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.
Tag Archives: world religions
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.
Brian Pennington A rare convergence of scholars of religion occurred recently: the World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religion (IAHR), which convenes only once every five years, took place in Erfurt, Germany, in August. This brainy and multilingual affair brought 1500 scholars from six continents together to present their research and confer on collaborative projects.
Gary Laderman It’s not easy being chair of a religion department. August is an especially cruel month as we close out one academic year and start up a new one, and begin again to struggle with an increasingly vital challenge: recruiting and keeping more majors. I’ve been teaching at Emory University for over 20 years, and every August I begin to obsess about a question. . . that’s at the center of my intellectual passion and personal livelihood: how do you convince people to study religion?
Hussein Rashid There is an idea of “Islam,” as a signifier of something foreign and threatening, that continues to plague American discussion of the religion. It is part of the shooting in Chattanooga, and it part of the debate around the Iran nuclear deal. This view of Islam has been part of how America has defined itself since the founding of the country.
Hussein Rashid “What does Islam say about images?” It is a question that seeks to understand religion through unitary and static prescriptions. At its core, the question is about what is “Islamic.” Such a question is problematic because a community of believers decides what the religion means. Because human beings are involved, there will be differences. While there are boundaries for who a Muslim is, such as belief in monotheism, the prophethood of Muhammad, and observance of certain ritual and legal obligations.
By Gary Laderman The presence and awareness of religion in the United States is overwhelming. We see so many different forms and variations; it plays a role in so many areas of social life. Religion is, indeed, an inescapable fact
I. Ludwig Wittgenstein responded to the outbreak of World War I by joining the Austrian Army as an artillery corpsman. Twenty years later, he abandoned teaching at Cambridge University to enlist as a hospital orderly, while his colleagues (some of
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
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