Author Archives: Craig Martin

About Craig Martin

I am an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College.

Disambiguating Normativity

I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with a certain type of argument about the use of norms in academic study. It usually goes something like this: “If we accept poststructuralist critiques of the field, everything is imbricated with values and power relations—these … Continue reading

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Self-Radicalized?

Whenever there is a “terrorist” attack by anyone who identifies as Muslim, the first tendency of the press is to blame some reified, monolitic “Islam” for the event. By contrast, when there is a mass shooting by a white man … Continue reading

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No One Misunderstands Their Own Religion

The claim that “this person/group does not understand their own religion” should be eliminated from academic prose. If we think someone misunderstands their religion, it’s we who misunderstand. Of course it’s clear that many Christians don’t know the history of … Continue reading

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When Your Theory of Religion Is Part of the Problem

Yesterday the New York Times ran a story about a “decorated Army Reserve officer” and veteran of the war in Iraq who “left bacon at a mosque and brandished a handgun while threatening to kill Muslims.” One of the men … Continue reading

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The Problem of the Mystic East

After having read Robert Orsi’s rather odd essay on “The Problem of the Holy” (in The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies, ed. by Robert Orsi), it was suggested to me that a parody might be in order. In his essay, Orsi grants that … Continue reading

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Differentiating Fields

S. Brent Plate’s recent post at Religion Dispatches suggests that when it comes to religious studies, scholars are, in a sense, both insiders and outsiders at the same time. He comes to this conclusion through a comparison of the field of art to the … Continue reading

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Tilting at Windmills?

Some would have it that the work of scholars such as Don Wiebe in The Politics of Religious Studies, Tim Fitzgerald in The Ideology of Religious Studies, and Russell McCutcheon in Manufacturing Religion is both passé and off the mark. They are tilting at … Continue reading

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