Program in Religious Studies core and affiliate faculty members
represent the University of Minnesota's tripartite mission of academic excellence with accolades for extraordinary education, breakthrough research, and dynamic public engagement:
Iraj Bashiri's Turk and Tur in Firdowsi's Shahname was published by the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, and his study of Jalal al-Din Rumi was published in Iran by Mitra Publishers in 2009. In 2010, Bashiri was interviewed by the BBC for a series called "Great Persians." Bashiri also participated in the symposium dedicated to the 1310th anniversary of the birth of the Sublime Imam Abu Hanifa, held under the auspices of His Excellency President Emomali Rahmon, who commissioned Bashiri to write the history of Tajikistan's gaining independence and the subsequent civil war.
Alex Jassen was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor for 2010-12. This award is bestowed upon the most promising junior faculty at the University of Minnesota. Jassen also received a 2009 Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his work in progress on "Religion, Violence, and the Dead Sea Scrolls."
Ruth Karras is the 2010 CLA Dean's Medalist for excellence in scholarship.She also received a Graduate-Professional Education Award from the University of Minnesota and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship for 2010-11 to work on her book on "Quasi-Marital Unions in Medieval Europe."
Jeanne Kilde's new volume, Nature and Revelation: A History of Macalester College, was released by the University of Minnesota Press in 2010.
Bernard Levinson was named Scholar of the College 2010-2013 and elected a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research. Levinson has also been invited to serve as the Henry Luce Senior Fellow in Religious Studies at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle, N.C., for the 2010-2011 academic year. His volume, Legal Revision and Religious Renewal in Ancient Israel, was selected for panel review at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, and was recently released in paperback by Cambridge University Press.
Daniel Schroeter is an editor of and author of sixteen articles in the Encyclopedia of the Jews in the Islamic World (Leiden: Brill, 2010). Both online and print editions were published in 2010.
Ozayr Saloojee recently had a chapter published in the Nexus Network Journal (12, no. 2 : 213-237). It was titled: "The Next Largest Thing: The Spatial Dimensions of Liturgy in Eliel and Eero Saarinen's Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis."
J. B. Shank
J. B. Shank has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions course development award. Shank's course, to be offered through religious studies, will ask, "What is the nature of the cosmos and how do we, as humans, find our place within it?" A description of the proposed course is available on the religious studies website.