Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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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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Radical Acts

In Sin, Sex, and Democracy: Antigay Rhetoric and the Christian Right, Cynthia Burack writes: I can say with complete honesty that I know of no move afoot in the LGBT rights movement to deprive nonhomosexuals of civil rights, convert heterosexuals to … Continue reading

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Extra Credit

Imagine a student coming to a professor, the first week of class, and asking: “Hey professor, I really need this course to graduate, but I don’t really want to do the assignments you’ve listed on the syllabus. Can you make … Continue reading

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On “Individualism”

In The Society of Individuals, Norbert Elias writes, At present words such as “individual,” “society,” “personality,” “collective,” being ideological weapons in the power struggle of various parties and states, are so permeated with emotive content that it is difficult to extricate their … Continue reading

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