DU Today's recent religious studies coverage
On April 11, 2012, Ramón Gutiérrez—historian, award-winning author, and director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago—delivered the 2012 James Kirk Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, at DU.
The title of his lecture was "Reies López Tijerina and the Religious Origins of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement." An early leader of the Chicano movement in the United States, López Tijerina was known primarily for his activism in the 1960s and '70s.
"This year's lecture marks the 15th in a truly distinguished series that continues to enhance the University's mission and its dedication to the public good," said Professor Gregory Allen Robbins, chair of the Department of Religious Studies.
It all started with 9/11. Except it didn't.
Visiting lecturer Edward Curtis IV, who serves on the religious studies faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, spoke at the University of Denver on January 25 as part of the Marsico Visiting Scholar Program. In a lecture, titled "The Black Roots of American Islamophobia," Curtis challenged the common belief that America's unease with the Islamic faith started with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
RELIGIOUS STUDIES HOSTS "TEACHING ISLAM" WORKSHOP
DU's Religious Studies Department hosted a workshop called "Teaching Islam." While the workshop was aimed at graduate students and high school teachers, it also was open to any interested community members.
"This program is a great opportunity for graduate students in religious studies, international studies, and related fields to enhance their professional development," said Andrea Stanton, assistant professor of Islamic studies. "They'll end the day with a certificate as well as teaching tools and resources that will be useful for public speaking as well as for the classroom."
University of Denver Professor Carl Raschke says Mormonism is not a cult, according to the academic definition. However, he can explain why it's so often labeled that by other denominations.
Raschke explains that cults are almost entirely leader-centered; when the leader dies, the "cult" dies. Mormonism is not leader-centered.
As the world has become a more global society, people are seeing an increasing need to study religion. To meet the need, DU's Department of Religious Studies is offering a wider range of programs to help prepare graduate students for careers in related fields.
Historically, the department offered students a master's degree in religious studies with no specialization. As of fall 2011, students can choose to specialize by enrolling in a particular track.
New tracks include: biblical studies; Islamic studies; world religions; theory of religion; philosophy of religion; and international and multi-cultural studies.