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adWhereas an earlier generation of scholars of religion — say, those in the 1960s — argued that the relevance of our field was to be found in its uniqueness and autonomy from all other disciplines, we here at the University of Alabama think that our field’s contribution is in its ability to contribute to our understanding of culture-wide processes and effects.

We’re all in this together, after all, since we all study people, what they do, or the leftovers from what they did.

So the relevance of the shift from studying religion and culture, as most still conceptualize their task, to, as we understand it, studying religion in culture is that we’re directly relevant for making sense of all sorts of mundane but no less fascinating stuff — like how we all report feeling like individuals despite all pretty much dressing the same and all walking down the same side of the sidewalk.

So every now and then we take out an ad in the student newspaper, like we did today, to try to ensure that others on campus know this too.