Campus & Community

CSWR to host 21 fellows at Divinity School:

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Scholars to visit Center for Study of World Religions

The Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard Divinity School (HDS) will host 21 fellows during the 2003-04 academic year. Established in 1958, CSWR fosters excellence in the study of world religions on the broadest scale and from many perspectives. International in composition and subject matter, CSWR facilitates the exchange of ideas growing out of scholarly research. The CSWR Senior Fellowship Program provides scholars with the time for investigation and access to the vast resources of the University.

In addition to its Senior Fellowship Program (which includes a special category of “40th Anniversary Fellows”), CSWR hosts Dissertation Fellows and Doctoral Studies Fellows, all of whom are selected from a competitive pool of Harvard doctoral students. Additionally, CSWR provides Harvard College seniors with the opportunity to participate through the Undergraduate Thesis Fellowship. Successful candidates are chosen based on the excellence of their proposed research in religion. Having its own residential, meeting, and study facilities, CSWR offers many of its fellows the option of residence at the Center and is a focal point for scholarly exchange.

Each year, CSWR also hosts the Yehan Numata Visiting Professor in Buddhism and other visiting scholars who teach and conduct research for a semester or an academic year.

The 2003-04 CSWR Fellows, their affiliations, and their research topics are listed below. Additional information related to each fellow can be found at the CSWR Web site at

The 2003-04 CSWR “40th Anniversary Fellows”:

Martin Sullivan, chief executive officer, Historic St. Mary’s City Commission (Maryland); “Museum Stewardship of Native American Sacred Objects and Sacred Knowledge.”

Kimerer LaMothe, religious studies scholar and dancer, “Dance as a Medium of Religious Experience and Expression.”

John Chirban, professor of psychology, Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology and clinical instructor in psychology, Harvard Medical School; “Methodologies and Epistemologies for Understanding Healing in Orthodox Christianity.”

Johnson Asamoah-Gyadu, lecturer, Trinity Theological Seminary (Ghana); “Religion Is Healing: The New Religions of Ghana and the Continuing Relevance of Health, Wealth and Personal Well-Being in African Religiosity.”

The 2003-04 CSWR Senior Fellows:

Zhiru Ng, assistant professor of religion, Pomona College (California); “Buddhist Visual Culture in Contemporary Taiwan.”

Abdulrazaq Kilani, lecturer in Islamic studies, University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria); “Religion, Health and Healing: A Case Study of Prayer Healing and Exorcism Among Muslims in Nigeria.”

Afeosemime Adogame, research fellow in African Studies, University of Bayreuth (Germany); “African Religious Diaspora in Europe and the USA: A Comparative Perspective.”

Essien Offiong, lecturer in religion, University of Calabar (Nigeria); “Gender/Age Equality and Democratization in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movements in Nigeria.”

Jeffrey Hamburger, professor of the history of art and architecture, Harvard University; “The Art of Female Monasticism in the Holy Roman Empire: 800-1525.”

Patricia Novick, president, Quality Life Training Inc. (Illinois); “Using Religious Visual Art to Understand Views of Health and Healing Within Individual Religions and Among Several Religions.”

Beate Pongratz-Leisten, lecturer, Princeton Theological Seminary; “The Temple as Third Space: The Concept of Order and Purity in Mesopotamia.”

Ivan Gaskell, Margaret S. Winthrop Curator, Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Fogg Art Museum; “Sacred Objects in Museums and Beyond.”

Mayfair Yang, professor of anthropology, University of California at Santa Barbara; “Re-enchanting Modernity and Civil Society: Popular Religion, Spatiality and Ritual Economy in Coastal China.”

Avner Giladi, associate professor and head of the department of Middle East history, University of Haifa (Israel); “In the World of Birthing Ritual: Social History of Midwifery in Medieval Muslim Societies.”

Rogaia Abusharaf, fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government and lecturer in anthropology, Tufts University; “Arabization and Islamization in the Sudan and Their Effect on Indigenous Peoples.”

The 2003-04 CSWR Doctoral Fellows:

Justin Ritzinger, Ph.D. candidate, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS); “Taixu’s Modernizing Movement in Chinese Buddhism of the Late Qing and Republican Periods.”

Atalia Omer, Ph.D. candidate, GSAS; “A Comparative Examination of Sociopolitical Dimensions or Radical Movements in the Context of the Contemporary World System of Nation-States and in Ethno-Religious Conflicts.”

The 2003-2004 CSWR Dissertation Fellows:

Heather Curtis, Ph.D. candidate, HDS; “The Lord for the Body: Sickness, Health, and Divine Healing in 19th Century American Protestantism.”

Michael Rindner, Ph.D. candidate, GSAS; “Religious Symbols and the Evolution of Religious Nationalism in Pakistan.”