religious studies

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Spiritual Evolution

Through study of a “new” Japanese religion called Tenrikyo and centuries of Japanese history, PhD student Timothy Smith strives to understand how cultural shifts morph belief systems across generations.

Rukmini Deva

Senior Rukmini Deva is a SURF recipient and undergraduate researcher in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences majoring in biology, with a minor in religious studies. Her research focuses on monastic silence — a lifetime of voluntary commitment to silence and/or “stillness.” Last summer, she traveled to a Trappist monastery in South Carolina and a Yogoda ashram in India to explore why silence is used as a vehicle of deeper thought and spiritual experience.