Religious scholar to speak April 27

Alumnus Peter Manseau, a prize-winning novelist and religious scholar, will give a talk titled “Collecting Gods: Why Telling Stories About Other People’s Beliefs Might Just Save the World” on Monday, April 27 at noon in 604 Goodell Hall.

Manseau’s first book, “Vows,” is a personal memoir about his parents, a former nun and a former priest. His first novel, “Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter,” won the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction in 2008. His latest book is “Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World’s Holy Relics.”

Manseau graduated from UMass Amherst in 1996. He designed his own major, “Literature and Religious Thought,” through the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration program and the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies. He was also enrolled in Commonwealth College. He studied closely with Julius Lester, now an emeritus professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies.