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Why Easter eggs? What’s a Paschal candle? Easter symbols decoded


Why Easter eggs? What’s a Paschal candle? Easter symbols decoded.

Dr. Tudor Parfitt


Did you ever wonder about the actual origins of the Zoroastrians of Iran or the Parsees of India? Dr. Tudor Parfitt collected genetic data from Parsees and other Indians and from Zoroastrians elsewhere in the world and this is about to be published as a collaborative article. It is a further example of the way in which genetics can help in understanding religious origins throughout the world.

Dr. Tudor Parfitt


The Becoming Jewish exchange, part 3: ‘Millions of Africans believe they are of Israelite ancestry’

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Thesis Announcements

Spring 2017 Master's Thesis Defenses:

Remy Ilona

Of Israel's Seed: The Ethno-history of Church of God and Saints of Christ and African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem.

March 21, 2017 at 10:00 am

Room: DM 252

Patrick Villalonga

From the Fall to the Flood and Beyond: A Study of Contemporary Noahide Identity.

March 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Room: DM 323

John Paul Cibotti

A Charismatic Authority and his Ideology

March 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

Room: DM 252

David St. John

Non-Ownership Principles as Understood by Lay Practitioners of Jainism and Quakerism.

March 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Room: DM 258

Venu Vrundavan Mehta

An Ethnographic Study of Sectarian Negotiations among Diaspora Jains in the USA.

March 29, 2017 at 11:30 am

Room: DM 233

Worlds Ahead Graduates

Past Worlds Ahead Grads

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.