Department of Religious Studies

Prestigious Fellowships Awarded to R S Graduate Students

Mon, June 17, 2013
Prestigious Fellowships Awarded to R S Graduate Students
Mike Amoruso (left) and Tony Keddie (right)

The Department of Religious Studies is happy to congratulate two of our PhD students who have been selected for prestigious competitive awards.

George “Tony” Keddie has been selected for the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund and the David Bruton, Jr. Fellowship.  The Liebmann Fund is an external award named for an Armenian-born American philanthropist.  The David Bruton, Jr. Fellowship was established in 1991 by the University of Texas Board of Regents and named for a UT graduate who became a successful Texas businessman.  Tony’s research focuses on the Jewish matrix of early Christianity, and non-biblical Hellenistic Jewish texts in particular.  In November, he will present a paper on the differing understandings of Torah of the apostle Paul and the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria at the Society of Biblical Literature conference in Baltimore.  He plans to prepare a paper on the Jewish text known as the Apocalypse of Weeks for another conference presentation and to write an article on the “political unconscious” of the Jewish text Third Maccabees for publication.

Mike Amoruso will receive a Fulbright Scholarship to assist with his upcoming research in São Paulo, Brazil in spring 2014.  The Fulbright is one of the most prestigious awards for supporting students participating in research in foreign countries.  Established in 1946, it was founded with the aim to fund the “promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science”.   Mike is researching religious attitudes towards and practices that engage spirits of the dead in contemporary Brazil.  His Fulbright fellowship will support fieldwork at Kardecist Spiritist centers and a Catholic church built on a former gallows for runaway slaves, rebellious soldiers, and criminals.

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