News

Distinguished Scholar of Mormon Studies Visits UCSB

Spencer Fluhman will join the Department of Religious Studies for winter and spring terms, 2020.

The Department of Religious Studies at UCSB is happy to announce that J. Spencer Fluhman has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Mormon Studies, in a two-year initiative funded by the Sorensen family. The Mormon Studies Initiative at UCSB will support student and faculty work, visiting professorships, programming, and guest lectures in religious studies over a two-year period, from Fall 2019 through Spring 2021. Fluhman is the first visiting professor brought to UCSB through this initiative, and he will be in residence from January through July, 2020.

Spencer Fluhman, executive director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute and associate professor of history at Brigham Young University, will teach two courses at UCSB during his appointment. The first, offered Winter 2020, is an upper-division undergraduate course on “Religious Biography in America.” The second, offered Spring 2020, is a mixed undergraduate/graduate research seminar on “Mormonism and Identity in the Pacific World.” Fluhman will also conduct his own research during his time at UCSB. He is currently working on a biography of Latter-day Saint apostle James E. Talmage, as well as a study of religion, colonialism, and indigeneity in Hawaii, New Zealand, and the Democratic Republic of Tonga. Fluhman’s first book, ‘A Peculiar People’: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America, won a best-book award from the Mormon History Association, and it is widely considered the go-to study of anti-Mormon discourse in 19th-century America.

Fluhman anticipates a productive relationship between the Department of Religious Studies at UCSB and the Maxwell Institute at BYU during and after his residence in Santa Barbara. “It’s about cross-pollination,” Fluhman said. “Taking what’s exciting at one institution and having it be meaningful for another institution. These partnerships help us think collaboratively across space.”

UCSB’s faculty and students also look forward to Fluhman’s appointment. “Few people have done more to render Mormon studies a seriously interdisciplinary endeavor in and for the modern academy as Professor Fluhman,” says David Walker, associate professor of religious studies. “He is the perfect person to kick off the Mormon Studies Initiative at UCSB, working in collaboration with Ann Taves, myself, and other scholars of American religions to re-imagine what Mormon studies might look like, and how it might work with and alongside other subfields in religious studies, in a leading department such as this.” Professors Walker and Taves have published extensively in the field of Mormon studies, and thus Fluhman’s arrival—and the Mormon Studies Initiative overall—will extend and deepen an important subfield in religious studies at UCSB. “This initiative will enable us to extend the department’s work to support innovative scholars in the field of Mormon studies and American religions, while simultaneously making UC Santa Barbara the programmatic center for an emerging network of scholars in the field,” says Walker.

In addition to his teaching and research, Professor Fluhman will work with Professors Walker, Taves, and other members of the Mormon Studies Initiative Committee to plan conferences, guest lectures, and research projects at UCSB. 

Welcome, Professor Fluhman!

Modern Hebrew Language Lecturer

Job #JPF01985
Religious Studies / College of Letters & Science – Humanities and Fine Arts / UC Santa Barbara

Apply now: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF01985/apply
View this position online: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF01985

POSITION OVERVIEW
Position title: Modern Hebrew Language Lecturer
Anticipated start: Fall quarter 2021 (service starts September 2021)

APPLICATION WINDOW
Open date: July 13th, 2021
Next review date: Friday, Aug 6, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)

Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

POSITION DESCRIPTION
The Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites applications for a lecturer position in modern Hebrew language beginning in the 2021-22 academic year. Responsibilities include teaching three quarters of first-year Hebrew annually; an introduction to Judaism; and four other courses on a variety of topics (such as Israeli literature in translation, Jewish literature of the Holocaust, religious groups on Israeli society, or Jewish poetry).
This lecturer position will complement a core faculty in the academic study of religion. The Department of Religious Studies offers a minor in Jewish Studies, which currently enables students to acquire a fundamental knowledge of biblical Hebrew, the Dead Sea scrolls, Jewish history and philosophy, Jewish mysticism, and rabbinic literature.
The department is especially interested in candidates who contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service. UCSB has recently been designated a Hispanic serving institution under the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines (where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25% of total enrollment). For information on our department please visit our website at www.religion.ucsb.edu.
The anticipated start date is September 2021. Position is open until filled. Inquiries about the position may be directed to the Help Contact email below.

QUALIFICATIONS
Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
M.A. in relevant academic field.
Additional qualifications (required at time of start)
Applicants must have completed all requirements for a PhD except the Dissertation at the time of hire. Native command of Hebrew and English as demonstrated by the Hebrew Language Teaching Approach statement. An excellent record of least two years of previous teaching experience of undergraduates at the college level is required at the time of appointment.
Preferred qualifications
Experience in coordinating programs highly desirable.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
Document requirements
Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
Cover Letter
Hebrew Language Teaching Approach statement – Please submit a brief statement (one page), written in Hebrew, about your approach to Hebrew language teaching.
Summary of Teaching Experience
Summary of Teaching Evaluations
Misc / Additional – Please use this section for continuations of summaries that will not fit entirely in the previous categories. (Optional)
Reference requirements: 3-5 required (contact information only). The committee will ask for reference letters only for the seriously considered applicants. Letters will be used to assess the candidate’s teaching and scholarly credentials in order to determine those to select to recommend for an interview.

Apply link: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF01985
Help contact: afragosa@hfa.ucsb.edu

CAMPUS INFORMATION
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

JOB LOCATION
Santa Barbara, CA

A Lasting Legacy

Image of Steve Sorenson

D. Stephen Sorensen, 1960-2021

The Department of Religious Studies notes with sadness the sudden passing of D. Stephen Sorensen on January 17, 2021. Steve was the visionary behind the department’s Mormon Studies Initiative alongside his mother Verla Anderson Sorensen and his brother Greg Sorensen. This important initiative promotes excellence in the study of the religious traditions related to the ministry of Joseph Smith, Jr., as well as comparative research across the field of American religious studies, through visiting appointments, coursework, conferences, lectures, and research initiatives. In its first year, 2019-20, the Mormon Studies Initiative at UCSB welcomed Dr. J. Spencer Fluhman as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Mormon Studies. It also hosted a major state-of-the-field conference in February of 2020, along with numerous smaller talks and workshops on topics in Mormon Studies. These actions, along with coursework and ongoing research projects led by UCSB faculty members David Walker and Ann Taves, have done much to establish UC Santa Barbara as a recognized hub of rigorous and exciting academic work in Mormon Studies.

We are pleased to report that the Mormon Studies Initiative will continue through the 2021-22 academic year, with many more appointments and events to come. We hope that this work serves as a lasting legacy and a memorial to Steve Sorensen’s generosity and forward-thinking vision in promoting Mormon Studies.

Thank you, Steve. Your generous spirit, bold thinking, and commitment to others will be deeply missed. We are honored to have been your partner in realizing this vision.

Learn a Critical Language!

The Department of Religious Studies invites you to learn a critical language! Study a language that will set you apart from the crowd!

Do you need to fulfill a foreign language requirement? Curious about other parts of the world? Plan to travel for study or work? Consider one of these languages offered by the Department of Religious Studies:

  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Hindi
  • Sanskrit
  • Tibetan
  • Hebrew
  • Turkish

Learn more at religion.ucsb.edu

Statement

The Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara stands in support of the protests for racial justice and police reform. Black lives matter.

We commonly hear that “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” This sentiment echoes in the national response to the current health crisis, where thousands and thousands have died and continue to die daily.

Our expertise lies in the academic study of the world’s religions. Each emphasizes the sanctity of life.  In Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, human life is holy because God is holy (Lev 19:4; Qur’an 5:32, 6:131; 1 Corinthians 3:16). In the Buddhist tradition, the first and foremost precept is the prohibition against taking life (any life, not only human); at the same time, the human condition is unique and precious because Buddhas can only appear in human form. In religious traditions of the African Diaspora, Black gods and ancestors rise up to defend Black and Latinx lives in historical rebellions and revolutions. The most well-known of these is the Haitian Revolution that began with the invocation Vodou deities in 1791 at Bwa Kayiman.

Racially motivated killings are often processed as a statistic, notwithstanding the well-known killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, among many others. In the violent taking of George Floyd’s life, witnessed by the world, we have not a statistic but a tragedy. It is both a reminder of the anti-Blackness embedded in our society and an example of the systemic institutional brutality directed towards minoritized communities.

In the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara we all share a strong commitment to an open, inclusive, and multi-cultural society, in which differences and diversity enrich all, and people of all backgrounds can fully develop their talents. Endemic social and political problems—including white supremacy—can only be addressed with clear vision, deep understanding of multifaceted problematics, and strong strategic vision. These are things that we strive to promote among our students and in what we do as a department.

The current and almost unprecedented concurrence of climate emergency, pandemic, and social protests is clearly signaling the importance of community organization, activism, and advocacy, and the importance of local and decentralized shared governance.

At this time of profound trauma, we wish to express our solidarity with those targeted, yet again, by intolerance, hatred, and violence. We fully support and applaud all protesters who demand justice and accountability. They have revived our sense of human sanctity and the transformative potential of public social action.

June 7, 2020

NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR ALIEN EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATION

This notice is provided because of the filing of an application for permanent alien labor certification for the following position: Bhagwan Vimalnath Lectureship in Jainism and South Asian Religions
Concerned applicants for this position should report to the following University of California, Santa Barbara department/institute office of employment responsible for placing this position: Dept. of Religious Studies
Any person may provide documentary evidence bearing on the application to the attention of the Certifying Officer of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia 30303
The following is a statement of the job duties, requirements and the wage offer:
Duties: Responsibilities include teaching three quarters of Hindi language plus two undergraduate courses in the area of Jainism and nonviolence studies, plus two undergraduate survey courses in the study of South Asian religions and Indic civilizations.
Requirements: Applicants must have completed all requirements for a PhD (or equivalent) except the dissertation at the time of application. PhD must be awarded by the time of appointment. Fluency in Hindi and English. Excellent record of teaching experience
Wage offer: 67017
This notice has been posted in compliance with 20 CFR 656.10(d)(1)(ii), it has been posted in two conspicuous
locations for at least 10 consecutive business days and on the usual in‐house website for recruitment of such
UC Santa Barbara positions.

Apply for the Edward C. Truman Award in Religious Studies 2020-2021

THE EDWARD C. TRUMAN AWARD IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES
2020-2021
 
The UCSB Affiliates of the University of California, Santa Barbara, will award one scholarship of $1000 to a qualified freshman, sophomore or junior majoring (or minoring) in the area of Religious Studies, with an aspiration to pursue a religious-related avocation* during the 2020-21 academic year. The award is made on the basis of academic achievement, work history and community service, and relevant future plans Please direct all inquiries regarding the scholarship to Community Relations at 893-4388.
 
Application Available HERE

NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR ALIEN EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATION

NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR ALIEN EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATION


This notice is provided because of the filing of an application for permanent alien labor certification for the following position:
Bhagwan Vimalnath Lectureship in Jainism and South Asian Religions
Concerned applicants for this position should report to the following University of California, Santa Barbara department/institute office of employment responsible for placing this position: Dept. of Religious Studies

Any person may provide documentary evidence bearing on the application to the attention of the Certifying Officer of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, Atlanta National Processing Center, Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia 30303


The following is a statement of the job duties, requirements and the wage offer:
Duties: Responsibilities include teaching three quarters of Hindi language plus two undergraduate courses in the area of Jainism and nonviolence studies, plus two undergraduate survey courses in the study of South Asian religions and lndic civilizations.


Requirements:
Applicants must have completed all requirements for a PhD (or equivalent) except the dissertation at the time of application. PhD must be awarded by the time of appointment. Fluency in Hindi and English. Excellent record of teaching experience


Wage offer:  $61,930


This notice has been posted in compliance with 20 CFR 656.lO(d)(l)(ii), it has been posted in two conspicuous locations for at least 10 consecutive business days and on the usual in-house website for recruitment of such
UC Santa Barbara positions.