Over the past two-and-a-half years, the RSP Team have become increasingly aware that the podcasts and other resources that we disseminate are being used in a variety of interesting, innovative and unexpected ways in the teaching of Religious Studies, both by ‘students’ and their ‘teachers’, and at all levels of

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testify

In many writings, the term spirituality is credited with the positive and the term religiosity is credited with the negative. Dr. Schnell shifts the focus from the content and valence of these concepts to how valuable these concepts are for individuals.

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meaning

I am beginning to worry that clergy feeling the need to conduct their own research to prove their value in healthcare settings may be a sign that the faithful are starting to identify with (or at least play by the rules of) their scientific captors.

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KevinHalvorsen_Photo edit

The starting assumption is that religious people will be fundamentally unable to speak to those who don’t share their faith. But why start with the assumption that translation will be a problem?

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danielsilliman

When belief in God was distilled into belief in a mean God (i.e., vengeful, and punishing) versus belief in a nice God (i.e., compassionate and forgiving), participants endorsing a mean-God concept were less likely to cheat relative to nice-God supporters.

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you_are_being_watched

What happens to religion if the future belongs to the cyborgs?

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metropolis-robot

Perhaps it is not religious thinking that is natural, but the deeply rooted religious trends in our society and cultures that shape our thinking from our birth to death.

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Kelle Headshot

After all, how can one have a scientific understanding of New Age religions or UFO cults without understanding the spirits, ‘energies’, UFOs, and extraterrestrials that inhabit those religious worlds? Guthrie provided, for the first time, a theoretical basis for such a research project.

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Headshot

“…we should not just be providing information about religious and non-religious traditions, but enabling our students to think critically about religions and to be able to discuss religious and ethical matters in an informed and articulate way (sometimes referred to as ‘religious literacy’).”

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Grad photo

Many of the religious “nones,” the term used to describe those who do not identify with a religion, have deeply held spiritual, mystical, or New Age beliefs that are antithetical to the values of Secular Humanism

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bradley

I asked him about this quote from J. Z. Smith; he replied that he was correct, religion is a constructed category, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t also real. So Latour takes the constructionist agenda of the post-structuralists a step further. Our categories are indeed invented, but not “merely” so, for they are also real. They become real through our wielding of them.

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FH008

According to Oxford Dictionaries, scientifically speaking, a tomato is a fruit. In the culinary world, the tomato is referenced as a vegetable because it is savory. Notice that the argument has morphed from pertaining to what category the tomato is in based on its qualities to a matter of who is doing the speaking.

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Kate Daley-Bailey presenting at the national American Academy of Religion conference in Baltimore this past November (2013, along with Dr. John Herman and Dr. Tina Pippin).

“When I think back on it, one thing I truly enjoyed about Professor Strenski’s book—as well as his teaching style—was his ability to tangentially veer off topic while not losing complete track of the subject at hand. Tangents, I have always felt, are the instructor’s greatest tool. Not only do they assist in keeping the student’s attention, but as metaphor, paint the instruction in different hues than mere black and white.”

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breaking bad

What is the study of religion\s and how is the nature of the discipline communicated to the public? This article provides a content analysis of the self-presentation of the study of religion\s on the internet by providing a content analysis of a sample of 101 university webpages (departments and programs) from 70 universities from 15 countries. In general, the meta-analysis of the state of the discipline according to its public self-presentation on the university web pages point to a rather limited degree of intellectual coherence. Reflexive statements, i.e. statements that self-critically address the parameters of the study of religion\s on a meta-level, are almost absent in our sample. In light of this analysis, this article suggests some “best practices” for online presentations of the study of religion\s.

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Figure 1: Word cloud of topics mentioned on two or more web pages

“‘Levi-Strauss argues that what “we” in “the West” call history is in fact myth by another name’ (Tremlett, 2008:56). Conversely, what we call myth is also history. But if so, what difference is there in calling a story myth or history? If Evolution can be called both history and myth what differs between each usage? It is, I suggest, the fact that when we speak, for example, of the Evolution myth we think of something that is false-prone and when we speak of the Evolution theory (here a synonym for history) we think of it as true-prone. The question of which is used depends on who is speaking.”

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Fitness-Myths