Rethinking World Religions with Dr. Ramey

rel102snipHave you heard of our REL 102: Religions of the World course? Well, Dr. Ramey teaches it each fall, and in it he puts his own spin on the typical World Religions discourse. Watch the video below as Dr. Rollens asks him a few questions about the class and his approach to the material. Continue reading

Europeanizing the Buddha and Constructing a World Religion

simpsons

Have you seen Prof. Altman’s new blog post? Here’s a sampling of what he has to say:

“Europeans and Americans conceived of Buddhism as a world religion not because of ‘misconceptions’ that were corrected by ‘better understandings,’ but because it served their purposes within a growing discourse of ‘world religions’ in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Buddha became European because Europeans imagined him in their own image to serve their own purposes.”

Interest piqued? Read the full post here.

From Mysticism to Spirituality, From Tradition to Individual

richardkingProf. Richard King, from the University of Kent in the UK, was on campus to deliver our 12th annual Aronov Lecture. Perhaps best known to some for his interest in the history of the study of religion in south Asia during the colonial period (e.g., his 1999 book, below), Continue reading

Bargain Experiences

consciousnessLike many scholars of religion in the US (or North American, or maybe even the world?), I got a personalized mass email this morning (you’d think that would be a contradiction in terms, no?), about one of (if not the, as an editor for one of the large publishers once phrased it to me) bestselling world religions textbooks that’s been on the market for the past decades: the 9th edition of the $135.20 (SRP*) Living Religions (now with the Oxy-boost learning power of MyReligionLab). I don’t know much about the author, Mary Pat Fisher, other than that she is a writer who travels (find some info on her here — scroll down), but she has the uncanny ability to — as the above email phrased it — capture the “personal consciousness” of devotees in the amber of her textbook’s pages. Who needs credentials when you can pull off that trick? Continue reading