Tag: Religion

“I Smell the Vapors of Hell on You…”

There’s a new joint British-US TV series airing over here, “Outlander,” in which a WWII English nurse finds herself mysteriously taken backward in time, from the mid-1940s to the fiercely independent Scottish highlands two hundred years earlier. (That the independence vote takes place today in Scotland makes this series airing now kind of curious.) From the point of view of the academic study of religion, the relationship between the science of the lead character and, at least in episode three, […]

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“I Did Not Know I Was White.”

As I was driving recently, I listened to an episode of NPR’s “This American Life.” The theme was “How I Got into College.” Unfortunately, this post isn’t going to focus on that wider issue (interesting in its own right!), but rather on a peculiar reflection on identity that was prompted by one young man’s story in the episode. Emir Kamenica, a Harvard graduate, was born in Bosnia in 1978, […]

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Apparently, It’s Everywhere

The curious thing about the discourse on religion is that the category purports to be a completely totalized notion, all-inclusive of everything, inasmuch as it is often used as if it names some deeply human yearning or sentiment/experience, making it synonymous with “the human condition” or maybe even “culture” itself. Thus, the category has to be applicable to everything it is that we do or produce — after all, if baseball can be religion, then what can’t? […]

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Big R and Little r

I recently wrote a review essay on the current state of scholarship on the category “religion” for the European history of religions journal, Numen (which comes out in 2015, I gather). It was fun to write, since its been 20 years since I first wrote a review essay on the same topic — “just how far have we come?” now becomes the question. […]

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The blogosphere is lighting up in response to yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that some “closely held” corporations can be considered to have “sincerely held religious beliefs” (i.e., those of their owners, of course, and not those of their employees) worth protecting — and, voila, some corporations can now be exempt from certain aspects of federal law due to religious exemptions. (Read the so-called “Hobby Lobby” decision here.) […]

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Identifying for the Jokes

By Jared Powell Jared Powell is a junior from Canton, Mississippi majoring in English and Religious Studies. He enjoys watching Seinfeld, his favorite TV show, and is always disappointed when somebody does not understand a reference to the famed sitcom. He one day hopes to become an architect, or maybe an importer-exporter of latex products. What are the various identities, religious or nonreligious, that an individual can assume? Why do individuals choose to identify with certain categories? How do individuals exhibit or prove […]

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That’s not a “REAL” Religion

By Cynteria Jones Cynteria Jones is a senior majoring in English with a minor in Religious Studies. She is from Dadeville, Alabama. Though she has not selected a school thus far, she plans on attending law school in the Spring of 2015. Do you ever find yourself questioning religious beliefs that differ from your own, or simply feel as if yours is, somewhat, better? This is definitely the case concerning Satanism and other non-mainstream religions that exercise beliefs opposite of […]

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