Previous Theses in Religion

 

Class of 1995

 

Daniel Enriquez   (IPM in Religion and Philosophy

Thesis: “Grace and Knowledge in the Summa Theologica

 

Class of 1997

 

Keri Bean (IPM in Religion) Thesis: “Gender in Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism”

 

Gavin Rickleffs   (IPM in Religion and World Literature)

Thesis: “Alienation and Awakening: Exploring Gnostic Elements of Albert Camus’ The Stranger

 

Class of 1998

 

Erin Carlson (IPM in Religion)

Thesis: “Taking the Vaunted Middle Path: An Attempt at Balance in the Study of Women’s Religiosity in Early Buddhism” (Honors)

 

Class of 2001

 

David Jagernauth  (IPM in Religion)

Thesis: “Abode of an Adulterous God: Myth, History and Mystery in the Buddhist Cult of God Skanda-Murugan and his Mistress Valli Amma at Kataragamma, Sri Lanka”

 

Jill Jarvis (IPM in Religion)

Thesis: “Fighting for Freedom, and for the Love of God: Poetic Self-Representation and Acts of Female Resistance in the Therigatha and the Songs of Two Bhakti Saints” (Honors)

 

Class of 2002

 

Brook Elliott-Buettner (IPM in Religious Studies)

Thesis: “The Problem of Critical Historical Analysis of the New Testament”

 

Meredith Gudger (IPM in Religious Studies)

Thesis: “Will They Be as One?  How Christians Answer the Question of Homosexuality”

 

Megan Lillis (IPM in Religion)

Thesis: “Spiritual Sisters on a Mystical Path: Rabi’a Al-Adwiyya and Teresa of Avila” (Honors)

 

Religion Major Instituted with the Class of 2003

Class of 2003

 

Emily Courtney 

Thesis: "Unifying Spiritual Leadership: Filling the Void"

 

Kevin Erickson (January, 2006 completion)

Thesis: “I am Relevant: Hipster Evangelicals and the Culture Industry”

 

Kate Imwalle

Thesis: “Feminism and Catholicism: Can a Positive Relationship Exist?”

 

David Prins

Thesis: "A Monk's Life: An Ethnographic Study of Theravadan Buddhist monks and their social relevance in Sri Lanka."

 

Class of 2004

 

Matthew Maynard

Thesis: “Teaching About Religion in the Public Schools”

 

Thomas Nagy

Thesis: “St. Joseph as a Metaphor for the Valentinian Demiurge”

 

Nathan Roller

Thesis: “Communit-e: An Examination of Beliefnet.com

(Honors)

 

Class of 2005

 

David Burge

Thesis: "The Power of Christ Compels You: Exorcism, Mental Illness and Faith Healing in Comparative Catholic Traditions"

 

Lindsey Chadwick  (double major with Math) 

Thesis:  “Veganism and/with/as a Religion”

 

Erica Greenberg

Thesis:  “The Marketing of Religion in America”

Josh Karp

Thesis: “The Role of Music in the African American Baptist Church”

 

Caitlin McDermott 

Thesis: “Mormon Women: Why is their Highest Goal Only Motherhood?”

 

Pepa Paniagua (IPM–Religion & Gender Studies)

Thesis: "Gender in the Presbyterian Church: Practice or Just Preaching? An Examination Into the Construction of Gender in Presbyterian Hymnals"

 

Class of 2006

 

Gareth Campbell  

Thesis:  “A Devil Amidst Fallen Angels” (Honors)

 

John Compton

Thesis: “Realms of Practice: Religious Pluralism in the Mystical Philosophy of Ibn al-‘Arabi”

 

Sandra Corpuz

Thesis: “The Sacred Dimension of Alcoholics Anonymous”

 

Luke Erichsen   

Thesis: “From Gentiles to Friends: Mormons in a Changing World” (Honors)

 

Meghan Goss

Thesis: “Buddhism in America: Americanization and Buddhist Fundamentalism”

 

Will Hyman   

Thesis: “True Love Waits”

 

Braden Lobingier (Double Major–Chemistry) 

Thesis: “Canonizing the Buddha: Christian and Buddhist Interaction through Myth”

 

Katharine Magid (Double Major–Spanish) 

Thesis: “Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Conservative Discourse: A Literary Analysis of the Ex-Gay and Traditional Christian Marriage Movements” (Honors)

 

Elisabeth (Lisa) Parrish

Thesis: “Fundamental Assumptions: the Interaction of Western Essentialism with Tibetan and Sri Lankan Buddhism”

Mariah K. Weston 

Thesis: “Bootstraps or Greenbacks: The Media’s Inaccurate Portrayal of Televangelists”

 

Class of 2007

 

Ajay Abraham

Thesis: “The Awaited Messiah: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, and the Shi’i Mahdi”

 

Jonathan Buchner (May, 2009 Graduate)

Thesis: “A Preliminary Examination of the 4D Fundamental Synoptic Solution”

 

Michael Cates

Thesis: “Beyond Liberal or Constantinian Politics: Stanley Hauerwas’ Vision of the University”

(Honors)

 

Nicholas Johnson

Thesis: “The Role of Evangelical Faith in American Society at the Turn of the 20th Century”

 

Elliot Knapp

Thesis: “Leading the Way: the Relationship between Textualized Personal Religious Experience and the Formation of Cumulative Tradition in Three Taoist Classics”

(Honors)

 

Jessica Marks

Thesis:  Viewing Us through the Eyes of the Other: Religious Change, Ethnic Buddhists and Convert Buddhists Within American and Sikkimese Tibetan Traditions

(Honors)

 

Laura Nelson

Thesis: “The Many Faces of Christ: An Investigation in Feminist Theological Methodology Through Examining Feminist and Womanist Christology”

(Honors)

 

Emily Penoyar

Thesis: “Mount Graham: Toward an Understanding of the Position of the Apaches”

 

Seanacey Pierce

Thesis: Jigozkuzoshi: Exploring the Buddhist Conception of Hell through the Art of Scroll Making”

 

Carly Rue

Thesis: “Going Out To or Undergoing the Word of God: Comparing the Religious Thought of Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas by Way of their Philosophies of Relation”

 

Brian Shaheed

Thesis: Wahab and the Sufis

 

Emily Smith

Thesis: “Islam in Latin America: A History of Relocation, Assimilation and Revival”

(Honors)

 

Joshua Smith

Thesis: “Prophet of the Kingdom: A Fresh Appraisal of Gustavo Gutiérrez and the Theology of Liberation”

 

Class of 2008

 

Zoe Black

Thesis: “The Kaifeng Jews: The History of an Isolated Religious Minority in China”

 

Eric Chalfant

Thesis: “Seeds of Evolution: The Diversity of Contemporary Atheism”  

(Honors)

 

Beth Anne Davis

Thesis:  "The Deliverance Ritual: A Study of Spirit Possession in Ghana's Charismatic Christian Churches"

 

Joseph Farnes

Thesis: “Christologia Instabilis: Christology and Instability in LGBT Theology”

(Honors)

 

Meryl Farrar (Graduation pending)

Thesis:

 

Luke Hagel

Thesis:  "Soka Gakkai International-USA: Reverting to a More Utilitarian Approach"

 

 

Dana Johnson

Thesis: “‘Hindu-Buddhists’ of the Himalayas: Reconceptualizing Syncretism in the History of Religions”

(Honors)

 

Miranda Levy

Thesis: “The Role of Seventh-Day Adventism at Walla Walla General Hospital”

 

Aaron Rose (May, 2009 graduate)

Thesis: “Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity: Toward a Constructive Understanding of his Metaphysics and Morality”

Class of 2009

 

Michael Anderson

Thesis: “The Divine Marriage of Goddess and God in Wiccan Art”

 

Rand Biersdorff

Thesis: “The Hinge of Salvation: Philosophy, Flesh and Practice in Feminist and Womanist Theologies”

(Honors)

 

Matthew William Duncan

Thesis: “Magical Amulet Obsession in Thai Buddhist Society: not right, not wrong”

 

Nicholas Gottschall

Thesis: “Orientalist Orientals and Accusatory Academics: Examining Religiosity and History in the Bodhgaya Conflicts”

(Honors)

 

Cole Rathjen

Thesis: “In Search of the Absolute: Kant and Anti-Climacus on the Possibility and Necessity of Grounding One’s Freedom in the Unconditioned”

(Honors)

 

Class of 2010

 

Michela Corcorran

Thesis:  "Reading Amina Wadud: Gender, Race and Liberative Theory in Islam"

(Honors)

 

Hailey Flanigan

Thesis: "Gai Jatra"

 

Colin Gibson

Thesis: “Chasing Zen: Authenticity and Authentication in the Transmission of Japanese Buddhism to the West”

 

Brennan Jorgensen

Thesis: “The Language of God: Abraham Abulafia and Ecstatic Kabbalah”

(Honors)

 

Divneet Kaur

Thesis:  "A Social History of Sakhis: Re_imagining a Prophet Through Sikh Hagiography"

 

Autumn McCarten

Thesis: “Wahdat al-wujud vs. Wahat al-Shuhud: How Philosophy Effects Ritual and Societal Practices in the Chishti and Naqshbandi Orders”

 

Bridget Snow

Thesis “Biblical Imagery in Modernist Form: Religiosity in the Work of Marc Chagall”

(Honors)

 

Ben Spencer

Thesis: “‘Show Me How to See Things the Way You Do’: Existentialism in Faith, Philosophy, and Film”  

(Honors)

 

Class of 2011

 

Katie Bates

Thesis: "What is a Child's Best Interest: The Conflict Between Parents' Religious Beliefs and the State"

 

Chris Fleming

Thesis: “(Re)Reading the Writing on the Wall: An Analysis of Jain Literature and Imperial Epigraphy in Medieval India”:

 

Emily Lorente

Thesis: “The Man in Mr. Jones: Exorcising Understandings of Jim Jones and Peoples Temple”

(Honors)

 

Andrew Matschiner

Thesis: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it in heaven: Locating Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr. in Twentieth Century Liberal Protestantism”

(Honors)

 

Faith Tucker

Thesis: “Untouchable Faith: The Christian Dalit Perspective of the Caste System in India”

 

Class of 2012 (Theses topics to be announced)

 

John Abercrombie

Thesis:

 

Adriel Borshansky

Thesis:

 

Molly Johnson

Thesis:

 

Noah Lerner

Thesis:

 

Doyle McCarthy

Thesis:

 

Michael Nelson

Thesis:

 

Kate Potter

Thesis:

 

Evan Randall

Thesis:

 

Michael Rogers

Thesis: