Category: News

Recent Graduate turns his Dissertation into Art

July 8th, 2014 in Alumni News, News

onajephotoOnaje X. Offley Woodbine concentrated in Religion and Psychology in the GDRS after earning a Master of Theological Studies at BU’s School of Theology. A native of the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, he graduated from Newton South High School. Onaje spent a post-graduate year at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey before matriculating to Yale. While at Yale he played on the University’s varsity Basketball team and made All-Ivy. Onaje successfully defended his dissertation in March of this year and is already enjoying significant professional success while launching some remarkable projects.

Currently, Onaje is collaborating with co-Directors Anna Meyer and Jay Paris to create a mixed-genre performance entitled In the Paint, which is based on the street basketball narratives he collected during his dissertation research. The show premieres July 21, 2014, in Harlem, NYC, which is the birthplace of street basketball in the United States.

Onaje provided us with the following description of the performance: “In the Paint is a mixed genre performance of the remarkable and true stories of young men who reconnected physically, emotionally, and spiritually to parts of themselves that violence and abandonment had taken. Their journeys are allegories enmeshed to experiences on inner city basketball courts that reveal universal truths encompassing all of us seeking identity and purpose. It is on the court that harsh truths about fear, resistance, loss and the underlying beauty of life surface in revelations of self-discovery that are practical and also profoundly metaphysical. These stories will touch audiences deeply without regard to age, race, or basketball knowledge. In the Paint will be staged in-the-round to engage audiences in the process of self-discovery utilizing storytelling, modern and hip hop dance, Spoken Word, rap, trumpet, and saxophone.”

Christine Hoff Kraemer Develops a Theology of Touch

November 26th, 2013 in Alumni News, News

Christine Kraemer2008 Alum Christine Hoff Kraemer has just had her new book published by Routledge press.  Titled Eros and Touch from a Pagan Perspective: Divided for Love’s Sake, it explores the sacredness of touch. Christine is a Pagan theologian who teaches for Cherry Hill Seminary and edits the Pagan channel of the religion website  Christine’s first book Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies was published by Patheos earlier this year.

This has been quite a year for GDRS (DRTS) alumni publications.  Counting Christine, we have had two alumni receive contracts and three see their work published.

Visit our aStore to view all publications by recent GDRS (DRTS) alumni.

A double congratulations to Christine!  Keep up the great work GDRS (DRTS) alumni!

Alum A. David Lewis Makes a Career of Comic Books

November 21st, 2013 in Alumni News, News

a.davidlewis2012 GDRS (DRTS) graduate A. David Lewis wrote his dissertation on the afterlife and notions of self-hood in superhero comics.  Since his graduation he has continued to build a career around comic books, writing and lecturing on the topic as well as serving on committees for the academic study of both comics and religion.  David earned his undergraduate degree from Brandeis and will give a webinar talk for Brandeis’ career center on December 3.  He and another Brandeis alum will discuss their comics-related careers and give advice to those also interested in working in the field.  We are excited to continue to follow David as he pursues his passion.

Karyna Do Monte Explores the African Diaspora Religion of Candomblé

October 16th, 2013 in News

KarynaKaryna Do Monte presented her research on Candomblé and ecology at the Harvard Symposium on Healing and Wholeness in Africa and the Americas which was held April 13, 2012.  Her presentation was also published as an article titled “Candomblé and Sacred Earth Healing in the Rio de Janeiro Carnival” in the Journal of Africana Religions Volume 1, Number 3, 2013.

Candomblé is a  Yoruba religion and is practiced primarily in Brazil.

Karyna’s article offers positive ways that sacred healing and wholeness are constructed by Diaspora communities as well as a critique of various intellectual structures and categories of definition and distinction used in Diaspora Studies. She calls for expansion of Diaspora studies to better include Lusophone and Francophone communities and discusses her research on the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval in the context of Candomblé and earth healing.

Great work Karyna!

Keep an Eye out for these New GDRS (DRTS) Alumni Publications!

September 27th, 2013 in Alumni News, News

A number GDRS (DRTS) alumni have been quite busy recently. There are three new books coming out by GDRS (DRTS) Alumni; two are already on shelves and two others have been accepted by publishers.

Kei Eun Chang (2009) had his dissertation published by Bloomsbury under the title The Community, the Individual and the Common Good: To Idion and To Sympheron in the Greco-Roman World and Paul. You can learn more about the book on the publisher’s website.

Sarah E. Fredericks (2007), Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religion Studies at the University of North Texas published the title Measuring and Evaluating Sustainability: Ethics in Sustainability Indexes in the Routledge Studies in Sustainable Development series. You can learn more about the book on the publisher’s website.

Matthew Pierce (2013) has had his revised dissertations accepted for publication.  Matt’s dissertation research, which focused on Medieval Shi’ite Muslim narratives, is scheduled to be published by Harvard University Press in 2015.

Joe Laycock (2012) had his dissertation work accepted for publication by Oxford University Press.  His dissertation focused on Veronica Lueken and Marian movements in American Catholicism.

Congratulations and great work Kei Eun, Sarah, Matt and Joe!

Amina Chaudary Nabs Exclusive Interview

June 5th, 2013 in News

Amina shot2-152GDRS (DRTS) PhD student Amina Chaudary is the Editor-in-Chief and publisher of the online magazine The Islamic Monthly. She recently did an exclusive interview for the magazine with the Saudi man who was the initial suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Amina’s article grabbed the attention of the news media, including CNN.  During her interview with CNN, she dispelled rumors about what happened to this man in the aftermath of the bombing and called for an inquiry into how his personal information was leaked to the press just hours after the bombing.  Great job Amina!

PhD Candidate Awarded Phillips Exeter Dissertation Fellowship

May 23rd, 2013 in News

onajephotoPsychology of Religion Student Onaje X. Woodbine will spend his next year finishing his dissertation while in residence at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.  The Phillips Exeter Dissertation Fellowship supports PhD students who are nearing the end of their dissertation for one year and invites them to share in the stimulating academic environment of the Academy.  Congratulations and Good Luck Onaje!

8 PhD, 4 MA Graduates Honored at Division Reception

May 23rd, 2013 in Alumni News, News

On Friday, May 17, the Division honored its Class of 2012-13 with a reception prior to the PhD hooding ceremony.  Five of the new PhDs (Micki Bellamy, Emily Ronald, Anneke Stasson, Doug Tzan, Regina Walton) and one of the new MAs (Najah Amad) as well as friends, family, faculty and graduate students attended the event.

Regina Walton with her parents, Prof John Berthrong and Prof Karen Westerfield Tucker
A Toast to the New Graduates

Congratulations to all of of new graduates and good luck on your future endeavors!


Graduate David Scott honored with Chair at Ripon College

May 21st, 2013 in Alumni News, News

davidscottreligionprofile2013 GDRS (DRTS) graduate David Scott has recently been named the first Pieper Chair in Religion and Servant Leadership at Ripon College in Ripon Wisconsin.  David believes that this new endowed Chair will “…offer new initiatives in community engagement that increase our students’ chances to exercise servant leadership.”  Congratulations David!

GDRS (DRTS) Student wins Center for the Humanities Award

May 1st, 2013 in News

yair_LiorYair Lior, a PhD candidate specializing in Chinese and Jewish spirituality, was recently honored with an award from the BU Center for the Humanities.  His award will be presented at a ceremony on May 14 and will help support his dissertation work.  Congratulations Yair!