Monthly Archives: December 2011

On the “Ordinary Muslim”

I’ve posted twice already about the Lowe’s fiasco. Here’s an addendum: While this satire perpetuates the “they’re just like ordinary Americans” trope, what I like about it is that it’s designed to upset stereotypes. It reminds me of the “Ordinary … Continue reading

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University of Edinburgh Announcement The School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh intends to appoint three Chancellor’s Fellows in the coming months, ONE of which will be in RELIGIOUS STUDIES, with the aim of having the positions start in … Continue reading

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Ironic Religion & Ritual

That the traditional American Christmas holiday has in recent years encountered powerful cultural competitors is fairly obvious. This is evident, for instance, in legal and political battles over whether public space (and funds) should be set aside for nativity scenes. … Continue reading

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On the Last Day of Class

On the last day of class I wrap up the semester by asking my class the following questions. What did you find most interesting/least interesting this semester? Students love to talk about their subjective preferences, and—in all seriousness—I tweak my courses … Continue reading

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Jules Manson, Presidential Assassination Threats, and Religion?

While NFL faithful were sitting down to watch Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos, and Jesus, do battle against the New England Patriots this past Sunday afternoon, Jules Manson, “a failed politician [who] recently ran for and lost a seat on … Continue reading

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J.Z. Smith on the Study of Canons

I was recently rereading J.Z. Smith’s 2008 presidential address to the Society of Biblical Literature, titled “Religion and the Bible” (published in the Journal of Biblical Literature and available online here), and I found two provocative passages worth sharing: [W]hat … Continue reading

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Cultural Icons Turn Out For Perry-odies

In what is now a classic text in American religious history, Selling God: American Religion in the Marketplace of Culture, R. Laurence Moore documents the gradual entanglement of American religion “in the marketplace of culture” during the 19th and 20th … Continue reading

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