Student & Faculty 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.

Faculty Research

Megan Adamson Sijapati

In Sept. 2012 Megan presented her paper,  “Muslim Magic and Hindu Power in Nepal’s Kashmiri Muslim Oral Histories” at the second annual Himalayan Studies Conference, held at Western Michigan University.  The paper was on a roundtable panel titled, "Crossing Religious Boundaries in Nepal and the Indian Himalayas."

In Oct. 2012, Megan presented her paper, "Contrasting Narratives and Contemporary Debates about Muslim Religious Space, Secularism, and Belonging in Nepal" at the Annual Conference on South Asia, in Madison, WI.  Her paper was on a panel titled, "Performing Modernity in Kathmandu: Constructing and Corrupting Hindu, Muslim and Royal Identities."

Megan's article, “Mawdudi’s Islamic Revivalist Ideology and the Islami Sangh Nepal,” was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal SINHAS (Studies in Nepali History and Society), Vol. 17 no. 1, 2012.


Jacqueline Robinson

J. Robinson, "Harlem's Halfway Covenant," Association for the Study of African American Life and History, 97th Annual Meeting September 26-30, 2012, September 28 Panel on "Exploring Black Religious Politics from Harlem, New York to Cairo, Illinois", 6.30 pm.

J. Robinson, "Despite the Striking Expansion of Churches in Harlem during the Jazz Age, the Emergence of the Modern Black Minister was Not Inevitable," 37th Annual Conference of the New York African Studies Association; hosted by the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, February 24-25, 2012, February 24 Panel 2 Religion and Culture, 1.10-2.40 pm.

J. Robinson, Civil War Institute, June 26, 2012, "African American Religion and the Meaning of Freedom A Long Time Before, Just Prior, and During 1862, a Year of Wartime Intensification with Emancipatory Outcomes." Power Point Available Upon Request