Tag: Authenticity


Making Sense of Debates on Harry Style’s Fashion with Religious Studies: Authority, Legitimation, and Authenticity

Callie Mastin graduated this August with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and International Studies with a minor in French. Callie was a student in REL 105 with Professor Griffin in Spring 2022. It’s no secret that Harry Style’s use of gender non-conforming fashion is a hotly debated topic. When Styles, wearing a custom Gucci dress, appeared on the front cover of Vogue as the first solo male cover in Vogue’s history, both fans’ and critics’ reactions were mixed. […]

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The Sacred is the Profane

The other day I was looking at UVA’s podcast, now with several episodes (give it a listen), and couldn’t help but notice a nice example of a theoretical and methodological fracture point in the field, one which likely prompts people to pick a side when doing their work. For although I agree that “the sacred is the profane,” Bill Arnal and I didn’t quite have this sense of the phrase in mind when picking a title for a set of […]

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“You don’t know what that means!”

By Andie Alexander Andie Alexander earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and History in 2012 and is working on her MA in Religious Studies at CU Boulder. Andie also works as the online Curator for the Culture on the Edge blog. Several weeks back, I came across College Humor’s “If Gandhi Took A Yoga Class” video. In the clip, they have Gandhi challenging “western” yoga practices and understandings. Take a look… (Warning, there is some foul language) […]

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Studying the Shifting Tides

There’s an interesting study to be written on the shifting tides, over the past fifteen years, in the representation of Islam in North America. Case in point: take the above article, posted just days ago. It deviates in significant ways from the rhetoric that was mobilized immediately after the 9-11 attacks, in which the legitimacy of the attackers’ religion was quickly called into question, thereby creating a zone of peaceful and tolerant Muslims who were seen as safe and who […]

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Excuse Me, You Have Something on Your Forehead

Sarah Griswold is a junior double majoring in Mathematics and Religious Studies. She spends her “free time” analyzing her favorite shows on Netflix, which of course winds up ruining them. To get you started for some Ash Wednesday talk, enjoy some GloZell: Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season – the days leading up to Easter, meant to symbolize Jesus’s 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. By now, you probably have seen people with ashes on their […]

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Whence Mother Earth?

John D. James is a senior at the University of Alabama majoring in Religious Studies and minoring in General Business. This book review was written for Dr. Michael J. Altman’s REL 370: Empire and the Construction of Religion course. In Mother Earth: An American Story, Sam D. Gill begins to articulate and explain with physical evidence that the term “Mother Earth” is commonly misused and presented to audiences as some common knowledge involving Native American thought and belief. Gill takes […]

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The Authentic Dream Cafe

By Jared Powell Jared Powell is a junior from Canton, Mississippi majoring in English and Religious Studies. A few months ago I wrote a post relating an episode of Seinfeld to issues of identity that are commonly discussed in our classes. After letting the initial fame and grandeur of my first post wear off, I decided that more connections could be made from the sitcom and the academic study of religion, particularly with regards to authenticity. […]

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Authenticity and the Nation-State, Or Why Thai Food is a Lot Like ISIS

  We love Thai food around here. But how do you know the food on your plate is actually Thai? What makes it Thai? The sign in the restaurant window? The “Thai tea?” What is “authentic Thai food?” Well, the government of Thailand is sick and tired of your sad excuses for Thai food and they have a plan to ensure you never settle for fake Thai food again. It’s not just a plan, it’s a robot. […]

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