Elon University is a leading university in undergraduate research, and the Religious Studies Department includes several nationally recognized experts in Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies.
The Department encourages interested and committed students to conduct independent research with a faculty mentor, including Honors and Fellows projects for students.
If you are interested in a particular topic, please see the interests of our faculty mentors below and contact the appropriate professor.
Faculty Mentoring Interests
I am happy to work with students interested in researching topics in South Asian religions (particularly Hinduism and Islam); gender and religion; religion, health, and healing (including in/fertility and assisted reproductive technologies); ritual and performance studies; and contemporary India (especially sexuality, women’s and gender issues). I am also interested in mentoring students who wish to undertake ethnographic research or who may want to conduct fieldwork with transnational/diaspora South Asian religious communities.
I am happy to mentor students interested in a range of Jewish Studies areas, especially in connection with issues of ethics, theology, Jewish philosophy, contemporary American Judaism, or Jewish women’s/gender studies.
I am willing to mentor students in the areas of New Testament literature; the construction of gender, sexuality, and family in early Christianity; ancient and medieval biblical interpretation (hermeneutics); feminist and queer approaches to the Bible; interpretation of the Bible in art; ancient and modern apocalyptic language and metaphor.
I am willing to mentor research projects relating to Islam in any geographical or historical context; religions in Africa or the diaspora; and categories of religion, science and magic.
I am amenable to mentoring students interested in religion in the United States, or North American/Caribbean contexts. Topics related to questions of social regulation, secularism, colonialism, war, history, or religion and popular culture are particularly interesting. I would be interested in assisting students with projects focused on alternative religions (such as Neopaganism, Neoshamanism, psychedelic religions, ecoreligions, etc.), American Christianities, civil religion, atheism, humanism, Afro-Diaspora religions (esp. in the context of the continental U.S., such as Voudou), spiritual-but-not-religious bricolage, and more.
I would be happy to mentor students on projects related to religion in South Asia (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam or the Jain or Sikh traditions) as well as South Asian history. Other areas of interest include inter-religious relations, religion and violence, religion and globalization and secularism. I would welcome discussion on research ideas that involve library, archival or ethnographic research in U.S. contexts or abroad.
I am happy to work with students interested in any of my areas of research or expertise, these include: globalization, economic ethics, environmental ethics, poverty, inequality, feminist theology and ethics, liberation theology, two-thirds (third) world theology; sexuality; and reproductive ethics.
I can offer mentoring for students interested in researching religion and culture, particularly religion and popular music as well as religion and sports. I would also be happy to offer initial guidance for students who are interested in pursuing research in the discipline of religious studies but are not yet certain about which area best fits their current studies and interests.
I am interested in working with students whose topics dovetail with my own areas of research and expertise, namely, East Asian (Chinese, Japanese) religion and visual culture, religion and healing, sacred space in the East Asian context, and comparative mysticism (Hindu-Buddhist and Christian traditions).