To honor May the Fourth, International Star Wars Day, please enjoy this compilation of classic Religious Studies Project interviews about Star Wars!

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About this episode

Happy May the Fourth! Today we bring you a special episode of The Religious Studies Project to celebrate 2020’s International Star Wars Day. After the release of Star Wars film in 1977, it became obvious that creator George Lucas had tapped into something profound. Over the next few decades, Star Wars became a behemoth worth billions of dollars and a multi-media franchise spanning film, television, video games, comic books, novels, theme parks, toys, and much more. Since 2012, the RSP has touched on Star Wars many times, most often in discussions of invented, fictional, or hyper-real religions. Enjoy the selections from six different episodes as we learn why this franchise and other popular cultural institutions are important sites for the production of identity and the construction of the category of religion.

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Experiences Deemed Religious from Micro and Qualitative to Macro and Quantitative

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"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.

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