New Menu Item and Upcoming Posts

I haven’t updated the site in a while, but now this will be sort of a running journal of what I’m preparing for my comps and thesis. I got this idea from Suzanna Krivulskaya (check out her site). This feels way better. For one, I felt my output in the summer was weak because it felt pop. Popular culture isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t what I want to contribute to the world. This will be more in line with what I wanted to do all along. Also, I’m not going to put on the pressure to update at specific times. That was just too much and I think my product ended up being fluffy.

So here are what the next few posts will be about. If you will notice, I now have a new menu item called “Bibliographies.” While I will eventually add thesis stuff to this, for now this item contains what I’m responsible for in my M. A. comprehensive exams. My next post will be an “approaches” essay for North American Religions. It will cover current sociological and historical narratives about religion in the Americas from Butler et al, Schmalzbauer, Schultz and Harvey, and Spickard.

Next I will cover Meyer and Houtman’s introductory essay on “Things” for Material Culture. I thought of including Vasquez’s work with this piece, but it is a mammoth (300+ pp. isn’t bad, but all the theory makes for some dense reading) that can wait for its own day. They answer the question as to why religious studies has been dominated by emphasis on beliefs.

Last in the near future will be my coverage of Durkheim for Theories of Religion. One thing you might notice about the list for Theories is that the majority of the theorists I cover are what you might call “naturalist” theorists (political or critical might work as well). It isn’t that we didn’t cover other approaches (our friend Mircea Eliade had his 15 minutes of fame, and you will notice Orsi plays a supporting role), but that I didn’t find them as interesting. There are theorists that prompt you to say, “Oh that’s nice. Next.” The naturalists didn’t do this for me. Their ideas had me buzzing for weeks.

If you have questions, great! I want to let you know what I’m doing and also catch up with you if that’s cool.


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