Featured Stories

The Future of Religious Minorities in the Era of Trump

"There have been certain periods when American religious communities have been especially vulnerable to government harassment and persecution—during World War I, when religiously motivated conscientious objectors were subject to suspicion and arrest, and the Cold War era, when the FBI infiltrated or sought to discredit left-leaning religious leaders and communities it took to be puppets of a sinister foe. The current political climate warrants urgent concern that America may be on the verge of adding another chapter to this shameful history of religious persecution (Johnson & Weitzman, 2016)."

Steve Weitzman's upcoming Book- The FBI & Religion

Years after 9/11, America is still struggling with how to balance the demands of national security with its commitment to religious liberty, and the FBI has been at the front lines of this struggle.  The FBI and Religion is the first attempt to tell the story of the FBI's interaction with religion from its beginnings in 1908 through the Cold War, the Civil Rights movement, the "cult wars" of the late Twentieth Century, and the counter-terrorism efforts of the Twenty-First century. 

Professor Justin McDaniel Advises President Obama

President Obama recently became the first sitting U.S. President to visit the country of Laos. Professor Justin McDaniel advised President Obama on his speech in Laos and provided his team with information about Lao literature, religion, culture, food, and education.

 

Congratulations to 2016 RELS Graduate Julia Hintlian!

Julia Hintlian, who graduated from Penn in May with a major in Religious Studies, has recently placed second in the national Theta Alpha Kappa Graduate Fellowship Competition.

RELS Fall 2016 Courses

Looking for interesting courses for the fall? Check out our RELS undergraduate offerings -- including many that fulfill College sector and foundational approaches requirements.

Prof. McDaniel among 34st Street's "Penn's Best Professors"

After tallying over 150 nominations for the best professor at Penn, 34st Street selected Penn's best-loved profs—among them, our very own Prof. Justin McDaniel!

New residential program and RELS Freshman Seminar on "Making Meaning"

Annette Yoshiko Reed and Benjamin Fleming, Faculty Master and Associate Master of Fisher Hassenfeld College House, are developing a new residential program and Freshman Seminar on "Making Meaning" (RELS 035), exploring issues of global cultural and religious difference through the lens of the diversity of Philadelphia 

Prof. Weitzman reflects on his first year as Katz Center director

Katz Center 2015 newsletter includes reflections from Prof. Steve Weitzman on his first year as Ella Darivoff Director of Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies