Religious Studies Graduation Reception, 2016

Here are some pictures from our Religious Studies graduation reception–on May 14th, 2016 at Larson Park in Arcata, CA. Congratulations to all our wonderful students! And a special mention to our student award winners:

Eric Freed Peace & Justice Award – Andrew Perera

Outstanding Student Award – Zoe Thurman & Cade Strickland

 

Roy King and Robert Underhill Lecture on DNA Research, Pre-History, and Biblical Studies

On April 13, the Religious Studies department welcomed Drs. Roy King and Peter Underhill (HSU alum) to campus to speak on “Climate Change & Migration, through Genetics and Religious Studies.” Both drove from Stanford, and led over 100 students and communities members through a multi-disciplinary lecture and discussion of topical interest to many of us here on the HSU campus.

Underhill has been working in research that allows us now to understand ancient populations through detailed analysis of DNA typologies, that include many people from pre-historic cultures. He gave an overview of the science behind this, and Roy King followed with a discussion of how this research allows us to understand more about the emergence of ancient Israelite culture and the Hebrew Bible.

The event was a success, and we hope to have one or both of these scholars back for another event in the coming academic year.

Iranian Scholars Give Lecture on Islamic Mysticism

On April 2, 2015 Mohammad Monib and Mohammad Amindin (Professors at the International Institute for Islamic Studies in Tehran, Iran) gave a lecture about the foundations of Islamic Mysticism on the HSU campus. They stressed the importance of compassion and justice as central concepts and practices for all of Islamic life, but also for the elevated consciousness that derives from Sufi practice. Their lectures were informative and filled with excellent examples from their long experience and extensive study of Islam in Iran. We celebrate this magnificent example of intercultural exchange.

Many thanks to Mary Bockover for organizing this event, and for including Religious Studies as partners with the Philosophy Department in sponsoring the lecture.

Memorial for Eric Freed in Arcata

On Sunday, March 1, 2015, from 2:00-5:00 p.m., Humboldt State University’s Religious Studies Department hosted a celebrative commemoration of the life and legacy of Father Eric Freed at the Plaza Grill, at 780 7th Street in Arcata.

It has been a year since the tragic death of Father Eric Freed, and the HSU Religious Studies department has worked during this time to render this unfathomable loss into something positive for our students and community. Eric left us with a strong awareness of how important community is to our individual and collective well-being. It is in this spirit that we invited alumni, friends, and the greater community to an afternoon in celebration of Eric’s life and the ways that we can, and do, work together to foster peace and justice.

Father Freed taught courses for the HSU Religious Studies department for seven years, during which time he influenced countless students as they practiced engaged scholarship, learned deeply of the religious traditions of the world, and applied what they learned to projects, large and small, for human betterment. His positive impact continues to reverberate through our classrooms, congregations, community centers, and through myriad individual hearts and minds.

Students, alumni, friends of Eric, and the community at large gathered to celebrate his legacy of engaged scholarship, social justice, and human kindness through sharing reflections, food, and fellowship.

Josh Rudolph and Willie Schubert Give Career Talk on Campus

Josh Rudolph (RS/International Studies, 2009) and Willie Schubert (GEOG) gave an inspiring presentation on their work since graduation. It shows the sorts of things you can do with a degree from HSU and the passion to follow your dream. Josh found his inspiration in the study of Chinese language and culture while majoring in RS. Willie (who did not major in RS, but worked with us extensively) began his work in social activism during his undergraduate years. For more on their current activities, see the poster for their alumni talk. Thanks to Tony Rossi for organizing this event.

Clergy for Choice Meet on HSU Campus

The Religious Studies Department was proud to join the local Clergy for Choice group in sponsoring the screening of Jon O’Brien’s documentary film, The Secret History of Sex, Choice, and Catholics on campus on the evening of January 29. O’Brien, president of the international non-profit Catholics for Choice, visited campus to introduce the film and to lead a discussion on the relationship between religion and public policy. Over 200 students and community members attended. We thank all who participated in the event, and look forward to seeing you all at future events.