Maud Frances Eyston Sumner’s painting Woman Writing

Use Peer-Review to Become a Stronger Writer

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Librarian Garrett Trott explains the value of editors and the peer-review process in this week's response to the 2019 EASR publishers panel. "Build upon [their] critique and comments," Trott advises, while also altering authors to issues of access to scholarship addressed by newer open access publishing models.
academic editing
EASR
equity
Journals
open access
peer-review
Publishing
sch

Religion as a Species of Human Activity

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From Jonathan Z. Smith we learned that "religion is not its own genus of human activity, but a species of it," writes Willi Braun in this response to Andie Alexander's interview with Aaaron Hughes at the "Thinking With Jonathan Z. Smith" Conference in Trondheim earlier in 2019.
Aaron Hughes
anthropology of religion
Bruce Lincoln
Data
Historical Approaches
history of religions
Ideology
Jonathan Z. Smith
Phenomenology
translation

Religion, Stigmata, and History

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"As a particularly dramatic account in the early history of signs and sanctity, [the Chiara] episode highlighted the importance of context," writes Cynthia Klestinec in response to Sidney Castillo's interview with Gabor Klaniczay. There we see "how the local context of Chiara served to establish claims to sanctity in the early 1300s and how the more extensive context of the Counter Reformation generated an overlapping but ultimately different set of debates about those same signs in the 1650s."
Catholics
Counter Reformation
medical discourse
Michel De Certeau
protestants
saints
stigmata

The Winter of (Neo)Conservative Discontent

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Looking back on the last 60 years, we can see clearly "the influence of the Catholic neoconservatives throughout the Americas and the world," writes Jesse Russell in this response to our October 21st podcast with Jerry Espinoza Rivera.
Catholicism
Latin America
liberation theology
neoconservatism
pope john paul II

Santa Muerte and the Interplay of Cultures on Dia de los Muertos

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Santa Muerte is a death saint with a rich history and reflects the deep interplay of cultures and devotional practices in Mexico.
Catholicism
Day of the Dead
folk saints
mexico
Ritual
Santa Muerte
syncretism

The Promise of Reincarnation in the Grundtvig AI

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Researchers are looking to make a robotic re-incarnation of Danish Founding Father N.F.S. Grundtvig, but what do such AI interfaces say about how religious studies can participate in digital humanities research?
AI
artificial intelligence
Digital Humanities
Grundtvig
robotics

The Politics of Religious Freedom and the Criminalization of Blackness

Bishop Brathwaite’s story points out to us the degree to which the ghostly histories of enslaved and colonized peoples continue to haunt the present from the graves of colonial infrastructures and through repurposed modes of colonial regulation. We can include in this the category of religion and its promised freedom as sites for such hauntings as well
Afro-Caribbean
hauntology
Race
Racism
Religious freedom
tisa wenger

When Religion Is Not Religion: Inside Religious Studies’ Fight for Religious Literacy in the Public Sphere

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As I listened to her interview about the book and its ramifications on the Religious Studies Project, I not only appreciated her balanced and thorough approach to this topic, but found myself wanting to focus on three points that she touched on in the talk: 1) the ways in which “religion” is defined in the public sphere; 2) whether or not we should listen to “fringe” Islamophobes and their rhetoric on religion; and 3) thinking about “when Christianity is not a religion.”
Definition
Islam
pedagogy
public sphere
religion

Science Fiction and the Para-Religious

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Marek Sullivan
[I]t is notable how infrequently religion appears as a major theme in the personal lives of famous science fiction authors and how many, including those for whom religion is a major theme in their work, are themselves either atheists or practitioners of idiosyncratic or unorganized alternative spiritualities...
Atheism
Ben Banasik
Humanism
Race MoChridhe
Science Fiction
Tara Smith

Navigating the Religious Worlds of Science Fiction and Video Games

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Marek Sullivan
There’s always another thing to see as data for religious studies, but widening the boundary for what counts as data comes with a price. Every new category is a multiplication. When your choices are infinite, then explaining your choices becomes an obligation.  
Ben Banasik
David McConeghy
Raymond Radford
Science Fiction
Tara Smith
Video Games
two women, rabbis, and a man holding a guitar

The God-Shaped Elephant

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Marek Sullivan
Most of the health psychology of religion sub-sub-field suffers less from a God-shaped hole and more of a God-shaped elephant sitting in the room that usually goes undiscussed. The most important, but always implicit, mechanism in these studies is God.
Alex Uzdavines
belief
David Speed
mental health
Psychology of Religion

Cosmpolitan and Cool--and Modest

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Rebecca Barrett-Fox
A response to "Modest Dress Beyond the Headscarf" by Saskia…
gender
Islam
women

Space for Race: Decoding Issues of Race, Belonging and Multi- Culturalism in Canada and Beyond

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Many Canadians see themselves as a nation that champions human rights and diversity, alongside and entwined with ideals of secularism and religious neutrality. This often leads to disputes around what constitutes “diversity.”
canada
Diversity
multiculturalism
Trudeau
two women, rabbis, and a man holding a guitar

When the Word is a Sound: Toward a Sensory Scholarship of Religion

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Rebecca Barrett-Fox
Music forcefully reminds us of religion’s timebound nature and holds its own systems of rhythm and inflection—you cannot skim music the way you can cram a text.
Art
Judaism
Music
sound
worship