In or Out?

I’ve got to admit, I’m getting tired of all the “epistemological crisis” talk and the way it’s being pinned on the humanities in general and postmodernism in particular.

For the way I see it, members of groups that once benefited from a broad social consensus are now a bit angry that someone has pointed out the link between power and knowledge. Or, to rephrase, it’s curious to me how a socio-political issue is continually portrayed as an epistemological issue, as if this is all about how “we know” and not about “how we organize” and “who gets to organize.” Continue reading

Studying the Shifting Tides

Picture 2There’s an interesting study to be written on the shifting tides, over the past fifteen years, in the representation of Islam in North America.

Case in point: take the above article, posted just days ago. It deviates in significant ways from the rhetoric that was mobilized immediately after the 9-11 attacks, in which the legitimacy of the attackers’ religion was quickly called into question, thereby creating a zone of peaceful and tolerant Muslims who were seen as safe and who were thus differentiated from those who were quickly turned into enemies and thus targets. Continue reading

A Fine Place to Start

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By Joe Kimbrough

Joe Kimbrough graduated from the Department of Religious Studies in 2008. He went on to pursue graduate study in Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama, while maintaining his interests in the historical divisions between church and academy. You can read some of his other blog posts here.

Recently, I sought a diversion after working some overtime, so I stopped at the local Barnes & Noble. Such a decision was popular that evening since the store overflowed with customers like the University Supply Store on the first day of classes. After an initial scan of the store, I admired the efficiency of the Baristas as they ducked and dodged one another to complete orders as quickly as they were given without spilling a drop. Continue reading

Proceed With Caution…

thinkingWe received an interesting commentary the other day, from a Distance Learning student, concerning one of our courses, REL 100 Introduction to the Study of Religion, which is also offered as an online course (developed by our own Prof. Merinda Simmons and taught, this past semester, by Mary Rebecca Read-Wahidi).

The comment read (our thanks for permission to post it): Continue reading