Category Archives: Kenny Paul Smith

The Rise of the Preppers

by Kenny Paul Smith In an insightful online piece (that includes historical analysis from Bulletin contributor Cathy Gutierrez), we learn of “a growing subculture of Americans who refer to themselves informally as ‘preppers,”’ that is, folks stockpiling food and firearms alongside innumerable other supplies … Continue reading

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“New Religious Movements” as an Interpretive Category

Typically, when we think of New Religious Movements (NRMs), our gaze is directed to the relatively small number of traditions that cluster at the fringes of the contemporary religious landscape (e.g., the Church of Scientology, International Raelian Religion, Heaven’s Gate, … Continue reading

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The Potent Instability of Religion & Magic

In November 2007, during one of the worst droughts in Georgia history, then-Governor Sonny Purdue “stepped up to a podium outside the state Capitol… and led a solemn crowd of several hundred people in a prayer for rain on his … Continue reading

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Hollywood Images as Religious Resources

Towards the end of her fine essay in Mark C. Taylor’s Critical Terms for Religious Studies, Margaret R. Miles distinguishes between icons used in some Christian traditions (e.g., Eastern Orthodox) and the images of contemporary film. The latter, she argues, … Continue reading

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Klansmen, Zombie Apocalypses, and End Times Narratives: Or, an Afternoon with Kelly J. Baker

Kelly Baker is a Lecturer of Religious Studies and American Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In the following interview, Baker discusses her recent book, Gospel According to the Klan (University Press of Kansas, 2011), which, as her UT … Continue reading

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This Week in Religion: Matisyahu’s Transformation, the Church of Batman, and Trumpism.

Some six months after the Orthodox-reggae-hip-hop star Matisyahu shaved his beard, he recently “posted [online] a picture of himself not wearing a kippah, and then another one that showed him sitting next to another musician who was smoking a joint.” … Continue reading

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This Week in Religion: Christian Pagan-envy, Religion and Technology, Jesus v. Obesity

According to recent polls, “46% of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years,” up 2% from 1982. And a new study at U.C. Berkeley suggests that “less religious people … Continue reading

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