We’re hiring: Assistant Professor in Social Theory and Digital Studies of Religion

The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of assistant professor in the area of Social Theory and Digital Studies of Religion, beginning August 2024. The area of specialization (historic period, region, or group studied) is open; however, the successful candidate must complement and enhance the current specialties of the Department by using social theory to understand religion as an element of culture. The specific research area is […]

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Teaching ‘The Sacred’ as An Art Historian

by Marguerite Mayhall*, Kean University. The carved relief lintel showing Lady Xok performing a bloodletting ritual for her husband Shield Jaguar’s accession to the throne of the Maya site of Yaxchilan is a startling image (top left image, Lintel 24). Xok, dressed in an elaborate huipil, or woven dress, kneels while she draws a barbed rope through her tongue and piles it in a bowl in front of her. Her husband, the king-to-be, stands over her, holding a torch and […]

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The Green Chile Controversy

Sign for New Mexico city of Hatch

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 […]

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Taylor Swift, Gameday, and Church

Taylor Swift in green dress on stage with backup singers at Eras concert, fans in background

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 […]

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What do you mean, “I don’t look like a religious studies major”?

An actor playing Elle Woods with her small dog in the musical stage adaptation of the film Legally Blonde.

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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Crafting a Warrior Idiom

roofline of Presidents Hall

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 […]

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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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