Kim Davis is a 2003 graduate of REL. She moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2020 and became an avid explorer, hiker, and trail runner much to the surprise of everyone who knows her. She invites everyone to come experience the Land of Enchantment. When I moved from Alabama to New Mexico, I became an aficionado of New Mexican chile. New Mexican chile is not the meat and beans stew that is prepared in the Southeast, but rather it […]
Category: Religion in Culture
Posts in this category discuss how those aspects of culture known as religion can be studied in a way comparable to all other cultural practices.
Taylor Swift, Gameday, and Church
Taylor Swift’s concert tour has generated significant attention with heartwarming stories of supportive parents, marriage proposals, and the like, along with lots of memes. One author compared the experience with group singing in worship settings, calling the concert “The Church of Taylor Swift”. The post certainly touches on an important element within both Taylor Swift concerts and congregational worship, the experience of group singing. However, thinking critically about who creates the comparison, based on what assumptions, and for what ends […]
What do you mean, “I don’t look like a religious studies major”?
by Madeline Brodbeck, who is a junior majoring in Religious Studies and Political Science. While participating in an icebreaker last semester, we were asked to share our major with a small group of classmates. When it came to be my turn, I informed the group that I was double majoring in political science and religious studies. My classmates were very interested to learn more about my religious studies major. One classmate responded, “You don’t look like a religious studies major.” […]
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The Power of Religious Language
Describing ideas and movements as religious can promote or diminish the ideas or movements, depending on how the speaker frames the religious language according to their interests. […]
Crafting a Warrior Idiom
By Daniel Levine. Anyone who’s taken REL 371 with me over the past three years – or has taken my Israel-Palestine course – will recall a persistent interest in fear: what it does to us, and the various means by which it is channeled to political ends. Some of this work appeared in print for the first time last summer. One aspect of such ‘channeling’ comprises the use of ‘private languages’ to mark off particular fearful experiences: by soldiers and […]
Humans and Nazis: Reevaluating the Conversation of Us and Them
Kadence D. Jackson is a freshman majoring in Political Science and Religious Studies, along with a minor in Judaic Studies. “Evil, animals…,” “Devils, monsters, equivalent to Satan himself…”—these are expressions commonly used when we reference those who belonged to the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party during the Second World War. This language is usually voiced casually, perhaps as a means of rationalization; but ironically, I believe it’s actually disassociating Nazis from mankind. […]
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In the Shadow of No Future: Justice Claims and the Israel-Palestine Conflict?
In a short essay for the AJS Review, I consider how claims of justice work when teaching the Israel-Palestine conflict – a topic which figures centrally in my teaching both for Religious Studies (REL 371, offered every spring) and Political Science (PSC 344 – the Israel-Palestine Conflict). […]
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Honors Day Tradition Continues in REL
REL returns to its pre-pandemic tradition of an in-person Honors Day on April 7, 2023. […]
Welcome to Spring 2023!
Classes begin this week, and REL’s faculty are looking forward to seeing who’s there. The on-campus undergraduate courses in REL this semester include introductions to religious studies by Profs. Altman and Szanto. Other 100-level, introductory courses are being offered by Profs. Ramey, Loewen, and Kyselov. The 200-level courses have a variety of topical foci, with Prof. Jacobs teaching on Judaism, Prof. Newton on African Diaspora Religions, and Prof. Szanto on Islam. Prof. Jacobs also teaches a 300-level course on Jewish-Christian […]
When Do I Get to Be a Scholar?
Ellie Dilworth is a sophomore double majoring in Business Management and Religious Studies. Just the other day, I was visiting the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. As I was walking around, I was brainstorming my upcoming blog post on the institution and thinking of my opening remarks. I was chiefly trying to decide whether to identify myself as a “religious studies scholar” or “scholar of the Bible.” In the midst of this conundrum, I had a very religious […]