lab recently launched its new website and with it, a podcast called Sacred & Profane, a series exploring how religion shapes the world around us and

Religious studies doctoral candidate Dallas Tatman has received the Frank Finger Fellowship for Teaching.

Professor Shankar Nair is this year's recipient of UVA's Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award.

Professor Matthew Hedstrom has been awarded an ACLS fellowship for his project, “The Religion of Humanity,” which chronicles the contested religious meanings of the United Nations in US culture, po

Professor John Portman's class, "Cultural Catholicism," is featured in a recent

Charles Marsh, Professor of Religious Studies and director of the Project on Lived Theology, will be featured in the upcoming Virginia Fe

The Religion, Race & Democracy Lab has launched its new website

David Germano (Religious Studies, Contemplative Sciences Center) and Leslie Hubbard (Contemplative Sciences Center) and the course they teach, "The Art and Science of Human Flourishing," were featu

Professor Nichole Flores spoke at the 21st annual Ignation Family Teach-In for Justice on Nov.

Professor Larycia Hawkins is the subject of a film documentary, "Same God," which premiered at the LA Film Festival in September.

Professor Charles Marsh and John Perkins (Voice of Calvary Ministries) have published 

On September 15 in Old Cabell Hall, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) discussed the role religion should play in public life and how issues of faith, morality, values, and community relate to political move

Read Religious Studies and Woodson Institute Professor Ashon Crawley's essay for NPR Music about how, in Aretha Franklin's gospel work, black life is sacred and to feel is to invent:

Kevin John Hart

Professor Kevin Hart has been invited to give the Gifford Lectures in Theology at the University of Glasgow in 2020. He will lecture on contemplation in the Judeo-


Professor Michael Allen has received a Course Development Grant from UVa’s Office for Sustainability to design a new course, RELH 3559: Sustainability and Asceticism, which is being offered in the

Elizabeth Shanks Alexander

Professor Elizabeth Alexander has received the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute research award for The Rabbinic Gendering of Biblical Israel. 


In his sermon at the royal wedding, the bishop quoted from Marsh’s book, The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, From the Civil Rights Movement to Today, as he drove home h


Professor Vanessa Ochs discusses the power of ritual on the radio program and podcast,

Chuck Mathewes Religious Studies

Professor Charles Mathewes’s recorded lectures, “Why Evil Exists,” are featured in a blog

America Magazine

Read Professor Nichole Flores's most recent essay for America magazine,


Professor Jalane Schmidt has been named a 2018 Gomes Honoree by Harvard Divinity School for her scholarship, activism, and role in the demonstrations in Charlottesville last year.


The Arts & Sciences Democracy Initiative will launch this spring with an inaugural democracy lab focusing on Religion, Race, and Global Democracies.

Charles Marsh

Professor Charles Marsh will deliver a lecture entitled "Faith and Doubt in the Modern World: Christian Witness in the 21st Century and Engagements with its Cultured Despisers” as part of the Charl

Serpentine Walls

The Institute for Practical Ethics has announced the 2018 Patricia Hollingsworth prize for best undergraduate essay in ethics.

Willis Jenkins

Professor Willis Jenkins will give a talk entitled "The Ethics of Food and the Health of the Planet" at Boston College, Thursday February 22. See below for details. 


Professor Nichole Flores was quoted in the National Catholic Reporter in an article about how Catholics in Charlottesville are dealing with racism in the church and the community:

Kathleen Flake

Professor Kathleen Flake was interviewed on NPR's Morning Edition about the naming of the new leader of the Mormon Church:

Charles Marsh

Read Professor Charles Marsh's recently published article, "The NRA's Assault on Christian Fait

Chuck Mathewes Religious Studies

Read Charles Mathewes's Washington Post piece, "

Sonam Kachru Religious Studies

Read Professor Sonam Kachru's response to Kevin Schilbrack's Philosophy and the Study of Religions: A Manifesto, "Provincializing Philosophy of Religions, and Beyond,"


Professor of religious studies Jalane Schmidt is featured in the Chronicle's list of people who made a difference in higher ed this year.

Poetry and Relevation

Christopher Watkins reviews Kevin Hart's newest book, Poetry and Revelation, in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

UVA Fall

The Institute for Practical Ethics & Public Life


The Patricia Hollingsworth Prizes in Ethics

Serpentine Walls

Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life (IPE)

Summer Ethics Internship Program, 2018

Ashon Crawley

The Relgious Studies department welcomes Ashon Crawley, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and African American and African Studies. Professor Crawley works in the areas of black studies, que

Professor Jalane Schmidt

Professor Jalane Schmidt responds to the president's statements on last weekend's rally in Charlottesville. Watch here

Professor Karl Shuve on Racism in Charlottesville

Read "At Ground Zero in Charlottesville: Time to Stop Making Compromises with Racism" by Professor Karl Shuve.


An Open Letter from the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia in Response to the Events of August 11th and 12th


Professor Charles Mathewes and doctoral student Evan Sandsmark consider the moral perils of wealth in

Professor Ben Ray's Research

The city of Salem, Mass., has opened a memorial to commemorate the people who were convicted and killed during its notorious series of "witch trials" in 1692.


Faculty member writes on environment and evangelicals: Over the past decade a growing number of US evangelicals have come to regard the very idea of climate change as a threat to their identit

Religious Studies Courses

Six fabulous courses in Religious Studies are being offered this summer!


UVA Today article on award-winning teachers highlights Religious Studies P


Read about Professor Vanessa Ochs' research on the evolution of modern rituals in


Just funded under the Mellon Humanities Lab Program of the College of Arts and Sciences is a lab on ‘Dissecting Cultural Pluralism: Religion and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean,’


Professors Peter Ochs and Jerry White received funding for a Religion, Politics, and Conflict Lab (RPC) that aims to produce cutting-edge research into the nature, causes, and solutions to religion


The Board of Visitors recently awarded funds from UVA’s Strategic Investment Fund to the Department of Religious Studies for a Global Religion Lab (GRL), headed by Professors Martien Halvorson-Tayl


Professor Vanessa Ochs gave a lecture entitled "Curating Jewishhess in American Domestic Space: Recent Ethnographic Explorations" at Tel Aviv University on December 15, 2016.



This past summer Associate Professor of Religious Studies John Nemec was invited as a "Directeur d'études invité" to deli


Congratulations to Martien Halvorson-Taylor, associate professor of religious studies, who was recently honored with an


The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion (VCSR) to advance its efforts to connect the academic study of religion, theolo


Read UVA Today's feature article on Professor Nichole Flores, "


Listen to a recent interview with Professor Matt Hedstrom about the spirituality of millenials on With Good


Read about Professor Nichole Flores's College Advising Seminar, which was featured in UVA Today's "


The Department of Religious Studies is pleased to welcome Professor Michael Allen to the faculty.


Professor Sonam Kachru, who began teaching in the Department last fall, works in the history of philosophy, with special


Professor Vanessa Ochs, along with Professor Denise Walsh of Politics and WGS and four graduate students, was awarded a Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance


The department is pleased to welcome Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of the University of Cambridge for this weekend lecture series. 

Related lectures may be found here.


Professors David Germano and Kurtis Schaeffer's online Coursera course, "Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World: Lesser Vehicle," explores "the immense variety of meditation practices pas


Read UVA Today's interview with Nichole Flores, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, on "The Social Impact of Pope Francis' Commission on Female Deacons" at


Prof. Shuve's forthcoming book, The Song of Songs and the Fashioning of Identity in Early Latin Christianity, is available for pre-order here, as well as major online booksellers. The book is due for a late May release. 


The department is very pleased to welcome our newest faculy additions, Jessica Andrus—who is offering courses in Islam and Judaism this term—as well as Erik Braun, who is teaching courses in Buddhi


Check out this inspiring article on UVa alum Nicole Hurd and her national program serving low-income and first-generation c


A discussion with one of our amazing current job market candidates and 2016 graduates! In addition to this interview, Gillian's student profile can be accessed here. 


Our own Prof. Vanessa Ochs served as the acting field producer for this PBS editon of "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly." We hope the first six minutes of interviews will be of particular interest, as they give a firsthand account of the issues many scholars of religion will be watching in 2016. 

Included in the interviews are UVa professor Kathleen Flake and UVa alum, Rumee Ahmed, now at the University of British Columbia. 


Our own Professor Nichole Flores has been named as the Religious Studies Mellon Humanities Fellow by The Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures (IHGC).


We are very pleased to announce a three-year, $1 million grant awarded by the Henry Luce Foundation to the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion (VCSR).


We have added a partial list of faculty books to the web site here, along with links to t


The department is pleased to welcome Nichole Flores, who has begun teaching courses this Fall term. Dr. Flores is the 2015 recipient of the Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award for her essay, "Beyond Consumptive Solidarity: An Aesthetic Response to Modern Day Slavery."

UVA Democracy Initiative's Religion, Race & Democracy Lab and the Memory Project are seeking 20 emerging and mid-career scholars of religion from UVA and across the United States to collaborate

Professor Peter Ochs was featured in UVAToday, as he is honored with a unique festschrift to commemmorate his career.

"What role does geography play in determining a region’s religious characterization? Are individuals more likely to live in a certain location if they practice a particular religion?

Professor Nichole Flores' new bookThe Aesthetics of Solidarity: Our Lady of Guadalupe and American Democracy

Professor Vanessa Ochs has published an article, "Making Choices," with eJewish Philanthropy. In the article, Professor Ochs recounts her experience working for a Jewish nonprofit.

Professor Vanessa Ochs was awarded this year's Student Council Teaching Award. 

Neeti Nair (History) and Sonam Kachru (Religious Studies) moderated an online symposium with eight scholars from the United Kingdom, India and the United States, i

Professor Vanessa Ochs will be giving introductory remarks for a Brandeis webinar featuring new Jewish feminist ethnographies that were published in the recent volume of the journal Nashim, 

Ashon Crawley (Religious Studies/African American and African Studies) wrote a column for NPR about Lil Nas X's "Montero" and how the recording artist "works with, really metaboliz

Due to COVID-19, Fulbright experiences have been postponed. Samuel Grimes, who received a Fulbright in the 2019-20 school year, describes his plans for study in an interview with UVAToday.

Charles Mathewes (Religious Studies) was interviewed by Bloomberg about the absence of anything within scripture that leads to an interpretation about COVID-19: 

Read the essay, "Resisting the Bonhoeffer Brand: A Life Reconsidered," published in The Other Journal: An Intersection of Theology & Culture,

The Religion, Race & Democracy Lab is now accepting proposals for short audio and video documentaries on religion, race, and global democracy.

Congratulations to UVA Religious Studies alumni, Mark James, for the publication of his book, Learning the Language of Scripture: Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation. This book

Congratulations to the following graduate students who will be presenting at the AAR/SBL meeting this year: William Boyce, Matthew Drew, Meghan Hartman, Adam Liddle, Zarif Rahman, Avi Schwartz, Jea

This year the Department of Religious Studies is particularly interested in applications aligned with 

On June 1st, Sonam Kachru will participate in a webinar hosted by Delhi University, giving a talk: 

Ethics and Epidemics: Reflections from Ancient India. 

Three recent UVA PhDs in presented at the “New Paths in Teaching Buddhist Studies” workshop at the Robert H.N.

Join us in congratulating Prf.

Religious studies major Ahmad Hawkins '09 is the subject of

Professor Douglas Laycock's noteworthy legal writings have been collected in five comprehensive volumes published by Eerdmans under the title

Professor Elizabeth Alexander gave two lectures in Israel in June.


Recently Professor Erik Braun gave the keynote lecture at the graduate symposium of the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, CA.

Karl Shuve

Professor Karl Shuve, specialist in early and medieval Christianity, is interviewed in a recent article adressing the "Nashville Statment," which was written and signed by a number of prominent Eva


An Open Letter from the Department of Religious Studies in Response to the Events of August 11th and 12th


The final episode of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly features Professor Vanessa Ochs reflecting on re


Professor Charles Mathewes was selected to be a College Fellow in UVA's College of Arts and Sciences College Fellows Program.


Congratulations to Martien Halvorson-Taylor, associate professor of religious studies, who was recently honored with an


Professor Jennifer Geddes delivered the 22nd annual Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Lecture at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC on November 1st.


It is our pleasure to announce that Professor Ben Ray has been elected to be a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society for his outstanding contributions to our knowledge of the Salem Witch T


The winner of the Brewer Prize is Matthew S. Hedstrom, Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia.