In additition to teaching, RELS faculty are busy conducting their own research.
Prof. Naylor continues his work with the Consultation on Religion in Public Schools: International Perspectives. He will participate in a special AAR-Baltimore panel commemorating the 50th anniversary of the landmark Abington Township v. Schempp Supreme Court decision. (While outlawing Bible reading in public schools, the decision launched the development of the academic study of religion as a key educational component.) Prof. Naylor has joined a working group of historians and sociologists of religion sponsored by the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC. (He is happy to report that two alum of the department and one former adjunct professor are also part of the working group) He is working on an article for their upcoming volume on religion in Los Angeles.
In January, Prof. Upson-Saia published an article in which she queried how ancient readers would have responded to depictions of the boy Jesus' anger in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (see cover art to the right). She is currently working with two Canadian scholars on an edited volume on religious dress in antiquity and a chapter for that volume on why some early Christian desert ascetics are represented as excessively hairy (either possessing long beards that reach down to their feet and that cover their genitalia or possessing hair that covers their entire bodies so that they resemble beasts). Finally, she's working on two articles on wounds and scars in early Christian literature.
In addition to several scholarly other projects underway, Prof. Wright will continue to work on his first engagement in “creative writing.” He is composing a philosophical dialogue set in Eagle Rock between four friends in their 30’s—two Buddhists and two not—who discuss and debate questions of the meaning of their lives in contemporary society.
Professor Moazzam-Doulat is currently writing about the appropriation of the work of Western, post-modern thinkers by Iranian intellectual Jalal Al-e Ahmad, He is also writing about the concept of 'the eternal return of the same' in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche.
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