Religion, Theory, and Interpretation

A UChicago CAS Study Group

Month: February 2016

Nell Hawley Presentation

Please join us on Tuesday, Feb 23, for a presentation from Nell Hawley, PhD student in South Asian Languages and Civilization. Nell will talk to us about the game of dice scene in the Mahabharata, and some literary theoretical issues therein. Chaz Preston will be the respondent.

We’ll meet in Swift 208 at 5pm. Light refreshments will be provided.


Pete Faggen Presentation

Join us this Tuesday at 5pm in Swift 208 to hear Pete Faggen, PhD student in History of Religions, discuss his dissertation proposal, ‘Authority Interrupted: The Gungru female lineage in post-1958 Tibet.’ Light refreshments will be provided. Email Andrew for a copy of the paper:

Bonus Event: Friday, March 11

We’re excited to announce that on Friday, March 11 at Noon, Maria Jose de Abreu, professor of Anthropology at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) will join us to discuss her work on religion and media. We’ll meet in Swift hall, room 106, and free lunch will be provided by the Dean’s office (fancy). See below for a bit about Professor de Abreu’s work. Join us for a respite from your inevitable finals mania.
Maria Jose de Abreu studied Anthropology of Media at SOAS, University of London, and received her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam in 2009. Her work engages with a range of anthropological, philosophical and literary debates about religion, time, space, personhood, the human senses and their technological extensions. She is currently working on a book project on the flourishing of Byzantine imaginary in urban Sao Paolo through the practices of a media-savvy religious movement. She has published in various journals and edited volumes and has recently been awarded a grant to support an international Wenner Gren symposium titled ‘New Media, New Publics’ (2015). She worked as a visiting scholar at Concordia University (2010) and Columbia University  (2011) and in 2013-2014 as a fellow of the Forum for Transregional Studies under the program Art Histories/ Aesthetic Practices and affiliated to the department of Art History at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She will be joining the faculty at Groningen (Netherlands) in Anthropology this fall. For more information about de Abreu, see

Francis McKay Presentation

Please join us next Tuesday, Feb 9, for a presentation from Francis McKay, PhD candidate in Anthropology. Francis will discuss a chapter from his dissertation on the Buddhist Mindfulness movement in America. The chapter has a great discussion in the philosophy of virtue ethics before turning to the anthropology of virtue and Francis’ findings among Mindfulness practitioners. Please read the paper (email Andrew for a copy:, as you can, and join us in Swift Hall room 208 at 5:00pm. Light refreshments will be there.
See you then!