REL 360 Movie Night: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

REL 360, our one credit hour course, is kicking off the spring semester by showing O Brother, Where Art Thou? The film (which has been compared to Homer’s The Odyssey) is set in the deep South during the Depression-era and follows the antics of three escaped convicts on their quest to avoid the law and return home.

WHAT? REL 360 is a one-credit course designed to show four films throughout the semester that will provoke discussion about what exactly takes place when the humanities and popular culture collide.

WHEN? Tuesday, January 24th @ 6pm

WHERE? Garland Hall 203

WHY? To shed new light on a classic film through riveting post-movie discussions!

WHAT ELSE? Anyone can attend! If you decide you like the class, you can email Professor Bagger (mcbagger@ua.edu) for more information on the course, or visit the REL website.

We hope to see you there!

50 Things for 50 Years

To commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Department of Religious Studies, we’ve put together a video of fifty different things REL has been up to over the years.

We sure do have a lot going on around Manly Hall, and our majors and minors help to make a lot of that possible. It’s been a great fifty years, and here’s to fifty more! Take a look at what we have going on, and we hope to see you around the department for out next event.

50 Things for 50 Years from UA Religious Studies on Vimeo.

50th Anniversary Fun Fact #2

Although dating to 1932, in 2016-17 we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, given how the Department was reinvented in 1966-7 — in keeping with how the study of religion was established then across public universities in the US. No longer confessionally-oriented and staffed by campus ministers, it became a cross-culturally comparative and interdisciplinary field.

So all semester we’ll be posting some weekly fun facts from 1966 — not that long ago for some of us yet ancient history for others.

“The snake slithers…”

 

 

For Members Only

I recall, in the Fall of 2015, a job ad appearing on our main professional online site for a pastor for a church. Then, not long after, I saw an ad there for someone to co-write a “15-20 page paper … on the theology and praxis of the engineering profession for it’s Christian members.” Both times I wrote our association’s leadership questioning why our site was judged a relevant place for such a listing. And now, not long ago, news made the rounds of social media of an ad for a research projects coordinator for the Museum of the Bible. Continue reading

50th Anniversary Fun Fact #1

Although dating to 1932, in 2016-17 we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, given how the Department was reinvented in 1966-7 — in keeping with how the study of religion was established then across public universities in the US. No longer confessionally-oriented and staffed by campus ministers, it became a cross-culturally comparative and interdisciplinary field.

So all semester, each Monday we’ll be posting a weekly fun fact from 1966 — not that long ago for some of us yet ancient history for others.

So, to kick it off, remember when there was just one Doritos flavor…?

“The new beat in things to eat…”

 

 

REL Peer Mentor Program Launched

This semester we’re trying something new in REL — we’ve developed a peer mentoring program whereby a small number of students who excelled last semester in a 100-level course are being invited to stay involved in the same course this semester, as a peer mentor.

For we tend to think that studying by yourself, especially when you find the course challenging, isn’t the most effective strategy. Continue reading

See You in 2017

Have a fun and safe new year’s eve and
we’ll see you back on campus in 2017.

Why & How We Do What We Do

I saw on social media yesterday that Huston Smith is reported to have passed away. He was 97. Apart from an update on Wikipedia there’s not much news on this on social media yet. Continue reading

“I’m Laughing at Clouds…”

You likely know the scene: a man in love, drops his sweetheart off at her place, then proceeds to sing and dance, despite the inclement weather. Continue reading

Jim and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

In the close to Fabricating Origins — a recent collection of short essays, by a wide array of scholars, on the problem of origins — I used the example of Jim and Pam, from the U.S. adaptation of the British series, “The Office,” to illustrate how malleable, and thus useful, the archive of the past can be in our efforts to make sense of where we happen to find ourselves today.

For all I know I’ve blogged about it before (I looked but, if I did, I couldn’t find it; so here goes…), but given yesterday’s post on the #Dear2016 hashtag, it seemed reasonable to revisit a point made in the afterword to the above-mentioned volume, to illustrate just what I think is going on in the current laments over how cruel 2016 has been. Continue reading