Tag: Belief


Making (And Then Trying to Solve) Our Own Puzzles

Have you seen the media trying to explain why so-called evangelical Christians are supporting Donald Trump so much in the Republican primaries? For he’s hardly a model for the sort of family values they’re thought to find important — so why back him? It’s a puzzle. […]

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“I Can’t Believe It”

Sometimes ordinary language tells us far more about social life than we at first realize. For example, take two common phrases: “I can’t believe it” and “Let it sink in…” What’s going on when we say that? Or, better put, when do we say that? And what does it tell us about the word “belief” — a word we usually use as if it names some pristine interior realm that’s only secondarily projected out and expressed in public. […]

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So what’s your theory of religion?

If you’ve been following what’s going on in Oregon over the past few days then you know about the armed stand-off that involves members of the Bundy family, among other ranchers, occupying the headquarters of a federal wildlife refuge, as their stand against the federal government’s land-use policies (maybe even the federal government’s legitimacy). […]

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The Sociology of Individuals

My REL 245 course presses on and now we’re about to tackle Craig Martin’s Capitalizing Religion: Ideology and the Opiate of the Bourgeoisie. So I’ve got some weekend reading to do. The course is asking whether the study of religion ought to be founded on the assumption that the public, observable, material elements of religious life are but secondary manifestations of prior immaterial things — usually called beliefs, experiences, feelings, meanings, etc. Calling this common assumption into question is a […]

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Beyond “Belief”

There was a time when I preferred to say “beliefs, behaviors, and institutions” as my way of complicating the philosophically idealist presumptions that drive our use of the word “belief” in the study of religion — a word we often use to make sense of what people, like those pictured above, are doing. But I try not to say that anymore. […]

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The Effects of “Bad Religion”

By Andie Alexander Andie Alexander earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and History in 2012. She is now working on her M.A. in Religious Studies at CU Boulder. Andie also works as the online Curator for the Culture on the Edge blog. Many of you may be following, or at least aware of, Rowan, KY county clerk Kim Davis denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the recent Supreme Court ruling (on June 26, 2015) that legalized same-sex marriage across […]

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Changing Minds by Changing Situations

https://twitter.com/elnathan/status/561822765402324994 You surely can’t have missed news on the current (and worsening) outbreak of measles in the US. Apart from providing us with an opportunity to mull over the self-interested inconsistencies in our coverage of, and responses to, various health crises that affect others throughout the world (as so nicely evidenced by the Tweet above) and while also allowing us an insight into how individualism can function (whereby it is made clear by some that their right to protect their […]

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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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