Titles of Past Religious Studies Theses

Name (2023)Thesis Title and Advisor
Jasmine CandelariaIs the relationship between Catholic Charities and Resettlement Agencies Toxic? Further Examining Catholic Charities and Resettlement Agencies Through Theory – Professor Bruce
Jack CantorOf Pawos and Bodhisattvas: The Poltico-Religious Language of Tibetan Self-Immolation – Professor Melnick Dyer
Nina CarterThe Church of Scientology: A Search for the Truth Behind Tom Cruise’s Religion – Professor Bruce
Khushi ChoudharyGardens of Oppression: In Search of Her Delight – Professor Baker
Alice CockerhamThe Mark of the Beast, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the End of the World – Professor Baker
Max DevonThe Seekers: American Religion in the Context of Heaven’s Gate – Professor Bruce
Gretchen LindenfeldarWriting American Buddhist Memoir: An Exploration of American Buddhism Through the Work of Three Different Leading Voices in the Space – Professor Melnick Dyer
Navaar NaimiBorn Shinto, Die Buddhist – Professor Melnick Dyer
Frances WhiteWomen with Chutzpah: Comedy as a Subversive Tool of Jewish Female Comedians: An Analysis of the Humor of Sophie Tucker, Totie Fields, Gilda Radner, Ilana Glazer and Tiffany Haddish – Professor Baker
Name (2022)Thesis Title and Advisor
Insha AfsarJammu and Kashmir: Paradise from the Outside but Prison for Kashmiris – Professor Akhtar
Madeline Korbey‘Sermons’ and ‘Sermonizing’ in the Context of Death and Dying During Covid – Professor Melnick Dyer
O. Alexander PlattTill Death Bring Us Union: A Study of the Divine Marriage Metaphor in the New Testament – Professor Baker
Kang XiongProsperity Gospel and Social Justice in the Asian American Church – Professor Akhtar
Name (2021)Thesis Title and Advisor
Anna-Elena MaheuLaying the Groundwork: Desert Spaces and the Sacralization of U.S. Settler Colonialism – Professor Baker
Will ZimmermanDharma for All: Mindfulness in the United States of America – Professor Melnick Dyer
Name (2020)Thesis Title and Advisor
Samuel Glenn‘Your Favorite Rapper’s a Christian Rapper’: Chance the Rapper’s Use of Religious Discourse on His 2016 Mixtape, Coloring Book – Professor Bruce
Jack McLarnon ‘One’ and ‘I’: Dynamics of Ritual Unity and Individuality in the Liturgical Practice of the Catholic Nicene Creed – Professor Baker
Bernhardur Magnusson McComish Religious Visions of the Environmental ‘Apocalypse’: Theological Approaches to Climate Change – Professor Baker
Lila PatinkinThe Very Well-Known, Not Known at All, Story of Esther, Queen of Persia – Professor Baker
Lydia SullivanIndependent Thinkers & Women Unrestrained: Táhirih, Sera Khandro and Mary Baker Eddy in the Androcentric Public Sphere of the 19th and 20thCenturies – Professor Melnick Dyer
Jin WeiFolklore and Religions Reimagined in Contemporary China – Professor Melnick Dyer
Name (2019)Thesis Title and Advisor
Molly BrooksReligion and Citizenship: A Case Study for the Involvement of Religion in the Identity and Culture of Citizens in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore – Professor Akhtar
Anissa GarzaThe Gendered Model of the Civil Rights Movement: Its Social and Psychological Impacts  — Professor Bruce  
Claudia GlickmanThe Force of Translation on Contemporary Bible Study: A Look into How Word Choice Affects the Book of Genesis and Conceivable Methods of Its Reconstruction – Professor Carlson-Hasler
Rebecca HowardAmbiguities of Interpretation: The Artistic Eloquence of Abdulnasser Gharem’s Ricochet  — Professor Bruce
Shahrukh KhanUnderstanding Non-violence in Islam: Sacred text, Religious Reform, Music, and Law in Pakistan – Professor Akhtar
Name (2018)Thesis Title and Advisor
Ezra Oliff-LiebermanThe past isn’t dead.  It isn’t even past:  An Exploration of Jewish-Israeli (Dis)Engagement with the Nakba or The Israeli Case for Reparations – Professor Baker [Peace & Conflict Studies major]
Robert DanielsDianetics to Scientology: Hubbard’s Use of Religious Discourse – Professor Bruce
Emma HampsonThe Americanization of Buddhism and the Subsequent Development of Mindfulness-Based Stress Therapy: Is There a Role for Religion in Healthcare? Professor Melnick Dyer
Kai LindseyThe Intergenerational Transmission of Buddhism in Maine – Professor Melnick Dyer
Joshua Moise-SilvermanJewish Ethical Reflections on the Promises and Challenges of Emerging Reproductive Technologies – Professor Baker
Olga RevzinaMachik Labdrön and Tsultrim Allione’s Commitment to All Sentient Beings: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Buddho-psychology – Professor Melnick Dyer
Benjamin TonelliThe Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Responsibility of the Modern Neighbor – Professor Bruce
Name (2017)Thesis Title and Advisor
Kelsey PearsonThe Hero’s Journey and Soul Retrieval Therapy – Professor Baker
Audrey PuleioSpiritual-Environmental Responsibility: Emotional Connection to Nature as Seen in Avatar – Professor Melnick Dyer
Fatima SaidiThe Evolution of Politics, Religion, and their Relationship in the Modern Middle East (1900-2016) – Professor Akhtar
Andrew SegalPower to the People: Black Power & the Limitations of a Rights-based Discourse in the struggle for Black Liberation – Professor Tracy and Dr. Chris Petrella
Ahmed SheikhPolitics of (Mis)Representation: Film Narratives of Somalia Deconstructed – Professor Akhtar
Name (2016)Thesis Title and Advisor
Melissa CarpRemembering the Former Jewish Community Center of Lewiston, Maine – Dr. Darby Ray
Norberto Diaz, IIIA Scientific Soul:  Creating Dialogue Between Science and Religion in Order to Achieve a Holistic View – Professor Tracy
Esperanza Au GilbertHidden in Plain Sight:  Married Orthodox Jewish Women and the Practice of Wig Wearing as Head Covering – Professor Baker
Wendy Hermans GoldmanWe’re Still Jews: 21st Century Jewish Identity Reflected in the Humor of Transparent, Broad City, and Sarah Silverman – Professor Baker
Emilie MullerThe Conquest Narrative of Joshua 1-12:  Ideological Strategies, Morality, and Modern Implications – Professor Baker
Peter NovelloThe Science of Religion:  A Catholic and Tibetan Buddhist Comparison – Professor Tracy
Kathryn OrtegaCreating a Better World by Imagining a Way to Create Religious Harmony – Professor Tracy
Alex TritellDivine Commands in the Akedah:  Religious Extremism and the Model of Faith – Professor Tracy
Name (2015)Thesis Title and Advisor
Adina BrinModern American Jews, Collective Victimhood, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – Professor Baker
Eliza KaplanChoosing the Chosen People.  Jewish Identification Among Intermarried Families in America – Professor Baker
Myriam KellyTurkey’s Emergence as a Regional Power in the Wake of the Syrian Refugee Crisis – Professor Akhtar
Alison Rose KimballThe Problem of Evil – Professor Tracy
Emma LindsayHow Eve Set Humanity Free From the Garden:  Connecting the Feminine Divine through Eve’s Desire for Wisdom – Professor Baker
Julia OfmanMunis Tekinalp’s “Ten Commandments”:  An examination of Jewish Turkification in the Early Republic and Its Ambivalent Legacy in Contemporary Turkey – Professor Baker
Hollis Graham SaffordThe Jackson Creed – Professor Bruce
Joseph Marques-FalkThe Jhānas: A Comparison of Teachings on Absorption Concentration in the Theravadan Tradition – Professor Strong
Henry NguyenThe Negative Impacts of Deforestation on Wildlife in China – Professor Strong
Name (2014)Thesis Title and Advisor
Charles DonahueThe Immaculate Reception:  An Examination of Religious Symbolism in Sports – Professor Bruce
Julia HanlonThomas Merton in Dialogue with Buddhism – Professor Strong 
Claire KershkoThe Problem of Evil:  An Examination of the Classical and Neoclassical Conceptions of God in Consideration of the Problem of Evil – Professor Tracy
Madeline LandryIn the EMptiness of Non-Being:  An Exposition of Classical and Neoclassical Theism – Professor Tracy
Katharine NixonMountains and Mandalas:  An Exploration of an Axis Mundi in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition – Professor Strong
Natalie L. ShribmanIsrael as a Divided State:  Discrimination Against Reform Jews and Converts in Israel – Professor Baker
Alison TraversThe Theological and Political Debate on Family Planning and its Fruition in Egyptian Society – Professor Akhtar
Name (2013)Thesis Title and Advisor
Remy AlbertGush Emunim and Neturei Karta:  An Analysis of Contending Models of Jewish Masculinity in Israel – Professor Baker
Jadria Concetta Lineberger CincottaThe Dualisms of Paul – Professor Baker
Maggie DembinskiTheology in Recovery from Abuse and Addiction – Professor Baker
Rashad RoseA More Perfect Union:  Beyond The Speech – Professor Bruce
Name (2012)Thesis Title and Advisor
Zoe BryanA Case for War:  Just War Theory as Applied to the 2003 United States Invasion of Iraq – Professor Tracy
Phoebe DixonMormon Evangelism in the 21st Century – Professor Bruce
Maria KingThe Mysticism of St. Teresa of Avila – Professor Tracy
Elana LeopoldIjtihad:  Searching for a Missing Definition – Professor Schomburg
Lizzie LeungToo Easy Being Green:  Global Shangri-la and Green Orientalism in China’s Tibet – Professor Strong
Ronny EadFinding Your Path:  A Practical Comparison of the Samatha and Bare Insight Approaches to Nirvana – Professor Strong
Joseph P. DrinkwaterSporting Proportionality:  Title IX’s Effect on High School and Collegiate Male Athletes – Professor Bruce
Name (2011)Thesis Title and Advisor
Michael TetlerThe Liturgical Ideal of the Tractarian Movement – Professor Bruce
Juliana KirklandClear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose – Professor Bruce
Name (2010)Thesis Title and Advisor
Julia BedellFrom Mirra Alfassa to the Mother: Tracing the Path of a Modern Spiritual Icon – Professor Schomburg
Jared BokContextualization of the Gospel to Muslims and its Implications for Christian-Muslim Relations – Professor Schomburg
Brandon CooperGush Emunim: Religious Zionism and Its Impact on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process – Professor Baker
Beau Jack Sunil DahmsThe Evolution of Jeremiad Discourse throughout American History; John Winthrop, The Rev. Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr., and Barack Obama – Professor Bruce
Robert FriedlanderCompeting Views of Islam:  Osama bin Laden and Khaled Abou el Fadl on What It Means to Be a Good Muslim in the Twenty-First Century – Professor Schomburg
Lindsay Thomson-BrillTracing the Path of the Snow Lion:  Tibetan Nationalism and the Dalai Lama’s Dilemma – Professor Strong
Name (2009)Thesis Title and Advisor
Benjamin HorganSpiritual Awakenings:  Alcoholics Anonymous, Storytelling, and the Logic of Gift Exchange – Professors Bruce and Swan Tuite
Manuela OdellRecreation of Africa as the “Holy Land”:  Case Study of Candomblé – Professor Bruce
Rose SchwabSystems of Dominance and Submission:  From Biblical Narratives to Faith Communities – Professor Baker
Shawki Ta’lib WhiteReligion of the Streets:  Forming a Unique Image and Understanding of God, Expressing It through Hip Hop – Professor Bruce
Name (2008)Thesis Title and Advisor
Victoria LibbyMuslim Veiling Since the 1970’s:  Veiling as a Vehicle Towards Greater Mobility and Autonomy – Professor Schomburg
Name (2007)Thesis Title and Advisor
Ross AllardThe Vision of a Warrior:  Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Naropa University – Professor Strong
Elizabeth Shaftal CohenVillain, Hero, and Jew:  Examining Representations and Characterizations of Judas Iscariot – Professor Bruce
Veronica Helppie DenglerYoga:  A Cultural Analysis of History and Practice – Professor Strong
Alicia HansonLost in the Woods:  Jack Kerouac and the  American Buddhist Landscape – Professor Strong
Nils JohnsonIntending Hip Hop Through Phenomenology –
Matthew ZiinoExamining the Politics of Islam – A Reinterpretation of Islam and Democracy –
Amadi Sulaiman CisseReturning to The “Door of No Return” – Professor Bruce
Name (2006)Thesis Title and Advisor
Sarah MengelTransitions in Jihad’s Redefinition:  Modernity’s Challenge to Tradition – Professor Tracy
Meg JoyceWhen Nails Don’t Hang:  An Examination of How Jesus Hung on the Cross – Professor Allison
Name (2005)Thesis Title and Advisor
Sarahbelle MarshHoly Ground – Professor Bruce
Kristen J. .KenlyReflections on Religious Studies Curriculums – A Guide to Effectively Teaching Religion in the University – Professor Bruce
Haley LiebermanGod and the Problem of Evil:  A Post-Holocaust Theodicy – Professor Tracy
C. Alexander SchindelWhat Happens When Jesus is Number 1 in the Box Office? – Professor Bruce
Name (2004)Thesis Title and Advisor
Cami DysonThe Structure and Themes Found in Modern Myth:  An analysis of Neil Gaiman’s Comic Book:  The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes – Professor Bruce
Anthony SolaquaThe Holy Madness:  A Review of a Particular Form of Religious Madness:  Pentecostalism – Professor Bruce
Name (2001)Thesis Title and Advisor
Stacey Lynn BerkowitzWrestling With G-d Defining Jewish Identity in Modern Day Hungary and Poland – Professor Bruce and Professor Caspi
Samantha DahanThe American Flag in Black Protest Art – Professor Bruce