Start 2016 Off Right With #LoungeTweets


The Spring semester begins this week and we want to start the new semester and the new year off with a bang! So, we’re brining back Live Tweets from the Lounge, that wonderful event where a faculty member sits in our student lounge and sends out tweets to you, our students and friends.

This time, Prof. Nathan Loewen will be the one behind the keyboard bringing you hot takes from the lounge at 2pm on Thursday January 14th. Don’t miss it.



How Your Phone Defines Religion


As the Faculty Technology Liaison to the College of Arts and Sciences at UA, I am part of a Mac Administrators forum. I was surprised to notice the exclusion of deities from emoji eligibility while glancing over an update notice. After some investigation, I was surprised to learn about the selection factors of the Unicode Consortium.

emoji criteria

In fact, the Unicode Consortium has produced a very detailed report, “Emoji and Symbol Additions – Religious Symbols and Structures,” for which “The objective has been to have symbols and structures of major belief systems worldwide represented with an emphasis on filling up existing gaps in the encoded symbol repertoire.”

The report is an excellent “common sense inventory” for what ready-to-hand assumptions exist for thinking about the study of religion. For example, the emoji for “place of worship”  is that of a person kneeling in prayer under a roof. What does this representation include or exclude from considerations about religion?place-of-worship

This Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Either


Yesterday, I read an interesting report from Educause about “The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment.” The report starts by criticizing the now-conventional Learning Management Systems (LMS) that are deployed with ubiquity by higher education institutions. Some see LMSs as essential to education and LMS services are projected to be a $7.83 billion dollar industry in 2018.

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A Good Book with Prof. Loewen


The seventh episode in our A Good Book series is now on Vimeo! This video features our newest faculty member, Prof. Nathan Loewen and his discussion of Jacques Derrida’s book Monolingualism of the Other.

Want to learn more about Prof. Loewen? Check out an interview blog post here, and a video here.

A Good Book with Prof. Loewen from UA Religious Studies.

There’s a New Kid in Town


Dr. Nathan Loewen, one of the department’s newest faculty members, sat down with the REL film team for a short interview. Everybody’s talking ’bout the new kid in town, so watch the video to get in the loop!

For another, more lengthy Q&A, click here.

Dr. Nathan Loewen, the New Kid in Town from UA Religious Studies.

An Interview with Nathan Loewen


We recently interviewed one of the newest members of our faculty, Dr. Nathan Loewen. Read what he has to say about his interests, background, and new job as Assistant Professor and Faculty Technology Liaison.

Q: Where did you train? What are your areas of research and teaching interest?

A: My areas of research and teaching interest include religion in modernity, philosophy of religion, the cross-section of religious studies with international development studies, and higher education pedagogy.

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