• Rome
  • Varanasi Bathers
  • Acropolis in Athens
  • Stupa in Ladakh
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Angkor Wat

Department of Classics and World Religions


The Department of Classics and World Religions offers three interrelated programs: Classical Languages (Greek and Latin), Classical Civilization/Archaeology, and World Religions. As teachers our fundamental mission is to provide undergraduates the opportunity to study cultures and religions from a neutral, academic perspective, and thereby to explore basic humanistic issues. All three of our programs provide a solid liberal arts background, and in the past many of our graduates have gone on to earn higher degrees in Law, Education and Business.

News and Announcements

Cory Crawford Named University Professor

People, World Religions Comments Off

crawford-180x200Dr. Cory Crawford, Assistant Professor of Classics and World Religions, was recently named as one of the recipients of the University Professor Award for 2014-2015. Quoting from an article in The Post, “I’m in a department of fantastic teachers and I was really shocked … and honored to receive this award,” Crawford said during his acceptance speech. Besides receiving a plaque in Chubb Hall and recognition among students and peers, recipients of the award are given the opportunity to teach a class that will typically be taught in Spring Semester 2015.

Professor Crawford will teach “Sex in the Bible,” which will critically look at how sex, gender and sexuality are used in the Bible and its effects on modern society.

Tom Carpenter Named Distinguished Professor for 2013

Classics, Events, People Comments Off

Carpenter-Tom-300x385Tom Carpenter will be honored as the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Professor award. The ceremony will take place on Monday, February 24, 2014, beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m. in Alden Library’s Class of 1951 Lounge, on the 4th floor of the Library. A member of the Department of Classics and World Religions since 1997, Dr. Carpenter’s research has focused on Greek archaeology, religion, and iconography.

After the reception, Dr. Carpenter will deliver this year’s Distinguished Professor Lecture on “Greek Tragedy Amongst the ‘Barbarians’ in 4th Century BC in Italy” as well as answer questions following the lecture. 

Professor Carpenter is director of the Ohio University Ping Institute for the Teaching of Humanities and served as chair of the Department of Classics and World Religions from 2007 to 2012. He is also the Charles J. Ping Professor of Humanities at the University. Most recently, Carpenter was awarded the 2014-15 Joukowsky Lectureship by the Archaeological Institute of America. He will travel throughout the United States as a public lecturer.

Space is limited and individuals planning on attending are asked to RSVP through the following link: http://www.ohio.edu/distinguishedprofessor/rsvp.cfm. For those unable to attend the event in person, a live stream of the event will be made available at http://www.ohio.edu/mediaserver/live.cfm?videoid=738b44f266ed.

John Stratton Hawley

The Dept. of Classics and World Religions is excited to announce that the second Gawande Lecture will be held at 7pm on Friday, February 21 in Baker Center 231 on Ohio University Campus. The speaker will be Professor John Stratton Hawley of Columbia University. Prof. Hawley will deliver a talk on the 16th century Hindu poet-saint Surdas entitled “When Blindness Makes for Sight.” All are welcome.

About the talk: It is quite rare for a Hindi poet to be depicted in manuscript illustrations of the works he is believed to have composed. Yet this happens with Surdas (16th century), the great blind poet of the Hindi language family. Is it Surdas’s blindness that makes it possible for us to see him? The great word here is darshan, that special quality of sight that matters so much to Hindus. Aesthetically speaking, how does Surdas offer us darshan? And then, how do his illustrators do the same in a visual medium, not a verbal one? 

About the Guest: Prof. Hawley has written or edited sixteen books, including At Play with KrishnaKrishna, the Butter ThiefSongs of the Saints of IndiaThe Life of HinduismSati: The Blessing and the Curse; and Devi: Goddesses of India. Hawley’s latest published book on devotional poetry in India is The Memory of Love: Surdas Sings to Krishna. It contains selections from his largest and longest-standing work, Sur’s Ocean (forthcoming). His current major project, a book called India’s Real Religion: The Idea of the Bhakti Movement, is devoted to deconstructing and reconstructing one of the principal ways in which Indians have told their religious history. Its focus is bhakti: the religion of song, of radical engagement, and of the heart. Aside from publishing prolifically, Prof. Hawley has also served as director of Columbia University’s South Asian Institute and has received multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian, and the American Institute of Indian Studies. He has also been a Guggenheim Fellow. 

NB- There will be an additional daytime talk: “Hindu Pilgrimage in Northern India” at 2:00 PM in Ellis 212