Talking Religion at 30,000 Feet

Religion Enters the Academy: The Origins of the Scholarly Study of Religion in America
by James Turner
University of Georgia Press , 2011
I lie a lot on airplanes. Not in any way that should upset the TSA or anything like that—just to the question “What do you do?” I don’t like admitting to strangers what it is I do. I’m a Ph.D. student in religious studies.

I always have a book with me when I fly because I’m always supposed to be reading something. These books are usually about religion and American history or culture. They often tip people off. A friend of mine, another religious studies Ph.D. student, tells the story of the time he was reading Isis Unveiled in a local coffee shop. He was approached by a very excited man with an interest in Theosophy and other sorts of New Thought systems who talked his ear off for an hour. My friend is Catholic and was reading the book as a bit of research for some project or another.

Continue reading at Religion Dispatches…


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