The Religious Studies Program at the University of New Mexico trains undergraduate students in the academic study of religion, with a particular emphasis on religion in a rapidly globalizing world, in American life, and in the rich diversity of New Mexico. Our purpose is to help students develop knowledge of major world tradtitions and to understand how these traditions have shaped human culture. We do so as a distinctively public university that approaches religion as a lens through which the human condition, intelluctual and social history, and contemporary human societies can be viewed.


Congratulations to our three long-time Lecturers on their promotions: Dan Wolne and Michael Candelaria are now Principal Lecturers and Lisa Gerber is a Senior Lecturer.

The Religious Studies Program in association with the Ecology Department will be hosting a Lecture Series Spring 2014.

The first lecture featured will be ""Indigenous Philosophy in the Protection of Mother Earth"" presented by Petuuche Gilbert and Laura Watchempino, Acoma Pueblo. The lecture will be on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 12:30-145,Bandelier Hall Room 105. Indigenous peoples, like the Pueblos of New Mexico, are protecting land, water, and people, as an incumbent responsibility. Indigenous peoples believe in a spiritual connection to a beneficent Creator which must be maintained by humans living in harmonious relationship with the earth. Land and its natural resources are to be carefully used for present and future generations. On October 20, 2012, MASE adopted a Nuclear Free Zone Declaration covering the Grants Uranium Belt in Northwest New Mexico. Petuuche and Laura will discuss MASE efforts to disrupt the nuclear fuel chain at the supply stage of uranium extraction activities. MASE hopes that the NFZ declaration can be used to halt all phases of nuclear weapons production, testing, and nuclear enrichment in New Mexico.

The second lecture featured will be "Personal Sharing of culture and spirituality from an Indigenous Woman’s Perspective" by Marian Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo, on Thursday, March 6, 2014 12:30-145 in Bandelier Hall Room 105. Marian Naranjo is a tribal member and resides at Santa Clara Pueblo. She is Founder and Director of Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE), a community-based organization located at Santa Clara Pueblo. She is a mother of four and grandmother of seven, and life time traditional potter. She has been involved in environmental issues of concern for many years, as Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is located within ancestral homelands, a place that is Sacred to Pueblo People. For the past five years, she has been the lead organizer for the New Mexico Food and Seed Sovereignty Alliance Annual Owingeh Ta y Semillas, an event that brings the local farmers together to bless an exchange native seeds for the planting season. HOPE is a core member of Communities for Clean Water (CCW) and presently involved with CCW’s Youth Council Initiative Project as Supervisor/Mentor. Attended UNM from 1968-1971 and studied in the field of Nursing and collective studies.

The third lecture featured will be "Mormon Doctrine on Stewardship of the Earth" Jane Braithwaite, Mormon Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:30-145 Bandelier Hall Room 105 "All humankind are stewards over the earth and should gratefully use what God has given, avoid wasting life and resources and use the bounty of the earth to care for the poor and the needy." From the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Environmental Stewardship and Conservation.

The fourth lecture featured will be"The Power of Refuge in the Midst of Ecological Crisis" Kathyrn Turnipseed, Buddhist Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:30-145 Bandelier Hall Room 105 When we touch the Earth, our home, with awareness we can open to joy, beauty, and belonging. This heartfelt connection can bring forth a sense of care and compassion for all of life. With awareness we can also open to the challenges to the Earth’s well-being that include pervasive drought, extreme weather, and rapidly melting sea ice. These, and other threats of climate change, can be the ground for awakening.

The fifth lecture featured will be "Kinship, Creative Compassion and Climate Change" Joan Brown, Franciscan, and Sherry Lewis, Jewish Reform Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:30-145 Bandelier Hall Room 105 Sr. Joan Brown, osf, Franciscan Sister and Executive Director of NM Interfaith Power and Light and Sherry Lewis, Chair of Alberts Green Team at Congregation Albert (Jewish Reform) will share about their respective traditions and caring for creation and addressing climate change. Joan will also offer insights into the work of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light and working in an interfaith context. Woven into the presentation will be insights from such writers as Fr. Thomas Berry, Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio in their explorations of evolution,the new cosmology, climate change and religion viewed through a lens that everything and everyone is part of the Sacred Earth Community.

Dr. Michael Candelaria has published a new book with Editions Rodopi entitled The Revolt of Unreason Miguel de Unamuno and Antonio Caso on the Crisis of Modernity.

Professor Kathleen Holscher has published a new book with Oxford University Press 2012 entitled Religious Lessons: Catholic Sisters and the Captured Schools Crisis in New Mexico.