Tag: Christianity


On Paying Attention to Politicians Signing Bibles

Geoff Davidson graduated from the University of Alabama Religious Studies Department in 2009 before earning his M.Div. at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He is now a minister, writer, and library information specialist at Baylor. Late last week President Trump was seen autographing Bibles while surveying the effects of a devastating tornado in eastern Alabama, leading to skirmishing in both news media and religious communities. There were those who dismissed this incident immediately, and why shouldn’t they? Why […]

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A Purpose Driven Label

Groups often want to claim that their practices and beliefs constitute a religion. The label religion provides certain benefits, such as a protected legal status, respect in certain contexts, and often prestige. In fact, various groups like Sikhs and Jains want to see their religions included in the discussion of World Religions for the legitimacy that it affords. The image above circulating on social media lately identifies Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen monk, as making the opposite assertion, that […]

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This Week in the First Amendment

Have you been following the story of the La Lomita Chapel, in Mission, Texas? It was built in 1865 and today is at the center of a fight over land — more specifically, the Federal government trying to acquire this private land for the purposes of the border wall that some want built there. The local Roman Catholic diocese doesn’t agree. […]

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Whose Evangelicalism is in Ruins?

The American Academy of Religion, the national scholarly association for religious studies in America, just sent out its program of plenary addresses for its upcoming annual meeting this November. The abstract for David Gushee’s Presidential Address caught my eye. There are a number of things to say about this. First of all, I told ya’ll this would happen during the nomination process three years ago. Looking closely at the abstract, the phrase “will perform ‘religion in public’ in a confessional vein” […]

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Structure and Agency in Starbucks

Sierra is a recent graduate of our B.A. program with a double major in Anthropology and Religious Studies and a minor in Spanish, and she plans to continue working with us to pursue an M.A. in the Fall. She has previously produced independent research on cemetery artwork and the category of myth at the University of Alabama and worked as a research assistant for a variety of groups and projects at UA during her undergraduate career. Recently, I was denied […]

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Constructing Judaism and Claiming Christianity: Modern Jewish Philosophy in an Age of Theory

Robert Erlewine is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University where he teaches courses related to philosophy of religion and Judaism. He is the author of two monographs, Monotheism and Tolerance: Recovering a Religion of Reason (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010) and Judaism and the West: From Hermann Cohen to Joseph Soloveitchik (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016). In recent years, in the academic study of religion there have been rather public disputes about the nature of religious […]

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Should Sunday Schools Be Registered with the Government?

The head of the British government’s Ofsted — the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills — Sir Michael Wilshaw, was on the radio the other day, discussing a variety of things that scholars of religion might find interesting. […]

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God Bless America

By Katie Brinser Katie Brinser is from Lindenhurst, IL.  She is a senior majoring in International Studies and Finance with a minor in Arabic Language and Culture.  This post was originally written for Eleanor Finnegan‘s REL 370 class In September, Pope Francis visited the United States and became the first pope to address the US Congress. In his address, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of social responsibility and political activity. He called on the American people to “serve and promote […]

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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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