The University of Virginia

The Institute will be hosted at University of Virginia by the Department of Religious Studies. The University of Virginia is a major research and teaching institution that continuously excels in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings. In March 2009, many of UVa’s graduate programs earned top recognitions. In August 2009, U.S. News & World Report’s latest undergraduate college rankings placed the University of Virginia as the nation’s No. 2 public university and 24th (tied with UCLA) among 248 national universities. Since U.S. News began a separate listing of the top 50 public universities, UVa has never been ranked lower than No. 2. In the 20-year history of the rankings, U.Va. has never dropped out of the top 25 listing of all public and private universities. The University of Virginia has one of the highest graduation rates among public universities.

The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia

UVa’s Department of Religious Studies is the largest department of its kind at an American public university, and one of the largest departments of religious studies in the world, with some forty fulltime faculty. The department is a relatively unique institution, for it is one of few departments dedicated neither to confessional or merely scholarly concern, but rigorously and self-consciously dedicated to the public mission of educating an informed citizenry about religion for the public good. The Department is an ideal host for this interdisciplinary seminar, for the faculty of the department themselves instantiate many of the approaches to the study of religion common in the field today. We have scholars who teach and research using largely historiographic and social-scientific approaches; scholars who teach and research through fundamentally literary and textual methodologies; and scholars who teach and research via philosophical, theological, and hermeneutical modes of inquiry.

Housing and Dining

Housing and dining will be offered by the University of Virginia Conference Services at competitive rates. UVa Conference Services is nationally certified by the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International (ACCED-I). Institute participants will be housed on or near the University’s Central Grounds and adjacent to library facilities, the bookstore, dining areas, and seminar meeting facilities. Dining will be provided on grounds in a dining facility in close proximity to living quarters.

Library facilities

Institute participants will have full access to the University of Virginia’s world-class library system. The University Libraries have over 5 million books; over 50,000 journal and newspaper subscriptions; 16 million manuscripts and archival documents; an extensive collection of microforms; a large and diverse teaching image collection; an audio collection of 70,000 CDs and LPs; and a sizable video collection spanning genres and nationalities, housed in 15 libraries or available online.

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