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November 2018

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Johannes Vermeer and the Doctrine of the Logos

November 21, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 365,

November 21 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm During the previous half-century, Johannes Vermeer has emerged as one of the greatest painters of the Baroque era. Nevertheless, the uncommon depth and subtlety of his religious allegories have not been adequately noted in scholarship. In this lecture, we will look at a pair of paintings that figures forth the doctrine of Jesus Christ as it is represented in the Gospel of John and compare Vermeer’s allegory with similar ones by his contemporaries.  …

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Korea Before Nationalism: Judging and Misjudging, the 1801 Silk Letter of Hwang Sayŏng

November 13, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
royce 243, 10745 Dickson Ct
los angeles,
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Sponsored by: Center for Korean Studies Co-Sponsored by: Center for Study of Religion, Center for Buddhist Studies   In 1801, in the midst of a bloody anti-Catholic persecution, one of the persecuted Catholics, Hwang Sayŏng, tried to send a letter to the bishop in Beijing requesting European military intervention to force Chosŏn to stop killing Catholics. Over two centuries later, historians debate how to characterize Hwang’s action. Many declare that he was traitor for asking foreign military forces to threaten…

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The Public’s Views of the Relationship Between Religion and Science – and the Resulting Disconnect With Social Sciences and the Humanities

November 13, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

In this talk I examine recent sociological research on the relationship between religion and science for the public. This research suggests that while religion may have at one time been concerned with fact claims in the natural world that could be contradicted by science, it largely is no longer. This post-1960s development has coincided with the rise of moral conflict between religious traditions and science. However, social science and humanities research on this relationship largely assumes that religion and science…

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Jesus in Retrospect: From Sin to Perfection

November 1, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

How is it that Jesus came to be viewed by the earliest Christians as “sinless,” and what did this mean for them? In this presentation I will explore the process by which early Christianity claimed that Jesus was a perfectly sinless human being, setting the stage for his apotheosis as God. As we will see, everything hinges on the tragic death of Jesus on the cross, “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23). How were…

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April 2018

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Brides of the Buddha: Nuns’ Stories from the Avadanasataka

April 18, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
royce 243, 10745 Dickson Ct
los angeles,
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Karen Muldoon-Hules, UCLA Sponsored by: UCLA Center for the Study of Religion RSVP HERE

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February 2018

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Unveiling Judeo-Spanish Texts: A Hebrew Aljamiado Workshop

February 22, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Hebrew Aljamiado Research Group of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies are offering a workshop in learning to read 14th-16th century Judeo-Spanish texts written using the Hebrew alphabet: Hebrew “aljamiado” writing.  Attendees will also learn about the cultural context of Hebrew aljamiado writing in the Peninsula and in the Sephardic diaspora. Professor Michelle Hamilton of Spanish & Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota, a leading scholar of these texts, will…

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Heart & Sole 2nd Workshop

February 21, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Humanities Bldg. Rm 348,

The Center for the Study of Religion invites students to participate in Heart & Sole, an innovative workshop designed to educate students about religious diversity, help them explore their own beliefs and values, and teach the skills needed to engage in inter-religious dialogue with their peers on campus. Join us in our effort to make Heart & Sole a campus wide initiative that fosters increased understanding around religious diversity and contributes to positive campus climate at UCLA! We are looking for 20…

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Did Adam Fall, Stumble, or Stub his Toe in the Garden of Eden? A New Look at an Ancient Story

February 20, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Ziony Zevit is Distinguished Professor of Biblical Literature and Northwest Semitic Languages at the American Jewish University since 1974. Prior to joining AJU, Dr. Zevit taught at the University of Haifa, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and UC Berkeley. He has held visiting professorships at Univ. of Pennsylvania, UCLA, USC, UCSD, and the Hebrew University. He also participated in archaeological excavations at Tel Lachish and at Tel Dan. In 2013 was appointed Visiting Distinguished Professor at…

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Jewish Reactions to the Prophet Muhammad

February 15, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Humanities Room 365, 415 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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When Muhammad began his mission in Arabia in the early 7th century, he preached his new revelation not only to the pagan Arabs among whom he was raised but also to the Jewish (and Christian) community among whom he came to live. How did the Jews of Muhammad’s day react? What did they think of his claims to have a new/old revelation of God, and his claims to be a prophet like their prophet Moses? In attempting to answer these…

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Satan in the Bible, God’s Minister of Justice

February 1, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
118 Haines Hall,

Throughout the ages, Satan has been seen as God’s implacable enemy, fiercely determined to keep as many human beings as he can from entering the heavenly kingdom. But according to Henry Ansgar Kelly, this understanding dates only from post-biblical times, when Satan was reconceived as Lucifer, a rebel angel, and as the serpent in the garden of Eden. In the Bible itself, beginning in the book of Job and continuing through the New Testament, Satan is considered to be a…

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January 2018

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Multi-Faith Forum: Practicing Pluralism in a Religiously Complex World

January 31, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Humanities Room 365, 415 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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The Multi-Faith Forum is back! Please join us for reflection and discussion on Wednesday January 31st 4:00PM-5:30PM. Come for the cookies and stay for the conversation! The Multi-Faith Forum was established in 2014 in order to address the needs of students who want to engage topics related to faith, religion, religious identity and spirituality, and who are interested in learning about religious traditions outside the classroom setting. Students of all backgrounds are welcome to attend!

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November 2017

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Conference: Sound and the Sacred

November 17, 2017 @ 9:30 am - November 18, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
314 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Sound—whether thunder or psalmody—plays a role in the formation and perception of the sacred. Religions acknowledge the importance of sound, manifested in the voice of God, the call to prayer, collective chant, and other profound ways. Sound unifies communities in sacred worship and arms sacred hierarchies. It is captured in images and contained in built environments. Sound—human, angelic, primordial, heavenly— is critical to spiritual transformation. The connection of sound and the sacred is born in the first cry of a…

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How Ancient Israel Began: A New Archaeological Perspective

November 14, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
314 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Over the last hundred years or so, a number of theories have been proposed to explain the origins of ancient Israel. All these have been informed to some degree by the biblical text and all have considered the role of New Kingdom Egypt and the collapse of empires throughout the Near East circa 1200-1100 BCE. The lecture will present a radical new proposal: that Egypt itself instigated "Israelite" settlement. Lecture by David Illan Sponsored by the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish…

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Women in the Hands of Men: Rabbinic Interpretations of the Four Matriarchs

November 14, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Royce 306,

It’s not surprising that many of the familiar Hebrew Bible tales concerning the four Matriarchs portray them very favorably.  However, the Book of Genesis also relates some episodes about these women that seem to imply mixed or even negative judgments about particular aspects of their moral characters.  We’ll examine how the contributions of classical rabbinic commentary create balance and nuance for our understanding of the Matriarchs’ characters—in particular, through some imaginative and often surprising stories in the midrashic literature that…

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Healing with Joy: Recovering Medicine as a Moral Art in Uganda

November 8, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Royce 306,

What might it mean to recover medicine as a moral art – medicine and health as something beyond a physical, empirical practice? Drawing heavily on my fieldwork of CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda, a pediatric neurosurgical site that pioneered a revolutionary treatment of hydrocephalus, we’ll explore an integrative healing approach based on their specific practical theology of health and human flourishing and its implementation in their infrastructure, practices, and habits, with particular emphasis on the dialectic of physical and spiritual…

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Pastries with Professors

November 7, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Humanities 365,

Students come and learn more about the majors/minor for The Study of Religion! Come mingle with other current students and faculty members within the department. Please RSVP for Event religion.ucla.edu/event/pastries-with-professors/

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How Much Did Paul of Tarsus Know About the Historical Jesus, and How and When Did He Know It?

November 1, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Royce 306,

Why did early Christians conclude that four distinct narratives about Jesus and Nazareth and the letters of Paul of Tarsus belonged together in their authoritative Scripture?What do these diverse writings have in common apart from the name "Jesus"? Many prominent 20th century New Testament scholars ignored this question while they fo­cused on contending that Paul had no personal knowledge about the historical Jesus' teaching and actions, was totally reliant on hearsay, then distorted what he heard, be­trayed Jesus' intentions, and…

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October 2017

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Feeling the Love of a Divinity in Bhakti Vaishnavism, Christianity, Sufism, Shia Islam, and Buddhism

October 26, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The sudden intensification of ‘love,’ ‘union,’ or ‘belonging’ generates a distinct emotion to which we give the scientific name, kama muta. In vernacular language, depending on the context, moments of kama muta may be called being moved, touched, stirred, enraptured, mystical ecstasy, slain in the Spirit; être ému; bewegt sein or gerührt sein; 感动 (gǎn dòng / gam dong / kando), etcetera. This emotion is evoked by suddenly feeling ‘close’ to a person or animal (especially an infant), a team,…

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Islam and Jews in the Holy Land: Land and Nature and the Construction of Jewish Culture

October 25, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Bunche 10383,

In this lecture, Dr. Mostafa Hussein will explore the ways the Jewish intelligentsia in pre-state Palestine interacted with Arabo-Islamic civilization, as demonstrated in Hebrew works treating the geography and the nature of the Holy Land. The talk will also highlight how the Jewish engagement with Islamic culture contributed to the Jewish connection to the land and its nature. It will demonstrate how Jewish individuals who viewed themselves as culture shapers and scholars incorporated and exploited Arabo-Islamic knowledge within the domain…

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May 2017

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Paradisiacal Realms in Ancient Egypt and Early China

May 11, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Free

Keynote Lecture for the UCLA Graduate Conference on Religion: Performing Devotion: Religious Rituals and Religious Practices This talk explores the concept and representation of post-mortem paradises in Ancient Egypt and Early China. The notion of a paradise for the worthy, accessed through personal piety, ethical conduct or ritual knowledge, developed at a particular historical moment in the development of each of these great civilizations and expressed a genuine desire on the part of regular people for salvation and immortality. These…

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