Chris Duncan is currently undertaking an MSc in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His undergraduate degree was in the Religious Studies program at Arizona State University, with an emphasis on Hinduism. He has interviewed Winnifred F. Sullivan for the RSP, and also written the feature Why should we keep paying attention to Otto?
We find ourselves in a time when countries like the UK and the US are, even now, officially providing their citizens the option of identifying via the use of hyphenated ethnicities. In yet another excellent Religious Studies Project interview, we hear from University of California Santa Barbara Associate Professor Rudy Busto talking about race and religion in the United States.
Publishers just keep asking us to review their books. And who are we to refuse? Free books! So we've now decided to make book reviews a regular feature of the RSP. The format is exactly the same as it was previously. We handed out a few books to some of our friends and sat them down (or at least tried in one case)...
"Concerning this worry surrounding the “dilution” of Buddhism that Barua identifies amongst the Buddhist immigrants in Toronto, some important questions arise for scholars of religion as a whole. Throughout the interview terms like “religion”, “faith”, “theology” are thrown about, ironically often in close proximity to discussions on how Buddhism is tied into not just the immigrants religious lives but also and perhaps most importantly their culture."
Within modern American society the meme of a separation of Church and State exists without a doubt; however, there is very little evidence to actually prove that this separation exists, functions as such, or indeed that it ever existed. In the textbooks, popular news outlets and in the political arena religion is supposed to be wholly withheld-expelled in favor of majority rule.
"Is it necessary, helpful even, to only study religion if you are not religious? Does the secular scholar of, say Hinduism, stand to be a better scholar than another with the same training but who happens to personally be Hindu? Does having a personal involvement in the group that one is studying assist one in understanding Otto’s numinous?" In this interview with Robert Orsi, Religious Studies Professor from Northwestern University, Jonathon and Dr. Orsi discuss the seemingly evergreen writer Rudolf Otto.