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Dr. Charles Prebish

In 2010, as part of its "Future of Religion" series, the website and online library PATHEOS published Charles Prebish's article "Emerging and Engaging: A Vital American Buddhism" (patheos.com; July 5, 2010)

In 2010, Routledge published the 2nd edition of Charles Prebish's book Introducing Buddhism, co-authored with Damien Keown.

He published a refereed article titled "The Role of Prātimoksa Expansion in the Rise of Indian Buddhist Sectarianism" in Pacific World, Third Series 9, 33-48.

He also published a chapter titled "Family Life and Spiritual Kinship in American Buddhist Communities" in American Buddhism as a Way of Life, edited by Gary Storhooff and John Whalen-Bridge (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010), pp. 151-165; and another chapter titled "Buddhism" in The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America , edited by Philip Goff (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), pp. 468-477.

He published an article in a memorial volume honoring Professor Roger Corless: "Spiritual Kinship and Lineage in Major Buddhist Traditions" in Path of No Path: Contemporary Studies in Pure Land Buddhism Honoring Roger Corless , edited by Richard K. Payne (Berkeley: Institute of Buddhist Studies and Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 2009), pp. 127-143.

He has two forthcoming chapters, "American Buddhism Since 1965," in The Cambridge History of Religions in America , edited by Stephen J. Stein (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press); and " American Buddhism: Looking Backward, Looking Forward," in a Sri Lankan publication honoring the 2600 th anniversary of Siddhārtha Gautama's attainment of Buddhahood.

In November 2009 he presented a paper entitled "Vision Quest: Wrestling with Ultimacy" at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Montreal; and i n March 2010, he presented a paper entitled "Buddha in Mormon Land: American Buddhist Challenges in a Dominant Mormon Culture" at the "Buddhism Without Borders" conference at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California. In October 2010, he will be the Keynote speaker at the "Buddhism in Canada" conference at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His title will be "The Swans Came to Canada Too: Looking Backward and Looking Forward in North American Buddhism."

Prebish continues as a member of the Editorial Board of Buddhist Studies Review, on the National Editorial Advisory Board of Religious Studies Review, and the Advisory Board of H-Buddhism. He also serves as Co-Editor of the Routledge World Religions Textbook Series and the Journal of Buddhist Ethics eText Project. He is "Founding Editor Emeritus" of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics and the Journal of Global Buddhism, and Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Norm Jones

In August 2009 Norm was elected to the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church.

In 2008-2009 Norm was elected the Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University. Among his projects in Oxford was a paper, "he never failed to serve his God, before he served his country," Burghley, the Law and the Newly Protestant State" given in the Religion in Britain Seminar, Oxford University, June 4, 2009.

In July 2008 Dr. Jones stepped down as Director of Religious Studies and began his sabbatical.

Elected a Senior Visiting Research Fellow by Jesus College, Oxford University, he will spend the academic year 2008-9 in Oxford. Jesus College has a number of fellows who are leading students of the English Reformation, and Jones will be working with them and with their research students. He intends to write a book whose working title is "Managing Elizabethan England," an exploration of how the Elizabethan regime managed to prevent a religious civil war at a time when all of its neighbors were convulsed by them. This book grows out of the work he did for his book The English Reformation, Religion and Cultural Adaptation.

His most recent book is Local Identities in Late Medieval and Early Modern England. Co-edited with Daniel Woolf. London: Palgrave, 2007.

Dr. Philip Barlow

In October 2010, Philip Barlow was interviewed on NRP. Click here to listen to that interview.

In 2010, as part of its “Future of Religion” series, the website and online library PATHEOS published Philip Barlow’s article, “The Future of the Bible in Mormonism” (patheos.com; August 6, 2010).

Barlow also published a chapter, “Regions,” in The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America, edited by Philip Goff (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), pp. 291–305.

His two essays, “Demographics” and “Geographical Approaches,” appear in the new Encyclopedia of Religion in America, edited by Charles Lippy and Peter Williams (Washington D.C.: CQ Press, 2010).

Barlow completed a preface to what will be Oxford’s new edition of his Mormons and the Bible. He has several additional forthcoming pieces, including " Religious and Geographical Expansion, 1790-1865 ," in The Cambridge History of Religions in America, edited by Stephen J. Stein (Cambridge University Press); an essay (“Inadvertent Wisdom: the Use of the King James Bible in the 21 st Century”) in a roundtable on the Bible in America in Religion and American Culture; and entries (“Joseph Smith,” “Brigham Young,” and “Latter-day Saints”) in The New Westminster Dictionary of Church History, edited by Robert Benedetto (Westminster/John Knox Press). Barlow also has forthcoming book reviews of Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley Jr., and Glen M. Leonard, Massacre at Mountain Meadows. An American Tragedy (Oxford), to appear in the Dutch journal Church History and Religious Culture, and of Will Bagley and David L. Bigler, Innocent Blood: Essential Narratives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre (Arthur H. Clark Co.) to appear in the Western Historical Quarterly.

Barlow recently signed a contract with Oxford University Press to edit, with Terryl Givens, the Oxford Handbook of Mormonism.

In May 2010, in Kansas City, he responded to papers of Utah State students Chris Blythe, Christine Magula, and Ryan Roos at the annual meeting of the Mormon History Association. During June, in Los Angeles, he presented a paper entitled “The Essence of Religion, the Core of Mormonism” at the Mormon Encounter with Religions of the World Conference, University of California.

In July he presented “My Approach to a Difficult Field” at Terryl Givens’s Summer Graduate Seminar at Brigham Young University. In August, at the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City, Barlow moderated a plenary “public conversation” between Yale’s Jon Butler and Jan Shipps (emerita, IUPUI) on “What Happens to New Religions as They Mature.”

Barlow continues service on the Steering Committee for the Consultation in Mormon Studies in the American Academy of Religion, the Board of Directors for the Dialogue Foundation, the Board of Directors for the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, and as a member of the Mormon Chapter of the Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy.

Dr. Alexa Sand

In 2010, Dr. Sand was awarded a summer extension to the Charles Ryskamp Fellowship from the ACLS, which allowed her to travel to Hannover, Germany, Milan, Italy, and Valencia, Spain to study illuminated manuscripts of the medieval religious instruction manual, "La Somme le Roi."

In May, she delivered a paper on this subject at the International Congress for Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her article, “Vindictive Virgins: animate images and theories of art in some thirteenth-century miracle stories,” appeared in the journal Word & Image (Volume 26, Issue 2 June 2010 , pages 150 - 159).

Dr. Sand is currently a councilor for arts and humanities on the Council on Undergraduate Research, and serves as the representative for the new Caine College of the Arts on the University's Undergraduate Research Council.

Dr. Steve Siporin

In 2009 Steve Siporin was named a Lady Davis Fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. He will be a visiting professor there Spring semester, 2010.

Professor Siporin is the translator from Italian for a dual language book entitled Gli ebrei di Pitigliano [The Jews of Pitigliano] by Angelo Biondi, due out in 2009 or 2010. Siporin delivered a paper entitled “Where Does the Parokhet Belong?” at the quadrennial meeting of the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Israel, August, 2009. He also plans to present a paper entitled “The Kashrut Con Game: Keeping Kosher in Prison” at the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, October, 2009, in Boise, Idaho, where he is also an invited discussant in a panel discussion honoring National Heritage Fellow Eva Castellanoz and an invited respondent on a panel about Vardis Fisher’s Idaho Lore.

Siporin continues as a publication board member for the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization Series “Jewish Cultural Studies” (UK) and as a member of the Raphael Patai Prize Committee for the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section of the American Folklore Society.

Dr. Michael Sowder

Dr. Michael Sowder is currently on sabbatical, working on a collection of father-son poems, a collection of Buddhist poems, and a spiritual memoir. His essay, “'All This Searching for the Kingdom of Heaven’: Spiritual Quest in the Poetry of David Bottoms” is forthcoming in the essay collection, William Walsh, ed., Pocket Charms Against Oblivion: The Poetry of David Bottoms. Mercer UP. An encyclopedia essay on Walt Whitman appeared in The Student’s Encyclopedia of Great American Writers: 1830-1890. Chicago: Facts on File. A craft essay, “Creating Voice in Poetry and Prose” appeared on the creative writing website, Shelia Bender, ed. Writing It Real. www.writingitreal.com. Four poems appeared in Legal Studies Forum (Spring, 2009), and his poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He served as a visiting writer at two writers’ conferences: The National Undergraduate Literature Conference, Ogden, Utah, in April, and the Red Rock Writers Workshop, Saint George, Utah, in March.

Sowder was faculty advisor for Utah State’s Religious Studies Club for the academic year 2008-2009.

His essay, “Poet in Grizzly Gulch,” appeared in the fall 2008 issue of the upscale Salt Lake City magazine, The Wasatch Journal. Recounting a mountaineering-training course in the mountains above Alta, Utah, the essay explores the aesthetics of the Taoist/Buddhist-inflected poetry of Tang Dynasty China and the eighteenth-century, Euro-American cult of the sublime.

Dr. Richley Crapo

Dr. Richley Crapo has recently completed a book manuscript on the anthropology of the Judeo-Christian scriptures and another on the civilizations of the Aztecs and their neighbors. He willl be seeking publishers for these books this year. He is currently working on a manuscript for a text on the anthropology of Mormonism, which he plans to complete this year.

As a member of the anthropology faculty, he continues to teach Anthropology of Religion.

Dr. Steven Shively

Dr. Steven Shively earned his doctorate in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A faculty member at USU, he teaches courses in English education and American literature. Among his specialities are the Harlem Renaissance and religious themes in the writings of Willa Cather.

"Driven by Starvation': Hunger in Willa Cather's Fiction." Willa Cather Spring Conference, June 4, 2010. Red Cloud, NE.

"Teaching the Young Adult Novels of Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve." Western Literature Association Conference. Oct. 17, 2009. Spearfish, SD.

Shively, Steven B. "My Antonia and the Parables of Sacrifive." Reprinted in Willa Cather's My Antonia: Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations. New Edition. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2008, 95-104.

Bloom's Literary Criticism series is one of the most widely used sources of scholarship on major literary works and authors.

Originally published in Willa Cather and the Culture of Belief. Ed John J. Murphy. Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 2003. 51-62

He is currently doing research for an essay titled "Willa Cather, The Episcopal Church, and Aestheticism," for a proposed volume of essays on Willa Cather and Aestheticism.

Dr. Phebe Jensen

Phebe Jensen is an Associate Professor of English. Her book, Religion and Revelry in Shakespeare’s Festive World, has just been published by Cambridge University Press.

Her research has focused on the intersection of Protestant and Catholic culture in the celebratory world of early modern England. In 2007 she was an invited plenary speaker at a symposium sponsored by the Clark Library in Pasadena, California, entitled “Redrawing the Map of Early Modern Catholicism”; she is contributing an expanded version of the paper she delivered there, on Catholic recusant household culture and the celebration of Christmas, to a volume of essays forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press. In 2008 Jensen was an invited plenary speaker at the Louisiana Shakespeare Association’s Inaugural Conference, Shakespeare and Mardi Gras, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She also presented a paper on the post-Reformation survival of medieval festive customs at the “Renaissance Medievalisms” panel of the Modern Language Association’s Annual Conference in San Francisco in December 2008.

Professor Jensen is currently teaching an upper-division course in the English department entitled “Literature and Cultural Difference: The English Reformation.”

Dr. Bonnie Glass-Coffin

Dr. Bonnie Glass-Coffin, a professor of anthropology at Utah State University is best known for her book, The Gift of Life: Female Spirituality and Healing in Northern Peru (1998), which explores the roles of women as healers and shamans in their communities on the coast and in the Andes of northern Peru. Since the publication of that book, she has continued to research and publish on topics ranging from the concepts of healing, shamanism, plant medicines, and gender in Peru, to discussions of transformation of Peruvian healing traditions in the wake of the Spanish conquest, to treatises about how Andean spiritual traditions are guiding the emergence of intentional spiritual communities in the United States. Most recently, she has focused much of her writing on a discussion about the theoretical/practical implications of being a spiritual activist/scholar working in an academic setting.

In 2010, her article entitled “Shamanism and San Pedro Through Time: Some Notes on the Archaeology, History and Continued Use of an Entheogen in Northern Peru,” appeared in the Anthropology of Consciousness and her article, “Anthropology, Shamanism and Alternate Ways of Knowing/Being in the World: One Anthropologist’s Journey of Discovery and Transformation,” will be published later this fall in Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly. Other recent articles include "Balancing on Interpretive Fences or Leaping into the Void: Reconciling Myself with Castaneda and the Teachings of don Juan" IN Betsy Hearne and Robert Seelinger Trites, eds., A Narrative Compass: Stories that Guide Women's Lives (2009) and two articles in Spanish that were published in Trujillo, Peru, by the Museo de Antropologia of the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo. Additionally, she is translating into English (with Jason Blaesing) the Spanish language edition of the memoirs of Dr. Mario Polia’s 20 year apprenticeship with shamanic healers in the northern Andes. Other recent publications include “The Demonic Pact Then and Now: Transformations and transgressions in Peruvian Traditions,” IN Iris Gareis, Ed. Entidades maléficas y conceptos del mal en las religiones (2008), and "The Emergence of the Modern Mesa: African Influence and Syncretism Revisited," Shamanism, Mesas, and Cosmologies in the Central Andes, San Diego Museum of Man, (2007). Glass-Coffin recently stepped down as Managing Editor of the journal Anthropology of Consciousness but continues working with the journal as an associate editor.

In her role as a practitioner of Peruvian shamanism, Dr. Glass-Coffin has been certified as a teacher of the five part series entitled, “Pachakuti Mesa Tradition: Cross-Cultural Shamanic Arts for Personal and Planetary Renewal,” which is based on the work of don Oscar Miro-Quesada, whose Pachakuti Mesa teachings are based in high Andean and north coastal Peruvian wisdom traditions. She has offered the first weekend of this series and is preparing to offer the second weekend in late November. In 2009, Glass-Coffin also invited Miro-Quesada to Logan on two separate occasions and organized a “free-day” in Merlin Olsen Park with Miro-Quesada that was attended by more than 200 people from Cache Valley and beyond. She continues to serve on the Chaupinsuyu (central U.S. regional) Council of The Heart of the Healer Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to “preserving indigenous wisdom and restoring our earth” while also engaging in activities that promote the emergence of an earth-honoring community in northern Utah.

Dr. Christine Cooper-Rompato

Christine Cooper-Rompato: Christine Cooper-Rompato is an Assistant Professor of English. She received her PhD in Medieval Studies in 2004 from the University of Connecticut. She specializes in both medieval hagiography and later medieval English literature.

Cooper-Rompato's book, The Gift of Tongues: Women's Xenoglossia in the Later Middle Ages, is forthcoming from Penn State Press (February 2010); the book explores medieval hagiographical and literary accounts of xenoglossia, the miraculous ability to speak, to understand, to read, or to write a foreign language. Recent article publications include “Miraculous and Mundane Translation in The Book of Margery Kempe” (Studies in Philology), “But algates therby was she understonde: Translating Custance in Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale” (Yearbook of English Studies) and “Digesting the Example of (Im)Patient Griselda in John Lydgate’s ‘A Mumming at Hertford’ and ‘Bycorne and Chychevache’” (ASMAR 18).

Cooper-Rompato is currently the Co-editor of the journal Mystics Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal that specializes in medieval visionary literature. In January 2010, Mystics Quarterly will become the Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures (JMRC), an interdisciplinary, double-blind peer-reviewed journal to be published by Penn State Press. For further information, see http://www.psupress.org/journals/jnls_jmrc.html

Dr. Richard Sherlock

Richard Sherlock, Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University, with advanced training in theology, ethics, and philosophy at Harvard. Before coming to USU he taught at the University of Tennessee and was professor of moral theology at Fordham University in New York. He has over 80 books, book chapters, articles and book reviews in theological and philosophical ethics and applied ethics, history of philosophy and theology, philosophical theology, and religious history.

Research Academic Year 2008-2009


Mormon Theology: How do we know it?, American Academy of Religion, Nov 2008

Charity as the Love of God, Society for Mormon Theology and Philosophy, 2009

Love of God and Love of Others, Society of Christian Philosophers, 2009




“Theology and Human Transformation” in Sean Sutton and Larry Arnhart eds. Human Biotechnology SUNY Press 2009

“Natural Law needs Divine Law” in Larry Arnhart Darwinian Conservatism 2nd ed with response essays Imprint Academic 2009

“Must Ethics be Theological? A Response to the New Pragmatists” Journal of Religious Ethics 2009

“Square Two and the Future of Mormon Thought” Square Two; A Journal of Mormonism and the Public Square fall 2008 peer reviewed on line

“The Church was Right: The Case Against Gay Marriage” Square Two: A Journal of Mormonism and the Public Square Winter 2009


Coming Out:

“Eternal Man: The Core of Mormonism” chapter for volume on new religions edited by Morgan Luck for Cambridge

The Atonement book edited by Richard Sherlock and Jacob Baker for a series Perspectives in Mormon Theology to be published by Greg Koffod Books. I will write a lengthy, synthetic introduction.


Still in Process:

Mormonism and the Moral Life - approx. 400 pages - 1st draft about 60% done


Christopher Blythe

-2009 Graduate Student Fellowship Award for study of Mormon Fundamentalism
-2009 Blanche Harris Scholarship
- 2008 Blanche Harris Scholarship
- 2008 Leonard Arrington Writing Award (First Prize)
- Will present a paper on "Cutlerite Ecclesiology" at the John Whitmer Historical Association conference in Wisconsin

Joshua Pineault

- Undergraduate Research Opportunities Grant
- Utah Governor Scholar (one of 50 undergraduate students chosen statewide)
- Helen B. and Lawrence O. Canon Award
- Honors Fellow
- Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship
- Melvin Law Scholarship for International Study
- Presented at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research
- Featured in the Utah State University Research Matters magazine

Mark Rasmuson

- 2008 Blanche Harris Scholarship

Tom Evans

- 2008 Blanche Harris Scholarship
- 2008 URCO grant
- Presented a paper at the 2008 annual meeting of the Rocky Mountains/Great Plains Region of the American - Academy of Religion

Jay Burton

- 2008 Blanche Harris Scholarship
- Religious Studies Club President for 2008-09

The Religious Studies Program offers its congratulations!

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