The Science of Aesthetics: Re-thinking Religion and the Five Percent Nation

The way a person perceives a sensory stimulus may result from that person’s cultural arrangements, suggesting that perception is trained or nurtured... If someone has been taught and surrounded by the belief that a certain sensory stimulus is powerful, then that person will continue to believe it.

Where’s the Beef? The (A)politics of Cow Vigilantism

From how I see it, the Dalit community is making a statement by wanting to renounce the Hindu religion in large numbers. It is a way of saying, if being Hindu means marginalizing people based on ancestral jobs and societal bounds one cannot break out of, then we don’t want to be Hindu.

Dan Brown’s “Origin” and the Art(ifcial) of Religion

In this series, "Sensations of Religion," students from Dr. Richard Newton introductory religion class explore the difference people make with "stuff" in discourses pertaining to religion.  The first piece in our series questions author Dan Brown's claim that artificial intelligence may supersede religion's facility for connecting individuals. Elizabethtown College student E. Rider Brandau suggests that … Continue reading Dan Brown’s “Origin” and the Art(ifcial) of Religion

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.

On J. Z. Smith and the Remarkable

A start of a new year, the ominous weather forecast, the beginning of yet another semester...if this moment is anything, it is one where we can signify our resolve by any number of means. And in that unremarkable fact, we might ask how and why such moments become remarkable. Currently many students of religion are … Continue reading On J. Z. Smith and the Remarkable