There are certainly those scholars of religion who will study yesterday’s episode — when a large number of peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, were dispersed by police and the national guard with tear gas, batons, and flash-bang canisters (otherwise known as stun grenades), about a half hour before a curfew went into effect, so that Donald Trump could walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church, just across the street from the park, to pose with a bible as part of a 17 minute photo-op — as an episode in the misuse of a holy object. Continue reading →
Prof. Greg Johnson, former Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, studies repatriation and reburial disputes in American Indian and Hawaiian contexts, as a means to understand the ways religious claims are announced, enlivened, and contested in the contemporary moment. He was a guest lecturer at UA last year and has written the following unsolicited response to a recent post on our grad blog.
In your face resistance is a hallmark of Hawaiian culture. Colin McElvenny gets that right, and I find his thoughts interesting and provocative. I simply want to round out the picture a bit by way of adding a few observations pointing to the historical depth and political contexts of this phenomenon. Continue reading →
By Colin McElvenny
Colin McElvenny graduated from The University of Alabama in 2011 with a double major in Religious Studies and Psychology. Currently, he lives in Hawaii on the island of Oahu teaching biology and human physiology at Leilehua High School.
I’ll be honest. When I was first offered a position teaching biology and human physiology in Hawaii, a few thoughts came to mind instantaneously. The first being, “Thank god I got placed in paradise”. Quickly that notion was overrun by the idea, “I was a religious studies major, how the heck will I be able to teach biology and physiology?” Continue reading →