RS Graduation Reception, 2018

Reception pictures:


Outstanding Student Award:

Lehnen Chaumette-Brown

Gillian Allen


Eric Freed Peace and Justice Award:

Kelly Fortner


Event – Buddhist Scholar and Translator Bill Porter (Red Pine)

Buddhist Scholar and Translator Bill Porter (Red Pine)


Monday Jan 22, 2018 from 7 to 9pm
HSU Religious Studies Program, Founder’s Hall, Room 111

AND Sunday Jan 21, 2018: Trillium Dance Studio in Arcata with the Arcata Zen. Group Meditation starts at 8 am. Lecture begins at 9:20 am. Everyone is welcome.

Spending time alone, usually in the mountains, has been an essential part of three major spiritual traditions in China from their very beginning and this tradition continues today. Bill Porter (Red Pine) will offer a slide presentation and talk about the Chinese Hermit tradition. This talk is based on his book Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits, which has been translated into Chinese and has become a best-seller in China.

Bill Porter (Red Pine) is a scholar and well-known translator of Chinese Buddhist poetry and Buddhist texts. He has given talks at major universities in the US, England and Germany on Chinese history, culture, poetry, and religion. His translations of Buddhist texts have been honored with a number of awards, including two NEA translation fellowships, a PEN translation award, the inaugural Asian Literature Award of the American Literary Translators Association, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Sponsored by the Arcata Zen Group, Humboldt State University Religious Studies, Northtown Books & All Under Heaven


Flyer: Bill Porter Poster

Student Update – Zack Payne

Former RS student Zack Payne recently had a Bar Mitzvah. Zack was kind enough to share videos and pictures of the event with us (which you can see below). Zack is also beginning the process of applying to law school. For pictures of the event, click here.


Student Update – Connor Austin

Connor Austin sent us an update from his time at the UC Davis Religious Studies Conference and Shakti Fest. Connor has graciously allowed us to share his message–and his presentation paper! See below for the message and the link to Connor’s research…


Dear Religious Studies Faculty,

Thank you all so much for assisting me in my journey to the UC Davis religious studies conference last semester.  My presentation went extremely well!  Also, I was able to connect with some of the most intelligent students I’ve ever met and learn quite a lot in the process.  The topics presented were as interesting as they were diverse.  Students spoke on issues ranging from the social and spiritual implications of reading the Koran on a kindle to the changing societal narratives regarding assisted suicide and how the phenomenon interfaces with modern Christian perspectives.  Listening to papers from 9am to 5pm was exhausting, but also highly rewarding!  Throughout the weekend I had a chance to discuss my research with some wonderful professors from all over the state who shared with me some valuable knowledge about RS graduate programs.

Being able to attend Shakti Fest really took my research to the next level.  It’s funny, merely three days actually engaging with the cultures I had been studying forced me to reevaluate my entire stance and question quite a lot of my so-called “research”.  It was an eye-opening experience, and the support of the RS faculty was instrumental in making it happen.  Thank you again for everything!  Below I’ve attached a copy of my research paper, please read it if you get a chance.

With gratitude,


Connor Austin research (2)


Event – Understanding Islam, Feb. 12th 2017

Understanding Islam: A Community Conversation will be a held at First Presbyterian Church, 2-4 PM, at 819 15th St., Eureka, CA. All are welcome!


Rev. Molly Cate

Imam Emran Essa

Members of the local Muslim Community

The event will be facilitated by Rabbi Naomi Steinberg and is sponsored by the Eureka Interfaith Fellowship.


Event – Understanding Islam

Understanding Islam – A Community Conversation 

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Kate Buchanan Room, UC 225

6-8 PM

All are welcome!


Religious Studies Department, Humboldt State University


Leena Dallasheh, Department of History

William Herbrechtsmeier, Department of Religious Studies

Saeed Mortazavi, Department of Business

Check Out Religious Studies Club!

The mission of the Religious Studies Club is to promote the Religious Studies program and its courses. We hope that we can also increase cultural awareness and understanding by highlighting various traditions around the world in multiple contexts.

The Religious Studies Club meets every Wednesday at 5 pm in the Depot near the pool tables. Come meet other majors and minors as well as faculty. Typically the meetings end at 7 pm. If you can’t make the whole meeting, feel free to just stop by and say hi!

Event – Documentary Screening

The Religious Studies Department is holding an event on the evening of Tuesday, September 6, from 6:00-9:00, in the KBR (on the HSU campus, below the clock tower).

We’ll be screening the feature documentary Oriented, a film about three gay Palestinian men living in Tel Aviv. The film will address questions of gender, sexuality, queer politics, religion, and nationality, among other things, and the discussion to follow the film should be a lively one.

This event is free and open to the public, and is being offered to correspond with, and in support of, Humboldt Pride Week.

RS Flyer: Oriented Flyer 9.6.2016 (1)

Oriented Website:

Oriented Trailer: