By Lisa Miller, News Week….
In a world defined by religious conflict—in the Middle East, in Africa, and in the culture wars at home—colleges and universities have come to consider religious studies increasingly important. In 2009, theAmerican Historical Association announced that for the first time the history of religion was the most popular specialty among professional historians. The number of bachelors’ degrees conferred upon graduates in philosophy or religious studies has doubled since the 1970s to nearly 12,000 a year, and has been rising steadily since 9/11. “The study of religion,” says Jeanne Kilde, who has started a new program at the University of Minnesota, “is a growth industry.”
By Kate Daley-Bailey Renowned American Religion scholar, Catherine L. Albanese, opens her now classic text, America: Religions and Religion, with the following statement: There is a story that both Buddhists and some Muslims claim as their own and like to use as a teaching device. It is about an elephant and a group of blind […]
Scholars who study American religion have also wondered why, exactly, American history played out in ways that have emphasized a philosophy of personal religious liberty. Typically these traditions go by names such as Wicca, Paganism, Druidism, Heathenism, often grouped together under the label Neo-Pagan. Taken together, they constitute one of the fastest growing religious communities in America over the past two decades, conservatively estimated as representing at least 1% of the American population.