In Search of the Sacred

This FIG pairs two different introductory-level religious studies courses, both of which engage in the study of South and/or East Asian religious traditions and systems of thought in diverse historical, political, and social contexts. For more information on how the Reacting to the Past class works, see the video below.

"It kind of feels like you're there, even though you're in a classroom."

- UO Student Daniel Berger on his experience within his Reacting to the Past course.

College Connections Faculty: Rick Colby

Dr. Rick Colby is Associate Professor and Head of the Religious Studies department.  He was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, and attended undergrad at a small liberal arts college in Philadelphia, where his interests in Arabic and Islamic Studies were first kindled.  After graduation, he traveled in and around Egypt for a year on a Thomas J. Watson fellowship, getting to know Egyptian coffeehouse culture and practicing Egyptian dialect.  He then completed a Master's degree at the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University.

During his dissertation research, Rick spent over a year researching medieval Arabic manuscripts in Damascus, Istanbul, Cairo, London, Paris, and Berlin, partly supported by a Fulbright Fellowship to Syria.  He taught for six years in a Comparative Religion department at Miami University before arriving at the U of O in 2008, where he received tenure in his first year here.  Rick and his wife Penny live in Eugene with their canine children Murphy and Chico, and their feline children Trillian and Galadriel.

FIG Assistant: Avery Miller


Summer Assignment

For your summer assignment, please read chapters 1-3 of Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India (one of our course's required texts).

Write 1-2 pages single-spaced in a MS or compatible file with your reactions to what you read in these three chapters, your questions, and any thoughts you have about how the three stories relate to our FIG's general theme, "In Search of the Sacred." This short writing need not be in the form of a formal essay; composing 1-2 pages of more "stream of consciousness" informal reflections will be fine.

Week of Welcome FIG Meeting

The first meeting for the FIG is Friday, September 22nd at 10:00 am in Columbia 150. Please arrive on time as we will be relocating shortly after.