This summer, Prof. Vaia Touna will travel to Trondheim, Norway to participate in a Religious Studies Conference hosted by NAASR and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The lectures will focus on critiquing the work of Prof. Jonathan Z. Smith, a religious studies scholar at the University of Chicago who passed away in December 2017. His expansive work in the field frequently complicated classification and description (among other scholarly tools) and provided reform for modern pedagogy.
My early book was cited near the start of Chris Kavanagh‘s recent online essay, as an example of a work in the study of religion that — despite him agreeing that there is “much that is valid in such critiques” — seems to constitute “academic minutiae” that we should put behind us, so we can just get on with our work.
If you’ve not read the piece, you should.
Here’s the closing two paragraphs.
I’d like to focus on what is being claimed here, in these closing lines, and raise some of the implications that I see to be of importance. For paying attention to the little details is sometimes quite beneficial.
After a successful first season, our ar·ti·facts series is back for more!
Each episode focuses on one professor discussing an item of interest in his or her office. Kicking off this year’s run is Prof. Rollens with her collection of pottery from a research dig in Israel.
Enjoy, and stay tuned for more.