Is it a cult, or a new religious movement?
Many religious movements started off as fringe groups, and many modern-day cults have no religious doctrine. Why are cults and new religious movements conflated, and what makes them different?
An affirmation tree grows on campus
Through a Penn Wellness and Sachs grant, Elana Burack, a senior religious studies major, is touring the ‘Affirmation Tree’ around campus, soliciting reflections from the University community at large.
How Islamic feminism could shape gender equity
Ahead of a lecture as part of the Religion and the Global Future speaker series, Assistant Professor of South Asian Religions Megan Robb discusses Islamic feminism’s potential influence on grassroots feminist movements.
Five events to watch for in February
Happening around campus and beyond this February: the annual Lunar New Year celebration at International House, a thought-provoking new speaker series on the future of religion, and an innovative story slam by nurses.
The calm before the storm in the Middle East
In her new book, Heather Sharkey, a professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, explores Muslim, Christian, and Jewish relations in the period before World War I.
Reclaiming a fragmented history
Digital humanities scholars are orchestrating an epic crowdsourcing effort to sort and transcribe handwriting on thousands of documents discarded hundreds of years ago, known as the Cairo Geniza.
Immersive trip exposes students to the complex narratives of Israel
15 undergraduates took part in the inaugural Encompass fellowship, a project run by Penn Hillel, with a tour around Israel examining cultural and political sites with a focus on gaining a deeper understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Crowd-sourced map showcases campus accessibility in real time
Mark Bookman and Alice McGrath are on a quest to map physical and social barriers across campus. The goal is a crowd-sourced platform that automatically updates to present a real-time user accessibility resource.
Walking through a century of conflict in the Middle East
Students of Penn Global Seminars enjoy an alternative spring break by traveling to Jordan and Israel to learn about conflict, culture and global engagement.
Undergraduate seminar takes students to India
Nearly 8,000 miles from the University of Pennsylvania’s campus in Philadelphia, eight students immersed themselves in “The Performing Arts of Modern South India” through a year-long course that included a 12-day visit to India and continues through the spring.
In the News
How genetics paint a picture of the Jewish past
Steven Weitzman of the School of Arts and Sciences commented on efforts to study Jewish genetics. While the research is “fascinating,” he acknowledges that it may make some uncomfortable. “There’s a lot of resistance to [genetic research] within the field of Jewish studies,” Weitzman said. “A lot of people remember or have in mind the role of race science in Nazism. So the idea that Jewish scholars would look in any way to genetics to understand Jewish identity or Jewish history and origins can make people concerned.”
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