The Faculty that keeps the Religious Studies Department alive and thriving!
Wallace M. Alston Professor of Bible and Religion
Tina Pippin is the Wallace M. Alston Chair of Bible and Religion at Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, GA. As an activist educator she teaches in the areas of biblical studies, ethics and social justice, gender and wymyn’s studies, and human rights. Publications include, Death and Desire: The Rhetoric of Gender in the Apocalypse of John (Westminster/John Knox, 1992) and Apocalyptic Bodies: The Biblical End of the World in Text and Image (Routledge, 1999). She was also a member of the collaborative writing group, The Bible and Culture Collective (The Postmodern Bible, Yale University Press, 1995), and a co-editor (with David Jobling and Ron Schleifer) of The Postmodern Bible Reader (Blackwell, Spring 2001). She is the editor, with Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, of Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and Their Children (Semeia Studies, 2010). She co-hosts the radical pedagogy podcast, Nothing Never Happens.
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Assistant Professor of Religion
Dr. Iqbal hails from a small hamlet of 20 million–Karachi, Pakistan. She received her PhD in Islamic Studies from Georgetown University. Prior to this she read for her MPhil at the University of Cambridge. She has studied in Pakistan, the US, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, the UK, and Iran. Her research interests include gender and sexuality in the Qur’an, Film and Media Studies, and modern Muslim intellectuals. She is presently working on her monograph: A Thousand and One Wives: Investigating the Intellectual History of the Exegesis of Verse 4:24 and its Implications for Islamic Sexual Ethics. As an assistant professor, she teaches classes in the Religious Studies department and also classes that are cross-listed with Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Film Studies. When she is not working, she loves talking to her family and friends on the phone (thank you, unlimited plans), tracking fashion (sartorial flourishes are so fun), watching films (love love love!), reading novels (never enough), painting watercolors (less and less poorly), and cooking new dishes (sometimes successfully).
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Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Chair
Abraham Zablocki is Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Agnes Scott College. His research focuses on the transnational spread of Tibetan Buddhism and its impact on Tibetan refugees’ efforts to reestablish their religion in exile. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork among Tibetans in Nepal, India, Taiwan, the United States, and Tibet. He received his BA in anthropology from Amherst College and his MA and PhD in anthropology from Cornell University. He co-edited Trans-Buddhism: Transmission, Translation, Transformation, (University of Massachusetts, 2009). His book Global Mandalas: The Transformation of Tibetan Buddhism in Exile is forthcoming from University of Hawaii Press.
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Visiting Professor of Religion
Dr. Georgette “Jojo” Ledgister teaches African Christianity, focusing on the problems, possibilities and promise of Christianity as it engages with and is shaped by African traditional religions. Her research lies at the intersection of comparative religions, gender, social ethics, and conflict. She also serves as the Executive Director of Fearless Dialogues, an organization that specializes in creating unique spaces in which unlikely partners can gather to have hard and heartfelt dialogue about difficult subjects. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Emory University, where she also earned a Ph.D. in social ethics and comparative religions. Her scholarship assists organizations, companies, foundations, universities, schools, and faith communities, to develop the skills and strategies to tap into the creative and constructive possibilities of conflict. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her spouse, André, and their daughter, Zuri.
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Visiting Professor of Religion
Jan Willis earned her BA and MA degrees in Philosophy from Cornell University and her PhD in Indic and Buddhist Studies from Columbia University. She is currently Professor of Religion Emerita at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and Visiting Professor of Religion at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. She has studied with Tibetan Buddhists in India, Nepal, Switzerland and the U.S. for five decades, and has taught courses in Buddhism for over forty-five years. She is the author of The Diamond Light: An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhist Meditation (1972), On Knowing Reality: The Tattvartha Chapter of Asanga’s Bodhisattvabhumi (1979), Enlightened Beings: Life Stories from the Ganden Oral Tradition (1995); and the editor of Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet (1989). Additionally, Willis has published numerous articles and essays on various topics in Buddhism—Buddhist meditation, hagiography, women and Buddhism, and Buddhism and race. In 2001, her memoir, Dreaming Me: An African American Woman’s Spiritual Journey was published. It was re-issued in 2008 by Wisdom Publications as Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist—One Woman’s Spiritual Journey. In December of 2000, TIME magazine named Willis one of six “spiritual innovators for the new millennium.” In 2003, she was a recipient of Wesleyan University’s Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Newsweek magazine’s “Spirituality in America” issue in 2005 included a profile of Willis and, in its May 2007 edition, Ebony magazine named Willis one of its “Power 150” most influential African Americans. A forthcoming book by Jan, Dharma Matters: Women, Race and Tantra will be published in April of 2020.
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