Monthly Archives: October 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Between “Church” and “Sect”

By Ben Brazil A month ago, when the Occupy movement was beginning to gain traction, Matt Stoller penned an influential response to criticism about the movement’s lack of a clear, concise message.  The critics, he wrote, had failed to notice … Continue reading

Posted in Ben Brazil, Editorial, Politics and Religion, Religion and Popular Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Durkheim Disappoints

Upon rereading the main body of Durkheim’s Division of Labor in Society I was struck at how subtle and sophisticated he is. I thought I had remembered—from my previous experience with this material—that he used a superficial freedom/constraint binary. However, as … Continue reading

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The Bhagavad Gita, The Time Machine, and Monty Python

In the Bhagavad Gita, the god Krishna tells a hesitant Arjuna that—as a member of the warrior class—he must fight a battle despite the fact that he will, in the commission of this action, kill some of his family members. … Continue reading

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Laptops and theory in the Religious Studies classroom

Do you let your students bring their laptops to class? Personally, I’m torn. I love gadgets and hate to sound like a Luddite, but most of the research I’ve seen — not to mention my own experience — suggests that … Continue reading

Posted in Nathan Rein, Pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Taking a Stab at Explaining Weber

I started my lecture yesterday by scanning the faces in the classroom and scrutinizing a few as a I panned across. Then I declared, “Wow. Someone in this room is going to be really, really embarrassed when they discover the … Continue reading

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Material Remnants as Cultural Signifiers: A Roman Lamp – Practical or Sacral Object?

By Philip L. Tite As an historian who studies ancient religious traditions, I am constantly concerned about how we evaluate and use our sources. Although source analysis tends to be seen as a key component in first order data collection … Continue reading

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“Because he is Jewish he can talk smack about other Jews”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that the weirdest religion news story you missed last month was the so-called “Jewish scandal that wasn’t” (as it was labeled by the National Post of Toronto). Here’s the scenario: … Continue reading

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