Tag: Religion


Who Believes in Conspiracy Theories?

Billboard stating "Birds Aren't Real"

  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, […]

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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 […]

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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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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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Getting the Party Started on Syllabus Day

The first day of class can be a bit nerve-racking, even for profs. One might think that profs have it easy at the start of the semester, but we all know the importance of first impressions. And for myself, there can be a lot of anxiety around those initial activities. How much of the syllabus should we read? I don’t want to bore anyone, but I don’t want students starting out lost. Do we dive right into content? The semester […]

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Grad Student Interns with Alabama Heritage Magazine

As part of the MA in Religion in Culture at UA, students attend a monthly colloquium designed to introduce them to community members seeking graduates with strong critical thinking skills. During these meetings, the Department of Religious Studies brings in individuals from within and outside of the University to share their experiences in the job market. Their presentations often focus on the ways that the tools each MA student is cultivating in their humanities courses can be useful outside of […]

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