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Religious Studies

Our faculty and students investigate religious ideas, values and practices from a core perspective in the Humanities that engages the social and behavioral sciences and other disciplines at Arizona State University. From this interdisciplinary approach we study religion through three distinct but interdependent frames: traditions, regional contexts and themes.

Religious studies brings together perspectives and approaches from history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and literature to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the individuals and traditions that constitute religions and cultures. 

Miguel Astor Aguilera (Associate Professor) - Ethnography, iconography, and archaeology. Aguilera specializes in Mesoamerican cosmologies and their historical traditions, that is, pre-Columbian, colonial, and contemporary. His work is focused on Maya religious specialists in the Yucatán peninsula.

Gaymon Bennett (Assistant Professor) - Religion, science, and technology, with interest in religion, secularism, and modernity; religion, society, and power; critical studies in religion; and material cultures and new ontologies. 

Stephen R. Bokenkamp (Professor) -  Joint appointment in the School for International Letters and Cultures, specializing in the study of Chinese Daoism, with a special emphasis on its literatures and its relations with Buddhism.

Jason Bruner (Assistant Professor) - The history of Christian missions and the growth of Christianity in Africa and Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Linell E. Cady (Professor)- Modern western religious thought with special interests in religion and American culture; religion and the public/private boundary; gender and religion; and method and theory in the study of religion. Cady is also Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at ASU.

John Carlson (Associate Professor) - Religious ethics, religion and politics, political philosophy, and Christianity and the political order. His research areas include just war thought, religion and violence, human rights, and issues of religion and American public life. Carlson is also Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at ASU

Huaiyu Chen (Assistant Professor) - Chinese religions, with a joint appointment in the School of International Letters and Cultures. His research interests span Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, and medieval Chinese social history.

J. Eugene Clay (Associate Professor) - Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Russian religious history.

Anne Feldhaus (Professor) -  Religion in India, specializing in folk Hinduism, medieval Hinduism, religious geography, and pilgrimage.

Tracy Fessenden (Associate Professor) - Gender and religion, specializing in western religious traditions, religion and literature, and American religious and cultural history.

Abdullahi Gallab (Assistant Professor) Specializing in current Islamist movements, within their local, regional and global contexts. He also specializes in contemporary Islamic and Islamists intellectual, social and political discourses.

Joel D. Gereboff (Associate Professor) - Judaism with special interests in Rabbinic Judaism and religion and ethics.

Chad Haines (Assistant Professor) - Cultural Anthropology, Islam, Pakistan, South Asia, the Muslim world, globalization, urban transformation, postcoloniality, Dubai, Cairo, everyday ethics and peace.

Alexander Henn (Associate Professor) -  Special interests in processes of cultural and religious encounter and the history and ethnography of colonial conquest in India.

Agnes Kefeli (Lecturer, Sr.) - Islam with special interests in Muslim minorities in Russia, Islam in Central Asia, and Ottoman Turkish history.

Moses M. Moore (Associate Professor) -  American and African-American religions, specializing in the interaction of race, religion and culture.

Pori Park (Associate Professor) - Religion in Korea. Her research interests include Buddhism, Son Buddhism, Korean Religions, and the interaction between Buddhism, modernity, and nationalism.

Norbert Samuelson (Grossman chair of Jewish Studies) - Jewish philosophy, philosophy of religion, and religion and science.

Leah Sarat (Assistant Professor) - The intersection of religion and migration in Mexico and the Southwest Borderlands, with particular attention to the social and religious implications of U.S.-Mexico border enforcement policy. 

Juliane S. Schober (Professor) - Religions in Southeast Asia, specializing in theories in the anthropology of religion, modernity, postcolonialism, Theravada Buddhism in Burma, religious practice and politics, icons, and ritual. Professor Schober also is Director of the Center for Asian Research.

Tod D. Swanson (Associate Professor) -Christian Studies and religion in Latin American with special interest in native traditions of the Americas.

Shahla Talebi (Associate Professor) - Specializing in issues of religion and state, and the performative role of language and metaphor as it relates to discourses of self-sacrifice and martyrdom within Islam and Iran.

Mark Woodward (Associate Professor) - Religions of Southeast Asia with special interest in religion, modernity, colonialism, politics, violence and collective identity.