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The Internet is My Religion

The Internet is My Religion

By Meredith Doster, Emory University…..In a 2011 presentation at the Personal Democracy Forum, activist Jim Gilliam presented his conversion story from fundamentalist Christianity to a new found religion: the Internet. Expertly wielding evangelical epistemology, Gilliam described a series of personal and family medical tragedies that resulted in a crisis of faith: “God had forsaken me, but the doctors hadn’t … I watched as a small bag of marrow emptied into my arm. I walked out of the hospital two weeks later, replenished with the blood of a stranger. I was determined to move on with my life, so I gave my heart to the Internet.”

A Brave New Book: Kelly J. Baker’s Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930

A Brave New Book: Kelly J. Baker’s Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930

By Kenny Smith….
Dr. Kelly J. Baker is a lecturer in Religious Studies and Americanist Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Seemingly indefatigable, she has written for numerous academic and popular publications, has two additional books and several scholarly articles currently in the works, serves an editor for the award-winning American Religious History blog, oversees panels and groups within the American Academy of Religion and American Studies Association, all the while teaching a full-load of university-level courses each semester, raising a young daughter, and encouraging aspiring graduate students at other institutions. A glance at her resume suggests a broad range of teaching and research interests: world religions in America, apocalyptic and Rapture-oriented movements, the figure of the zombie in contemporary culture, religious in/tolerance in the South Park series, and of course, the early 20th century rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan and its relationship to “mainstream” American religion and culture, precisely the focus of her new book, Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930

Prayers or Curses?

Prayers or Curses?

Heather Abraham….
Apparently, this devout Christian woman belongs to a prayer group that meets regularly to pray for, in her words, “our nation, family, friends, and fellow Christians.” I found it intriguing that the nation would be of first importance but continued to listen (and take notes) as she discussed how these prayers had helped so many and her belief that prayer is the “most powerful human force on earth.” According to her, prayer is dangerous when used by those “who are enemies of our Christian Nation” and that Christians everywhere need to pray in groups to “counteract the evil prayers that are offered up daily.”

The Sacred Artist Stands Alone

The Sacred Artist Stands Alone

Louis A. Ruprecht Jr….
In short, Enrique Celaya is deeply interested in the realm of the sacred. Hence his creation of “Whale & Star” as a place where scientific enquiry and contemplative community mutually inform and inspire.
An essential part of Celaya’s studio is a library-and-lounge where he conducts most of his interviews. He reads widely in Continental philosophy and literature. Nietzsche and Heidegger, Thoreau and Melville, William Blake and Anton Chekhov, are all central interlocutors and inspirations for the work. And always, always, there are echoes of central biblical paradigms, never quite raised to the level of explicit

In Conversation with Dr. Carolyn J. Medine, Part I

In Conversation with Dr. Carolyn J. Medine, Part I

Kate Daley-Bailey, Religion Nerd Contributor and visiting instructor at Georgia State University, recently spent an afternoon In Conversation With Dr. Carolyn J. Medine, associate professer at the University of Georgia. Kate and Dr. Medine’s lively discussion spans many aspects of Religious Studies including the responsibilities of teaching, current projects, the importance of mentoring, and the significance of the discipline of Religious Studies.