So what’s your theory of religion?

ammonbundy

If you’ve been following what’s going on in Oregon over the past few days then you know about the armed stand-off that involves members of the Bundy family, among other ranchers, occupying the headquarters of a federal wildlife refuge, as their stand against the federal government’s land-use policies (maybe even the federal government’s legitimacy). Continue reading

“Well I Guess the Biggest Question Would Be Why…”

jzsmith

“It is the fact that we have been preoccupied for a long time with finding in this seamless web of human activities the capacity to break one out and say ‘When they’re doing that one they’re doing religion’…”

Watch the video here:

This interview with Prof. Smith was conducted by Prof. Alfred F. Benney, of Fairfield University, while attending the annual AAR/SBL in Boston, MA, on November 21, 1999.

Words Matter

Picture 27This news story reminded me of teaching long ago, and trying to persuade students that “God” was not necessarily a generic, cross-cultural, trans-historical term but, instead, usually carried with it (as do all words) a specific baggage (e.g., the Christian doctrine of trinity, the role of Jesus, specific ideas of heaven and salvation, the bible, etc.) — an argument not that different from trying to persuade students that “man” is not necessarily a universal designator for all human beings (i.e., introducing them to the issue of gender inclusive language). Continue reading