|Religious Studies Program
731 Elm Avenue, Robertson Hall Room 140
Norman, OK 73019
Fax: (405) 325-1502
The Religious Studies Program works closely with the university's International Programs office and the College of Arts & Sciences to identify and/or coordinate study abroad experiences for our students.
Here is the link to the Education Abroad office at OU, which coordinates a variety of study abroad venues: http://www.ou.edu/ea/home.html. Information about available programs, deadlines, required paperwork and certifications, and a directory of staff in the Education Abroad office is available.
The College of Arts & Sciences sponsors travel abroad opportunities in Asia, such as the Summer in China program, Europe, Latin America, and Australia. For more information, contact the CAS coordinator of Travel Abroad, Karen Elmore, at email@example.com. You can learn more about her here.
Our most recent opportunity is a coalition with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a field school/excavation project in Israel, near the Sea of Galilee, at Huqoq.
For information on the 2013 Huqoq excavation project, please click here.
This field school program is part of a consortium effort led by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It provides students with the opportunity to participate in an archaeological excavation while learning about ancient and modern Israel. The OU faculty leader in 2012 was Assistant Professor Nina Livesey, who divides her responsibilities between the Religious Studies Program and the College of Liberal Studies. Her specialty is first-century Jewish-Christian relations and Christian origins. She is the author of Circumcision as a Malleable Symbol (2010) and several scholarly articles. In addition, Professor Livesey is a member of the Jesus Seminar, a group dedicated to the study of the historical Jesus and his setting in Galilee. The Galilee archaeological dig is of particular interest to her for what the material evidence can reveal about the cultural, economic, social/ethnic, religious, and political situation of the first century.
The 2013 faculty coordinator for OU and RELS will be Assistant Professor Rangar Cline. Professor Cline is a historian of the later Roman Empire with research and teaching interests in Roman religions, epigraphy, and archaeology. His research focuses the relationship between Greek and Roman religions, early Christianity, and Judaism in the Roman world. His book, Ancient Angels: Conceptualizing Angeloi in the Roman Empire, about angel veneration in the Roman Empire, was recently published with Brill Press (Leiden, March 2011) in the series “Religions in the Graeco-Roman World.” His related study of the archangel inscription at Miletus appears in the Journal of Late Antiquity, 4.1, spring 2011 (PDF here). His ongoing research projects include the study of religious practices in the late Roman countryside and pilgrimage sites in Greek and Roman antiquity. He has extensive experience leading archaeological digs in northern Italy.
The OU leader will be working closely with Professor Jodi Magness of UNC-Chapel Hill and co-director Dr. David Amit of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Professor Magness is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC-CH. She has participated in over 20 excavations in Israel and Greece, including co-directing the 1995 excavations in the Roman siege works at Masada.
Huqoq (modern Arabic name =Yaquq) is a small ancient village located 1.5 miles to the northwest of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:75 as part of the inheritance of the tribe of Asher: “Huqoq, with its pasture lands….” Later rabbinic sources (third to fourth centuries A.D.) refer to the gathering and processing of the mustard plant at Huqoq, reflecting the village’s agrarian base. Huqoq flourished through the Late Roman and Byzantine periods, and was abandoned in the Middle Ages. A modern Arab village was located on the spot until 1948, and in 1949 a kibbutz was established nearby.
The ruins of Huqoq are spread over an area of approximately 25 dunams (= 6 acres). The village lies in the center of the region that was the focus of Jesus’ ministry. Capernaum, the home of the adult Jesus, is 3.2 miles to the east, and the town of Migdal, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, is 2.8 miles to the south. An ancient synagogue building, the remains of which are still visible in the midst of the ruins of Huqoq, will be the focus of the Huqoq Excavation Project (HEP).
Huqoq has never been excavated. In the 1950s, a few Jewish burial caves north of the village were excavated by an Israeli archaeologist. A small scale survey in 1999 by another team of Israeli archaeologists identified the remains of an ancient synagogue. The HEP seeks to excavate the synagogue remains, as well as its setting in the village. Huqoq was selected because there is an ongoing scholarly debate about the dating of ancient synagogue buildings. Therefore, one of the main goals of the HEP is to establish the date of the synagogue through scientific excavation. Some of the houses around the synagogue also will be excavated in order to better understand life in an ancient Galilean village. The project will incorporate the latest scientific techniques to retrieve types of data that previously have not been recovered on archaeological excavations in Israel, such as information about the ancient climate, diet, environment, and economic base.
Participants will dig from the crack of dawn (about 5:30 AM) until lunchtime (about 1 PM) every day, Sundays through Fridays. After lunch and a siesta, participants will wash pottery or participate in workshops given by staff members. Workshop topics include the use of GPS, drawing, and photography in archaeological excavations, and analysis of ceramics, coins, and animal bones. Two or three nights per week, senior staff members will give lectures after dinner. Breakfast will be eaten at the site; lunches and dinners will be eaten in the guest house dining room.
Huqoq is close to many archaeological sites and sites of religious interest around the Sea of Galilee. There may be field trips on Saturdays and an optional excursion (at additional cost) at the end of the program.
Are there prerequisites or other requirements?
All University of Oklahoma students with a GPA of 2.5 or above are eligible to participate in this program.
Applicants must have a passport at the time of application, or a copy of a receipt showing that an application has been submitted. To access the U.S. State Department passport application, click here.
What about academic credit?
This program will provide participating students with 6 hours of academic credit.
All courses are taught in English. There is no option to take a language course.
Where would I live?
The program group will be housed at the Kibbutz Huqoq Guest House (“Haquq ba-Lev”), which is located close to the site. Housing will consist of air-conditioned, shared rooms (with 2-3 persons per room). Each room has its own bathroom and shower facilities and equipment for preparing tea and coffee.
How much does it cost?
A preliminary program price is available from Karen Elmore in the College of Arts & Sciences. Non-academic costs will be round-trip airfare, mandatory study abroad insurance, a study abroad fee, and a passport for those who do not yet have one. A clear table of costs will be posted when the in-country components have been priced. Tuition and fees for six hours of credit will be charged separately. More detailed information will be posted when it becomes available.
How do I apply?
The application process for Summer 2013 will be online. When the system is available, an "apply now" link will appear. Students will need an online recommendation submitted by a professor as part of the application.
This program will have “rolling admissions.” Applications are accepted at any time, and students can expect a decision about their applications within two weeks of submitting the application.
Final Date to Accept Applications: February of 2013. The exact date will be announced later.
Where can I get more information?
For more information or an advising appointment, email Karen Elmore, firstname.lastname@example.org, International Programs Coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences. Phone: 405-325-4716. Walk-in advising hours are posted on the main CAS International Programs web page.