by Jane Terry
Whew! It’s been a busy few weeks since the semester began.
Welcome back old students, and welcome to all new students! The Department of Religious Studies is located in Strong Hall 251 on the campus of Missouri State University. Everyone is welcome to stop by, say hello, ask questions, or study/relax in our student lounge.
Two of our faculty are away this academic year 2011-2012. Dr. Steve Berkwitz, our Buddhism and World Religions scholar, is on fellowship in Germany to do research, accompanied by his family. Dr. Berkwitz e-mailed to let us know that he and his family are doing well and enjoying life in Germany. We sure miss him, but are happy for this great opportunity for him.
Our Judaism scholar, Dr.Julia Watts Belser, is away on a fellowship at Harvard Divinity School. Again, we rejoice in her achievements and opportunity, but miss her while she’s gone. We’re excited to hear about their experiences when they return!
However, our loss is also our gain because we hired a one-year instructor to fill in for Dr. Belser. Welcome to James Broucek, an Islam scholar whose academic interests include History of Islam, Religious Ethics, and Modern Islamic Political Thought. Needless to say, his Islam course filled up immediately; Islam is one of the five great religions of the world and many people in our area are interested in learning more about the religion, its practices and adherents.
Mr.Broucek spent a couple of years in Oman and is finishing his PhD dissertation for the Florida State University. We’re delighted that he is with us this year! He brings much expertise on Islam and has experience teaching in a University setting.
Coming soon: information about our annual Religious Studies Student and Alumni Homecoming Potluck! Stay tuned!