Faculty News

Ken Seeskin

Jewish Messianic Thoughts in an Age of Despair  by Kenneth Seeskin

Professor Ken Seeskin has been awarded the 2010 National Jewish Book Award for The Cambridge Guide to Jewish History, Religion, and Culture in the category of collections and anthologies. This volume was edited by Ken and Judith Baskin, Knight Professor of Humanities at The University of Oregon.

Sarah McFarland Taylor

Professor Sarah McFarland Taylor has been selected for the "Young Scholars in American Religion" program at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI. This two-year Lilly Endowment program supports the research and teaching of early career scholars in the study of American religion.


Michelle Molina

J. Michelle Molina has co-edited a book titled Rethinking the Human (Harvard University Press, 2010).

On April 26, 2010 J. Michelle Molina spoke about “Circulations: Heart and Science in the Catholic Atlantic World” as part of the Klopsteg lecture series at Northwestern.


Robert Orsi

Robert Orsi has received McCormick Professorship in 2011-12, a university-wide teaching honor

Professor Orsi’s most recent publications include “Taking Religion/History Seriously,” Proceedings: First Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, “Passages in Piety: Generational Transitions and the Social and Religious Incorporation of Italian Americans” (with Richard Alba), in Alba, Albert J. Raboteau, and Josh DeWind, eds., Immigration and Religion in America: Comparative and Historical Perspectives (New York: New York University Press, 2009): 32-55; “Theorizing Closer to Home,” Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, vol. 38, nos. 1-2 (Winter/Spring 2010), 29-36; and “Religion and the Modern City, 1865-1945,” in Cambridge History of American Religions, Vol. II, edited by Stephen J. Stein, (New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

"Religious studies Revival"! Article in Newsweek discusses resurgence of Religious Studies as undergraduate major, and references NU's own Robert Orsi (September, 2010)

Robert Orsi received the E. LeRoy Hall Award for Teaching Excellence on May 5, 2010. Weinberg College Teaching Awards applaud excellence in instruction, significant contributions to curricular innovation, exemplary mentoring of research and independent study, and fostering of a sense of community both inside and outside the classroom. University awards recognize faculty throughout Northwestern who have consistently demonstrated outstanding performance in classroom teaching or who have developed significant innovations influencing the methods and teaching effectiveness of other faculty.

Professor Orsi recently guest lectured: at Concordia University in November, 2009; at the University of Northern Iowa, in October, 2009; at the Conference on Cultural Consumption and the Performance of Everyday Religious Life, Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society, Birbeck College, University of London, in September 2009; at the conference For God’s Sake: Religion and Politics in the West, sponsored by the Institute for European Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and Chair for Jewish History and Culture, University of Munich, Schloss Elmau, in July 2009. Also in July, 2009, Professor Orsi conducted a faculty workshop at the University of Minnesota, on “ethical, methodological, and pedagogical challenges in the empirical study of religion.”


Sarah Jacoby

Sarah Jacoby organized the first-ever panel on the topic of "Love in Tibetan Literature" and presented a paper on the panel at the Association of Asian Studies Meeting on March 28, 2010 in Philadelphia, PA.

Sarah Jacoby is organizing a panel titled "Buddhist Visionaries and their Practices in Eastern Tibet" to be held in August, 2010 at the International Association of Tibetan Studies Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

Sarah Jacoby also was invited to give a lecture titled "Buddhism in Bhutan" at Northwestern's Law School on Feb. 19, 2010 to law students preparing to conduct research in Bhutan.


Richard Kieckhefer

Rethinking the late medieval witch hunt:  the cumulative concept and the persistence of regionalism, Chicago Area Renaissance Seminar, 9 January 2010.


Cristina Traina

Cristina Traina's and Barry Wimpfheimer's new books were featured in the Fall 2011 issue of CenterPiece magazine published by the Office for Research.

Cristina Traina’s book Erotic Attunement: Parenthood and the Ethics of Sensuality between Unequals is available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

My article “Children and Moral Agency” was published in the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics in fall, 2009, and I have forthcoming articles on nanotechnology and social justice; ovarian tissue preservation; feminist natural law thought; and natural law’s potential contributions to Lutheran theology.

Recent invited talks include “What Has Paris to Do with Augsburg?:  Natural Law and Lutheran Ethics,” Lutheran theologians, Society of Christian Ethics, January 7, 2010, and “The Family as Public and Private:  A Response,” for Public and Private:  Feminism, Marriage, and Family in Political Thought and Contemporary Life,  University of Chicago Divinity School, February 26, 2010.  I have also been a participant in recent workshops on religious studies in interdisciplinary perspective at Northwestern.   In summer, I will give a paper, “Human Dignity, Child Labor, and the Common Good,” at the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church conference, Trento, Italy.


Christine Helmer

Prof. Helmer Organize international conference Lutherrenaissance: Past & Present, April 12-14, 2012, with Crain lecturer Michael Massing, and theologians from Germany, Denmark, and North America.

Transformations in Luther's Theology: Historical and Contemporary Considerations. Edited by Christine Helmer and Bo Kristian Holm. 2011

Christine Helmer's The Global Luther is on top 5 book list of the AAR's "Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions" Consultation.

Christine Helmer has organized a panel series entitled Religion Meets Religious Studies with events on November 4, 2009, March 3, 2010 and May 12, 2010. http://www.bradyprogram.northwestern.edu/news.html

Christine Helmer organized a workshop on Relationships in Religion.

Christine Helmer lectured at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary on November 20, 2009 on “The Liberal Luther and Modern Theology.” (The audio file is available at http://www.seminary.wlu.ca/downloads.php)

Christine Helmer will read a paper entitled "The Bible for the Study of Religion" at the conference, “What is Bible?” cosponsored by the University of Vienna and the University of Landau, in Landau, Germany, May 30-June 2, 2010.

Christine Helmer delivered a paper entitled “Dangerously Divine: A Transgressive Theology of God” on April 15, 2010 as part of the Questioning the Law Conference: A Northwestern/Pisa Exchange Program.

Sarah Vaux

The Ethical Vision of Clint Eastwood  by Sara Anson Vaux
(November, 2011)


Barry Wimpfheimer

Cristina Traina's and Barry Wimpfheimer's new books were featured in the Fall 2011 issue of CenterPiece magazine published by the Office for Research.

Barry Scott Wimpfheimer’s book Narrating the Law: A Poetics of Talmudic Legal Stories is available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Barry Wimpfheimer quoted in New York Timesin on August 8th, 2012

Barry Scott Wimpfheimer recently appeared on the JUF television program, Sanctuary. The video is linked here.

Barry Wimpfheimer will be lecturing on May 16, 2010 on “The Place of God in Jewish Law” at Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies, Chicago, IL.

Barry Wimpfheimer delivered a paper entitled “Where is Jewish Law Located?” on April 14, 2010 as part of the  Questioning the Law Conference: A Northwestern-Pisa Exchange Program.

Barry Wimpfheimer delivered a conference paper entitled “ ‘Go Teach Verse to Your Son’ : Rabbis and Schoolteachers in Rabbinic Babylonia,” at the Association for Jewish Studies in Los Angeles on December 21, 2009.

On January 26, 2010 Barry Wimpfheimer traveled to Berkeley, California to present a paper, entitled “Talmudic Dynamics” as part of the Annual Joint Doctoral Program Symposium of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union.

Barry Wimpfheimer’s book Narrating the Law: A Poetics of Talmudic Legal Stories is part of the Divinations Series of the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Religious Studies Photos

December 10, 2012