So my Islam class at the University of Alabama is preparing for their second exam. It basically covers 7th to 13th centuries (but that's kind of a lie because we always jump around the timeline). I'd give you map coordinates but we jump around quite a bit there too. Anyway, I almost always hold a … Continue reading Time Sensitive Islam Scholar Team-Up
Over in Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds, I have an article that has gone to press. It's called "Reading Alex Haley's Roots: Toward an Anthropology of Scriptures."
“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.
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.
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.