REL Spirit Week

Photo of Prof. Loewen and Jacobs tweeting from the REL Lounge.

Yes indeed, this coming week (Oct. 11-15) is our first REL Spirit Week, with lots going on — and we hope you’ll join us for all of it.

Monday: students can tag @StudyReligion on their Instagram stories about what they’re doing (class prep? getting a coffee at the student center? in class? hanging out on the balcony or meeting a prof?) and we’ll re-post them to REL’s Instagram story (this will happen throughout the week). We’ll also have a #loungetweets session on Twitter (something we’ve not done in a while and which needs to be revived) — tune in to see what’s going on.

Tuesday: From 10-noon we’ll be having another button event along the Crimson Promenade, adjacent to Presidents Hall — and yes, we have new buttons to give away! Join our tent, hand out some buttons to random passersby, and meet other REL majors and minors, MA students, and faculty. Also, Prof. Griffin’s REL 310’s monthly movie night is from 6-9 pm and their movies are once again open to majors, minors, and MA students (it’s moved to the much larger ten Hoor 30). The movie: What We Do in the Shadows (2014).

Wednesday: Lots happening today — from 10-2 pm it’s the Majors Fair in the student center’s ballroom (talk to Prof. Newton about helping out at our table) and, later that night, it’s our first Fall movie on the balcony, at 7 pm (or once it’s dark enough) with Karate Kid (1984) being shown by Profs. Newton and Griffin. (A classic, no?) We’ll have folding chairs, so dress for the weather and BYO Popcorn. We’ll also have the regular balcony break from 10-noon, with a Guess Who game custom designed for the occasion.

Thursday: MA students will be visiting all of our lower-level classes, talking about Spring REL classes, distributing some info about them, and maybe bringing a few of the leftover buttons with them.

Friday: We close out the week with a final #loungetweets session (and more re-posted Instagram stories from throughout the week). Stop by the lounge to see who’s tweeting or write them back,

Photo of a past REL button event

REL Movie Nights Return with Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

ghostdog

Our one credit hour course–REL 360–returns for the fall semester with the showing of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. This 1999 crime/action film follows “Ghost Dog”, a hit-man for the mafia who models his life by the code of the samurai. When one of his missions goes awry, causing him to leave a witness alive, Ghost Dog himself becomes a target of the mafia. Continue reading

REL 360 Presents Lilies of the Field

Lilies of the Field

REL 360–our one credit hour course–is hosting yet another movie night! To follow this semester’s theme on Democracy, Race, and Religion, the course will be screening Lilies of the Field. The 1963 film focuses on Homer Smith (also known affectionately as Schmidt) who stops for water in a small farm in Arizona and ends up drawn into a lengthy endeavor by Mother Maria and her fellow nuns to build a church for the impoverished community. What begins as a battle of biblical quotes between the two hard-headed protagonists over the simple matter of payment for his work ends in a project that forever changes the people involved.

The screening is open to everyone!

(Even if you’re not in the class!)

WHAT? REL 360 is a one-credit course designed to show four films throughout the semester that will provoke discussion about what exactly takes place when the humanities and popular culture collide.

WHEN? Thursday, February 18th @ 6:00 pm

WHERE? 203 Garland Hall

WHY? To broaden your horizons! The film allows the viewers insights into the backdrop of race and religion in 1960s America. It’s also free to see!

WHAT ELSE? Anyone can attend! If you decide you like the class, you can email Professor Bagger (mcbagger@ua.edu) for more information on the course, or visit the REL website.

Hope to see you there!

popcorn

Halleluja! REL Movie Nights are back!

Halleluja Poster

REL 360–our one credit course–is hosting its first movie night of the spring semester. We will be showing Halleluja by King Vidor. The movie–released in 1929 and the first to attempt to portray a non-stereotypical view of African American life–follows Zeke, the young male protagonist, as he breaks away from a life of sharecropping to become a minister, only to throw away his new lifestyle in order to reconnect with an old flame, and this is where the trouble truly starts. It’s a story of hardship, heartbreak, and redemption, and it’s a film you truly don’t want to miss! Continue reading

REL 360 Showing Kumare: The True Story of a False Prophet

Kumare movie poster

In this fourth and final installment of REL 360‘s semester-long movie screenings, we’ll be following American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he enacts a social experiment in the hopes of revealing the irrationality of blind faith. Impersonating an Indian guru, he travels through Arizona gathering followers from all walks of life. Though designed to exhibit the absurdity of blind faith, his experiment may reveal greater spiritual truths than he had set out to unearth. In order to learn what he discovers about human nature, you’ll have to stop by and find out for yourself!

Anyone can come!

(You don’t have to be in the class to enjoy a good film!)

  • WHAT? REL 360 is the new, one-credit course designed to show four films throughout the semester that will provoke discussion about what exactly takes place when the humanities and popular culture collide.
  • WHEN? November 11th @6pm.
  • WHERE? Manly 207
  • WHY? It’s fun, and a great learning experience! Plus it’s free! Take a night off, kick back, and enjoy a good movie! You deserve it!
  • WHAT ELSE? Anyone can attend! Class membership isn’t required, but this will give you a stellar opportunity to find out if this course is right for you. If it is, feel free to email Professor Bagger (mcbagger@ua.edu) about taking the course next semester!

Hope to see you there!

popcorn

Movie Night on the Way! REL 360 Presents: Elmer Gantry

elmer-gantry-movie-posterOur one-credit course — REL 360 — is having another movie night. This time we’ll be following the antics of a fast-talking con man who’s on his way to “sell” religion to small towns across America, while combating a few troublesome love affairs along the way. Continue reading

Mulholland Drive: Extremely Enigmatic or Surprisingly Simple?

mulhollanddrivevincent

Vincent M. Hills is a senior at the University of Alabama
majoring in History and minoring in Religious Studies.
This post was originally written for Dr. Rollens’ course,
REL 360: Popular Culture/Public Humanities.

Mulholland Drive begins with a woman named Rita who’s suffering from amnesia after a violent car crash. She roams the streets of Los Angeles in a daze before retreating to an apartment where she is discovered by a woman named Betty, a blonde who has come to LA seeking fame as an actress. Together, the women attempt to resolve the mystery of Rita’s real identity…

Continue reading

What to Do When David Lynch Starts Making Sense (Don’t Panic!)

mulhollanddrivepattersonpic

Now a sophomore at UA, Maggie Patterson was raised in the graveyards and Southern Baptist churches of Nashville, Tennessee. Although she may mumble her way through the second half of the Lord’s Prayer, Maggie remains captivated by spirituality in the South and is majoring in Religious Studies. This post was originally written for Dr. Rollens’ course,
REL 360: Popular Culture/Public Humanities.

When I sat down for Mulholland Drive, I was anticipating a good dose of Lynch-induced bewilderment. And I was not disappointed. The film is all shades of weird; most of the plot takes place in the psychotic dreamstate of Diane, an aspiring actress who is driven mad by the Hollywood hustle. Perhaps the oddest part of the film is the uncharacteristically straightforward and simple ways in which David lynch imparts meaning to the viewer. His emphasis on the insidiousness of Hollywood is, for those familiar with his other work, almost startlingly overt.

Continue reading

Not That Different

persepolis

Liz Long is a junior from Colorado who is double-majoring in Psychology and Religious Studies. She is interested in the effects of religion and culture on behavior. This post was originally written for Dr. Rollens’ course,
REL 360: Popular Culture/Public Humanities.

Persepolis, a film based on Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name, looks at a number of oft-discussed issues in the study of Islam. Though the story takes place post-Iranian revolution, many of the problems Marjane faces are not contained to this time frame, people, or culture. Of particular interest is the portrayal of women, not just in Iran, but also during Marjane’s time in Europe. Islam is frequently portrayed as inherently oppressive to women, especially in contrast with Christianity. However, the film demonstrates that while parts of the Iranian regime restrict women’s rights and freedoms, the negative attitude towards women and their sexuality is essentially the same across cultures.

Continue reading

tranCendenZ or eXistenZ?

Picture 5Are we testing a new virtual game or testing a new virtual game in which we’re testing a new virtual game?

Do we have bio-ports of cool blue head units?

Is your head spinning?

Join us for “eXistenZ” (1999) tonight
@ 6 pm in MA 210 (or 207 if throngs show up).
And yes, there’ll be real food.