sui generis

Response

The Challenge of “Soul Murder”: Disentangling Religion and Sexual Abuse

"Is sexual abuse categorically different in religious contexts than in other institutional contexts," ask Brian Clites in this response to our interview with Katherine McPhillips. Focusing on the concept of "soul murder," Clites and McPhillips both argue the answer is yes. Read on to find out why.
Response

The Truthiness of Consciousness as the Sacred

I find it our duty to walk the line that holds us from letting the veracity of a claim dictate our field’s observational models or orientations. A single informant’s truth is anecdote, not evidence. Seven or so minutes into David Robertson’s interview with Rice University’s Jeffrey Kripal, Kripal cuts to the heart of an issue that plagues contemporary religious studies scholars: Do we have the tools and will to seriously examine experiences of the fantastic in the present age?
Podcast

“Would You Still Call Yourself an Asianist?”

Over the course of Ramey's career he has gradually and smoothly made a significant shift. Of course he still studies material relevant to his earlier training, but a shift in research focus from inter-religious cooperation to diaspora religion, eventually studying south Asian communities in the U.S.
Response

Tomato: Fruit or Vegetable? Discuss.

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. Budding theorists may find themselves conscripted into the ideological battles over the nature of religion or, to put a finer point on the argument, how scholarship in religious studies should be done.
Podcast

‘Religion’ as ‘sui generis’

In this interview with Thomas Coleman, McCutcheon discusses what he terms as the “socio-political strategy” behind the label of “sui generis” as it is applied to religion. The interview begins by exploring some of the terms used to support sui generis claims to religion (e.g. un-mediated, irreducible etc.)...