Jennifer Geddes headshot

Jennifer L. Geddes

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Religious Studies
Office location and address
Gibson Hall, S-015
1540 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
BA, University of Virginia
MA, University of Virginia
PhD, University of Virginia
COLA 1500: College Advising Seminars
Credits: 1
COLA courses are 1-credit seminars capped at 18 first-year students, all of whom are assigned to the instructor as advisees. They are topically focused on an area identified by the faculty member; they also include a significant advising component centered on undergraduate issues (e.g., choosing a major, study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research, etc.). For detailed descriptions see
FORU 1500: Introduction to the Forums
Credits: 3
This course will introduce first-year students to their forum topic. Students should enroll in the section associated with the forum to which they were accepted. (See for information on the forums.)
FORU 1510: Continuing the Forum
Credits: 1
This course follows the first-semester introductory forum class and keeps students engaged in the content of their forum. Students should enroll in the section associated with the forum to which they were accepted. (See for information on the forums.)
FORU 2500: Forum Capstone Experience
Credits: 3
This course is the capstone course for forum students. It is to be taken in the fourth semester by forum students only. Students should enroll in the section associated with the forum to which they were accepted. (See for information on the forums).
RELJ 3052: Responses to the Holocaust
Credits: 3
Responses to the Holocaust
RELG 3255: Ethics, Literature, and Religion
Credits: 3
Explores how ethical issues in religious traditions and cultural narratives are addressed in literature, scripture, essay, and memoir. How do stories inquire into "the good life"? How may moral principles and virtues be "tested" by fiction? How does narrative shape identity, mediate universality and particularity, reflect beliefs and values in conflict, and depict suffering?
PAVS 4500: Pavilion Seminar
Credits: 3
The Pavilion Seminars are open, by instructor permission, to 3rd and 4th year students. They are 3-credit, multidisciplinary seminars, focused on big topics and limited to max. 15 students each. For detailed descriptions of current offerings, see
RELG 4500: Majors Seminar
Credits: 3
Introduces the study of religion as an interdisciplinary subject, utilizing methods in history of religions, theology, sociology, depth psychology, and literary criticism. The seminars are thematic and topics will vary according to the design of the instructor. Limited to twenty religious studies majors.
RELS 4995: Independent Research
Credits: 1–6
Systematic readings in a selected topic under detailed supervision. Prerequisite: Permission of departmental advisor and instructor.
RELG 5559: New Course in Religion
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject of general religion.
RELG 5860: Evil and Suffering
Credits: 3
This course will explore the interrelations between evil and suffering of 20th- and 21st- century European and American thinkers, theologians, and theorists, as well as literary authors and artists, with particular attention to the Holocaust and American slavery.
RELG 7360: Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion
Credits: 3
Given the multidisciplinary character of religious studies, it is imperative for new scholars to gain a basic sense of theoretical and methodological options in the field. By way of an examination of landmark texts, this course surveys the formation of religious studies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and considers some important contemporary approaches.
RELG 8708: Tutorial in Ethics and Literature
Credits: 3
We will explore the narrative dimensions of ethical thought and expression and the ethical questions raised by particular literary texts, including how we make ethical decisions, what it means to be a good person and live a good life, how we should live with and respond to those around us, what visions of the world we should cultivate and seek to realize, and what responses we might develop to life's sufferings and the fact of our mortality.
RELG 8719: The Frankfurt School
Credits: 3
This course will focus on key texts of the group of scholars known as the Frankfurt School, including Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, and J├╝rgen Habermas.
RELG 8734: Tutorial: Memory, History, and Religion
Credits: 3
In this tutorial, we will explore the interrelations between memory, history, and religion, as well as questions about collective and individual identity; how the past affects our responsibilities, rights, and debts in the present; the relationship between truths, histories, and memories; and the ways religious traditions have understood and shaped the practices of memory and history.
RELJ 8749: Tutorial in Holocaust Studies
Credits: 3
This tutorial focuses on key texts in the field of Holocaust Studies. Reading lists will be adjusted to the particular interests of the student, but may include scholarship on the ethics of representations, individual and collective memory, evil and suffering, moral agency and culpability, comparative studies of genocide and mass atrocities, theodicy and anti-theodicy, and Holocaust testimony.
RELS 8960: Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Research on problems leading to a master's thesis.
RELS 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.