The Nones are causing “trouble” again, with sensationalized headlines about the decline of Christianity. These takes can easily reinforce the anxiety among some about changes in society and activate nostalgia for some mythic 1950’s America (which was certainly not experienced as peaceful or comfortable by many marginalized groups in the 1950s, or even today). Based on survey data that the Pew Research Center released this week, those who represent themselves as unaffiliated with religion have grown to almost 30% of the US population. This increase (compared to almost 20% unaffiliated in Pew’s 2012 “Nones” on the Rise report) coincides with a significant drop in those who identify as Protestant (which in the survey context includes any Christian not affiliating with Catholic, Orthodox, or Mormon identities). Continue reading
Brady Duke is a senior at the University of Alabama majoring in Religious Studies and Latin. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a master’s degree in Classical philology with a concentration in Latin language and literature.
Throughout this semester, we have been learning various ways in which individuals, either scholars or laypersons, interact, define, and interpret the past. Consequently, the interpretations stemming from these discourses reflect more about those analyzing the object of study than the object of study itself; while it is quite the claim, everyone frames their object of study in such a way as to highlight their own interests, the degree to which these interests are explicit being the only difference. Thus, through these discourses, we are able to see the underlying interests at work.
Such is also the case in “Ohio Megachurch Keeps Holding Mass Gatherings, Even as Coronavirus Spreads.” Continue reading
THIMPHU, Bhutan (RNS) For centuries, Buddhists in this tiny landlocked Himalayan kingdom have had a special devotion to the most unusual of objects: the phallus. Painted on the walls of their homes, hanging from the eaves of their houses and seen in vehicles and on rooftops, images of the phallus are an essential part of Bhutan’s traditional ceremonies….
So opens a recent Huffington Post article, ripped straight from the 19th century’s headlines. For if you want to see how very little has changed over the past 150 years in the public discourse on “the Other,” then just read this article. Continue reading
Did you miss the panel “Discussing the Nones: What They Say About the Category Religion and American Society” at the American Academy of Religion meetings in Baltimore last month? Our own Prof. Steven Ramey joined Chip Callahan (Missouri), Sean McCloud (UNC Charlotte), Monica Miller (Lehigh University) and Patricia O’Connell Killen (Gonzaga) for a lively panel discussion that is now available for your viewing pleasure. Steven and Monica have already written about their responses to the panel here. Now you can watch it for yourself, with a new segment posted each day this week. Continue reading