John B. Carman, long-time Divinity School professor (1963-2000) and Center Director (1973-1989), and his wife Ineke, were committed to the values of interreligious learning, friendships, and community. They made the Center an outstanding example of these ideals lived on a daily basis in learning and community. The Carman Fund, established upon their retirement, supports two Center residents each year who are in the MDiv program or the MTS program, and live up to the ideals of interreligious community and conversations cherished by the Carmans. The residents are selected by the Director.
The 2018-2019 Carman fellows are Mary Balkon and Peter Dzeidzic.
Mary Balkon is a second year MDiv student who works in conjunction with the “Matter and Spirit: Ecology and the Non-Human Turn” and “The Future of the Study of Religion” programming threads at the CSWR. Her work specifically focuses on the study of animism in its indigenous and Western forms. She facilitates a biweekly Animism reading group, in which students read and discuss scholarship related to animism, spanning disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, philosophy, physics, art, and literature. In addition, Mary has worked with the CSWR to invite speakers to discuss their work, including David Abrams and Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Peter Dzeidzic is a second-year MTS student at Harvard Divinity School and a resident of the Center for the Study of World Religions. In addition to general interests in interreligious and comparative studies, he is particularly interested in Kashmiri Hindu and Muslim devotional poetry written in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, and Kashmiri. His work draws on resources in comparative studies to consider how these traditions inform each other. Peter will continue this studies as a doctoral student in Fall 2019.