BREAKING NEWS: Today, the RSP is “born again” – as the Theological Dispatch.

Due to a huge donation from the Templeton Foundation, we are now going in a slightly different direction. As of today, our mandate is to investigate how religion and spirituality brings positive change to society, and helps make us all better citizens of God’s world. We shall not rest until the Christian and the Muslim can go on a date together in a Chinese restaurant without fear of criticism.

It’s time to admit that spirituality is REAL. We hereby disown our previous cowardly epistemological agnosticism and cynical critical thinking. From here on in, our only theory is Truth, and our only method is Faith. God will be remembered long after Fitzgerald and McCutcheon are forgotten.

Donald Wiebe got it right, there is no future for the religious studies. But there is advertising revenue for theology.

12 Responses

  1. Is this for real? It is a shame as I did like the RSP and have no interest in Theology. Although I realise these things do not run on thin air, it is a shame what harm money can sometimes do.

  2. Is this more irony, tongue in cheek and irreverent humour? I have enjoyed the RSP and its podcasts very much, but would be quite disappointed to hear that a) your only focusing on the ‘positives’ therefore avoiding much needed critique in this field, and b) have worded your statement to reflect a JudeoChristian prioritisation with the mention of ‘God’ in your sort of mission statement. As an individual who has studied religion, my interests, as a European, are in Eastern Religions and NRMs. Are you planning on exploring these further or has that boat sailed?

    1. Happy April Fools, Matthew, and all! We’ll be back to our critical, dispassionate, post-colonial selves soon…

  3. As my grandma likes to say, “with every joke, there’s a meaning.” And the meaning of this post is, the everyday attitude of the blog is that the religious quest for truth is inferior to the academic one.

    1. I think you’re quite right to acknowledge the discursive power of humour. Looking around the internet today, it has been quite interesting to focus on the things which are deemed suitable for this form of joke etc. However, I would like to suggest that because ‘Religious Studies’ is generally in such constant self-reflexivity about trying to maintain its academic credentials, that this post is not emphasising ‘inferiority’ but simply the (necessary?) difference between what we would term ‘academic’ and ‘religious’ (or ‘theological’) discourse. I also don’t see academia as a quest for ‘truth’ (what is that?). All of that being said, I think it is indeed an alternative articulation of our agenda. But this should be nothing new…

      1. Is it, after all, necessary? I decided to write a blog post about this April Fool’s post (it’s a little snarky but I’m not actually angry or anything), and I considered that the idea of a wall of separation arose only in the last 20 years or so. Anyway, you’ve definitely given us some food for thought.

  4. excellent! that got folks stirred up… Sorry that you got called “comparative religionists” though – you’ll have to cut that out right now… along with claiming to have “selves” to return to – most un-Buddhist of you. tsk! back to work now.

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