Star Wars as American Religion

If one’s working definition of “religion” is more capacious than “beliefs in supernatural powers,” if the purpose of the course is to view American history and culture through the lens of “religion” – as a category of analysis, rather than a found thing – then new possibilities emerge.

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,”… but probably reflecting a specific context.

I am not so much interested in what religions exist in Star Wars but why they may be there and why we read the “texts” the way we do. Although space is a vacuum, Star Wars was not constructed there. Instead it was constructed in a context that influenced Lucas and the rest of the moviemakers.

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 226 (WCH): The New Testament

The New Testament is a collection of first-century Mediterranean notes between people interested in the burgeoning Jesus movement. Translated, edited, and collated, these writings have since become a touchstone in the cultural heritage of the West. We will attempt to situate New Testament texts in light of the artifacts and social drama of the period … Continue reading REL 226 (WCH): The New Testament

REL 101 (WCH): Signifying Religion: An African American Worldview

What if the study of religion started with the African American experience? Instead of privileging a specific tradition, this course examines the history of a people who came to a new world compelled to quickly learn the significance of "religion" itself. We will follow along by plumbing the depths of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, listening to … Continue reading REL 101 (WCH): Signifying Religion: An African American Worldview