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Department of Religious Studies|College of Arts & Sciences

Contact Us

Department of Religious Studies
Kristine Utterback, Head
Office Associate:
Clayleen Rivord
Ross Hall, Room 122
Department 3392
1000 E. University Ave
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: 307-766-3204
Fax: 307-766-2096
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Guest Speakers

The Department of Religious Studies will be bringing in as well as sponsoring distinguished guest speakers throughout the year. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dr. Tammy Heise, University of Wyoming, will present, "Ghost Dancing and the American Indian Movement's 1973 Takeover of Wounded Knee," on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. in Ross Hall Room 14. 

  • Abstract: This talk will trace the history of the Lakota Ghost Dance into the twentieth century, focusing on the political activism of the American Indian Movement’s “restoration” of Ghost Dance religion during the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973. Many histories have linked “authentic” American Indian identity to “traditional” reservation culture and have not examined the innovations in indigenous culture federal assimilation programs produced. In reality, U.S. Indian policy is connected to this trajectory of the Ghost Dance and confusion on this relationship has tended to divorce religion from politics in understanding the movement. Reconceptualizing AIM's expression of the Ghost Dance puts religion at the center of its conflict with the U.S. government.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Professor Menachem Mor, University of Haifa, will present two lectures on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Please attend as follows:
  • 1:20-2:35 p.m., Business Building, Room 9, “Samaritans Past & Present—Who are They?” 
    • Abstract: Classic Jewish sources make it clear that they were considered Jews who had relinquished Judaism but would be accepted if they accepted “Jerusalem and the resurrection of the dead.” “Who is a Samaritan?”-- hotly disputed in ancient Jewish sources—emerged again in modern Israel with respect to the Law of Return, when they wanted to immigrate from Nablus to Israel and live as part of Israeli society. The first part of this lecture discusses a variety of ancient sources; the second part surveys how these considerations influenced the Supreme Court’s final decision.
  • 4:10 p.m., Classroom Building, Room 103, “Archeology vs. Historical Sources: What has Tel Shalem to do with the Bar Kokhba Revolt”
    • Abstract: The Bar Kochba Revolt (132-136 CE), often called the Second Jewish Rebellion, was a major attempt to restore Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Some see it as a central event in the history of the Roman Empire, inflicting heavy damage to the Roman army with both immediate effects and long-term implications. Walter Eck of the University of Cologne argues for a maximalist approach based in part on archaeological discoveries from Tel Shalem, in the Beth Shean Valley near the Jordan River: parts of a large bronze statue, a head identified as that of the Roman emperor Hadrian, and a monumental inscription. Mor’s lecture will question this approach, re-examining the archaeological evidence from Tel Shalem, and other places in Galilee, the historical background for the inscription and other evidence and their implications for the study of the Revolt.

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