Taylor Swift’s concert tour has generated significant attention with heartwarming stories of supportive parents, marriage proposals, and the like, along with lots of memes. One author compared the experience with group singing in worship settings, calling the concert “The Church of Taylor Swift”. The post certainly touches on an important element within both Taylor Swift concerts and congregational worship, the experience of group singing. However, thinking critically about who creates the comparison, based on what assumptions, and for what ends […]
The Power of Religious Language
Describing ideas and movements as religious can promote or diminish the ideas or movements, depending on how the speaker frames the religious language according to their interests. […]
Who Believes in Conspiracy Theories?
As a scholar in religious studies, my interest was piqued when a recent “The Daily” episode from the New York Times discussed community formation in Birds Aren’t Real, a movement / conspiracy theory that claims the government has replaced birds with drones to conduct widespread surveillance. The analysis of people who connect with others through Birds Aren’t Real had similarities to the ways that we discuss religions. Of course, connecting conspiracy theories and religion is not unique to me, […]
The Ins and Outs of Archival Research
Prof. Nathan Loewen received funding from the University of Alabama, a while back, to conduct archival research on the Derrida Papers in Irvine, California. So REL MA student, Morgan Frick, posed a few questions to him about what all that archival work entails. Morgan: What was the project and how did you hope to improve your research with this archival work? Nathan: In 2016-17, I was really fortunate to be funded by the Research Grants Committee at UA. My position at […]
The Domino’s Effect–From Trash to Cash
It’s 1:00am, and I can’t sleep. I went to sleep early to be ready for the first day of the new semester. And for the past hour, I’ve been thinking about one thing and one thing only… Domino’s Pizza! […]
The Bible in Culture: Reading and Writing with Zines
Prof. Newton discusses the origin of a creative student research project that he used to end his Introduction to New Testament course. Learn more about studying the Bible in Culture in the first, second, and third entries in this series. […]
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Studying The Bible in Culture: Is it Syncretism or Redaction?
In our series on studying the Bible in Culture. Religion major Will Watson ’21 shares how he studied the Bible in Culture as part of an independent study with Prof. Newton. Be sure to also check out the first and second installments of this series. During the course of my independent study with Dr. Newton, we covered a wide range of topics that ultimately coalesced in an essay that outlined the process for understanding religion in culture that we had extrapolated throughout our semester […]
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An Introduction to Studying the Bible in Culture
Prof. Newton reflects on his approach to teaching the Bible in a public university. Study religion and find out about the Bible in Culture here on the blog over the next few days. […]
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Dr. Roshan Abraham: Not-So-Secret Scholarly Identities
As someone familiar with the work of our Department. Dr. Roshan Abraham knows that we appreciate the complexities of identification. Join Prof. Newton as he gets to know a bit about our 2019 Day Lecturer in the interview below. See part 1 here. […]
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Dr. Roshan Abraham: A Day Lecturer’s Origin Story
Dr. Roshan Abraham is our 2019 Day Lecturer. Prof. Newton was able to chat with him to learn a little bit more about his training and his scholarship. We’ve heard you’ll be talking about the Bible and comics. Comics often involve origin stories. What’s your scholarly origin story? I don’t really have a simple story about my academic training; I got to the study of religion through a very circuitous route. I’ll try to keep it brief. I did my […]
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