Tag: Identity

“Opie, it seems I made a mistake…”

When I first came to the US to work, back in 1993, I wasn’t aware of some of the subtle differences between the US and Canada (or at least where I grew up), but I soon discovered a bunch of them. I could talk about the blank stares I’d get if I said “zed” instead of “zee” for the last letter of the alphabet or, instead, I could tell you the story of, early on, asking a student, at the […]

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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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Book Review: Pollution and Religion in Ancient Rome

Pollution and Religion in Ancient Rome. Jack J. Lennon. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 229 pages. Mark Ortiz is a senior majoring in Religious Studies and New College with a depth study in Political Ecology. This review was written as a final project as part of Dr. Sarah Rollens’ course, REL 237: Religion and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World. In many societies, concepts of social order have been shaped considerably by notions of purity and pollution. According to […]

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Whence Mother Earth?

John D. James is a senior at the University of Alabama majoring in Religious Studies and minoring in General Business. This book review was written for Dr. Michael J. Altman’s REL 370: Empire and the Construction of Religion course. In Mother Earth: An American Story, Sam D. Gill begins to articulate and explain with physical evidence that the term “Mother Earth” is commonly misused and presented to audiences as some common knowledge involving Native American thought and belief. Gill takes […]

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What Does it Really Mean to be ‘Mentally Ill’?

Sarah Sawyer is a senior at the University of Alabama studying International Relations and Chinese. She spends her ‘free time’ studying and wondering if Publix will have a sale on its wine anytime soon. She wrote this post for Dr. Ramey’s class, REL 321: Religion and Identity in South Asia. “Many people feel ashamed because our society places illogical taboos on mental health issues and our silence can have deadly consequences.” These wise words are those of UA’s very own Elise Goubet as […]

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Create Your Own Identity

On Oct. 23, a “hatchet-wielding” man attacked and wounded several police officers in New York City (Queens). Naturally, media outlets immediately started speculating about what could have prompted this man to carry out such a horrific attack. According to several accounts, the man was a recent convert to Islam who had “self-radicalized.” The New York Times headline reads:  The article goes on to paint a portrait of this lone wolf who was “self-directed in his activities”: […]

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The Imagined Kashmir

Anna Davis is a junior from Prattville, Alabama who is majoring in Geography and Religious Studies. She wrote this post as part of Dr. Steven Ramey’s course, REL 321: Religion & Identity in South Asia The geographic area of South Asia has experienced a catastrophic series of floods in recent weeks. The region of Kashmir in particular has had a difficult time recovering from the floods in part because of the aid that was provided. People died during the floods […]

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