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Religious Studies Revival

Religious Studies Revival

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.”

Jesus in Disneyland, the Church of Body Modifications, and Postmodern Religion in America

Jesus in Disneyland, the Church of Body Modifications, and Postmodern Religion in America

More recently, the blending of religious and cultural resources within the American landscaped overflows the merging of Disney and Evangelism. The suspension of Ariana Iacono, a North Carolina high school student who wore a nose-piercing to school, for instance, brought to light the Church of Bodily Modification (COBM), to which she and her mother apparently belong.(2) As the Washington Post reports,(3) within the COBM community, spiritual experience and growth are understood as occurring through bodily piercings, scarifications, and modifications, that is, changing the physical appearance of the body in subtle and sometimes even profound ways, ways that might seem quite disturbing to outsiders.(4)