Category: Uncategorized


Can We Analyze Trumpism as a Millenarian Movement?

Elizabeth Tagg is a graduating senior in the Department of Religious Studies, writing a thesis on apocalyptic rhetoric in the age of Trump. Donald Trump built his reputation as a political outsider who could “drain the swamp,” fix a broken system, and make America great again. Indeed, in his 2016 RNC speech, he declared that “[he] alone could fix it.” Many believed him, and many still do. For example, when the pandemic and instructions to quarantine were in full swing, […]

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Our Pre- & Inter- Pandemic Teaching was Never “Normal” (p.s. nor our post-pandemic teaching, too!)

carnations of different colors

Two Perspectives I wish to talk about specific methods I and my colleagues adopted for pre-, inter and post-pandemic teaching.* I come at this with two perspectives: Teaching – As a freshly-tenured professor of religious studies at a public, R1 university (University of Alabama). My current research coordinates and publishes research with the Global-Critical Philosophy of Religion project. Administration – As the faculty technology liaison for UA’s college of arts and sciences. I consult 1:1 with faculty on teaching technologies, supervise […]

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Announcing the 2021 American Examples Participants

The Department of Religious Studies is so happy to announce the participants in the 2021 American Examples program. This will be the third year of the program’s history and the second year the program has been funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. This year’s program will be hosted virtually, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the virtual format, a record number of applications, and a strong applicant pool, we have expanded the program from 9 […]

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Have You Read the Latest Bulletin for the Study of Religion?

Prof. Richard Newton introduces us to the latest iteration of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion, now a joint collaboration between Equinox Publishing and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. […]

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You’re a Historian; Get the Memo?

Prof. Newton shares how a little bit about his approach to helping students consider historiography. His memo assignment reminds students that they have a substantial role in writing the history they are studying. It’s a simple assignment that is useful for the novice and professional historian alike.   […]

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Faculty News

Emily Crews (pictured above, at our 2019 Honors Day), who has been REL’s full-time Instructor for the past two years, has decided to return north to complete her dissertation at the University of Chicago, and so she will not be rejoining us in the Fall semester. Emily has specialized in teaching our intro Honors course, REL 105, along with our regular evening course on film, REL Goes to the Movies. She also participated in our American Examples grant, organized our […]

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The Science of Religion–A Work in Progress

Prof. Richard Newton reports on a discussion topic from his graduate seminar on the history of religious studies. His students have been talking about the backstory of debates on definition as it pertains to religious studies. This week, students read a little bit from the nineteenth century Dutch scholars, Cornelis P. Tiele. In my History of the Study of Religion seminar, our Religion in Culture graduate students have been discussing the very enterprise in which we are engaged. The course […]

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True or False or a Mix of Both? The Dissonance of the Gospels presented in Galatia

Rebekah Pearson ’22 is a Religious Studies-Dance Performance double major. In Prof. Newton’s Introduction to the New Testament course, she examined Paul’s Letter to the Galatians as an artifact of competing social definitions. This essay was part of her group’s Bible in Culture zine. Learn more in the first, second, third, and fourth posts of the series.  Imagine this: You have been running for over an hour and you finally make it to what you think is the finish line of your first […]

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Studying The Bible in Culture: Is it Syncretism or Redaction?

In our series on studying the Bible in Culture. Religion major Will Watson ’21 shares how he studied the Bible in Culture as part of an independent study with Prof. Newton. Be sure to also check out the first and second installments of this series.  During the course of my independent study with Dr. Newton, we covered a wide range of topics that ultimately coalesced in an essay that outlined the process for understanding religion in culture that we had extrapolated throughout our semester […]

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