Missouri State University
Religious Studies Blog

Great Balls of Fire! Special Guest Dr. Michael Ward in September

by Jane Terry

Ward flyer FA15

The Department of Religious Studies is excited to announce that we will host a guest lecture by renowned C. S. Lewis scholar, Dr. Michael Ward!

“Great Balls of Fire: C. S. Lewis, Narnia, and Medieval Cosmology” will be Monday, 28 September 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union Theater. This free lecture is open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

C.S. Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles are known to millions.  What is less well-known is the fact that Lewis was a medieval scholar and that he considered the seven planets of pre-Copernican cosmology to be “spiritual symbols of permanent value”.  Dr Michael Ward, author of the best-selling and award-winning study, Planet Narnia, discusses the medieval imaginative blueprint behind the Narnia series.

Dr Ward is a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, and Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, Texas.  He is the author of Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (Oxford University Press), co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (Cambridge University Press), and presenter of the BBC television documentary, The Narnia Code.  On the fiftieth anniversary of Lewis’s death, 22nd November 2013, Dr Ward unveiled a permanent national memorial to him in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey, London.

For parking:

Parking map

 

This event is sponsored by the College of Humanities and Public Affairs, the Department of Religious Studies, and First and Calvary Presbyterian Church

Posted in Alumni, College of Humanities and Public Affairs, community, Experts, Guest Lectures, News Releases, public affairs, religious studies, Students | Leave a comment

Interested in the Peace Corps?

by Jane Terry

Peace Corps 1

Interested in joining the Peace Corps, or finding out about it? A Peace Corps representative, Joe Zucchini, will be on the MSU campus:

Tuesday, 1 September, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in the Strong Hall atrium, information table
Wednesday, 2 September, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in the PSU at the Community Fair
Wednesday, 2 September, 3:00 p.m. in Strong Hall room 407, information session

Joe shared some exciting news with us:

  1. The Peace Corps application is online and is MUCH shorter than the previous paper application. It will take less than one hour to complete!
  2. After completing the new online application, applicants can select the countries and programs to which they’d like to apply.

“Peace Corps service remains the most significant and profound life-changing experience a young college graduate or experienced professional could embark on,” explained Joe.  The Peace Corps also looks great on your resume, as well as the opportunity to meet new friends and professional contacts.

Can’t make any of the free sessions in September? Please contact Joe directly for more information.

Apply by 1 October 2015 to depart in 2016!

Posted in College of Humanities and Public Affairs, religious studies, Students | Leave a comment

Only one more week of summer!

by Jane Terry

welcome weekend blogpost

With only one more week of summer, Missouri State University and the Department of Religious Studies are gearing up to welcome new and returning students to campus on Welcome Weekend, Friday-Sunday, 14-16 August.  A variety of activities are planned to welcome you to the MSU community, to meet other students, and to have fun!

For students moving into the dorms, the Move-in begins on Friday, 14 August. (Honors students begin early on Thursday 13 August.) Volunteers will be there to guide you and help you move your stuff.

Here are some other highlights for Welcome Weekend:

Looking to meet new friends? Head out Friday, 14 August, at 7:30 to Playfair for a lively evening at Allison Recreation Fields.

More fun and games on Saturday, 15 August at the Fan Fest and Bear Bash.

And on Sunday, 16 August, beginning at 12:30 p.m., learn about Fraternity and Sorority Life, followed by the New Student Convocation at 2:00 p.m. and the New Student Festival at 3:00 p.m.

A full schedule of events for Welcome Weekend can be found here!

Visit us in Strong Hall 251, call (417) 836-5514, or email the department if you have any questions or concerns before the semester begins.

See you soon!

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Mrs. Elisabeth tenZythoff, 1923-2015

by Jane Terry

Mrs. Elisabeth tenZythoff, widow of Professor Gerrit tenZythoff, the founder of Missouri State University's Religious Studies Department
Mrs. Elisabeth tenZythoff, widow of Professor Gerrit tenZythoff, the founder of Missouri State University’s Religious Studies Department

It is with sadness that we announce that Mrs. Elisabeth tenZythoff, widow of Professor Gerrit tenZythoff (founder of our MSU Religious Studies Department), passed away at the age of 92 on Friday, July 24. There is a graveside service planned for Wed. July 29, at Greenlawn North Cemetery in Springfield at 10:00 AM. Her memorial service will be held in Fort Worth, TX the following week.

It is worth noting that in lieu of flowers, her family has requested that memorial donations be sent to the Gerrit and Elisabeth tenZythoff Religious Studies Scholarship.

The Springfield News-Leader has her obituary.

Posted in Alumni, College of Humanities and Public Affairs, community, Faculty, religious studies | Leave a comment

Religious Studies Head Attends Conferences in England and Germany

by Jane Terry

Professor Steve Berkwitz, new Department Head
Professor Steve Berkwitz, Religious Studies Department Head

 

Dr. Steve Berkwitz, Religious Studies Department Head, escaped the heat and humidity of the Ozarks earlier this summer and traveled to conferences in England and Germany.

The first was a two-day conference at King’s College in London that continued a collaborative project dedicated to rethinking the tradition of Theravada Buddhism. Dr. Berkwitz joined Christoph Emmrich for a session titled, “Intercultural Translation and Interlingual Practice.” This conference was sandwiched by two other one day events of related symposia on Burma and Cambodia.

The second conference was a smaller gathering at Ruhr-Universität Bochum on “Textual and Visual Dialogues Between Religions in South Asia.” Dr. Berkwitz’s talk, “To Protect and Praise the King: Gods in Sinhala Sandesha Poetry,” investigated further his interests in religion, power, and South Asian poetry.

Posted in College of Humanities and Public Affairs, Experts, Faculty, religious studies, research | Leave a comment

New Courses for Fall 2015!

by Jane Terry

Along with our Gen Ed and favorite courses being offered in the fall semester, we have two new courses:

REL 397-001 FA15 : Death, Dying, and the Afterlife with Dr. Austra Reinis on Tuesdays/Thursdays, 12:30-1:45 p.m.

REL 530-635-301 FA15 : (REL 530 for undergrads, REL 635 for graduate students): Women, Violence, and Religion: Are Faith Communities Wounding or Healing? with Dr. Kathy Pulley on Mondays, 5:30-8:20 p.m.

Interested in these or any of our other courses? Feel free to contact the department for more information and how to enroll!

 

 

Posted in College of Humanities and Public Affairs, religious studies, Students | Leave a comment

Call for Papers for the SWCRS Meeting in March, 2016!

by Jane Terry

swcrs_logo

The Southwest Commission on Religious Studies

has posted its

Call for Papers for the 2016 Meeting

In most cases the deadline for paper proposals is October 15, 2015.

The annual meeting will be held

March 11-13, 2016

at the Marriott Hotel, DFW Airport North in Irving, Texas.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

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Leslie Baynes Highlighted in the Missouri State News!

by Jane Terry

Dr. Leslie Baynes, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Missouri State University
Dr. Leslie Baynes, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Missouri State University

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Dr. Leslie Baynes, was highlighted recently in the Missouri State News!  The article includes an interview with Professor Baynes about her stay at the Kilns, the home of C. S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia, among other books) as part of her activities during her sabbatical.

Click here for the story and interview!

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Finals and Graduation This Week!

by Jane Terry

graduation reception flyer SP15

To all Religious Studies students: Good luck on your finals this week!

To all Religious Studies majors and graduate students who are graduating this semester, or graduated in summer and fall 2014: You are invited to attend our Religious Studies Graduation Reception this Friday, 15 May, 8:00 a.m., in the Religious Studies office Strong 251. Family and friends are welcome to attend. Our faculty are excited to congratulate you on your accomplishments and look forward to meeting your guests. Congratulations!!!

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