What Are You Doing Saturday?

buttonsfromtheedge2The Culture on the Edge collective frequently addresses the relevance of various questions about origins, identifications, and discourse that reflect issues in Religious Studies, but we apply those questions to aspects of society not typically identified as religious. These ideas are a part of a Culture on the Edge panel at the Southeast Regional AAR/SECSOR meeting this coming weekend in Atlanta. Vaia Touna and Steven Ramey will participate in a panel on Saturday March 5 entitled “Culture on the Edge Grounded and Applied: The Wider Relevance of the Study of Religion”. If you are planning to attend the conference or happen to be close enough to show up on Saturday, we would love to chat with you and hear your thoughts on applying issues in Religious Studies more broadly. Continue reading “What Are You Doing Saturday?”

Making the Case for the Critical Study of Religion

writingreligion1Steven Ramey, one of the collaborators on Culture on the Edge, has published an edited volume with the University of Alabama Press that features contributions from a number of scholars whose work has influenced members of Culture on the Edge. With his Introduction and an Afterword from Russell McCutcheon, the volume as a whole demonstrates the potential of the critical study of religion for both relevant research and the development of a thriving academic department.

The volume has ten main chapters, written by each of the Aronov Lecturers over the first ten years of that series at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, where several of us teach. The Aronov Lecture each year features an internationally recognized scholar, selected by the Religious Studies faculty, whose work is considered widely relevant to the work in the field and related disciplines. Some of the figures included in the volume whose work has been especially helpful for the Culture on the Edge collaboration are Tomoko Masuzawa, Aaron Hughes, Bruce Lincoln, and Jonathan Z. Smith. The ten central chapters are the following.

God Save This Honorable Court: Religion and Civic Discourse
Jonathan Z. Smith

An Early Moment in the Discourse of “Terrorism:” Reflections on a Tale from Marco Polo
Bruce Lincoln 

“A Storm on the Horizon”: Discomforting Democracy and the Feeling of Fairness
Ann Pellegrini

Fear of Small Numbers
Arjun Appadurai

Developing a Critical Consciousness: A Feminist Approach to Religion
Judith Plaskow

Religious Practices and Communal Identity of Cochin Jews: Models, Metaphors, and Methods of Diasporic Religious Acculturation
Nathan Katz

Regarding Origin: Beginnings, Foundations, and the Bicameral Formation of the Study of Religion
Tomoko Masuzawa

De-Judaizing Jesus: Theological Need and Exegetical Execution
Amy-Jill Levine

How to Theorize with a Hammer, or, On the Destruction and Reconstruction of Islamic Studies
Aaron Hughes

“Can I Share a Personal Example?” Self-Disclosure, Religious Studies Pedagogy, and the Skeptical Mission of the Public University
Martin Jaffee

Forthcoming from the Edge

Picture 6Culture on the Edge was founded in early 2012 as a small research group, comprised of scholars with very different specialties, aiming to produce original research that not only invited readers to rethink how to study identity but also demonstrated how scholars who understand religion to be an ordinary cultural element could also have interesting things to say about other aspects of culture and history. Because books take a little longer to produce than do blog posts, it is worth bearing in mind that this academic blog — begun a year after the group formed — is only one of several venues for publicizing the group’s research.

We’re therefore pleased to announce several volumes that are due out in the coming year, all from Equinox Publishers — an independent UK publisher known for works on theory.

Click the descriptions below to learn more about each volume. Continue reading “Forthcoming from the Edge”

“Would You Still Call Yourself an Asianist?”

asiaIn December 2013, Steven Ramey was interviewed by Russell McCutcheon so he could discuss the development of his research and how his focus has shifted over the course of the past few years — as McCutcheon writes in his piece for The Religious Studies Podcast — “from inter-religious cooperation to diaspora religion” to “a far broader interest not only in social theory but in the practical implications of categorization for creating identities.”

Give the interview a listen…

 

This podcast originally appeared on the blog for The Religious Studies Project.