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Spring 2023: Asian, African, and European Exploration

David Haberman

Indiana University

David Haberman is a professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington. He has had a long relationship with the Semester at Sea program, dating back to Spring 1973 when he sailed as a student. His experiences during that voyage had a strong impact on the development of his career as a lifelong student of religious studies. He previously taught on the ship the Spring Semester of 2002 and again Spring Semester of 2017. He has taught all major religious traditions, but mainly focuses on the devotional cultures of Northern India, with much of his work centering on the culture of Braj, the active religious site long associated with the Hindu god Krishna and known for its lively temple festivals, performative traditions, and literary creations. His recent research interests track the relationship between religion, ecology, and nature, with a focus on Hindu attitudes toward and interaction with nonhuman entities such as trees, rivers, and mountains. He especially likes to visit places of natural beauty as well as active religious centers or pilgrimage sites. He loves traveling and being outside camping, hiking, biking, and kayaking. In addition to teaching about the various religious traditions of the world, he also teaches courses on religion and ecology and is an environmental activist who works on the related issues of forest protection and climate change. He is very excited to be sailing on the ship again along with his wife Sandy. He looks forward to considering with students undertaking this international voyage such questions as: What are we looking for when we travel? What is the true nature of the world and our relationship to it? What is the essence and objective of being human, particularly as we learn different ways of regarding the self and others in a variety of different religious cultures of the world?