In this final section on how religion works, Craig Martin has us consider claims of authenticity. Claims of authenticity, he remarks, is a form of essentialism that should prompt scholarly observers to ask about the functions, stakes, norms, and authorities at play in a social situation.

I’m going to leave you to take free notes on the chapter. You’ve worked diligently through out the term, and can determine how best you might develop your notes.

An advertisement for a show called "The Originals" featuring two women and three men. There is a headline that says "The Originals, a spin-off from The Vampire Diaries."
Ironic isn’t it? #authenticity

I would like you to spend time looking for an authenticity claim that you find in some print source around you. It can be a campus flyer, a newspaper article, a restaurant advertisement, or a menu. Whatever you choose, it needs to be a physical thing that you can tape or glue in your notebook. Do not just print this off the internet. Go find things that are already printed in the world and take them.

I want you to then study this artifact and make some brief notes about how you see authenticity at play. We’ll do a little show in tell in class during the second session–so be ready!