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!

Job Posting: Bhagvan Vimalnath Endowed Chair in Jain Studies and South Asian Religions at UC Santa Barbara

POSITION OVERVIEW

Position title: Bhagvan Vimalnath Endowed Chair in Jain Studies and South Asian Religions
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: July 1, 2023

APPLICATION WINDOW

Open date: November 2, 2022

Next review date: Thursday, Dec 15, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Friday, Jun 30, 2023 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 an open rank position to fill the Bhagvan Vimalnath Endowed Chair in Jain Studies and South Asian Religions. We seek a rigorous and imaginative specialist in Jain Studies and South Asian Religions with a wide range of knowledge of Jain philosophy, religion, history, and culture who will complement and enhance our research and teaching strengths as one of the preeminent programs in South Asian Religions in the country. Research foci may include but are not limited to: sex, gender, and bodily identities; subject formations and transformations; somatic disciplines and dietary regimens; and social and environmental ethics based on the principle of nonviolence.

The holder of the Endowed Chair will be expected to develop a range of undergraduate and graduate courses exploring the intersections of Jain traditions with Hindu traditions and Buddhist traditions, to contribute to our curricular offerings in Sanskrit language and literature, and to teach courses in theory and method in the study of religion. The successful candidate will also assume a pivotal role in UCSB’s interdisciplinary South Asian Studies program, which comprises faculty in twelve departments across the humanities and social sciences who represent a variety of disciplinary approaches to the study of South Asia.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service as appropriate to the position.

Inquiries about the position may be directed to the Academic Personnel Coordinator, Kasey Odell, at kodell@hfa.ucsb.edu.

Department: https://www.religion.ucsb.edu/

QUALIFICATIONS

Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• PhD in Religious Studies, South Asian Studies, or related field at the time of application

Preferred qualifications

• Demonstrated expertise in Jain Studies and South Asian Religions

• Demonstrated record of excellence in research and potential for research productivity, as evidenced in the statement of research, writing sample, and record of research

• Ability to develop a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in Jain traditions and other South Asian religions, as reflected in the statement of teaching and record of teaching experience

• Ability to teach courses in Sanskrit language and literature

• Ability to foster diversity and equity in the department and the broader campus through research, teaching, and/or professional activities

• Evidence of outstanding teaching

• Evidence of participation in professional networks

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Document requirements
  • Cover Letter

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Statement of Research

  • Statement of Teaching

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity – Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and/or professional activities.

  • One Relevant Writing Sample – Minimum of 40 pages

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required

Please arrange to have three letters of recommendation submitted through UC Recruit.

Apply link: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF02315

Help contact: kodell@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.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/5000695/SARS-CoV-2_Covid-19. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for the deadlines applicable to new University of California employees. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

JOB LOCATION

Santa Barbara, CA

Capps Center Associate Director (Academic Coordinator II)

Capps Center Associate Director (Academic Coordinator II)

Apply now: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF02177/apply

View this position online: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF02177

POSITION OVERVIEW

Position title: Academic Coordinator II

APPLICATION WINDOW

Open date: February 8th, 2022

Next review date: Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Jun 30, 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 Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites applications for the Associate Director position, a full-time Academic Coordinator II. This is a 12-month fiscal year appointment (non-tenure track, renewable). The Associate Director (AD) works with the Capps Center Director to develop and implement initiatives and programming consistent with the mission of the Center, including a public lecture series, seminars, workshops, conferences, a graduate fellowship program, and other programming opportunities. The Center runs approximately 12 public events per year. In addition, the Center co-sponsors and cooperates in the production of campus lectures, film screenings, panel discussions, and community-based cultural events and lectures that actively engage the ‘out of college’ audience with the humanities. The AD also manages public relations and outreach to the community, and develops strong working relationships with relevant departments, campus units, community organizations, related centers at other institutions, academic organizations, and foundations to reach the overall goals of the Capps Center.

Program Administration

The AD performs administrative functions, serving as a key contact for all visiting speakers, UCSB faculty, staff and students, and the off-campus community. The AD oversees the coordination and implementation of all Center activities and interacts with public and government officials, authors, and other public figures. The AD is also responsible for assisting the Director in implementing research and community engagement opportunities for UCSB students and faculty associated with the Center. The AD attends all Capps Center events (including those that take place on occasional evenings and weekends).

General Administration, Supervision, and Grant Writing

The AD hires, trains, and supervises the part-time student employees and staff of the Capps Center, with the exception of the Academic Coordinator for the McCune Internships program and postdoctoral positions, who report directly to the Center Director. The AD assists the Director with the management of existing budget lines. A primary role of the AD will be to facilitate the programmatic and financial growth of the Center through developing grant applications and identifying relevant foundation opportunities.

Program Analysis and Evaluation

The AD analyzes the Center’s budget and prepares regular and ad hoc reports to the Center Director and advisory committee on the Center’s finances, grant writing and reporting, and program analysis. The AD monitors the demographics of program attendance and works with other campus centers and programs both to coordinate co-sponsored events and to ensure diversity of participants and audience.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service as appropriate to the position.

Unit: https://www.cappscenter.ucsb.edu/

QUALIFICATIONS

Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

M.A. in the humanities or social sciences

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

  • Experience working within an academic institution for at least two years
  • Management/administrative, and organizational skills and experience as demonstrated by prior work record and as attested in letters of recommendation
  • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills as demonstrated in the applicant’s materials, letters of recommendation, and interview

Preferred qualifications

  • Background in public humanities engagement
  • Experience coordinating public events
  • Proficiency with website and social media platform creation and management
  • Experience in program evaluation
  • Experience in supervising staff and students
  • Experience in financial management
  • Demonstrated grant writing ability
  • PhD in the humanities or social sciences
  • Research and publication record in areas relevant to the Center’s mission

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Document requirements

Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.

Cover Letter

Statement of Contributions to Diversity – Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and/or service.

(Optional)

Reference requirements

3 letters of reference required

Please arrange to have recommendation letters submitted via UC Recruit.

Apply link: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF02177

Help contact: njuarez@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.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/5000695/SARS-CoV-2_Covid-19. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees must (a) provide proof of receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 Vaccine no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment and provide proof of Full Vaccination no later than eight weeks after their first date of employment; or (b) if applicable, submit a request for Exception or Deferral no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

JOB LOCATION

Santa Barbara, CA

Modern Hebrew Language Lecturer Position

POSITION OVERVIEW

Anticipated start: July 1, 2022

APPLICATION WINDOW

Open date: January 10th, 2022

Next review date: Monday, Feb 7, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Jun 30, 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 2022-23 academic year. Responsibilities include teaching up to 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).

The anticipated start date is July 2022. Position is open until filled. Inquiries about the position may be directed to the Help Contact email below. Department: https://www.religion.ucsb.edu/

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 letters of reference required

Please arrange to have recommendation letters submitted by the initial review date.

Apply link: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF02158

Help contact: njuarez@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.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/5000695/SARS-CoV-2_Covid-19. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees must (a) provide proof of receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 Vaccine no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment and provide proof of Full Vaccination no later than eight weeks after their first date of employment; or (b) if applicable, submit a request for Exception or Deferral no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

JOB LOCATION

Santa Barbara, Ca

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.

Navy blue and yellow flyer "Learn a Critical Language!"

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