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Student Publications

Faculty members from the Department of Religious Studies nominate excellent essays written by undergraduates for inclusion in Chrestomathy, the College of Charleston's journal for outstanding undergraduate research in the humanities and social sciences. The essays listed below were published in Chrestomathy, but were initially written for a religious studies class. Some have been substantially revised, edited and polished by the individual authors.



Students have also written impressive Bachelor Essays (for RELS 499), some of which are available for perusal in the Religious Studies Lounge. In the spring, students who have completed a Bachelor's Essay offer the results of their research in a public presentation.  For guidelines on proposing a Bachelor Essay see RELS Research Resources page.

Recent Bachelor Essay topics include:

  • Alicia O'Brian, "African Christian Syncretism in Sea Island Religion"
  • Jenni O'Donnell, "Death Rituals in Balinese Religion and Culture"
  • Jay Laughlin, "Sacred Sound: Language, Prayer, and Song in the Cherokee Worldview"
  • Erin Burke, "Religious Conceptions of Causality in Tibet"
  • Jenni Prueitt, "Religion and Political Identity in Modern Lebanon"
  • Jason Purvis, "Japanese Rituals and the Ethics of Personhood: Ambiguities over Abortion and Brain Death"
  • Amanda Pearce, "The Woodcraft Movement"
  • Corey Wallace, "In a Wash of Blood: The Religious Symbolism of Blood in Judaism and Hinduism"
  • Chelsea Diffendal, "Gender Identity in Native American Religions"
  • Andrew Aghapour, "Postmodern Meta-narratives and Religious Identity"
  • P.J. Schwartz, "The Concept of Evil within Kabbalah"
  • Sean Connolly, "Religious Themes in Japanese Films"
  • Katie Browne, "Religion and the Presidential Election: The Failure of Private Religion in the Political Arena"
  • John Caleb Wise, "Mormon Mainstreaming and Methods of Social Adaptation:  An Emergent American Mormonism."