CHPA Grants & Awards

Religious Studies Faculty Member Writes Public Affairs Grant to Sponsor Campus Presentation by Noted Israeli Archaeologist

Dr. John Strong (REL), associate professor of religious studies at Missouri State, wroteDr. John T. Strong a Public Affairs grant that funded an on-campus presentation by the noted Israeli archaeologist and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project Dr. Gabriel Barkay. Dr. Barkay gave a presentation on February 15 in Missouri State University’s Plaster Student Union Parliamentary Room, which was sponsored by the religious studies department.

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is considered a holy site in the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic traditions, and because of political tensions, it has never before been subject to systematic archaeological study. Now, because of construction on the site, soil from the Temple Mount is being sifted.

Strong, who met Barkay in Israel in 2005, stated that “Muslims control the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem— it holds the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the famous Dome of the Rock shrine, and is one of the most sacred sites for Muslims.” Dr. Barkay has more than 40 years experience in the archaeology of Israel and in biblical archaeology, and in addition to directing the Temple Mount project, he currently teaches at Bar Ilan University, Hebrew University and Jerusalem University College. During his trip to the United States, Barkay also presented at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Dallas, Wheaton College, and Andrews University.

History Professor receives $10,000 Caeno Foundation Grant to Host and Enhance the Academic Content of a New Ancient Near East on-line discussion List.

Cooper Dr. Marc Cooper (HST) spear-headed a group of International scholars who recently came together to create an on-line successor to the recently terminated Ancient Near East Discussion List originally hosted by the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.

The new Ancient Near East Listserv (called ANE 2) is a moderated academic discussion list that focuses on topics and issues of interest in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, from the Indus to the Nile, and from the beginnings of human habitation to the rise of Islam. It is intended to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on these topics between and among scholars and students actively engaged in research and study of the Ancient Near East.

ANE 2 is international in scope. List members are expected to be able to read postings in English, French and German. Participants are free to post in any of these languages, and, upon occasion, in other languages used in the study of the Ancient Near East.

The ANE-2 Discussion List is currently housed on a free Yahoo list-server. Dr. Cooper played an instrumental part in salvaging the ANE-2 project when he recently wrote and received a grant of $10,000 from the Caeno Foundation to cover the construction and hosting of the new ANE-2 Listserv, as well as three years of the server’s maintenance. The Caeno Foundation supports historical and physical research pertaining to the chronology of events, epochs, and ancient civilizations.Map Ancient Near East

The new Ancient Near East 2 project will bring the discussion list to a dedicated server hosted by Missouri State University in order to enhance the academic nature of the list. Besides Dr. Cooper, who will serve as the webmaster and central moderator, other ANE-2 moderators include Dr. Trudy S. Kawami, Art History & Archaeology Director of Research, Arthur M. Sackler Foundation at Columbia University; as well as Dr. N. P. Lemche, Professor in the Department of Biblical Exegesis at the University of Copenhagen; and Dr. Robert Robert Whiting (University of Helsinki); Dr. Charles E. Jones (The American School of Classical Studies at Athens); and Dr. Jeffrey B. Gibson, (Oxon).

Religious Studies Professor receives the Prestigious John G. Gammie Distinguished Scholar Award for his Contributions to the Field.

MoyerDr. James Moyer (REL), professor and Head of the Religious Studies Department, received the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies 2007 John G. Gammie Distinguished Scholar Award. The award is given in order to honor noted scholars in the field of religious studies in the Southwest and to recognize their work. The Commission funds an annual John G. Gammie Distinguished Scholar Award and the recipient receives a $2,000 cash award. Persons who have been nominated and receive the John G. Gammie Distinguished Scholar Award are ordinarily scholars recognized by their peers nationally or internationally for the quality and importance of their work.

In her remarks to the business session of the Commission, President Sharon Dowd of Baylor University noted Moyer’s over 25 years of service to the Southwest region in a variety of capacities, including his leadership of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) section and his past role as President of the Commission. She also noted his distinguished record as a scholar of Hittite culture and his extensive publications on the pedagogical aspects of teaching the Hebrew Bible. As part of his responsibility as Gammie Scholar, Moyer will be expected to give invited lectures to member schools of the Commission.

History Professor selected for Prestigious Cameron Fellowship at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


Dr. Eric Nelson (HST), assistant professor of History, was selected as a Cameron Fellow at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The Cameron fellowship is one of the most prestigious fellowships in Reformation research in the world. Dr. Nelson, whose studies focus on peacemaking after religious violence and the intersection between physical and spiritual space, is currently using church account books to reconstruct the ritual and physical space of rural churches in France from 1500-1700. He will present his findings in a seminar at St. Andrews in the spring. Dr. Nelson stated, “My specific interest is in how the sacred landscape is reshaped by the permanent schism in the Western Christian church with the Protestant Reformation.” Dr. Nelson has previously completed a fellowship at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England.

One of the Two New Young Honors College Professorships awarded to Member of CHPA

A recent gift commitment from Rich and Doris Young currently provides annual funding for the appointment of two faculty members as Honors College Professors for terms of three years. Rich Young (a CHPA alumnus), graduated from Missouri State in 1961 with a B.S. in economics and received the Missouri State University Outstanding Alumni Award in 2005.

The University’s Honors Committee recently selected Dr. John F. Chuchiak (HST) as the recipient of oneChuchiak of the two Young Honors College Professorships. The Honors College Professors will be expected to develop and engage in special activities critical to the Honors College curriculum and students. For example, they might serve as mentors to students applying for national/international fellowships or develop special sections of current courses, departmental honors courses or honors study abroad courses.

Dr. John F. Chuchiak was also nominated by Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and awarded the Outstanding University Faculty Award for 2007 from the National Pan-Hellenic Inter-fraternity Council