Religious Difference and the Monkey King of Oklahoma City

In 2012 private funds paid to erect a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol. A 2009 state law allowing privately funded religious monuments on public grounds paved the way for the Ten Commandments to sit in granite outside the capitol. Seeing an opening in the new law and the new … Continue reading Religious Difference and the Monkey King of Oklahoma City

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Should we compare American Atheism and American Christianity?: An Impromptu Twitter Discussion

The following conversation emerged on Twitter between myself and Per D. Smith, a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University. Check out Per's great stuff over at irritually. Per specializes in studying irreligion and so I sent him a link to a CNN article and, well, click on the storify link and you can see what ensued. … Continue reading Should we compare American Atheism and American Christianity?: An Impromptu Twitter Discussion

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…

REL100 Syllabus: Blogging, Tweeting, and Deconstructing Religion

I finally finished the syllabus for REL100. Good thing, too. The first day of class is tomorrow morning. It's all filled up--40 students. Here goes nothin'! REL 100: Introduction to Religion Christian and Hindu Traditions Michael J. Altman @MichaelJAltman Office Hours: Thursday 9am-noon, Callaway S220 (or by appt.) http://blogs.emory.edu/rel100 I. Course Description This course introduces … Continue reading REL100 Syllabus: Blogging, Tweeting, and Deconstructing Religion

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

Not Theology, but Authority: Rob Bell and the Evangelical Institutional Establishment

Note: Originally posted at State of Formation The criticism of Rob Bell's Love Wins is not about theology. It is all about authority. In case you missed the hubbub surrounding Rob Bell's book, Love Wins, I point you to Sara Staely's post where she outlines John Piper and the neo-Calvinist establishment's response to the book. She sums up … Continue reading Not Theology, but Authority: Rob Bell and the Evangelical Institutional Establishment

Less Than Half of Evangelicals Are Tea Partying

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has a new analysis of religion and the Tea Party. The whole thing is an interesting read and offers solid evidence for the religious forces driving the movement. Sara Posner and Mark Silk have offered their takes on the findings. One thing jumped out to me: Surveys … Continue reading Less Than Half of Evangelicals Are Tea Partying

Methodists and India: Mapping, Contact, and Travel in the Christian Advocate, 1860-1890

As I posted last week, this weekend I presented a paper on the topic of Methodist Media to the American Society of Church History at this year's American Historical Association meeting. Below is my paper from the panel. Methodists and India: Mapping, Contact and Travel in the Christian Advocate, 1860-1890 Michael J. Altman, Emory University … Continue reading Methodists and India: Mapping, Contact, and Travel in the Christian Advocate, 1860-1890

Things Sacred & Profane: Sacred Constitution, Jerry Brown, Mormon politics, and an atheist Bible reader

The recitation of the Constitution in the House renews the debate over Founders' intentions. Peter Berger on "Conservative Christians and the Sexual Revolution" Romney and Reid: Does Mormonism matter in politics? An atheist who is spending a year reading through the King James Bible. California's new (but not completely new) governor, Jerry Brown, trained with Jesuits, … Continue reading Things Sacred & Profane: Sacred Constitution, Jerry Brown, Mormon politics, and an atheist Bible reader