Yes, You ARE My Data!

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Anytime “data” can answer this question, the stakes increase. “Yes” or “No,” the question is posed rhetorically, for in receiving an answer, the trouble of the “human sciences”—that is, the human in human sciences—sounds off in a chorus composed of intentionality, strategies of identification, and politically-charged and charred epistemological appeals and ethical slights-of-hand. In other words, when we take this question (and its implications) seriously, shit stands to “get real.”

About a year ago, historian, religious studies scholar and public intellectual Anthea Butler wrote a powerful essay for Religion Dispatches titled “The Zimmerman Acquittal: America’s Racist God.” If you have the time, it’s worth another read. She ended up the target of a series of online attacks from people angry at the post. Dr. Butler cataloged the hate mail here. Continue reading “Yes, You ARE My Data!”

Talking Righteous Rhetoric with Religion Dispatches

leslierdReligion Dispatches recently interviewed our own Leslie Dorrough Smith on her recently-released book Righteous Rhetoric: Sex, Speech, and the Politics of Concerned Women for AmericaTake a look at what she had to say here.

 

Why Is the Study of Religion Important?

CE books

You can make a range of excellent arguments for the value of the study of religion. In my department, we have been highlighting the value of the critical and creative thought that many of our students develop in our courses, their understanding of human behavior and social formation, and the recognition of the power of labels to discipline action and construct identifications, to name a few. Continue reading “Why Is the Study of Religion Important?”

How Devoted Are You?

As soon as the topic of religion enters our understanding of current affairs it allows one to begin to judge the degree to which a person is or is not supposedly involved in politics and history, and thereby judge whether they are safe (i.e., like me) or not (i.e., not like me). While it may be obvious on the political right, those on the left employ much the same vocabulary and judgments, but we often don’t seem to see it. Continue reading “How Devoted Are You?”