Review– Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South

My review of Jeff Wilson's wonderful recent book Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South is now online at the journal Sociology of Religion. Here's a taste: Deciding where to look is often the most important decision a researcher makes. Jeff Wilson's choice to look for Buddhism in Richmond, Virginia, instead of … Continue reading Review– Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South

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Tomorrow: Get Free Lunch and Hear Me Talk About Teaching With Twitter

I should have posted this earlier, but I'll be speaking as part of the great Eat Talk Teach Run series at Emory. ETTR combines four short (4 minute limit) talks on teaching with free lunch and frozen yogurt. It's awesome. Come check it out. Details: Eat. Talk. Teach. Run! An event to energize grad student … Continue reading Tomorrow: Get Free Lunch and Hear Me Talk About Teaching With Twitter

The Education Investment, Citizenship, and the Perfection of Society and Government; Or, What Noah Webster Would Say to Romney and Obama

Lately I've been working a side project, a lengthy encyclopedia article on religion and education in America. I'm taking a historical approach in the article and laying out a basic narrative: building a Protestant educational establishment, challenges to that establishment, and, finally, Protestant educational disestablishment. With that article in the back of my head, it … Continue reading The Education Investment, Citizenship, and the Perfection of Society and Government; Or, What Noah Webster Would Say to Romney and Obama

Swing State: Mormonism in Athens, Ohio

A friend of mine, photojournalist, and fellow product of the College of Charleston religious studies department, Priscilla Thomas, has produced a really interesting multimedia look at one Mormon family, the Crawfords, in the town of Athens, Ohio. "Raising Faith" is one story in the larger Swing State project produced by the Soul of Athens at … Continue reading Swing State: Mormonism in Athens, Ohio

Lydia Maria Child Is Oddly Prescient in an Election Year: Red and Blue Spectacles

Reading the last chapter of Lydia Maria Child's The Progress of Religious Ideas I came across this passage that seemed timely during our election season: Little or no progress toward truth is usually made, because passages of ancient books are taken up hundreds of years after they were written, and are used in a sense … Continue reading Lydia Maria Child Is Oddly Prescient in an Election Year: Red and Blue Spectacles

The Metaphysics of the Internet; or Can Lydia Maria Child’s Ghost Read My Comment?

I'm in the midst of the metaphysical chunk of my dissertation. In these two chapters I examine how American writers in the middle of the nineteenth century looked to India for sources to build religious alternatives to orthodox Protestantism. Thoreau, Emerson, Blavatzky, all the usual suspects are there. Today I'm working on the writings of … Continue reading The Metaphysics of the Internet; or Can Lydia Maria Child’s Ghost Read My Comment?