Teaching Starter: An Introduction to Discourse Analysis

My penchant for backward course design impresses the need to consider method more and more. I'm asking myself what kind of work do I want students to be able to do by course's end. How will they know what they know?

REL 205 (SSC)- Scoping Out Religion: Theories and Methods

“Religion” is a concept that people frequently talk about without much precision. In this class we will introduce humanistic theories and social scientific methods to raise the level of discourse around religion. Our local community and the news of the day will serve as the laboratory where we will learn to seek answers and ask better questions about religion.

Apprehending the “Essence” of Religion

Indeed, the comparative method has long been the preferred tool of those seeking to prove the similarity—and especially the equality—of religions across time and space.  That agenda, however, has not always been successful and has at times engendered ironically problematic scholarship.

How the Gita Jayanti Exemplifies the Defining of Ethnicity

Because portions of the world developed differently due to histories and geography unique to their specific region, they in turn cultivate traditions organic to the heritage of their area—they develop a culture. It is this culture from which all traditions of a given region are derived, including particular rituals relating to as well as the practice of specific forms of spiritual maintenance. From this culture, ethnic identities manifest symbiotically, coexisting in the continuation and evolution of a society’s cultural climate.