An Interview with Jeffrey Kripal, Part Three: The Future of Religious Studies

In conversation with Paul Courtright of Emory University, Jeffrey Kripal, of Rice University, discusses his new textbook, Comparing Religions: Coming to Terms. Professor Kripal’s latest book is a departure from the traditional “world religions” textbook. He frames the adventure of the comparative study of religion as a kind of passage from conventional categories of religion, through an analysis of key themes and modes of reading texts and histories, to a reflexive re-reading in which the students rediscover themselves in relation to religion at the conclusion of the textbook and the course in which Professor Kripal has used it. Our conversation ranges across a number of issues in […]

An Interview with Jeffrey Kripal, Part Two: Challenging Binaries

  This is part two of our three-part conversation with Jeffrey Kripal. Watch part one here. In conversation with Paul Courtright of Emory University, Jeffrey Kripal, of Rice University, discusses his new textbook, Comparing Religions: Coming to Terms. Professor Kripal’s latest book is a departure from the traditional ‘world religions’ textbook. He frames the adventure of the comparative study of religion as a kind of passage from conventional categories of religion, through an analysis of key themes and modes of reading texts and histories, to a reflexive re-reading in which the students rediscover themselves in relation to religion at the conclusion of the textbook, and the course […]

An Interview with Jeffrey Kripal, Part One: Comparing Religions

In conversation with Paul Courtright of Emory University, Jeffrey Kripal, of Rice University, discusses his new textbook, Comparing Religions: Coming to Terms. Professor Kripal’s latest book is a departure from the traditional ‘world religions’ textbook. He frames the adventure of the comparative study of religion as a kind of passage from conventional categories of religion, through an analysis of key themes and modes of reading texts and histories, to a reflexive re-reading in which the students rediscover themselves in relation to religion at the conclusion of the textbook, and the course in which Professor Kripal has used it. Our conversation ranges across a number […]

The Limits of Science and the Dangers of Scientism: An Interview with Curtis White

“Revolutionary tools will reveal how thought and emotion arise,” proclaims a recent cover of Scientific American, trumpeting the current Century of the Brain. Wrong, says Curtis White in his recent book The Science Delusion—a clear and sharp response to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. What is true? In my interview here with White, we explore this question, the limits of science and the dangers of scientism. Researchers in the biotechnology company Amgen recently revealed that they were unable to replicate the results of 90 percent of the most-cited studies in cancer research.  What are the implications of such revelations (which are not that rare)?  What do they mean for science, society, […]

An Interview with Shaun Casey, Part Two: Religious Studies and the State Department: Professor Casey’s Scholarly Influences

When Secretary of State John Kerry launched the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI), he extolled the importance and urgency of religious studies:  “In fact if I went back to college today I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that’s how integrated it is in everything we are working on, and deciding, and thinking about in life today.” The virtue and political utility of religious studies aside, some academics voiced critique and caution about how such an office might be haunted by political agendas, subjected to idealistic visions of liberal democracy, and premised on a particular concept of […]

An Interview with Shaun Casey, Part Three: Inter-Faith Dialogue and Interdisciplinarity

When Secretary of State John Kerry launched the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI), he extolled the importance and urgency of religious studies:  “In fact if I went back to college today I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that’s how integrated it is in everything we are working on, and deciding, and thinking about in life today.” The virtue and political utility of religious studies aside, some academics voiced critique and caution about how such an office might be haunted by political agendas, subjected to idealistic visions of liberal democracy, and premised on a particular concept of […]

An Interview with Shaun Casey, Part Four: International Relations and Religion

When Secretary of State John Kerry launched the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI), he extolled the importance and urgency of religious studies:  “In fact if I went back to college today I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that’s how integrated it is in everything we are working on, and deciding, and thinking about in life today.” The virtue and political utility of religious studies aside, some academics voiced critique and caution about how such an office might be haunted by political agendas, subjected to idealistic visions of liberal democracy, and premised on a particular concept of […]

An Interview with Shaun Casey: Religion and Presidential Politics

When Secretary of State John Kerry launched the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives (OFBCI), he extolled the importance and urgency of religious studies:  “In fact if I went back to college today I think I would probably major in comparative religion because that’s how integrated it is in everything we are working on, and deciding, and thinking about in life today.” The virtue and political utility of religious studies aside, some academics voiced critique and caution about how such an office might be haunted by political agendas, subjected to idealistic visions of liberal democracy, and premised on a particular […]