Russell McCutcheon is the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. Interested generally in issues of theory in the study of religion, and specifically in the social and political utility of the very term "religion" itself, he has worked at three different public universities in the US. He teaches a variety of courses -- from the intro course to theories of myth -- and continues his research on such topics as religion and modernity. He also has a dog, Izzy.
Yes, it’s that time of year again — the Spring semester’s classes are winding down but the competitive spirit is ramping up, in preparation for the what is now almost a decade old tradition: the Manly Cup. Continue reading →
We filmed parts of it (i.e., the two faculty lectures, by Profs. Altman and Trost, and the opening to the next night’s Grad Tales panel — featuring five grads who returned to help mark the occasion [scroll down here to see who they were]); these movies are now being produced in the main office. They’ll probably be posted in a few weeks. Continue reading →
Given the prominence of debates over classification in my classes I’m always on the look-out for a good e.g., something useful in getting us thinking about the interests driving classification systems and their practical effects — and, perhaps, illustrating how naming something as religion plays a role in all this. Continue reading →
Brent Nongbri, from whom this response was invited, is a Visiting Associate Professor at Aarhus University. He recently completed a three-year project at Macquarie University (sponsored by the Australian Research Council) that explored the earliest Christian manuscripts from a number of angles, focusing on issues of construction and dating as well as provenance and collection history. The results of the project will appear in his forthcoming book on the archaeology of the earliest Christian manuscripts.
I’m grateful to the curators of “Studying Religion in Culture” for this opportunity to reflect a bit on “words and things,” and I would also like to thank the previous posters in this series for their insightful contributions on this topic and on the problems and prospects of working with the concept of religion.
I’ll start off my own comments, however, on a word other than “religion.” Continue reading →