Student Research

The study of religion is a collaboration between students and faculty at Gettysburg. Religious Studies students have the opportunity to work with faculty members on a thesis or project during their senior year.

Senior Thesis or Projects

  • Cassandra Wells, “Lamentation Rituals in Shi’a Islam” (2016)
  • Megan Fenrich, “Religion and the Rwandan Genocide” (2016)
  • Megan Fenrich, “Searching for Spirituality: Kerouac, Nietzsche, and the New Age Movement”, (2016)
  • Amanda Kaste, “Religion and the American Civil Rights Movement: How Judeo-Christian Religious Narratives and Experiences Transformed the Fight for Freedom, Justice, and Equality” (2016)
  • Anna Malone and Spenser Greeley, “Walking Together: Lessons in Prison Ministry” (2016)
  • Samantha Smith, “Holocaust and Jewish Thought” (2015)
  • Sarah Cunningham, “The Role of God and Religion in the Experiences of holocaust Survivors”
  • Elizabeth Marshall, “'More for My Children': The Impact of Family and Religion on Educational Decisions for Females in Nepal and Kenya” (2014)
  • Nathan Hill, “Trees in the Fire: Assurances of Salvation in the Midst of Sin” (2014)
  • Jessica Powell, “American Churches' Involvement in the Arab-Israeli Conflict” (2014)
  • Kelly Hagerty, “God Himself Could Not Sink this Ship: The Altered Perceptions of God in response to the R.M.S. Titanic” (2014)
  • Emily Costley, “I Am Because We Are” (2014)
  • Molly Walsh, “Racialization of Muslims in America” (2014)
  • Ashley Rotchford, “Coptic Christians and Muslims in 20th Century Egypt: A History of Tension and Differentiation” (2012)
  • Kyra Jenny, “The Jewish Sabbath: The Eternal Unity of God and Socio-Spiritual Ethics” (2012)
  • Anne-Marie Valentine, “Dimensions of Identity:Exploring Religious Intolerance in Pakistan’s Education System” (2012)
  • Paul McCoy, “A Religious Experience: The Relationship Between the Religion and Music of Olivier Messiaen” (2010)
  • Kristen Olsen, “Resurrection and Love in Harry Potter”, (2010)
  • Annabelle Myers, “Na’ii’ees: The Apache Sunrise Dance” (2009) A study of an Apache fertility rite for young women and the importance of the Dance for carrying on Apache traditions.
  • Elena Adlon, “No Monsters” (2007) A novella that treats the serious issue of teen suicide and raises issues related to eternal life and universal salvation.
  • Adam Como, “The Spirits that Surround Us” (2007) A study of the Spiritualist Movement in America and its understanding of the continuity of life.
  • Jesse Ports, “We Who Are Alive” (2007) A treatment of the importance and consistency of New Testament eschatological thought that survives the delay of the Parousia.
  • Joseph Spizzirri, “The Insane Clown Posse, An Outcast Faith” (2007) An examination of the theological themes in the music of this “horror rap” group.
  • Jillian Reese, “Mary Magdalene & Other Women in the Gnostic Gospels” (2005). A study of the place of three Marys-Magdalene, the mother of Jesus, and the sister of Martha--in the early Christian movement, as reflected in early (canonical and non-canonical) Christian literature.
  • Jennifer Robinson, “Ecclesiastes and Canonicity” (2005) A study of the uniqueness of this biblical book and how it came to be included in the canon of Hebrew Scriptures.
  • Lennox Goldson, “The Black Megachurch Phenomenon” (2005). A study of the megachurch in general, with particular attention to the distinctive features of the phenomenon in the African-American community.
  • Carin Goodall, “Latin American Liberation Theology and its Impact on the Roman Catholic Church” (2004)
    Based on a consideration of many original sources in Spanish, this thesis examines the thought of liberation theology and its influence on Roman Catholicism in Latin America.
  • Colleen Reed, “Islamic Divorce Laws: Laws in Different Islamic Countries and How these Law” (2004)
  • Sean Mulryne, “Theologue, The Divine Creativity of Alex Grey” (2003). A study of the life, art, and spirituality of Alex Gray, a “contemporary spiritual artist,” which involved a personal interview and video-recorded conversation with the artist in his studio in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Justin Riemer, “The Amish and Education: The Development and Beliefs of the Amish System of Education” (2003)
    A study of the Amish people through an examination of their distinctive educational system and their understanding of biblical passages that lead to separation from the modern world.  
  • Curran Geist, “The Transformation of a Political Leader: Tracing Orthodox Islam's Influence on Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz)” (2002) An investigation that looks at the impact of orthodox Islam on the life and thought of Malcolm X.
  • Sara Kushnick, “East, West, and In the Beginning: Comparative Cosmogony in Ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Japanese Texts” (2002) A comparative study of The Theogony by Hesiod, the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, and the Japanese Kojiki.
  • Sarah Person. “Michelangelo, An Exegete in the New Testament” (2002) A study of Michelangelo as a biblical interpreter through a careful consideration of his “Last Judgment” fresco in the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
  • Megan Reichard, “Modern Christianity, Ancient Jerusalem, and Popular Culture: A Journey through The Holy Land Experience” (2002) A first-hand study of the Christian theme-park, The Holy Land Experience, that opened in Orlando, Florida in 2002.