What Podcasts Do You Put in Your Ears?

I'm working on a review essay that covers the various academic podcasts about religion and religious studies  that have appeared in the past few years. I'm limiting myself to academic podcasts, or at least podcasts that feature academics. So, I'm not including things like Interfaith Voices or On Being. I am interested in podcasts not … Continue reading What Podcasts Do You Put in Your Ears?

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Remember Zelmo Beaty: Race, Religion, and Basketball in Salt Lake City

One of my favorite weekly podcasts is Slate's Hang Up and Listen, a sports podcast that deconstructs sports media and culture with a wry wit that deflates American sports of all its self-seriousness. If sports talk radio is Duck Dynasty, Hang Up is 30 Rock. Every week host Josh Levin signs off with the phrase … Continue reading Remember Zelmo Beaty: Race, Religion, and Basketball in Salt Lake City

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

American Journalists and the Always Reforming New Pope

Much of the recent coverage of the newly named Pope Francis I has focused on his role as a reforming pope for a church in crisis (e.g. this and this). It struck me that the "reforming pope" seems like an easy narrative to tell about a new pope so I did a quick search of … Continue reading American Journalists and the Always Reforming New Pope

19th Century Evangelical Print Culture or 20th Century Digital/Social Media?

Found in Candy Gunther Brown's The World in the World on page 169 whilst doing some evening dissertation study: Rather than providing novel information, communication networks so employed regularly portray and confirm a particular vision of the world already assumed by its participants. Readers and writers engage in a dramatic confrontation between opposing forces--such as pure … Continue reading 19th Century Evangelical Print Culture or 20th Century Digital/Social Media?

Twitter is Too Cool for School

Twitter is shutting down the development of any more 3rd party client apps. Has Twitter gone to the cool kids? Maybe Twitter's not really for free-form posting anymore though. Maybe what Twitter leadership really wants is to create a Hollywood-glossy, TV-comfy place for "mainstream users" to read Tweets from famous people and big media brands. … Continue reading Twitter is Too Cool for School

Religion Dispatches: Zeitgeist A Blend Of Skepticism, Metaphysical Spirituality, and Conspiracy

As Sarah noted, Good Morning America reported last week that Jared Loughner had been influenced by the documentary Zeitgeist, a film that depicts Christianity, 9/11, and federal banking as conspiracies meant for social control. Since that report, the internet has been abuzz with attempts to locate Zeitgeist—and Loughner—on either the right or the left. Much of the analysis of Zeitgeist … Continue reading Religion Dispatches: Zeitgeist A Blend Of Skepticism, Metaphysical Spirituality, and Conspiracy

Methodist Media: Comparing Means of Communicating the Message

If you're in Boston or headed to Boston for the AHA be sure to come check out my panel on Methodist media. I'm talking about representations of Hinduism in the Methodist Christian Advocate and Emory's own Russ Richey will be responding to the panel. It should be a great time. 125th Annual Meeting (January 6-9, … Continue reading Methodist Media: Comparing Means of Communicating the Message

Everything I Learned About Hanukkah Was On TV

I've got a new post up at Religion Dispatches where I present a different Hanukkah TV clip for each night of the holiday. If you haven't seen the Hanukkah episode of The Nanny than you have missed out. Check out the videos here.

Shariah-Approved Sex Aids, Abstinence-Only Goes to China, and Abercrombie Hijab…The Week in Religion, Poetically

Ramadan is not only a time for fasting, it’s also a time for the best television around the Muslim world. A television serial in Egypt has stirred controversy: The Group explores the world of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition movement. Similarly, a Syrian serial, What Your Right Hand Possess (it sounds better in Arabic) has drawn … Continue reading Shariah-Approved Sex Aids, Abstinence-Only Goes to China, and Abercrombie Hijab…The Week in Religion, Poetically