Online Course: Sacred & Profane: Stories of Religion in Unexpected Places

Feb 7 - Feb 28

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Mondays in February, Cost: $68 for Members of Siegal Lifelong Learning; $83 for Non-Members

Join Martien Halvorson-Taylor and Kurtis Schaeffer, professors of religious studies at the University of Virginia and the co-directors of the Religion, Race & Democracy Lab, for a four-week course on religion and the challenge of meaning-making in public and private life. Each week they select from among the best episodes of the Sacred & Profane podcast, which they co-host, to guide you through key issues in ancient religious traditions from around the world. The topics include exile and inclusion in ancient Judaism; translating gender and race in biblical literature; ancient Buddhist ethics; and religious pluralism in early America—all explored through compelling stories of people grappling with ancient traditions to make meaning in their lives today.

Presented by the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University.


Martien Halvorson-Taylor

Co-Director, Religion, Race & Democracy Lab and Associate Professor, Religious Studies

A scholar of the Hebrew Bible, Halvorson-Taylor focuses on the interpretation of the Babylonian exile, diaspora literature, the book of Job, and the reception of the Bible. An award-winning teacher, she offers large enrollment classes on the Hebrew Bible, as well as specialized courses on the books of Job, Genesis, and the Song of Songs. She currently serves as the Director of UVA’s Pavilion Seminars, which are focused on big topics with enduring relevance across disciplines and are aimed at advanced third- and fourth-years. Her recently published short course with Audible Books, called “Writing the Bible,” explores the question, “Who wrote the Bible?” Learn more here.


Kurtis Schaeffer

Co-Director, Religion, Race & Democracy Lab and Frances Myers Ball Professor, Religious Studies

An expert in the cultural history of Buddhism in Tibet and the author or editor of nine books, Schaeffer is interested more generally in the workings of religion in social life. He is especially interested in the ways religion moves people to action through art, literature, history, and ritual. He has directed multiple NEH summer institutes on the academic study of religion, and manages multiple collaborative digital projects. Schaeffer routinely conducts research in Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. He served as Department Chair of Religious Studies, the largest such department at a public university in the US, for eight years.