Tag: History


The Inquisition’s Baggage

Christopher Hurt is an REL alum who works in Los Angeles. He is best known for his work with the rock ‘n’ roll group, Jamestown Pagans. Have you ever seen Inquisición (film, 1977)? If you’re a lover of period-piece horror movies, like I am, then you’ll want to check it out. Mondo Macabro has a Blu-ray release that is standout. The subject matter calls to mind this data… Several years into his papacy John Paul II initiated a commission to […]

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You’re a Historian; Get the Memo?

Prof. Newton shares how a little bit about his approach to helping students consider historiography. His memo assignment reminds students that they have a substantial role in writing the history they are studying. It’s a simple assignment that is useful for the novice and professional historian alike.   […]

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UA Trustees To Study Building Names

If you’ve been following the news then you likely saw that three historic plaques honoring UA’s contributions to the Confederacy, each put up around the time of WWI, were removed just the other day, along with the large boulder in front of Gorgas Library that served as one of those plaques’ homes. For those who never read them, the plaque formerly on that boulder, funded in 1914 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, read as follows (source: al.com): […]

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The Science of Religion–A Work in Progress

Prof. Richard Newton reports on a discussion topic from his graduate seminar on the history of religious studies. His students have been talking about the backstory of debates on definition as it pertains to religious studies. This week, students read a little bit from the nineteenth century Dutch scholars, Cornelis P. Tiele. In my History of the Study of Religion seminar, our Religion in Culture graduate students have been discussing the very enterprise in which we are engaged. The course […]

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Teaching the Bible in Culture: Identifying Room for Questions Unanswered

Prof. Newton reflects on his approach to teaching the Bible in a public university. Study religion and find out about the Bible in Culture here, part 1, and in future posts. One of my aims in my Introduction to New Testament course is to lead students in thinking carefully about the actors and drama represented in the text. As Adele Reinhartz notes, when our explanations employ terms like “Pharisee,” “Jews,” “Samaritans,” or “Romans” too assuredly, we probably have more questions to ask […]

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Citing the Misdoers and Bad Behavers?

Dr. Steven L. Jacobs is Professor and Aaron Aronov Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies at The University of Alabama. His primary research foci are in Biblical Studies, translation and interpretation, including the Dead Sea Scrolls; as well as Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In the December 14, 2018 issue of The Chronicle Review, Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago penned a piece entitled “Go Ahead, Cite the Nazi” (B2).* His unnecessarily provocative argument as summarized by his disingenuous solution— “cite […]

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Alabama-Greece Initiative Lecture Coming Up

On Wednesday, March 6th, the Department of Religious Studies will be hosting Prof. Ioannis Xydopoulos from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. His visit is part of the Alabama-Greece Initiative, a program that promotes relationships between American and Greek scholars. Beginning in 2010 and sponsored by the University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences, the initiative encourages the exchange of students and faculty for study abroad, research, and guest lectures. […]

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Knowing Your Roots

Last week I sat down to chat with Dr. Richard Newton, a faculty member in the Department of Religious Studies who recently joined us from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Originally from Texas, Professor Newton lived on each coast before making his way to The University of Alabama. This semester, he’s teaching a course on Islam, advising the Religious Studies Student Association (RSSA), and, next semester, will be teaching a graduate course on this history of the field along with an […]

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Faculty Reading Group: Transitions

On page 117, in the essay entitled “Historicism, History, and the Figurative Imagination,” we read the following: But if my hypothesis is correct, there can be no such thing as a non-relativistic representation of historical reality, inasmuch as every account of the past is mediated by the language-mode in which the historian casts his original description of the historical field prior to any analysis, explanation, or interpretation he may offer of it. We read this classic Hayden White piece (originally […]

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