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Summer Study Abroad Jain Studies June 8 - July 21, 2018


Understanding Jainism Programme Jain Vishva Bharati Institute 4 Week Program Delhi, Aligarh and Jaipur, INDIA. 6 Week Program in Delhi and Jaipur, INDIA. Application deadline: March 1, 2018

CHiTra Mela 2 Symposium on Research and Pedagogy on Global Hindu Traditions


The Study for Hindu Tradition Symposium Workshop with Dr. Vose, Dr Wuaku and Dr. Akhtar from Florida International University. Feb 9, 2018 thru Feb 11, 2018.

What steps to follow in an active shooting situation.


RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.® Surviving an Active Shooter Event

Upcoming Events

Beti, Are we Not Humans?

03/22/2018 12:30 PM

An Analysis of Contemporary Dalit Narrative in Tharparkar, Pakistan.

Religion & Globalization

04/06/2018 11:00 AM

TAK email is: TAKRELIGIOUSSTUDIES@GMAIL.COM This event is free and open to public.

Contact Us

Florida International University
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Deuxieme Maison, Room DM 302
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami FL 33199
Tel: 305-348-2186
Fax: 305-348-1879

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Thesis Announcements

Master's Thesis Defenses:

March 26, 2018, at 11 am in DM 223:

Paola Sanchez Castañeda

- Mending Identity: The Revitalization Process of the Muisca of Suba.

March 26, 2018, at 1pm in DM 323:

Margarita Diaz Cáceres

- Religion, Politics, and War in the Creation of an Ethos of Conflict in Colombia; The Case of the War of the Thousand Days (1899-1902).

March 27, 2018, at 2 pm in DM 323:

Erhomarhua Afure:

- Santeria Ritual and Sacrificial Practices in Miami.

March 28, 2018 at 9:30 am in DM 323:

Katerina Mangini

- The Sacred Space and Religious Identity among Yezidis: Accounting for the Lived Experiences of Internally Displaced Persons in Northen Iraq.

March 29, 2018, at 12:30 pm in DM 457:

Kuldeep Ashok Kumar

- Clairvoyance in Jainism: Avadhijñāna in Scripture, Philosophy, and Literature.

March 29, 2018, at 10 am in DM 323:

Emmanuel Dennis

- Promoting Peace Amid the Terror: The Work of the Ahmadiyya in Miami.

Worlds Ahead Graduates

Past Worlds Ahead Grads

Spring 2017

One of Venu Mehta’s biggest challenges as an international student at FIU was missing her family in India, particularly her mother, Dr. Purnima Mehta, whom she considers to be one of her greatest influences and mentors.

A strong sense of determination and dedication to learning helped see her through to earn her master’s degree in religious studies, adding to the Ph.D. in multiculturalism through literature education she had already earned in the Gujarat state of India.

Upon her arrival at FIU, Venu immediately stood out to her professors, who were impressed by the cutting-edge social science research she had already done on the Jain community and the American Jain diaspora.

Venu has published an award-winning primer for English speakers to learn the Gujarati language, based on her work as a Fulbright Scholar at Indiana University, Bloomington.

At FIU, she assisted her professors with an effort to catalogue another ancient language, Kacchi, for which there are few dictionaries in North America or Europe. Her work earned her induction into Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religious studies and theology, for which she is currently president. She also founded the Preksha Meditation Club, bringing a central practice of Jain spirituality to FIU students.

Following graduation, Venu plans to continue her studies at the University of Florida, where she will pursue her Ph.D. in religious studies.

Fall 2015

Rebecca Nicole Garcia B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology B.A. in Religious Studies Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs

A long-time desire to become an archaeologist propelled Rebecca Garcia to major in anthropology at FIU. Through coursework, she built a foundation in the study of humanity and solidified her research, writing and teamwork skills. Rebecca took a course in “Religions of Classical Mythology” taught by her mentor Janet McDaniel in the FIU Honors College. One religious studies course led to another, which led to another, each one sparking her fascination with the discipline. Discovering she could further explore history, language, culture and other topics of interest, Rebecca was sold on pursuing another degree in religious studies. Rebecca credits her degrees with giving her the capacity to better empathize and communicate with people, skills she says are critical in today’s interconnected and complex society.

In the classroom, Rebecca has conducted and presented research on the polytheistic, Canaanite religions of the Near East and Northeast Africa. She has also become proficient in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew. For the past three years, Rebecca has worked in the Mt. Zion Archaeological Dig in Jerusalem, Israel where she has gained experience in excavation, record-keeping and site management.

Rebecca’s commitment to scholarship goes beyond the classroom. She has served as the president and treasurer of FIU’s chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, Religious Studies Honor Society. Rebecca also volunteers as a note-taker for students with disabilities through the FIU Disability Resource Center.

Rebecca is graduating with a 4.0 GPA. She plans on pursuing graduate education in archaeology and hopes to better the field through research.