Miss America and Construction of the Other in American Culture

I have a new post up at Medium. Here's a taste: Last night Miss New York became Miss America. But even more importantly, Nina Davuluri became the first Indian-American Miss America. The New York native brought Bollywood dance to the stage during the talent competition and spoke from her platform of “celebrating diversity through cultural … Continue reading Miss America and Construction of the Other in American Culture

Reza Aslan and the Impossibilty of an Expert in Religion in America

I think there has been one thing missing from all the blogging and twittering and Facebook posting over the Reza Aslan interview with Fox News: For many Americans, the idea of an expert in religion is impossible. Sure, you may have a Ph.D., you may know texts in their original languages, you may even have … Continue reading Reza Aslan and the Impossibilty of an Expert in Religion in America

The Invention of American Evangelicalism; or, Why Ed Blum is Mad

The following is a cross-post from Religion in American History. Check out the great comments on the original post. (If you're unsure what made Ed mad read this post.) [Update: Ed says he's not mad anymore, just passionate. Also, read this post from Ed where he expands his thoughts on race and evangelicalism. His thoughts echo much … Continue reading The Invention of American Evangelicalism; or, Why Ed Blum is Mad

Things that are still true about American Christianity…

"The new formation [born-again Christianity] was part fundamentalist, part pentecostal, part charismatic, part evangelical, and then something else in a way that none of its parts had been: morally outraged, socially engaged, and routinely politically active." -- Susan Friend Harding, The Book of Jerry Falwell (2000) I was preparing my lesson for Monday's class about … Continue reading Things that are still true about American Christianity…

Narrativity in American Religions, Transmedia, and me on Hinduism: Panels I Plan to Check Out at the AAR

The American Academy of Religion is nearly here! Over at Religion in American History, Kelly Baker has put together a great list of panels on religion in America. Also, Kelly and I will be tweeting our observations, thoughts, and snark throughout the weekend. Due to the limited travel budget of a Ph.D. candidate (who already … Continue reading Narrativity in American Religions, Transmedia, and me on Hinduism: Panels I Plan to Check Out at the AAR

My panel at #2011ASA: Global Perspectives on American Religious Cultures

If you're at the American Studies Association this weekend and you're interested in questions of religion, globalization, and transformation than you might want to check out the panel I'm doing with some other great folks: 12:00 PM – 1:45 PM Religion and American Culture Caucus: Travel and Transformation: Global Perspectives on American Religious Cultures Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom … Continue reading My panel at #2011ASA: Global Perspectives on American Religious Cultures

Thinking About Ralph Waldo Emerson on His Birthday

Today is Ralph Waldo Emerson's 208th birthday. The Concord sage is one of the great figures of American history and one of my favorite New England religious thinkers. I always think of Emerson as the man who was willing to push that little bit further. Where Arminians and Unitarians stopped, Emerson jumped off the cliff … Continue reading Thinking About Ralph Waldo Emerson on His Birthday

How to write a book about “X in American Religious History”

It's not as hard to write a book in American religious history as you might think. Feel free to use this handy template. Introduction- X has been important throughout American religious history. Chapter 1. What the Puritans said about X Chapter 2. What Jonathan Edwards (and maybe George Whitefield) said about X Chapter 3. How … Continue reading How to write a book about “X in American Religious History”

Superman and the American Christian Nation

Superman is renouncing his U.S. citizenship and Mike Huckabee is none too happy about it. Huckabee, responding to the comic book flap Sunday on Fox News, called it "disturbing" that the larger than life superhero would give up his citizenship. "Well it is a comic book, but, you know it's disturbing that Superman who has … Continue reading Superman and the American Christian Nation

Justice, Bin Laden, and American Civil Religion

As I sat on my couch scanning Twitter and listening to the President describe the killing of Osama Bin Laden, I realized that this was a high moment in American civil religion. Thanks to a couple colleagues here at Emory and our writing group, I've had civil religion on the brain lately. As the president … Continue reading Justice, Bin Laden, and American Civil Religion