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.
Maoism: More Political Ideology than Quasi-Religion - The drastic reversal of many essential elements of Maoism by Deng Xiaoping indicates that in order to preserve the very survival of the Party, the founding principle, as sacred as Maoism, can be rejected. In this sense, Maoism was treated in a transactional way, so much so that once its utility ceased to exist, it was immediately thrown away.
Portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate Maoism: More than Quasi-Religion - In his 1974 essay, ""One of the Many Faces of China: Maoism as a Quasi-Religion," Joseph M. Kitagawa acknowledges Chairman Mao’s movement to create a new culture as “Maoism.” Instead of calling this movement a “religion,” he refers to Maoism as a “quasi-religion.” In doing so, he attempts to avoid the clashing reactions that often comes along with referring to a movement as a religion. Yet, viewing the development of Maoism in terms of the sociology of religion can help us understand the way it has mapped the culture, ethnicity, and gender of today’s China.
American Masculinity and Media Crisis - In this series, “The Textures of Sexuality,” we have undergraduate students from two schools considering how the body is implicated in storytelling devices used in popular media. Elizabethtown College student Hannah Ciocco begins with a discussion of Stewart M. Hoover and Curtis D. Coats’  Does God Make the Man: Media, Religion, and the Crisis of Masculinity, (New…
Defining Religion in The Tragedies of War - ...the DAPL debate merely represents a continuation of the misunderstanding of and disregard for Native Americans' understanding of their own religious traditions.
#SyrRelBodies: US Religions and the Regulation of Bodies of Color - Learn more about Dr. Goodwin’s amazing class here and follow the hashtag #SyrRelBodies on Twitter for a well-curated discussion of US religions and the regulation of bodies of color.
Strife with Uighurs Fueled by the Mandate of Heaven? - In this piece, Samantha Mundorff theorizes about the conflict around the Chinese Muslim population known as the Uighurs. She theorizes how ancient Chinese political philosophy may inform the contemporary state’s policy on the minority group.
A Passionate Education?: The Creation of Boko Haram - Sam Epps explores the formation of Boko Haram and the lesser publicized effects it has had on Nigeria.
Boko Haram and the Aesthetics of Violence - Garrett Clark considers the overlapping sensory experiences represented by Boko Haram’s flags, arguing that this synesthesia facilitates deep psychological violence.
Going through the Emotions: Islamic Calligraphy in a Public School - In the example below, parents at an American public high school balk at the secular study of Islamic calligraphy because the writing’s legacy is sacred for Muslims. Emily Egolf helps us think through the dispute.
The Tenure of Scriptures: Interpreting Wheaton College (Illinois) - Do Christians and Muslims worship the same god? The answer matters at Wheaton, but why does the question?
Christianity Before and After Charleston - ...one of the most vivid accounts of baptism in the Black Church tradition while contextualizing the role of race and Christianity in American life.
REL 331 Ethnicity, Gender, and Religion - This seminar looks at the social ramifications of attempts to transcend the human tradition.