The 6th Annual Day Lecture

The Department of Religious Studies hosted its 6th annual Day Lecture. The series (established, by his family, in the memory of REL grad Zachary Day) focuses on religion and popular culture, attracting students from across campus.
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5 Questions with Teemu Taira

With the annual Day Lecture at the end of October, we posed a few questions to our upcoming guest, Prof. Teemu Taira (pictured above at Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales, England).

Q: Can you tell us a little about your background: what did you first go to university to study and how did you come across the academic study of religion? Was it always clear that a future career in the university was ahead for you?

A: I did not even think of any other options than going to the university, although I had no close relatives or friends who had studied at the university. The tricky thing was to decide what to study. In Finland students are selected on the basis of exams and you have to read 1 or 2 books, so I browsed the exam books from different disciplines. I considered philosophy, history of ideas, and anthropology, but I ended up studying religion. When people ask why study of religion, I usually tell them three narratives. Continue reading

#Day2018 is here

Tonight: #Day2018 — our fifth annual Day Lecture. The topic of this series is religion in pop culture and tonight we have Dr. Elijah Siegler visiting campus — he had a busy day yesterday of visiting with faculty and students — who will be talking about the Coen Brothers’ movies. It’s in Smith Hall 205 this year, starting at 7 pm.

Looking for a crash course on Coen movies…?

See you there!

#Day2018

Photo of Elijah Siegler

We’re very pleased to announce that Dr. Elijah Siegler, of the College of Charleston, will be our 2017-18 Day Lecturer.

The date for the event is still to be set, but we anticipate it being early in the Spring 2018 semester and we’re looking forward to Dr. Siegler being on campus for a couple days, visiting classes and meeting with students and faculty.

In his public lecture, Dr, Siegler will be speaking on what a scholar of religion might have to say about the films of the Coen brothers. His title: Myth, Meaning and Morality in the Films of the Coen Brothers.

Know their work?

For more on the Day Lecture, visit it’s page on the Department website.

This event is free and open to the public.

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 5

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Dr. Jason Bivins speaking, prior to his lecture, with Charles Day, whose family and friends have generously made this series possible.

In this concluding episode of our five-part series on the 4th Day Lecture, Dr. Bivins summarizes the central themes of his lecture, providing a few closing remarks on the commonalities between religion and jazz.

If you want to learn more about the Annual Day Lecture, click here.

The Fourth Annual Day Lecture 2016: Dr. Jason Bivins, Episode 5 from UA Religious Studies.

Every episode of the Day Lecture is available here.

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 4

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Dr. Jason Bivins speaking with audience members after the conclusion of his lecture; at the far left is Mr. Charles Day, whose family & friends have made this series possible.

In the fourth episode of this five-part series, Dr. Bivins presents his second case study on Sun Ra, an American jazz composer from the 1960s well known for his experimental music and cosmic philosophies. Continue reading

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 3

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Spirits Rejoice! by Dr. Jason Bivins discusses in further detail the research he presented in his lecture on jazz and religion. 

In this third installment of the 4th Day Lecture, Dr. Bivins introduces one of the many case studies from his book Spirits Rejoice!. This case study focuses on Albert Ayler, a jazz composer from the 1960s who “proceeded from a predictable location into something wild.” Continue reading

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 2

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An attentive audience listens to Dr. Jason Bivins present his lecture on the “smoky” associations between jazz and religion.

In this second installment of the 4th Day Lecture, Dr. Bivins explains exactly why everything seems so smoky to him and provides an overview of how he set about conducting his research. Continue reading

The 4th Annual Day Lecture, Episode 1

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Dr. Ted Trost introduced the fourth annual Day Lecturer. Dr. Trost  teaches courses in American Religious History, Religion and Popular Culture, Bible, and Religious Rhetoric in Literature and Film. This semester Prof. Trost is the Interim Director of New College.  

The Day Lecture was generously established by friends and family of the late Zach Day, a graduate of our Department, to honor his memory, and is now an annual event thanks to the memorial fund named in his honor. The topics of these lectures are based around Zach’s interest in religion and its relation to popular culture through music, art, videos, gaming, and literature.

This year’s Day Lecture was given by Dr. Jason Bivins in a lecture entitled “Smoke, Sweat, and Panic: Language and Improvisation in Jazz and Religion.” We will be releasing his lecture in five different episodes over the coming weeks. This first episode introduces the “smoky associations” between religion and jazz and Dr. Bivins’ scholarly quest to “get into the smoke.” Continue reading