Religious Studies

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.

Brandon Baker

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.

Brandon Baker

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.

Penn Today Staff

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The Washington Post

New study in ‘Science’: Medieval Catholicism explains the differences between cultures to this day

Coren Apicella of the School of Arts and Sciences commented on a new study that found a correlation between countries with longer histories of exposure to Catholicism and lower measures of kinship intensity. “This is the only theory that I am aware of that attempts to explain broad patterns of human psychology on a global scale,” she said.


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.”