Bingo

For the past few years different versions of a conference bingo card have been making the rounds on social media, with squares to check off for things like “Question that’s not a question” or “All male panel” and other sorts of typical conference experiences that many of us know all too well. In time for the start of the new school year The Chronicle of Higher Education released its own bingo card, this time for the first faculty meeting: Continue reading

The Myth of Charismatic Visionaries

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Let’s play a game

Which one of these quotes is from New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, writing just the other day, and which is from William James, the American psychologist of religion, writing well over 100 years ago? Continue reading

“Paging Mr. George Kaplan…”

hailingIn my REL 245 class, we’ve just started off the semester by watching Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1959 film, “North By Northwest.”

Not seen it?

You ought’a. Continue reading

Carry On, They’re Just Misfits

halifaxattackplotDid you catch this Canadian news story today? I’ve heard it discussed on the radio all morning, during each half hour news update, and what’s curious is how National Public Radio’s report just phrased it: according to investigators, it was the plan of “a group of murderous misfits, not Islamic terrorists,” as the newsreader just said. Continue reading

Extra Extra, Read All About It

adWhereas an earlier generation of scholars of religion — say, those in the 1960s — argued that the relevance of our field was to be found in its uniqueness and autonomy from all other disciplines, we here at the University of Alabama think that our field’s contribution is in its ability to contribute to our understanding of culture-wide processes and effects. Continue reading