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Awards and Accomplishments

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst and Megan Goodwin, University of Vermont & Northeastern University

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst and Megan Goodwin (Northeastern University, Sacred Writes) have a new podcast about religion! "Keeping it 101: A Killjoy's Introduction to Religion" is a podcast of the Religion 101 course you wish you had in college--or that you're teaching right now. Keeping it 101 walks listeners through study of religion topics, ideas, pop culture moments, and more in manageable (even assignable, fellow nerds!) 35-ish minute installments. Let Keeping it 101 show you why religion isn’t done with you — even if you’re done with religion. Find us on Twitter, on all podcasting apps, and at

Isaac Weiner, Oho State University/American Religious Sounds Project

The American Religious Sounds Project (ARSP) is thrilled to announce the recipients of our Interpretive Scholarship Grants: Rose Aslan, Leonard Primiano, Daniel Ramirez, and Carolyn Ramzy. These scholars have each received a $10,000 award to support their completion of research projects dealing with the intersection of religion and sound, which will be exhibited on the ARSP website. For more information about their projects, please visit

Books and Major Publications

Allison Blosser, High Point University

Faith, Diversity, and Education: An Ethnography of a Conservative Christian School, Routledge, 2019.  Based on an ethnographic study of a K-12, conservative Christian school, this book analyzes the way diversity was thought about and acted upon in a school, and how these decisions affected students and teachers across racial differences. It demonstrates that conservative Christian theology defined a school’s diversity efforts, and reveals the complexity of addressing diversity in a context wary of it.

John Hart, Boston University School of Theology (Emeritus Professor of Christian Ethics))

Third Displacement: Cosmobiology, Cosmolocality, Cosmosocioecology, Wipf and Stock, 2020. The final volume of a trilogy focuses on distinguished scientists who have stated that ETI exists, including E.O. Wilson, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, and Avi Loeb. The book declares that we are not alone. Hart links experiences with research in science-based and Spirit-focused books and articles—including narratives about close encounters with Visitors from elsewhere in space (ETI) or Others from other cosmos dimensions (IDI)—in examination of the claim that Intelligent ExoEarth life exists, that Otherkind has visited humankind.

David Newheiser, Australian Catholic University

Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith, Cambridge University Press, 2019. Against dogmatic complacency and despairing resignation, this book argues that hope is the indispensable precondition of religious practice and secular politics. Newheiser develops a new reading of deconstruction and negative theology, arguing that (despite their differences) they share a self-critical hope. Since the discipline of hope is shared by believers and unbelievers alike, its persistence indicates that faith has a future in a secular age.

Michael Stanley-Baker, Nanyang Technological University

East Asian Science Technology and Medicine, edited by Dr. Stanley-Baker, ISHEASTM, 2019. This volume discusses the historiography of Religion and Science in China. Articles discuss the Two Cultures Problem, Divination, Daoist Geography and Daoism and Medicine. Each piece engages in the changing historiography of Chinese religions, and invites reflection on the scope of these domains of knowledge, practices of boundary-marking and how they contemporary methods can better address these topic.

SherAli Tareen, Franklin and Marshall College

Defending Muhammad in Modernity, University of Notre Dame Press, 2020. In this groundbreaking study, SherAli Tareen presents the most comprehensive and theoretically engaged work to date on what is arguably the most long-running, complex, and contentious dispute in modern Islam: the Barelvī-Deobandī polemic. The Barelvī and Deobandī groups are two normative orientations/reform movements with beginnings in colonial South Asia. Almost two hundred years separate the beginnings of this polemic from the present. Its specter, however, continues to haunt the religious sensibilities of postcolonial South Asian Muslims in profound ways, both in the region and in diaspora communities around the world.

Hussam S. Timani, Ph.D., Christopher Newport University

Post-Christian Interreligious Liberation Theology, edited by Hussam S. Timani and Loye Sekihata Ashton, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.This book explores the ideals of liberation theology from the perspectives of major religious traditions, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and the neo-Vedanta and Advaita Hindu traditions. The goal of this volume is not to explain the Christian liberation theology tradition and then assess whether the non-Christian liberation theologies meet the Christian standards. Rather, authors use comparative/interreligious methodologies to offer new insights on liberation theology and begin a dialogue on how to build interreligious liberation theologies.

Oliva Wilkinson, Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities

Secular and Religious Dynamics in Humanitarian Response, Routledge, 2019. This book investigates the ways in which the humanitarian system is secular and understands religious beliefs and practices when responding to disasters. The book teases out the reasons why humanitarians are reluctant to engage with what are seen as "messy" cultural dynamics within the communities they work with, and how this can lead to strained or broken relationships with disaster-affected populations and irrelevant and inappropriate aid. A case study of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines shows how religion strongly influenced people's disaster experience, yet humanitarian organisations often failed to engage with this.