Religion Lately: The Religious Art of Dudeism, Evangelical Protestors v. Vanderbilt Fraternities, and the Rise of Big Religion

By Kenny Smith

A Dudeist painter, inspired by classical Western artistic traditions, works to capture the spiritual complexities of the Dude and his companions.

Despite the fact that even university-level courses in world religions often leave out discussion of the centuries-old tradition of Sikhism. There are some half-million American Sikhs, some of which experienced violent reprisals after 9/11, being mistaken for Muslims.  

Evangelical protestors confronted “drunk and immodestly dressed” Vanderbilt undergraduates, beseeching them to “put on some clothes and repent of their idolatry and fortification” as “no drunkard will enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”  


Would you like to “friend” Jesus? Check out Jesus Daily, among the most frequented Facebook pages religious or otherwise.   

Americans may obsess about Big Government, but one scholar contemplates the emergence and implications of Big Religion, as evidenced by, say, Presidential candidate Rick Perry’s totalizing “Day of Prayer,” at which “everyone was welcome to come” and be Christian.  

The new Christian film “Seven Days in Utopia,” featuring Robert Duvall and True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby, without the fangs), is fairing well with Christian fans.  


Australian cheers applauds the banning of religion (they say it’s satire but I’m not entirely convinced),  while the French really have banned prayer in public streets.  

A new book by Ohio State scholar Hugh Urban locates the Scientology in its historical context, and receives a more cordial welcome from the Church.

One self-identified Satanist contests popular definitions of his tradition equating Satanism with “average selfish douches.” This tradition is about the power, control, and having what’s essential, he suggests. 


Some American Muslims, apparently, support legal efforts to ban Sharia law.  

A new form of Buddhism, with 11 million adherents in South Korea, is coming to the US.  

Is America headed for 310 million people with 310 different religions?



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