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North Carolina’s first known mosque was established in Durham nearly 65 years ago, and a current exhibit honors the rich, living history of African American Muslims in the city. “The Transformational History of Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center in Durham” will be on view through December 10, 2022, in the Jerry and Bruce Chappell Family Gallery at the Perkins Library. The thoughtfully curated and thought-provoking exhibition explores five facets of thriving Muslim life in Durham: culture, business, education, civic engagement and… read more about Celebrating North Carolina’s First Mosque and Durham’s Muslim Community  »

https://today.duke.edu/2022/11/leela-prasad-elected-leadership-role-ame… Leela Prasad, professor of religious studies, has been elected vice president of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). The leadership role puts Prasad in position to serve as president-elect next year and as the association’s president the following year.   Prasad’s research focuses on the intersection of religious studies, anthropology, history and literature, with particular attention to South Asia. Her first book, “Poetics of Conduct:… read more about Leela Prasad Elected to Leadership Role in American Academy of Religion »

Professor of Religious Studies Leela Prasad was recently elected vice president of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). According to AAR, the vice presidency is a one-year term, followed by automatically becoming President-Elect, then President without additional elections: “During their tenure, the Vice President will have the opportunity to affect AAR policy in powerful ways; in particular, during the presidential year, the incumbent makes many of the appointments of members to openings on working groups. In addition… read more about Prasad Elected AAR Vice President »

“I've spent most of my life since I was 13 working very hard to learn other people's languages,” says J. Lorand Matory. He has just come from a midterm exam in his advanced undergraduate Chinese language and culture class, Chinese being the most recent of the numerous languages he has studied. “I find it liberating to think in the terms of others who grew up thousands of miles away and have a totally different cultural history, and to try on their ways of thinking,” he says. “How can you understand other people's point of… read more about J. Lorand Matory’s “The Fetish Revisited” Wins J. I. Staley Prize »

Jonathan Homrighausen was so moved when he first saw The Saint John's Bible as a student docent in Santa Clara University’s archives and special collections, he wrote his own book about it. And then another. A modern illuminated manuscript, with the last page completed in 2011, this Bible was created by a team of scribes and illustrators commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University.  Homrighausen's first book about The Saint John’s Bible focused on its illustrations, but he wanted to spend more time with the letters… read more about When Modern Calligraphy Is Paired with Ancient Scripture »

The recent death of a young Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of Iranian authorities has sparked a massive wave of protests – both online and in the streets. There are echoes of the past in this new wave of protests along with a very clear demand for freedom and bodily autonomy, three Duke scholars said Thursday in a virtual media briefing. (Watch the briefing on YouTube.) Here are excerpts:   ON IMPETUS FOR IRAN PROTESTS Negar Mottahedeh, Middle Eastern Studies scholar “There’s 40… read more about Protests Grow More Frequent As Young Iranians Demand More Freedoms, Experts Say »

When Judah Goldin was named Duke’s first chair of Jewish Studies in 1943, the program was housed in the Graduate School. Twenty-nine years later, the Center for Jewish Studies was established—thanks to two visionaries, two universities and a host of generous donors. Today, as the Center for Jewish Studies celebrates its golden anniversary, it has become a world-renowned interdisciplinary program offering an undergraduate certificate in Jewish Studies and supporting master’s and doctoral candidates across Duke. Looking… read more about For 50 Years, the Center for Jewish Studies Has Delivered Interdisciplinary Insight »

THE ETHICS OF ORAL HISTORIES, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND THE ARCHIVE A conversation between Peter Jan Honigsberg and Cahal McLaughlin, guided by Leela Prasad Join us on Thursday, February 10, at noon for an online conversation exploring the practice of documenting and archiving human rights abuses through oral history and documentary film, the creation of memory and collective memory, and the ethical issues implicated in providing access to personal stories of trauma, loss, and torture. Duke University professor Leela… read more about Prisons and Public Memory: The Ethics of Oral Histories, Human Rights, and the Archive »

A new program for Duke sophomores – which launched earlier this year – will include a Religious Studies course this fall: “The Good Life: Religion, Philosophy, and Life’s Ultimate Concerns” (RELIGION 210). The course is part of the new “Transformative Ideas” program that is designed to promote open and civil cross-disciplinary dialogue on questions and big ideas that change lives, link cultures and shape societies around the world. “The Good Life” – taught by instructors from Religious Studies, Philosophy, Classical… read more about Religion Course Among Fall “Transformative Ideas” Offerings »

 Holi, the Hindu holiday also known as the Festival of Colors, celebrates love, the triumph of good over evil, and the end of winter. And after two years of cancelling the campus celebration because of the global pandemic, the colorful celebration has added significance. “There’s just such a release, a relief, a joy at being able to hang out together once again, to be able to throw color on one another, maybe not wear masks,” says Leela Prasad, professor of religious studies at Duke University. “There’s a greater… read more about Holi 2022, A Celebration of Spring and Renewed Gatherings »

Holi, the Hindu holiday also known as the Festival of Colors, celebrates love, the triumph of good over evil, and the end of winter. And after two years of cancelling the campus celebration because of the global pandemic, the colorful celebration has added significance. “There’s just such a release, a relief, a joy at being able to hang out together once again, to be able to throw color on one another, maybe not wear masks,” says Leela Prasad, professor of religious studies at Duke… read more about Holi 2022, A Celebration of Spring and Renewed Gatherings »

From China to modern Palestine, from Renaissance Europe to Reagan’s America of the 1980s, new books by Duke faculty will take you on a fascinating journey through time and space. We present a selection of books published in late 2021. Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the “Duke Authors” display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins Library. Some are available as e-books for quick download. Most can also be purchased through the Gothic Bookshop. [Duke Today will provide… read more about Dance, Spirituality and Black Art: Books by Duke Authors Warm This Winter  »

Several times a year, I listen to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech,[1] given on August 28, 1963, as the culmination of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Approximately 250,000 people heard it at the National Mall—the largest audience for a Washington rally up to that time. Others heard it, or parts of it, on the evening news. (You can listen to here, or read it here.) In this speech, King speaks about how America has failed to live up to its promise of life, liberty and the pursuit… read more about I have a dream: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Biblical Prophetic Speech »

A new program for Duke sophomores – which launches in Spring 2022 – will include a Religious Studies course focused on happiness, success and our beliefs. “The Good Life: Religion, Philosophy, and Life’s Ultimate Concerns” (RELIGION 210) is part of the new “Transformative Ideas” program that is designed to promote open and civil cross-disciplinary dialogue on questions and big ideas that change lives, link cultures and shape societies around the world. “The Good Life” – taught by instructors from Religious Studies, Duke… read more about Religious Studies Course Among New "Transformative Ideas" Offerings »