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Society & Culture

American Academy of Religion

Updated 10 days ago

Society & Culture
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The audio feed of American Academy of Religion (AAR), the world's largest scholarly and professional association of academics, teachers, and research scholars dedicated to furthering knowledge of religions and religious institutions in all their forms and manifestations. Featuring interviews with award-winning scholars and sessions recorded during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion.

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The audio feed of American Academy of Religion (AAR), the world's largest scholarly and professional association of academics, teachers, and research scholars dedicated to furthering knowledge of religions and religious institutions in all their forms and manifestations. Featuring interviews with award-winning scholars and sessions recorded during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion.

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iTunes Ratings

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Average Ratings
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Cover image of American Academy of Religion

American Academy of Religion

Updated 10 days ago

Read more

The audio feed of American Academy of Religion (AAR), the world's largest scholarly and professional association of academics, teachers, and research scholars dedicated to furthering knowledge of religions and religious institutions in all their forms and manifestations. Featuring interviews with award-winning scholars and sessions recorded during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion.

Rank #1: Kyle Harper, From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity

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Kyle Harper talks to Religious Studies News about his book From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity (Harvard University Press), which won the American Academy of Religion’s 2014 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in Historical Studies.

Music is Dexter Britain, "Fresh Monday"(www.dexterbritain.co.uk)
Apr 05 2015
26 mins
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Rank #2: Mood, Emotion, and Affect in Hindu and Christian Theologies

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What can study of the beliefs and practices of one tradition bring to bear on another? Michelle Voss Roberts, associate professor of theology at Wake Forest University's divinity school, discusses how ethnographic study of Indian and South Asian Hindu rituals and aesthetics can bring new theological space to explore Christian practice. Using the Indian framework of "rasa," loosely defined as emotion or taste, Roberts suggests that Christian scholars, theologians, and practitioners can reexamine and experience the Divine through mood and affect.

Robert's 2014 book, "Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion" (Fordham University Press), won the American Academy of Religion's 2015 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion for constructive-reflective studies.
Jul 08 2016
19 mins
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Rank #3: The Study of Religion and Responses to Terrorism: Paris, Beirut, and Beyond

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This panel session was added to the 2015 AAR program only a week before the Annual Meeting in response to the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, France. The panel of scholars, whose areas of focus range from interreligious dialogue to political Islam to French secularism to ancient Christianity. They discuss the media, Islamophobia, religious violence, geopolitics, rational actors, and activism. They engage questions including: what are the connections between the Paris attacks, other recent attacks in Europe, and ISIS-inspired attacks in Beirut and Baghdad? What should the role of scholars of religion be in contesting Islamophobia and debating appropriate responses to terrorism? How can scholars of religion help shape attitudes and conversations about Islam, religion and violence in the general public? How might the attacks in Paris, Beirut, and elsewhere open up classroom conversations about broader issues in the study of religion?

The panel discussion is followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Panel Participants:
Sarah Rollens, Rhodes College
Stephanie Frank, Columbia College, Chicago
Edward E. Curtis, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
Jerusha Lamptey, Union Theological Seminary

Todd Green, Luther College, Presiding

This panel was recorded on November 21 at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta, GA.
Jan 21 2016
2 hours 11 mins
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Rank #4: 2016 AM: Cornel West's Neglected Contribution to the Pragmatist Canon

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Cornel West argues that pragmatism is the ideal philosophical view to address the ways in which ideas like race, gender and class are produced and redescribed in history. Pragmatism is ideal because it highlights history, context and problem solving. As a quintessentially American tradition, pragmatism’s canonical figures had not sufficiently wrestled with these quandaries in a way that would make sense to anyone who understood slavery, discrimination and segregation as problems worth solving. West’s "The American Evasion of Philosophy" (1989) focused on that insufficiency. For reasons that we explore in a panel devoted to his innovative text, West’s engagement with and expansion of the canon is worthy of the collective intellectual attention of those concerned with the persistence of problems that are best addressed when one evades quests for epistemic certainty.

Panelists:
Kevin Wolfe
Clifton Granby
Julius Crump
Xavier Pickett

Victor Anderson, Presiding

This discussion was recorded at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Antonio, Texas, on November 23.
May 18 2017
2 hours 4 mins
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Rank #5: "Goddess and God in the World": An Embodied Theological Conversation

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Taking off from their new book, Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology (Fortress, 2016), Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow introduce their embodied theological method and explore their theological differences: Is Goddess a personal presence who cares about the world? Or is God an impersonal creative energy equally supportive of good and evil? Mary E. Hunt will moderate a conversation that includes Monica Coleman, Aysha Hidayatullah, Miranda Shaw, and Julia Watts-Belser, who will speak from Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and Goddess perspectives. The panelists respond to the book, especially to its method, but also discuss their own theological positions, reflecting on what theological perspectives best make sense of and promote the flourishing of our common world.
Sep 21 2017
2 hours 5 mins
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Rank #6: Morality Without Religion: Empathy, Fairness, and Prosocial Primates

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This roundtable session features a discussion of Frans de Waal's Work on the theme of the development of "moral" practices outside of religion.

Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is one of the world’s leading primatologists, known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His book, The Bonobo and the Atheist, examines the origins and evolution of morality and the role of religion in human society.

He is C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center, in Atlanta. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time as one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today, and in 2011 by Discover as among 47 (all time) Great Minds of Science.

Panelists:
Frans de Waal, Emory University
Sarah Brosnan, Georgia State University
Edward Slingerland. University of British Columbia
Robert N. McCauley, Emory University
Azim Shariff, University of Oregon

Dimitris Xygalatas, University of Connecticut, Presiding

This roundtable session was recorded at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on Saturday, November 21 in Atlanta, GA.
Feb 11 2016
2 hours 24 mins
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Rank #7: AM 2016: Love and Hate in American Religion

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This panel, comprised of leading theological voices working across traditions and communities, will explore manifestations of "the hatreds of our day," their origins, their relation to religious thought and practice, and varied strategies available to disrupt their power. Drawing out the connections between hatred directed towards Latinos, African Americans, and Muslims will be central.

Panelists:
Eddie S. Glaude
Mayra Rivera
Amir Hussain

Cornel West, Presiding
Apr 13 2017
1 hour
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Rank #8: Mark Rowe, Female Priests in Japanese Temple Buddhism

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Mark Rowe, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University, was awarded an American Academy of Religion’s 2014 Individual Research Grant. He talks to Religious Studies News about his project Female Priests in Japanese Temple Buddhism.

Music is Dexter Britain, “Fresh Monday” (www.dexterbritain.co.uk)
Nov 05 2015
21 mins
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Rank #9: 2016 Plenary Address: Michelle Alexander with Kelly Brown Douglas

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Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. Alexander is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Stanford Law School. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Prior to entering academia, Alexander served as the director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she coordinated the Project’s media advocacy, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and litigation. The Project’s priority areas were educational equity and criminal justice reform, and it was during those years at the ACLU that she began to awaken to the reality that our nation’s criminal justice system functions more like a caste system than a system of crime prevention or control. She became passionate about exposing and challenging racial bias in the criminal justice system, ultimately launching and leading a major campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement known as the “DWB Campaign” or “Driving While Black or Brown Campaign.” In addition to her nonprofit advocacy experience, Alexander has worked as a litigator at private law firms including Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, in Oakland, California, where she specialized in plaintiff-side class-action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination. In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" (The New Press, 2012), and that same year she accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. She currently devotes much of her time to freelance writing; public speaking; consulting with advocacy organizations committed to ending mass incarceration; and, most important, raising her three young children—the most challenging and rewarding job of all.

In this plenary address from the 2016 AAR Annual Meeting, Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas (Goucher College) interviews Alexander, and the women converse in turn about racial (in)justice, the election, and religion's role in U.S. politics.

The session is introduced by 2016 AAR president, Serene Jones.

This plenary was recorded during the 2016 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on November 20.
Aug 03 2017
1 hour
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Rank #10: Reformation and Reformations

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The Reformed Theology and History Group and the Martin Luther and the Global Lutheran Traditions Group host a joint panel on the meaning of 'Reformation' and what implications the notion of 'Reformation' or 'reformations' has for us today—theologically or ecclesially. Panelists explore the relevance of 'reformation/s' for the contemporary context, including ways in which aspects of the Protestant Reformation deserve retrieval, reframing, or retraction today.

Panelists:
- Amy Plantinga Pauw, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
- Kristen E. Kvam, Saint Paul School of Theology
- Cornelis van der Kooi, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
- Evangeline Anderson Rajkumar, Lenoir-Rhyne University

Kirsi Stjerna, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, presiding

The panel was recorded at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on November 20 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mar 15 2018
2 hours 33 mins
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Rank #11: Religious Liberty, The Supreme Court, RFRA, And RLUIPA

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Using the Hobby Lobby and Holt v. Hobbs Supreme Court decisions as a starting point, the panel will discuss the challenges of valuing religion in law, addressing such questions as: Do court decisions in cases such as Hobby Lobby and Holt v. Hobbs serve or undermine religious pluralism? When are religious exemptions to laws that apply generally to everyone warranted? How ought religious liberty be weighed against other rights (e.g., equal protection of the laws—LGBT rights)? How do the Supreme Court Justices' opinions reflect the broader societal arguments about what counts as “religious exercise” and whether or how religion is valued in public spaces?

Panelists:
Matthew Scherer, George Mason University
Winnifred Sullivan, Indiana University
Mark Silk, Trinity College
Barbara A. McGraw, Saint Mary’s

This audio was recorded at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on Sunday, November 22.
Apr 21 2016
2 hours 22 mins
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Rank #12: Recolonizing the Academy Under a Trump Presidency

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This panel analyzes the intensified colonization of academic spaces—both intellectual and physical—under the current presidency. How do we accurately map these changes and negotiate these spaces in an era of national “whitelash” from peripheral ideological and embodied spaces? How do we contend with the increasing marginalization and targeting of vulnerable populations? What strategies might scholars use to contribute to the ongoing process of decolonizing the academy? What are the potential ramifications of our non-action or complicity in this academic landscape?

Munir Jiwa, Graduate Theological Union, presiding

Panelists:
- Hatem Bazian, Zaytuna College and University of California, Berkeley
- Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Laurier University
- Mel Chen, University of California, Berkeley
- Shanell T. Smith, Hartford Seminary

This session was recorded at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on November 19 in Boston, MA.
Apr 19 2018
1 hour 32 mins
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Rank #13: Revolutions of Love: The Politics and Flesh of Religion

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The presidential theme of the 2016 AAR Annual Meeting was "Revolutionary Love." The concept draws from various themes, traditions, and ideas. In this wildcard session, leading thinkers reflect on revolutionary love from nonviolence, queer, interreligious, and constructive theology perspectives.

Karen Baker-Fletcher, Southern Methodist University, presiding
Serene Jones, Union Theological Seminary, panelist
Elaine Padilla, New York Theological Seminary, panelist
John Thatamanil, Union Theological Seminary, panelist
Thomas Oord, Northwest Nazarene University, panelist
Catherine Keller, Drew University, respondent

This audio was recorded during the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on November 20, in San Antonio, Texas.
Jun 01 2017
1 hour 40 mins
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Rank #14: 2017 Marty Forum: Winnifred Fallers Sullivan

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Winnifred Fallers Sullivan is the recipient of the 2017 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion. Sullivan is professor and chair of religious studies, and affiliate professor of law, at Indiana University at Bloomington. Sullivan’s work focuses on the phenomenology of religion under the modern rule of law, and she is widely known for her critical studies of American law and jurisprudence about religion. She is the author of four books: Paying the Words Extra: Religious Discourse in the Supreme Court of the United States (1994), The Impossibility of Religious Freedom (2005), Prison Religion: Faith-based Reform and the Constitution (2009), and A Ministry of Presence: Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care, and the Law (2014); and the co-editor of three volumes: After Secular Law (2011), Varieties of Religious Establishment (2013), and The Politics of Religious Freedom (2015). Beyond the religious studies guild, Sullivan’s public scholarship on religion and her work as an expert witness have had an important impact in courtrooms, prisons, military units, and government offices from city halls to the State Department. In this year’s Marty Award Forum, Laurie Patton, president of Middlebury College, will join Sullivan for an extended public dialogue about Sullivan’s life and work.

Erik Owens, Boston College, presiding

Panelists:
- Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Indiana University
- Laurie Louise Patton, Middlebury College

The forum was recorded at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on November 19 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Apr 26 2018
1 hour 18 mins
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Rank #15: Protecting the Vulnerable on Campus - Academic Labor, LGBTIQ Persons, and Grad Students

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For many of us who study or work in colleges and seminary campuses today it may be easy to ignore the vulnerable at our institutions. Yet the most vulnerable are often at risk or subject to discrimination and exploitation based on inequities of power, money, lack of social net, or means to voice their concerns about campus life and work. This panel examines what needs attention and the strategies that vulnerable people and their allies can use to decrease vulnerability and increase solidarity. Special attention is paid to the status of, and strategies being deployed by, the LGBT+ community, graduate students, people of color, low paid workers, and non-tenured faculty.

Eddie S. Glaude, Princeton University, presiding

Panelists and Papers
- " 'Although the Doors Were Shut': Cultivating Courageous Community at the Borders of the Academy"
Cameron Partridge, Saint Aidan's Episcopal Church, San Francisco

- "It Doesn't Always Feel Good: Redefining Notions of Inclusion and Moving beyond 'Diversity' "
Prea Persaud, University of Florida

- "Solidarity within the Faculty"
James Keenan, Boston College

- "Ad Junk: Accounting for Different Vulnerabilities in Vulnerable Professional Positions"
Hussein Rashid, Islamicate LLC

- "Just Employment: Solidarity among Campus Workers"
Kerry Danner, Georgetown University

This session was recorded at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on November 18 in Boston, Massachusetts. It was organized by AAR Committees on Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty; Graduate Students; and LGBTIQ Persons in the Profession.
May 10 2018
2 hours 27 mins
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Rank #16: Preparing Scholars for Nonacademic Careers: What's a Faculty Member to Do?

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A companion to our last episode, which focused on what students can do to prepare for nonacademic careers, this podcast highlights how religious studies faculty and graduate programs can create a variety of career paths for their students. In recent years as the job market for tenure-track academic positions has tightened and the use of contingent faculty has exploded, increasing numbers of graduate degree seekers are intending to pursue nonacademic careers. While some areas of study present obvious nonacademic options, for scholars in the humanities, nonacademic career opportunities and the best preparation for them may not be obvious and religious studies faculty are exploring how graduate programs can—and should—prepare all alumni for multiple employment outcomes. This panel brings together faculty members from a variety of institutions to discuss some of the problems confronting their students and their programs as more people turn—by necessity and by choice—to nonacademic career paths.

Panelists:
- Cristine Hutchison-Jones, Administrative Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School
- Martin Kavka, Professor of Religion, Florida State University
- Stephen Prothero, Professor of Religion, Boston University
- Kathryn McClymond, Professor of Religious Studies, Georgia State University
- Sarah E. Fredericks, Assistant Professor of Environmental Ethics, University of Chicago Divinity School

This panel discussion was recorded during the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on November 20, in San Antonio, Texas.
Jun 21 2017
1 hour 14 mins
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Rank #17: Black Liberation Theologies of Disability

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Building upon a 2015 conference on Black Liberation Theologies of Disability at Union Theological Seminary, organized by Kendrick Kemp, this session attempts to construct liberation theologies that take seriously the experiences of blackness and disability. Panelists explore the ways that racialized and disabled embodiment offers innovative readings of text, tradition, and theological frameworks. What resources for a black liberation theology of disability can be sourced from black religious traditions? From disability activism? From black protest movements? Can theology be more responsive to the presence of elders in black religious communities? How can theologies grapple with the disabling traumas, state and social violence, and the toll of activism in black experiences? How can black theologies support those living with mental health challenges, learning differences, and brain injuries? How do our theologies honor and celebrate black disabled bodies?

Panelists:
- Nyasha Junior, Temple University, presiding
- Monica A. Coleman, Claremont School of Theology
- Garth Kasimu Baker-Fletcher, Texas College
- Kendrick Kemp, Union Theological Seminary
- Pamela Lightsey, Boston University

This session was recorded during the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on November 21, in San Antonio, Texas.
Sep 08 2017
2 hours 15 mins
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Rank #18: Fatemeh Keshavarz: Unsilencing the Sacred – Poetic Conversations with the Divine

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AAR's 2016 American Lectureship in the History of Religions was held by Iranian academic and poet Fatemeh Keshavarz, who at this session at the 2016 AAR Annual Meeting, delivers her capstone lecture.

Born and raised in the city of Shiraz, completed her studies in Shiraz University, and University of London. She taught at Washington University in St. Louis for over twenty years where she chaired the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from 2004 to 2011. In 2012, Keshavarz joined the University of Maryland as Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies, and director of Roshan Institute for Persian Studies. Keshavarz is the author of award-winning books including "Reading Mystical Lyric: the Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi" (USC Press, 1998), "Recite in the Name of the Red Rose" (USC Press, 2006), and "Jasmine and
Stars: Reading more than 'Lolita' in Tehran"(UNC Press, 2007). She has also published other books and numerous journal articles. Keshavarz is a published poet in Persian and English and an activist for peace and justice. She was invited to speak at the UN General Assembly on the significance of cultural education. Her NPR show “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” brought her the Peabody Award in 2008. In the same year, she received the Herschel Walker Peace and Justice Award.

Keshavarz is introduced by Louis A. Ruprecht (Georgia State University) followed by Ebrahim E. I. Moosa (University of Notre Dame).

This session was recorded during the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on November 20 in San Antonio, Texas.

Learn more about the American Lectures in the History of Religions at https://www.aarweb.org/programs-services/history-of-religions-lectures.
Jul 20 2017
1 hour 10 mins
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Rank #19: Writing Religion Online: Scholars and Journalists in Conversation (SBLAAR16)

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Over the past decade there has been an explosion of online religion writing. New publications continue to emerge and, with them, new kinds of writing and writers. There are more and more ways for scholars to share their expertise and knowledge with academic and popular audiences alike. At the same time, there are a growing number of journalists interested in covering religion well. Not only are these two fields growing, but they are starting to intersect and even blur. This conversation brings together scholars, journalists, and editors to talk about the present and future of online public writing about religion and to answer questions such as: “What does this work mean for the future of religious studies and for the thinking about religion beyond the academy?” and “How do we train scholars and journalists to get jobs and do them well?”

Panelists:
- Kali Handelman, Center for Religion and Media at New York University, presiding
- Brook Wilensky-Lanford, Killing the Buddha, Chapel Hill, NC
- Simran Jeet Singh, Trinity University
- Patrick Blanchfield, New York University

This discussion was recorded at the 2016 AAR Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX, on November 20.
Aug 24 2017
1 hour 29 mins
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Rank #20: Lena Salaymeh on Critiques and New Directions in Studying Islamic Legal Traditions

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Lena Salaymeh joins Religious Studies News to talk about her 2017 AAR award-winning book, "The Beginnings of Islamic Law: Late Antique Islamicate Legal Traditions."

Salaymeh is interviewed by Kristian Petersen. Her book won the 2017 Award for the Excellence in the Study of Religion in the textual studies category.
Apr 05 2018
24 mins
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