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Scholars in dialogue with our weekly podcast

Scholars in Dialogue with our weekly podcast

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Hidden and Also Shared Around the Globe

How can Jewish Studies help us rethink concepts like "the political"? In this response to our episode featuring Carsten Wilke interviewed by Sidney Castillo, Jonathan Garb highlights additional aspects of "the rise of kabbalah as a potent cultural force in the early modern period" that challenge the limits of cross-cultural comparison.

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Gaps in Our Understanding: AI, Gods, and Humanity

I am delighted to have an opportunity to respond to Dr. Beth Singler’s interview for the Religious Studies Podcast. As anyone who has had the opportunity to hear Dr. Singler in the past knows, she is always brilliant, entertaining, and specializes in making the field of artificial intelligence, particularly as it relates to religious studies, intelligible to the non-computer scientist. While there are many issues that Dr. Singler raises as part of her discussion during

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Whose Academy Is This, Anyway?

Publishing and the Academic Community of Practice: Whose Academy Is This, Anyway?  by Mary O’Shan Overton In Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity (1998), educational researcher Etienne Wenger disputes the conventional institutional view of learning as “an individual process,” positing it as a social process of learning called a “community of practice” that is defined by a framework of four major elements: meaning, practice, community, and identity. From this perspective, academic publishing, onto which

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The Inauthenticity of New Media

When it comes to media and the study of religion, Travis Cooper says “scholars need to ask more compelling questions, moving beyond overly simplistic binaries and dualisms to think in terms of scales and networks, degrees and systems, connection and difference.”

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Webs without Borders

Mark Q. Gardiner and Steven Engler reply to our interview with Bradley Onishi focuses on the view from Philosophy. “The divergence between Weber and Onishi,” they write, “need not be understood as a fight over where to place borders, but rather of adopting different configurations of the semantic web—a difference which, we might note, is only visible against the background of a good deal of overlap elsewhere.”

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A Tacit Case for Autoethnography as a Crucial Research Method for Befuddling Times

“The aims of autoethnography—careful, creative, and responsible deployment of personal narrative as an illuminating force in the study of the cultural and the political—align with those of Onishi’s Straight White American Jesus in his attempt to avoid “reduction and demonization [of evangelicals]” while maintaining “the courage and the audacity to point as critical and unflinching of an eye on what’s happening.””

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Fragile Triumph: The Enlightenment’s Ongoing Travail

Professor Jerry Espinoza Rivera’s fascinating reflections on recent shifts Latin American conservatism underscore both the dominance and the fragility of secularism in the democracies of the western hemisphere.  One can hardly imagine a better example of the triumph of secularity in public life than this account.  The authors Rivera discusses, and the networks they represent, have obviously learned their lesson: Science is the pathway to truth.  Science delivers certitude.  Science provides the heft needed to

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Use Peer-Review to Become a Stronger Writer

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.

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Religion as a Species of Human Activity

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.

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