Open DetailsKrishna festival
Close DetailsRadha, Krishna, and Gopis on a Rasa-Lila float.
Open DetailsMonks during debate practice
Close DetailsSera monastery, Lhasa, Tibet.
Open DetailsFirst communion blessing
Close DetailsIndia
Open DetailsDressed fit for the gods
Close DetailsIndigenous ritual, Samba School, Sao Lucas, Brazil.
Open DetailsMorning Torah Reading
Close DetailsElders with the holy scripture.

News and Events


On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 6:00pm in Terrace Room B, Mather, the DOR is holding its annual Fall Dinner for Religion Majors and Minors, and for any other students who might be interested in joining the department.  This is an extremely important dinner!  We’ll meet as a department and review the thesis process, AND talk about the new changes in the major requirements.  Whether you’re a Senior or a Junior, or a Minor, it’s IMPORTANT for you to come.

Please mark Monday, May 8, 2017 at 4:30 on your calendars, for the Religion Thesis Presentation in Alumni Lounge.  This is a chance for seniors to share their work with faculty, other majors and minors, and friends and family.  It’s always a great pleasure to be there!

SENIORS: You need to register for a thesis this year, either for the Fall semester or the Spring semester (both are RELG 497). If you’re choosing to do a 2-semester thesis, you need to register for Thesis Part I (RELG 498) for the Fall and Thesis Part II (RELG 499) for the Spring. Make sure you’ve consulted a faculty adviser early and have settled on a topic you feel comfortable with. Also, the DOR awards an annual prize for the best senior thesis, so begin early on this important project.

JUNIORS:  Under the new major requirements, students are no longer required to do a thesis – it’s required only if you want to be considered for HONORS. Students not considering honors will choose a course in Religion as a capstone and write a culminating essay in the course following certain guidelines.  Full discussion of the Senior Exercise will take place at our Majors Dinner on September 20.

The DOR has a small amount of research funds available to assist in preliminary work for those doing theses. Information about these funds and how you can submit a proposal for them will come out early spring semester, but it’s never too early to gather ideas.

SOPHOMORES: Plan your courses well with your adviser. You’ll want to develop depth and breadth in the major, and make sure you fulfill all the requirements for the major.  Also, now is the time to consider spending a semester or two overseas. Many DOR majors find an overseas study experience to be invaluable for the study of Religion. The deadline to submit a Request to Study Away for the academic year 2017-2018 is December 23, 2016, so please visit the website of the Office of Study Away for more information.

ALL STUDENTS should remember to:

  • Sign up for the DOR major if you haven’t done so already. Please be sure to provide a Major Declaration Form   to the Registrar and a copy to Marge (McCook 202A).
  • Work carefully with your adviser on your class schedule, especially if you are planning to go abroad. You’ll   need to verify that the courses you take abroad can be transferred to fulfill part of your DOR requirements.       Remember, only two courses taken outside of Trinity can be counted towards the major.
  • Make sure we have accurate contact information (cell phone, email in particular, address) about you.  Contact     Marge if there are any changes.


Prof. Mareike Koertner is now our full-time Islamic Studies faculty member!  We welcome her to the Department and, when she returns from being on leave this fall, she’ll be teaching a new spring course Islamophobia: The Fear of Islam, in addition to her Modern Islamic Movements. Her course Introduction to Islam will be taught this fall by Prof. Steven Blackburn of the Hartford Seminary.

We also welcome Prof. Gabe Hornung as our Visiting Assistant Professor in Bible. He’ll be teaching Hebrew Bible and Christianity in the Making in the fall, and New Testament, Short Story in the Hebrew Bible, and a seminar on Jesus in the spring. nHe’s a Trinity grad (2007) with an M.A. from Yale (2010) and a Ph.D. from Harvard (2016).

Prof. Tamsin Jones will be on leave for the full year.  We wish her well in her research and writing.

We’ll have a new course in Asian Religion this fall: a seminar (RELG 301) on Religion in Chinese Society taught by Prof. Lizhu Fan, who’s here from Fudan University in Shanghai.  Please consider taking the course, and welcome her when you see her.

In addition, Profs. Elli Findly, Tim Landry, Leslie Desmangles, and Mark Silk are here as well: Prof. Findly will be teaching Religions of Asia and Indian and Islamic Painting in the fall, and The Bodhisattva in the spring; Prof. Landry will be teaching Magic Possession and Spiritual Healing in the fall, and Latin American and Caribbean Religions and Material Religion in the spring; Prof. Desmangles will be teaching Anthropology of Religion in the fall; and Prof. Silk will be teaching Religion and American Politics and Religion and the Media both in the spring.

AND – We welcome back to McCook, Prof. Ron Kiener who was on leave last spring!  He will take up the directorship for Jewish Studies, and will offer the following courses for the year: Jewish Tradition (fall and spring), Religion in the Contemporary Middle East in the fall, and Jewish Mysticism in the spring.