Dangerous Pedagogy: Takeaways from Taking Sacred Drugs

Gary Laderman Elaine Penagos Many of us looked forward to each class session and thought about it when we weren’t together synchronously, and there were, we think, even moments of collective effervescence that broke down the artificiality of virtual teaching, and that would have surely aroused Durkheim’s curiosity.

Teaching True Believers

Jolyon Baraka Thomas The religious studies classroom is a strange place. Whether one teaches in a public university or a private one, the subject matter demands that students set aside personal commitments in order to engage with religion both critically and respectfully.

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.

When God Won’t Let You Do the Assignment

Briallen Hopper It’s back-to-school season. Pumpkin lattes are here, school supplies are on sale, and thousands of students are showing up at college and trying to figure out what religion means in their lives. For some students, figuring out faith in college will be a relatively straightforward process that might involve taking a cool-looking religion class, joining a religious student group, or blithely deciding to prioritize sleep over worship services.

Religion in the Post-Colonial Humanities: An Interview with Kathryn Lofton

What are the current conditions and imminent possibilities for the Study of Religion? In this interview with Marko Geslani of Emory University, Kathryn Lofton, scholar of American Religion and incoming chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, discusses the state of the field in light of the crisis of the humanities, the institutional location of religion departments, graduate training, and undergraduate teaching. 

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 […]