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?

Maoism: More than Quasi-Religion

Portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate

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.

ICYMI: On Kings and Trump Cards

A student asked me the other day whether King's legacy is something to be given up since it can be used for contrary ends. My piece doesn't answer this with a clear answer. I do hope that it leaves readers asking that question. To me that question is a prior step to ruthlessly careful and self-conscious criticism.

Reading “The African American Bible” on Paper and in Class

The Journal of Biblical Literature recently published a series on ways that biblical scholars have engaged with #BlackLivesMatter in their work.

The Bible and Race in the USA: Dreaming of Ahistories

In just a few short weeks, the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) will be holding their joint annual meeting. Recently, the AAR took up the tradition of bandying a theme; "Revolutionary Love." Elsewhere I've offered remarks on the issues it raises for the type of work that I … Continue reading The Bible and Race in the USA: Dreaming of Ahistories