October 2, 2023

Johnson-Young Presents with UMW Alumni at Conference

Elizabeth Johnson-Young, assistant professor of communication, presented work with two UMW alumni, Alexander Clegg and John Guidon, at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference in Washington, D.C.

The peer reviewed paper, “Religion and the Media: A Study of Student Perception of Media Bias in Georgia,” was presented in the Religion and Media Interest Group division and discussed survey research conducted in Tblisi, Georgia, investigating religiosity and perceptions of media bias towards the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Hirshberg Presents Paper at UVA Symposium

Dan Hirshberg, Assistant Professor of Religion, recently presented a paper for a symposium at the University of Virginia, which brought together scholars from Bibliographical Studies and Tibetan Studies to discuss the physical aspects of Tibetan books. He presented on the codicology and paleography of Tibetan manuscripts on a panel with Professor Jake Dalton (University of California, Berkeley).

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 meditation.umwblogs.org/umw-mindfulness-week-2014/. Most events are free and open to the public.

Mary Beth Mathews Offers Opinion in Fredericksburg Newspaper

Mary Beth Mathews, associate professor of religion, wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Friday, Dec. 9 issue of The Free Lance-Star. The article, “U.S. Voters Do Care What Candidates Believe,” argues that American voters are interested in political candidates’ religious beliefs and practices.

David Cain

David Cain, distinguished professor of religion, presented a paper, “‘The Gleam of an Indication’—Adventures of the Text,” served as a commentator and addressed a “Pastor’s Workshop” on Kierkegaard’s relation to ministry at the sixth International Kierkegaard Conference at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., in June. He set up a Kierkegaard photographic exhibit for the Søren Kierkegaard Society during the American Academy of Religion’s 100th annual meeting in Atlanta in October. Cain’s essay “Why Kierkegaard Still Matters” was published in Why Kierkegaard Matters: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert L. Perkins, and the essay “ ‘But What Have You Done Here!’:  Kierkegaard’s Interesting Loss of the Interesting” was published in the International Kierkegaard Commentary: The Point of View.

Mehdi Aminrazavi

Mehdi Aminrazavi, professor of philosophy and religion, has recently published Islamic Philosophy: An Online Text Book for Colleges.

“This text book provides the reader with a comprehensive and thorough discussion of the Islamic philosophical tradition from historical and thematic perspectives,” said Aminrazavi. “This work offers a survey of the development of Islamic philosophy (Falsafah-Hikmah) in different periods and schools of thought.” Various themes and debates among philosophers concerning such topics as ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, eschatology, ethics, and political philosophy are among the issues discussed.

This book will be used in the master’s program at Middlesex University and the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, both located in London, and will be used for their online Islamic philosophy courses in 2010 through 2011. The book is available only in electronic format. For more information, visit  www.mdx.ac.uk or www.islamic-college.ac.uk.

In addition, Aminrazavi’s book An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia was selected as one of the superior books in the field of humanities for the International Department of Tehran’s 23rd International Book Fair.  Aminrazavi,  who is director of the Middle Eastern Studies program and co-director of the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies,  accepted the honor at a special ceremony in Tehran in May.