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Religious Studies

Religious Studies Faculty

David V. Fiordalis - Associate Professor (Chair)

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Pioneer 209A

Education: PhD (Asian Languages and Cultures), University of Michigan, 2008; MA (Religious Studies), University of Chicago Divinity School, 2001; BA (Asian Studies), Carleton College, 1998 (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)

Academic Interests: My scholarly work explores the rich cultural, literary and religious heritage of Asia. My primary research focus is Buddhism in South Asia and the Himalayan region; I mainly work with materials in Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan, three of the principal languages in which traditional Buddhist literature has been preserved. Given the extent to which Asian religious traditions developed in conversation with one another, my work necessarily engages a broader historical and cultural context, including other religious traditions of South Asia (Hinduism, Jainism, etc.), as well as those of both East and Southeast Asia. Although a textual scholar, I actively seek ways to offer a multidisciplinary perspective on religion, employing materials drawn from both contemporary and ancient times, ethnography and archeology, art history and new media, institutional and intellectual history, comparative literature, philosophy and critical theory. At present, I am weaving some of these various interests into a book on Buddhist miracle traditions.


The following is a selection of my published work. Edited work: Guest editor, "Miracles and superhuman powers in South and Southeast Asian Buddhist traditions." _Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies_ Volume 33, Numbers 1-2 (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2010 [Published in 2011]): 381-554. Journal articles and book chapters: "The Wondrous Display of Superhuman Power in the _Vimalakirtinirdesa_: Miracle or Marvel?" In Knut Axel Jacobsen, ed., _Yoga Powers: Extraordinary Capacities Attained Through Meditation and Concentration_ (Leiden/Boston: Brill Publications, 2012), 96-125. "Miracles in Indian Buddhist narratives and doctrine," _Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies_ Volume 33, Number 1-2 (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2010 [Published in 2011]) : 381-408.

Selected Honors and Fellowships

2007-2008, 2003-2004 - Fellowship of the Regents of the University of Michigan. 1998-1999 - Fulbright Fellowship for India, administered by United States Department of State and the Institute for International Education, New York, NY. Affiliated with the University of Pune, India.

David L. Massey

Melrose 110

Education: 2001, Chaplain. BA Linfield College; MDiv Colgate Rochester Divinity School; DMin San Francisco Theological Seminary

Stephen Snyder - Professor - History of Religion, US

Nicholson 176

Education: 1978, Professor of Religion. BA Stanford University; MA, PhD University of Chicago

Jennifer Williams - Assistant Professor

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Pioneer 109


  • M.S., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
  • B.A., Southwestern University

Academic Interests: My research interests include women and gender studies, feminist interpretations of the Bible, narrative and literary approaches to the Hebrew Bible and Wisdom Literature. My recent work has focused on narrative ambiguity, liminality and identity-formation through the construction and dissolution of families in the book of Judges.

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