Category: Student Essays

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Book Review

Kyle Stephens Jon Krakauer has forged a career by telling the stories of people who commit what seem to be irrational acts. Included among his tales is the disastrous 1996 attempt to scale Mt. Everest (Into Thin Air, 1997) and the young man who braved (unsuccessfully) the Alaskan wilderness armed solely with a bag of rice (Into the Wild, 1996). In his most recent book, the best-selling Under the Banner of Heaven, Krakauer examines a subject where the line between […]

Read More from Under the Banner of Heaven: A Book Review

Baptized in Blood: An Interpretation and Critical Response

Nic Reagan REL 490 Spring 2002 If one were to take a quick glance at the cover, with its bold Rebel cross and equally bold title, one might mistakenly think Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause to be the propaganda of a backwoods racist asserting that “The South will rise again.” On the contrary, Charles Reagan Wilson’s Baptized in Blood is not a book by an author seeking to glorify the mythical past of a falsely idealized […]

Read More from Baptized in Blood: An Interpretation and Critical Response

Success Found in Defeat

Kathleen Penton Dr. Russell McCutcheon Religious Studies 490-001 2 May 2002 Charles Reagan Wilson’s Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920 was greeted upon its release in 1980 with praise for breaking “new ground in Reconstruction and New South history” (Jones 263). The work has been called a sensible and not condemnatory interpretation of southern post-Civil War mythmaking based on the observation that “Southerners cannot escape their history,” and neither pacified nor at peace “did not really […]

Read More from Success Found in Defeat

Religious Studies Offers Useful Liberal Arts Degree

Kathleen is a former staff reporter for Dateline Alabama and a 2003 graduate of the Department of Religious Studies, with a double major in journalism. She was awarded Outstanding Student in the Academic Study of Religion in both 2002 and 2004. By Kathleen Penton That person walking toward you on the Quad looks familiar. It is a girl you went to high school with and haven’t seen since graduation. She recognizes you, too, waves to get your attention and stops […]

Read More from Religious Studies Offers Useful Liberal Arts Degree

Some Background on Religion and Law in the U.S.

Michael Manasco Recently, the state of Alabama came under the scrutiny of the national media eye regarding events surrounding a two-and-one-half ton monument of the Ten Commandments. Although the legal issues surrounding the monument are not new ones, there still remain controversies over the relationship between religious expression and U.S. law. While wishing to avoid supporting either of the sides in this debate, the goal of this article is to examine the legal background that is relevant in deciding cases […]

Read More from Some Background on Religion and Law in the U.S.

Nagarjuna as Philosophical Reformer

Joshua McDonough Religious Studies 460 December 5, 2003 By the second century CE, during which Nagarjuna was most likely active, Buddhist philosophy had already experienced a noticeable transformation from its origins during the time of the historical Buddha, Sakyamuni, to the rigid, systematic description of reality as presented in the Abhidharma schemas of several non-Mahayana schools existing at that time. It was about to undergo a second, and perhaps even more extreme, transformation at the hands of Nagarjuna, the founder […]

Read More from Nagarjuna as Philosophical Reformer

September Eleventh

Megan De Wald REL 100 Spring 2002 The following essay was written by a student enrolled in REL 100, as part of a unit test. Regardless ones agreement or disagreement with the position taken, it provides current students with an excellent example of a well written, well organized, and thoroughly argued essay that links issues in the academic study of religion to the wider geo-political world. In the wake of September 11th, of tragedy striking American soil, of demonstrations of […]

Read More from September Eleventh

What Is the Academic Study of Religion?

By Tim Davis Shortly before he graduated in the Spring of 2006, Tim Davis was invited to write a brief article orienting newcomers to a student’s view of the study of religion. A Student’s Perspective As an entering freshman at The University of Alabama I knew that my older sister, a junior at the time, was a Religious Studies major but I had no clue as to what she studied. Because she told me that she had taken courses in Tibetan Buddhism […]

Read More from What Is the Academic Study of Religion?