Welcome Reception – Fall 2023

Royce 306

Please join us to welcome in the new academic year, see old friends and meet new people. Click here to let us know that you will be coming by October 5th. Thank you!

Diary of a Black Jewish Messiah: David Reubeni’s How-To Manual of Messianic Redemption


In the 16th century, a Hebrew-speaking, battle-scarred, Black-skinned Jew named David Reubeni appeared suddenly in Venice with a desperate plan to restore Jewish pride and political independence. Why did kings, bishops, rabbis, bankers, and even a pope, open their homes and wallets for him? Some answers come from one of the weirdest documents in Jewish...

Righting the American Dream

Kaplan 365

Zoom or In-Person event Click here to register In this book talk, author Diane Winston explores how after two years in the White House, an aging and increasingly unpopular Ronald Reagan looked like a one-term president, but something changed in 1983. Reagan spoke of his embattled agenda as a spiritual rather than a political project...

Shirdi Sai Baba’s Presence: Mediums, Mediations, and Mobilities

Royce Hall 306/Zoom

In-person and Zoom Register here for both in-person or Zoom The South Asian saint Shirdi Sai Baba has an ever-growing global diaspora. His inspiration and healing energies are boons reinforced for many by his defiance of religious communitarianism. In welcoming all castes, creeds, and nationalities, Baba offers an alternative to the divisiveness of his time...

Teach-in for Peace

6275 Bunche Hall

ROOM FULL for in- person attendance. Accepting Zoom registration only. RSVP required. Register here Explore sources of peace and non-violence with leading teachers, including: Salam Al-Marayati - Muslim Public Affairs Council Professor Carol Bakhos - UCLA Center for the Study of Religion Rabbi Sharon Brous – Ikar Prof./Rabbi Aryeh Cohen - American Jewish University Aziza Hasan - Executive Director,...

The Formation of Classical Islam from Muhammad to the Abbasids

Haines 39/Zoom

In person (Haines 39) or on Zoom Register here for both in-person or Zoom attendance Returning to UCLA by popular demand, this lecture by Walid Saleh (University of Toronto) provides an overview of the major features of Classical Islam that solidified during the early Abbasid period. Such features include the  rise of major religious sciences...

How Archaeologists Study the People of the Gospels

Royce 306

In Person (Royce 306) or on Zoom Register here How do archaeologists unearth the daily life of people from Jesus’s time? Contrary to popular belief, archaeology of first-century Roman Galilee is not about illustrating or proving the gospels, drawing timelines, or hunting treasure. Rather, it is about understanding the lives of people, just like us,...

Colonial Encounters: Sor Juana, Guaman Poma, and the Birth of the Brown Church

Kaplan 365

In person (Kaplan 365) This guest lecture examines the little known multicultural religious protests to the Spanish Conquest of colonial Latin America.  Such protests began in 1511 under the guidance of Dominican friar Antonio de Montesinos and led to “The Great Debate” in which, for the first time in recorded human history, an entire nation...

Why Understanding Religion Matters in an Age of Extinctions: Migrations of the Sacred in the Anthropocene

Kaplan 365

In person (Kaplan 365) or on Zoom Could knowledge about biodiversity loss be advanced through inquiry into the study of religion? Emerging from a lab that integrates humanities, arts, and sciences into research on coastal change in Virginia, this talk shows how different conceptions of religion and spirituality open unique lines of inquiry into human...

Making a Refuge of Resistance: A History of the U.S. Sanctuary Movement

314 Royce Hall

In person (Royce 314) Is sacred space protective space? This question lies at the heart of the Sanctuary Movement, the most confrontational progressive religious social movement in the United States since the heyday of the Civil Rights Movement. Modern Sanctuary Movement activists adopted the ancient practice of protecting in designated sanctuaries individuals who stood in...