Scott Muir While 65% of the 655 individuals I surveyed at 10 such festivals report that they rarely or never “attend religious or spiritual services/gatherings,” participants overwhelmingly affirm the notion that these festivals are themselves sacred social events.
Tag Archives: spirituality
Dianne Stewart In the twenty-first century, increasing populations are becoming aware of the presence of African-heritage religions in the diaspora but we have still much to learn from and about these religions.
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.
Ed Van Herik Moral injury is a wrenching condition that has paralyzed a number of returning veterans, spurring the U.S. Army to look for a path that will complete the journey home for affected soldiers. While battle wounds account for the most visible effect of war, moral injury claims its share of victims as well.
Elijah Siegler For years the debate was whether the Coens had any serious background or interest in religion at all. Certainly it was there in their movies—but was religion just one more element in their ironic postmodern mix of genre, American folklore, and popular culture? Religiously minded viewers could have been reading too much into it.
Jolyon Baraka Thomas There is nothing quite so touching (or quite so irritating) as having a total stranger slump against you in a deep sleep on a Tokyo train. Like the Internet, Tokyo trains are equally intimate and anonymous. They are spaces where one encounters fellow Tokyoites in all their wacky fashion, their frenetic mobile phone gaming, their inane conversations, their drunken abandon. Tokyo trains are raucous in the evenings and eerily silent during the day. They are often uncomfortably crowded, but they are nevertheless a place to temporarily let down one’s guard. I’ve actually boarded the Yamanote circle line and ridden it all the way around the city just so I could sneak in an hour-long nap.
I wanted to write something about religion and sexuality for my doctoral work, but I never thought about writing on religion and the AIDS crisis until I watched a film by Gregg Bordowitz, an artist and professor at the Art Institute of Chicago. . . . One of the scenes featured a gay black man standing at a microphone, describing how horrendous the AIDS crisis was at the time – in the 1980s – and then he spoke about God. Not in a negative way, but as a positive force, as a source of grace, even for gay men with AIDS.
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?
Sylvester Johnson For several centuries now, at least, a thriving humanities tradition has been established on the notion that being human is in large measure predicated on the ability to think and reason. In contemplating the nature of human ontology, Rene Descartes (1596–1650) famously quipped that the human subject can be known to exist precisely because of thinking, which requires a thinker as subject—Cogito ergo sum.
Jolyon Baraka Thomas My wife and I stepped into a home furnishings store in Arcata, California, this past May. We weren’t necessarily looking to buy much, but with an upcoming move to Philadelphia we were checking out furniture styles and seeking decoration ideas for our new home. We were on vacation and needed a bit of a break between brunch and a hike, so a little idle consumerism seemed like an appropriate midday activity.