A Night on Drugs in Amsterdam

Gary Laderman It’s not what you think. Or maybe it is what you think. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter what you think…

Psychedelics for Mind, Body, and…Spirit?

Gary Laderman But it is in this more ambiguous, liminal conceptual space, between medicine and recreation, body and spirit, religion and science, that altered states of consciousness and mind altering substances do their best work.

7 Questions for Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson The really interesting thing is that mindfulness can be simultaneously religious and secular, spiritual and scientific, not only for different people but even for the same persons.  This demonstrates just how much the category of “the sacred” is in flux in today’s society.

American Religion: Less is More

Gary Laderman What do you think? Is religious life fully captured by survey questions, graphs and bar charts? Or do these methods of collecting and displaying data fall short as indicators of the spiritual lives of Americans? Is it time to panic about the supposed decline of religion, or should we look to other metrics and methods to delve into what is really happening on the American religious landscape?

Confusing Religion in a Nutshell

Gary Laderman When I was a young, idealistic, newly-minted PhD, moving from the University of California, Santa Barbara, to my first and only job at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, I had one primary, driving goal in teaching: to clarify for students the role of religion in society. Now that I’m older, wiser, and tenured, a different motivation is driving my pedagogy: my ultimate goal these days is to confuse the hell out of undergrads.

The Top Five Reasons to Study Religion

Gary Laderman It’s not easy being chair of a religion department. August is an especially cruel month as we close out one academic year and start up a new one, and begin again to struggle with an increasingly vital challenge: recruiting and keeping more majors.  I’ve been teaching at Emory University for over 20 years, and every August I begin to obsess about a question. . . that’s at the center of my intellectual passion and personal livelihood: how do you convince people to study religion?