August 25, 2019

Romero Contributes Essay to Volume on Ancient Greek Epigram

Professor of Classics, Philosophy and Religion Joe Romero Contributes Essay to Volume on Ancient Greek Epigram

Professor of Classics, Philosophy and Religion Joe Romero Contributes Essay to Volume on Ancient Greek Epigram

Professor of Classics, Philosophy and Religion Joe Romero (CPRD) has contributed an essay, “‘From atop a lofty wall’ Philosophers and Philosophy in Greek Literary Epigram,” edited by Maria Kanellou, Ivana Petrovic, and Chris Carey and published by Oxford University Press in a volume entitled Greek Epigram from the Hellenistic to the Early Byzantine Era (2019) pp. 288-304.

Barry Publishes Monograph Bishops in Flight

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry published her first monograph, Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity, with the University of California Press.

A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at

Book Abstract:
Flight during times of persecution has a long and fraught history in early Christianity. In the third century, bishops who fled were considered cowards or, worse yet, heretics. On the face, flight meant denial of Christ and thus betrayal of faith and community. But by the fourth century, the terms of persecution changed as Christianity became the favored cult of the Roman Empire. Prominent Christians who fled and survived became founders and influencers of Christianity over time.

Bishops in Flight examines the various ways these episcopal leaders both appealed to and altered the discourse of Christian flight to defend their status as purveyors of Christian truth, even when their exiles appeared to condemn them. Their stories illuminate how profoundly Christian authors deployed theological discourse and the rhetoric of heresy to respond to the phenomenal political instability of the fourth and fifth centuries.

Mathews Presents Paper at Harvard University Symposium

Professor of Religious Studies Mary Beth Mathews

Professor of Religious Studies Mary Beth Mathews

Professor of Religious Studies Mary Beth Mathews presented an invited paper, “Doctrine, Race, and Education: The American Baptist Theological Seminary and Jim Crow,” at Harvard University’s Symposium on Religion and Public Life in Africa and the Americas, sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She argued that African American theological seminaries in the American South are a neglected but necessary avenue for understanding how African American evangelicals negotiated racial barriers to education and constructed autonomous spaces for theological development.

Vasey To Give Religious Freedom Address

Craig Vasey

Craig Vasey

Craig Vasey, Chair of the Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion and Professor of Philosophy, will give the keynote address, “Civil Rights and Religious Opinions” at the Knights of Columbus annual Religious Freedom Day celebration on Sunday, Jan. 14 at the Religious Freedom Monument on Washington Avenue.

Hirshberg Presents Paper at International Conference

Dan Hirshberg, assistant professor of religion, presented new research at the International Association for Tibetan Studies conference, held at the University of Bergen (Norway), June 19–25, 2016. His paper traced the introduction and evolution of the many names of Padmasambhava, an eighth-century tantrika credited with establishing Buddhism in Tibet, which became signposts in the retelling of his biography as well as the foci of countless ritual and devotional liturgies.

Vasey Co-Writes Journal Article

Craig Vasey and Linda Carroll wrote an article titled “How Do We Evaluate Teaching?” in the May-June issue of Academe, a publication of the American Association of University Professors.

Vasey is professor of philosophy and chair of the Department of Classics, Philosophy and Religion. He is a former member of the AAUP’s national council and current chair of the Committee on Teaching, Research and Publication. Linda Carroll is professor of Italian at Tulane University and a member of the AAUP’s Executive Committee.


Scanning Through History

Students relive the past using 3-D technology.

UMW Commemorates Anniversary of Religious Freedom Statute

The University of Mary Washington will commemorate the anniversary of the enactment of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom on Thursday, January 29 with a lecture “Religious Freedom and the Culture Wars” given by Douglas Laycock, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the law of religious liberty.   Douglas Laycock, 2015 Jefferson Lecture speaker The presentation will take place in at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium and is open to the public free of charge. A Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, Laycock has testified frequently before Congress and has argued many cases in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of the leading casebook Modern American Remedies; the award-winning monograph The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule; and co-editor of a collection of essays, Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty. He recently published Religious Liberty, Volume I: Overviews and History and Volume II: The Free Exercise Clause, the first half of a four-volume collection of his many writings on religious liberty. The UMW Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion has sponsored the annual Jefferson Lecture on Religious Freedom since 2002, bringing scholars and public figures to the stage to enlighten students and visitors about religious freedom and the significance of Jefferson’s impact. Jefferson’s statute was enacted by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786 and established the legal right to complete freedom of worship in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The statute also was a significant step toward the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The presentation also will recognize the winners of a middle school essay contest on the theme of religious freedom, co-sponsored by the UMW Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion and the Fredericksburg Coalition of Reason. Each winner will receive a certificate on-stage before the lecture. For more information about the event, please contact Craig Vasey, professor and chair of the Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion at (540) 654-1342.

Hirshberg Moderates Plenary Session


“Authenticity and Myth-Making” Panelists
From left to right: Dan Hirshberg, Wulstan Fletcher (Tsadra Foundation), Professor Karma Lekshe Tsomo (University of San Diego), Professor Don Lopez (University of Michigan), and Dr. Jules Levinson (UMA Institute).

Dan Hirshberg, Assistant Professor of Religion, moderated the closing discussion of Tsadra Foundation’s Transmission & Translation conference. Since Tibetans began streaming out of Tibet following the Communist Invasions of the 1950’s, this marks the first time that the world’s foremost scholars and translators of Tibetan language materials, both from academia and Buddhist practice communities, both Tibetans and not, were convened to discuss an array of issues concerning the translation of Tibetan into Western languages. His panel on “Authenticity and Myth-Making” was especially provocative in confronting the problem of discrimination in Buddhist scripture, especially with regard to gender, and the question as to whether translators should allow such content to persist in translation, thereby sanctifying discrimination in authoritative sources for contemporary audiences who repudiate such views.

Mindfulness Week Returns to UMW

Lilian Cheung, director of health promotion and communication in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University, will be the featured speaker for the University of Mary Washington’s second annual Mindfulness Week that begins Monday, Sept. 15. Co-author of “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life,” Cheung will discuss mindful eating on Wednesday, September 17, at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411. The talk is free and open to the public. Lilian Cheung In addition to serving as a lecturer for the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, Cheung is the editorial director of The Nutrition Source, a nutrition website for health professionals, media and consumers; co-editorial director of the Obesity Prevention Source, a website providing science-based information for policy changes at the community level, and the Asian Diabetes Prevention Initiative, a website providing research-based evidence for policy makers and the public with the goal of reversing the spread of Type 2 diabetes in Asia. Cheung will be available after her talk to sign copies of her book. The weeklong awareness event also includes lectures, workshops and a film screening. For more information and a listing of all events, please visit Most events are free and open to the public.