Seven Questions for Ted Smith

The deepest roots of this book, Weird John Brown, are in my attempts to think about how to live as a white man in a United States that is so deeply disfigured by slavery and its legacies. 

American Gurus: Seven Questions for Arthur Versluis

What sparked the idea for writing this book? Why write it now?  American Gurus was a long time in the making. I first had the ideas for some of the book when I was working on American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions (1993). In particular, I wanted to look at how Platonism influenced American Transcendentalism. 

Seven Questions for Suzanne Glover Lindsay

What sparked the idea for writing this book? Like many researchers, I smelled a story in the gaps and disparities within even the newest work on a great topic: nineteenth-century French sculpture. Some of its most famous examples were funerary monuments that were hailed as artistic masterpieces or as key players in France’s political history without any significant reference to their intended purpose as parts of tombs.

Seven Questions for LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant

In our new interview series, we ask cultural theorists about what inspires them and how their latest work challenges our understanding of the sacred in American cultural life. For this segment, we chatted with LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant about her latest book, Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah/Geechee Women. 1.     What sparked the idea for writing this book? Talking to the Dead was sparked by my desire to reconcile my earliest encounters with the literature on the Gullah/Geechee people. I’m from the South Carolina Lowcountry and when I first began reading about the Gullah/Geechee as an undergraduate, […]

Seven Questions for Angela Tarango

In our new interview series, we ask cultural theorists about what inspires them and how their latest work challenges our understanding of the sacred in American cultural life. For this segment, we chatted with Angela Tarango about her latest book, Choosing the Jesus Way: American Indian Pentecostals and the Fight for the Indigenous Principle. 1. What sparked the idea for writing this book? Why write it now? In the last decade or so, scholars of religion have been paying a lot of attention to Pentecostalism, especially global Pentecostalism. When I discovered that there was a long and fascinating history of Pentecostalism among Native Americans, […]

Seven Questions for Nathan Rabin

In our new interview series, we ask cultural theorists about what inspires them and how their latest work challenges our understanding of the sacred in American cultural life. For our inaugural segment, we chatted with The Dissolve’s Nathan Rabin about his latest book, You Don’t Know Me but You Don’t Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, and My Misadventures With Two of Music’s Most Maligned Tribes. 1. What sparked the idea for writing this book? It was inspired by my now wife’s teenage and college years following Phish and other jam bands across the country. It was a side of […]