Disturbing Deaths and National Disunity

Gary Laderman The national body politic is dead, another corpse that, perhaps in this case, doesn’t deserve a public ceremony but instead is rotting publicly before our very eyes.

Mass Death Moments

Gary Laderman Sadly, human history is full of examples of “mass death,” often tied to war and disease, that are usually pivotal periods for living communities.

Reconstructing Kiowa Cosmology: 7 Questions for Benjamin R. Kracht

Benjamin R. Kracht During the summer of 1935, field party director Alexander Lesser and five graduate students—Jane Richardson (Hanks), William Bascom, Bernard Mishkin, Donald Collier, and Weston LaBarre—interviewed approximately thirty-five Kiowas born in the mid-nineteenth century about indigenous Kiowa culture.

Sacred Spinebusters, Transcendent Toe Holds, Part Two: The Confluence of Religion and Professional Wrestling

By Dan Mathewson Ask any wrestling aficionado about the greatest wrestlers from the last quarter century and one name you will consistently hear is “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, the wrestler discussed at the very end of part one of my series on the intersection of religion and professional wrestling. With the charisma of The Rock, the wrestling skill set of Bret “The Hitman” Hart, the masochistic daring of Jeff Hardy, the microphone skills of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and the eye-candy good looks of Chris Jericho, Michaels was the proverbial total package, possessing in abundance every trait of the superlative […]

Sacred Spinebusters, Transcendent Toe Holds, Part One: The Confluence of Religion and Professional Wrestling

By Dan Mathewson Professional wrestling: oh, how I love it! I love its glitz, its glamor, its over-the-top, in-your-face bluster. I love that it presents itself as a hyper-masculine testosterone-fest, and yet its wrestlers prance around in bedazzling costumes, wear more makeup than Tammy Faye, and play-act in melodramas too outlandish for even the daytime Soaps. Above all, I love the skill, artistry, and even beauty of its violent faux-fighting. Now, I understand that a declaration of love for professional wrestling is probably not something many would expect from a college professor with a PhD in Religion. It’s sort of like […]