So, I’m taking some time to develop my upcoming Anthropology of Religion syllabus a bit more and it has me thinking about my “Genesis as Myth” unit. More specifically, about my lecture-discussion on the development of (absolute) monotheism in Christianity. Although most people now take it for granted, one of the strangest developments in the…Continue reading Angels, Demons, and Absolutism
It’s the holiday season and if nothing else, the message we’re all supposed to be embracing is something along the lines of peace and goodwill towards all people. It’s a nice sentiment, of course, but one we generally don’t spend too much time attempting to live up to the rest of the year. But why…Continue reading Why We Can’t Just All Get Along
“Sherlock Holmes was the first fictional creation adults openly embraced as “real,” while deliberately ignoring or minimizing its creator, and this fetishization has continued for over a century…. Holmes demonstrated how the modern world could be re- enchanted through means entirely consistent with modernity.” (“Clap If You Believe in Sherlock Holmes: Mass Culture and the…Continue reading Choosing Your Own Adventure: My Life as a Teenage Dungeon Master and How it Prepared Me to Teach College Classes
Let’s see, since I was born in 1980, I’ve survived the Apocalypse dates of: 1980 by Leland Jensen 1980(s) by Hal Lindsey 1981 by Chuck Smith March 10, 1982 by John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann June 21, 1982 by Benjamin Creme October 1982 by Pat Robertson October 2, 1984 by the Jehovah’s Witnesses 1985 by…Continue reading Happy Solstice! Your Move, Armageddon.
Daniel C. Taylor begins his book “Yeti: The Ecology of a Mystery” with a story about footprints. More specifically, he begins with an account of the pseudoscientification of animal prints (usually snow leopard or bear) in the Himalayas into the now well-worn tales of the abominable snowman said to haunt the reaches of Mt. Everest…Continue reading Yeti or Not! Here We Come!
Conversations about toxic fan culture are popping up everywhere. From the recent Twitter confusion over an account claiming to have the funds and support to remake Star Wars: The Last Jedi (I’m still not 100% convinced it isn’t an elaborate prank) to Gamergate and “fake geek girls” to a group of Rick and Morty fans…Continue reading A Trifle Fetish: Some Thoughts on Fandom and the Consecrated Commodity
“Isn’t He just adorable.” Gangadevi laughed, clutching the small Krishna Govinda Shaligram in her right hand. “I have had Shaligrams for many years but He is special, you see. Krishna was my very first Shaligram. The very first Shaligram I ever dressed or offered praśadam to. The first every morning to received sandalwood tilak and…Continue reading My Divine Pet Rock: Notes on Humor, Gender, and Authority in Anthropology
We live in rude times. But for those of use in the United States, an oppressive wave of individualism (culminating in the persona of Donald Trump) has been riding out our cultural commentary and news media for the past several years. Oppressive Individualism is nothing new to the West, however. It’s cropped up before in…Continue reading The Chosen One and You
I saw this article posted on someone else’s page and there are two reasons I am responding to it. 1.) As a scholar of religion who analyzes the use of symbols and practices as a profession and 2.) because I was made deeply happy to see other Christians responding to it critically. We need to…Continue reading Ignorance is Not Purity
It’s an old post from Tumblr, but it just keeps turning back up in my social media feeds. Kind of like cultural appropriation. Yes, I’m going to talk about cultural appropriation here but let me actually start at the bottom of this post. We’ll work our way up from there. There’s one aspect of…Continue reading The Bad Cultural Appropriation Penny