Shaun King, Classification, and Christianity

September 15th, 2015

Thomas J. Whitley First it was Rachel Dolezal. Now it’s Shaun King. King is a Black Lives Matter activist who, like Dolezal, has been accused of lying about his race. King’s accusations first garnered national headlines when Breitbart published a story questioning whether he had been lying about his race as well as whether he

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Thinking about Secularism Globally and Robert Yelle’s The Language of Disenchantment

September 2nd, 2015

Jeffrey Wheatley I have spent the past few months reading books for an ad hoc summer reading group composed mostly of graduate students interested in thinking about secularism globally. Most of us research under the framework of American religious history, but we agree that there is much to be gained by thinking about secularism comparatively,

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CFP: Religion and Medicine

August 24th, 2015

Editor’s Note: This CFP comes to us by way of Katherine Harvey of Birckbeck, University of London. *** RELIGION AND MEDICINE: HEALING THE BODY AND SOUL FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE MODERN DAY Birkbeck, University of London, 15-16 July 2016 Convenors: Katherine Harvey, John Henderson and Carmen Mangion In the contemporary Western world, religion and

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Finding Apocryphal Gospels in Church

August 21st, 2015

Brandon W. Hawk In a previous post, I hinted at the flexibility of the biblical canon, and the many related extrabiblical texts. From years of scholarly study, what is clear about these so-called “apocrypha” is that they derive from communities that found them useful for understanding their perspectives on Christianity.[1] For example, the Protevangelium of

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15th Annual Florida State University Department of Religion Graduate Student Symposium

August 12th, 2015

Thomas J. Whitley The Florida State University Department of Religion is pleased to announce its 15th Annual Graduate Student Symposium to be held February 19-21, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida. Last year’s symposium allowed over 50 presenters from over 15 universities and departments such as History, Political Science, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Classics to share their research,

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Religion and the GOP Presidential Hopefuls, Part II

July 20th, 2015

Emily Johnson Since I last wrote about the GOP presidential candidates in May, the already-crowded field has seen its membership double in number. It is time, then, for an update on the religious affiliations and moral positions of the nine candidates who have now joined the race. (Click the link above to go back and

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On De-Reifying Traditional Boundaries: Christian vs. Greco-Roman

July 13th, 2015

Thomas J. Whitley Last month I wrote about a group of early Christians that believed in the transmigration of souls (or, reincarnation). One of the factors that I suggested contributed to modern scholars not accepting the Carpocratians as Christians or transmigration as a “Christian” belief is the delineation between the categories “Greco-Roman” and “Christian.” Thus, when a person or

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Ministers Don’t Use Libraries, and Nobody Knows Why

June 29th, 2015

Meredith Ross In 1970, Dwight A. Huseman contributed an article to Drexel Library Quarterly in which he argued for wider use of ministerial book allowances. He found that the Lutheran ministers he studied spent a great deal of money on books, and were often forced to choose between, Huseman evocatively claimed, “the book or the

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Purging Landscape in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History

June 19th, 2015

Brandon W. Hawk Pope Francis yesterday released an encyclical letter addressing the environment, an event garnering quite a bit of discussion.[1] As others have noted, this encyclical is just one instance of the Catholic Church addressing environmental issues over the past few decades, but it marks a particular milestone.[2] Environmentalism as such may be a recent

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Early Christian Reincarnation

June 9th, 2015

Thomas Whitley Some early Christians believed in reincarnation. At least this is part of what I am arguing in my dissertation. Scholars of antiquity and early Christianity don’t call it reincarnation, though. We call it metempsychosis, a transliteration of the Greek, or transmigration, for the dominant Greco- Roman understanding that a soul transmigrated from body

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