RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Religious Studies"

My First Skyperience

My First Skyperience

By Kate Daley-Bailey…I have recently had the good fortune of having various scholars come in and speak with my Religion and Media course. Dr. Russell McCutcheon, noted scholar and head of the Religious Studies Department at the University of Alabama, has recently created a collaborative website dedicated to investigating cultural constructions and identity formation (Culture on the Edge: Studies in Identity Formation). The website welcomes professors currently teaching classes to request a virtual class visit from one of the scholars writing for the site. Given my course title and topic, I knew this website would be a vital resource. Taking Dr. McCutcheon up on his gracious offer to Skype with my class, I took the first step towards integrating Skype into my courses.

"Extreme" Religion

“Extreme” Religion

By Kenny Smith…My grandparents enforced very few rules at their dinner table, but one they absolutely insisted upon was, “Never talk about religion or politics at the table.” For in their view, “the table” represented a quasi-sacred familial site reserved for eating good food, enjoying good company, and perhaps a late afternoon tea or friendly game of cards, any of which would be readily frustrated by such fractious topics. Not only was this policy a resounding success (their dinner table was almost always peaceable), but those unable or unwilling to comply were clearly marked as “too extreme” in their views.

What Does The Book Of Revelation Really Mean?

What Does The Book Of Revelation Really Mean?

By Greg Carey, Huff Post Religion….
This is the first installment of a three-part series. We’ve survived Harold Camping. We survived Y2K, albeit with less distress than our ancestors survived Y1K. The world has survived end-time predictors as diverse as Billy Graham, William Miller and Jonathan Edwards. Now we face the purported final year of the Mayan Calendar. Nevertheless, most Christian bookstores devote entire sections to the sort of “Bible Prophecy” literature that uses the Book of Revelation, among other biblical literature, to tell us that we are currently living in the last days.

Creative Inspiration: Sexual Assault and a Bag of Excrement

Creative Inspiration: Sexual Assault and a Bag of Excrement

By Heather Abraham….
Two years ago on New Year’s Eve morning, I boarded a MARTA train at 7AM and began my journey to an office job in downtown Atlanta. Before the train reached the first stop, an inebriated man approached me and grabbed both of my breasts. All the while repeatedly screaming, “Mamasita!” I punched the man in the forehead, knocked him to the ground, stepped over his body, exited the train car, and entered another. For the remainder of the trip, I sat and reflected on the strange way I was ending the year and the detached manner in which I reacted to my attacker. Twenty minutes later, I exited the train at the Five Points Station and found myself in the middle of a freak show; Peachtree Road was in the chaotic process of transforming itself for the New Year’s Eve celebration and Peach drop.

Why the World Needs Religious Studies

Why the World Needs Religious Studies

By Nathan Schneider, Religion Dispatches….
The first time I went to the American Academy of Religion conference it really got my hopes up. This was the fall of 2006 and, with only a summer in between, I’d just finished college and begun my first year of a PhD program in religious studies. The AAR was at the enormous new Washington, DC convention center. Fittingly, one of the plenary speakers was Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state who had just written a book about why religion is so important. What I remember her saying, which stuck with me and probably a lot of the other graduate students in the hall, were things like this: “Our diplomats need to be trained to know the religions of the countries where they’re going.” And: “I think the Secretary of State needs to have religion advisors.”

Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell

Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell

By Tito Ferguson, Georgia State University ….
When considering the theorists Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell, it is not difficult to recognize similarities in their theories of religious thought. Comparisons can be made between them in regards to their methods of analyzing separate traditions as well as their attempts to draw universal conclusions from them. Not only do these two theorists demonstrate the ability to take unrelated traditions and create a new way of viewing them as part of a larger picture, but they also resemble each other in how later theorists consider their work. Both men inspired a change in the way religion was thought about by the public, and both have earned the criticism of modern and feminist scholars.

Contemplating Religious Plurality

Contemplating Religious Plurality

By Anthony Fisher
Why? All truth comes from God! How inexhaustible is God that He might reveal a shard of Himself in an idea or in a system set far apart from our own? How small are our minds that we would fathom that any revealing of the divine must take place within our own religious practice? The Western world is terribly guilty of this. Countless practices are guilty of this. We take a shard of God and build a temple around it saying, “this is God holistically and completely.” We take the Gospel of Christ and say this.

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.”

A Conversation about Religious Literacy

A Conversation about Religious Literacy

Isaac: In response to the recent Pew survey, Stephen Prothero renewed his call for mandatory religious studies and Bible courses in U.S. public schools. What do we think of his proposal? What does he think it will accomplish? Vincent: It seems like, at least in the simplest form, there’s a sense that knowing lots of facts will make people rational… which it obviously won’t.

Tea Parties, Totems, Taxation, and Tyrannies: Religion and the Tea Party, Part II

Tea Parties, Totems, Taxation, and Tyrannies: Religion and the Tea Party, Part II

Now, even though no “church” of the Tea Party exists, its participants arguably believe in the sacred nature of things, namely the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Founding Fathers of the nation. Further, these representations of the sacred seem to provide an anchor with which these adherents form a single moral community. Thus, Durkheim’s definition illustrates how the Tea Party movement resembles other social groups that we more readily recognize as religious.

The Religion of the Tea Party: A Cautionary Tale to Scholars

The Religion of the Tea Party: A Cautionary Tale to Scholars

By James Dennis LoRusso  In the last 18 months, the political landscape in the United States has undergone seismic shifts.  The ever-widening ideological chasm between progressive and conservative renders constructive dialogue problematic at best, and no phenomenon better symbolizes this dilemma for both sides of the political spectrum than the Tea Party.  On the right, […]

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

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

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.

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.