Religious Studies News and Events 


Brandi Denison is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Religious Studies department at the University of North Carolina (UNC.)  Her research area is American Religions, specializing in the American West with particular attention to gender, violence, Native American history, memory, and theories of religion.  She is currently working on a dissertation titled: “Land, Religion, and Violence: Memories of the Meeker Massacre and Ute Removal.” 


She teaches courses in American Religion, race and religion, religion and the environment, and philosophical approaches to religion.  She is the blog editor for the Religion in the American West group blog, associated with the AAR Seminar by the same name. 


Beginning in Spring 2012

The Religious Studies Program will launch its long-awaited Religious Studies Major. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Religious Studies, cross cultural in content and interdisciplinary in approach, will allow students to pursue the academic study of religion in its socio-historical cultural context.   


The Religious Studies major will emphasize familiarity with the theoretical approaches to religion, such that students will understand the assumptions implicit in the category of religion; methodological approaches to the study of religion, such that students will be able to draw on scholarly tools in their efforts to understand the worldviews of others; and a level of literacy with regard to the worlds’ major religious traditions. 



Religious Studies Lecture Celebrating the Launch of the Religious Studies Major, February 28, 2013, 5:30pm Building 58W-Student Union Room 3703 


Dr. Jason Bivins, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University


“Religion” and Its Despisers in America: On Fundamentalists, Genealogies, and Scholarly Publics


Dr. Bivins is a specialist in religion and American culture, focusing particularly on the intersection between religions and politics since 1900. He is the author of Religion of Fear: The Politics of  Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press, 2008) and The Fracture of Good Order: Christian Antiliberalism and the Challenge to American Politics (University of North Carolina Press, 2003), in addition to multiple articles, review essays, and occasional pieces on religion, politics, and culture in the United States. He is currently working on two books. The first is Spirits Rejoice!: Jazz and American Religion, a study of the intersections of jazz and American religions. The second is Embattled Majority, a genealogy of the rhetoric of “religious bigotry” in conservative Christian politics since the 1960s (as this category is manifested in Christian textbook narratives, conferences such as Justice Sunday, and political organizations like the JCCCR) and of the varied responses to such claims. He is also co-editor of the American Religions section of Religion Compass.