THIMPHU, Bhutan (RNS) For centuries, Buddhists in this tiny landlocked Himalayan kingdom have had a special devotion to the most unusual of objects: the phallus. Painted on the walls of their homes, hanging from the eaves of their houses and seen in vehicles and on rooftops, images of the phallus are an essential part of Bhutan’s traditional ceremonies…. So opens a recent Huffington Post article, ripped straight from the 19th century’s headlines. For if you want to see how very […]
Theory in Practice
Several Facebook friends have recently re-posted this Guardian article, “Why Non-Believers Need Rituals Too.” Its argument is that humanists or atheists or agnostics — or whatever else we name this loosely (if at all) identified group, a group likely comprised by our very talking about it — need to give more attention to the aesthetics of their collective practices. Why? … because it is through ritual that we remake and strengthen our social bonds. […]
Can Anything be a Ritual?
By Mary Rebecca Read-Wahidi Becky is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology and will graduate just as soon as she finishes writing her dissertation on the Virgin of Guadalupe. She joined the Department of Religious Studies as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Fall of 2012, and was immediately enamored by the charming atmosphere, lofty office space, and pencils with “religion in culture” printed on them. Recently in Dr. Ramey’s “Introduction to Religions of the World” class he was […]
Several of our students and faculty members were at the College of Arts & Sciences’ tent this past Saturday for Homecoming, when Departments are invited to staff a table or two for a few hours and do something creative for fans and alumni attending the football game. There’s face painting and beanbag games, lots of candy and performances by students from the School of Music. While we can’t compete with the huge snakes that the Department of Biology always brings, […]