religious studies – Helviti http://helviti.com/ Fri, 25 Mar 2022 21:09:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://helviti.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-1-1-120x120.png religious studies – Helviti http://helviti.com/ 32 32 Church and Vic – The Strand https://helviti.com/church-and-vic-the-strand/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 19:44:50 +0000 https://helviti.com/church-and-vic-the-strand/ When Canadian Methodists sought to establish a “Seminary of Learning” in 1830, they probably did not think their legacy would be a Toronto institution with coeducational residences and a secular education. Victoria University may no longer be a symbol of Methodist strength in Upper Canada, but its relationship with the Church over the past 186 […]]]>

When Canadian Methodists sought to establish a “Seminary of Learning” in 1830, they probably did not think their legacy would be a Toronto institution with coeducational residences and a secular education. Victoria University may no longer be a symbol of Methodist strength in Upper Canada, but its relationship with the Church over the past 186 years has been vibrant, To say the least.

In the British Empire at the start of the 19th century, religion was seen as a necessary companion to school learning. The question for Upper Canadian high schools was not if there would be a Christian teaching, but often which Christian teaching.

Canada’s intertwining with Christianity began with the voyages of Jacques Cartier and the establishment of New France in 1534. Cartier claimed an area of ​​land along the Gulf of St. Lawrence on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church of France, whom he sought to protect from the “wicked Lutherans, [and] apostates” – despite the land belonging to the Haudenosaunee Nation. Although Cartier was successful for a time, the colony finally collapsed in 1763, with the cession of New France to Great Britain.

The Church of England hoped to dominate the new territory. In 1791, the Crown reserved one-seventh of all public lands in Canada for Protestant clergy, but discovered a weakness in political popularity. Established French Catholics challenged English Protestants, as both groups dominated the country.

In the 1790s, a new player entered the game: United Empire Loyalists fleeing the United States came by the thousands to spread their gospel ways to the Canadian population. These Methodists hoped to prove themselves as a formidable group in the years before Confederation, gaining some popularity as the underdog.

A young Christian leader who was kicked out of his home at 18 for converting to Methodism had unwavering views on access to education; Egerton Ryerson criticizes clergy reserves, tuition fees, and Upper Canada’s decentralized education system. When the Methodist Conference was held in 1829 to discuss congregational plans, education was a top priority. The proposal for a Methodist seminary was drafted and tabled, but rejected by the Legislative Assembly and Council in an act of religious prejudice. Lieutenant Governor Colborne ruthlessly declared that “the system of education which has produced the best and ablest men in the United Kingdom will not be abandoned here to adapt to the limited views of the rulers of the societies, who do not may have neither experience nor judgment to appreciate the value or benefits of a liberal education.

Five years later, after an appeal to the British Crown and a trip to London, England by Ryerson, a charter was finally granted – the first charter given to a nonconformist body for an educational institution.

In 1836 Ryerson wrote to the officers of the Crown that “an institution whose chief object, as is plainly expressed, is the education of youth, of poor young men of religious character and promising talents, and young native Indians connected with Methodist congregations, should be placed substantially under the pastoral head of the Church. Ryerson’s obsession with the importance of Christianity in education led him to later play a role in Canada’s disastrous residential school system.

The Royal Charter of the Academy of Upper Canada boasted that “no religious test or qualification shall be required of, or appointed for, any person on admission as a student or scholar into the said Academy”. The newly created council provided for more equal admission of students – so long as they expressed a willingness to embrace Christian values.

It was a bold contrast to the sectarian model of Canadian education, which saw the founding of Bishop’s Anglican University in 1843, Presbyterian Queen’s College in 1841, Roman Catholic Regiopolis College in 1837 and Baptist Acadia College in 1839. Although Upper Canada Academy certainly joined the list as Canada’s Standard Methodist institution, its openness to applicants was unusual.

Although the academy’s willingness to accept native students and students of any Christian denomination was extremely progressive for its time, it was done, unsurprisingly, under the veil of indoctrination. The school was established by the Methodist Church with the aim of combining secular and religious studies, which they believed to be inseparable.

Similarly, female students were widely accepted in the school, with the 74 female student body of 1840 nearly equaling the 96 male. Although this policy was at the forefront of women’s education in Canada, it still existed within the framework of educational inequality and school segregation, food and housing – the latter two having existed in Vic until 1988 and 1995, respectively.

Vic’s transformation of Upper Canada Academy into Victoria College in 1841 saw little change in the religious model of the school until the addition of the Faculty of Theology in 1871. But this period also saw the revocation of the admission of female students, who had previously been welcomed from 1836 to 1841. Many clergymen believed that women should assume a traditional “housewife” role after attending high school, that post-secondary institutions should be for men only. Once Victoria became a degree-granting institution, it followed in the footsteps of other colleges of the day and excluded women from admission. This thirty-year stain was not reversed until the year theology was introduced as a faculty.

In 1903, Margaret Addison’s first year as Dean of Annesley Hall, the “…majority [of the students] were Methodists or Presbyterians, a sprinkle of Anglicans, Baptists and “others” stirred the mix; all professed some sort of religious belief, and for many it was the cornerstone of their lives. A proper religious lifestyle was essential for Addison and the administrators of Victoria College when establishing the first women’s residence hall in Canada; the sectarian views of the Church were reflected in Victoria’s principles and actions. Margaret Proctor Burwash, founding member of the Annesley Hall Building Committee, said: “The higher education of women brings a curse instead of a blessing unless it gives them a higher ideal of nobility and sanctity of their vocation as housewives. Burwash and Addison struggled against the progressive views of students on the one hand and the beliefs of authoritarian Methodist men on the other. During her tenure as dean (until 1931), Addison’s efforts to grant independence and responsibility to girls often met with opposition. Albert Carman, General Superintendent of the Methodist Church, heard from Chancellor Nathanael Burwash about the Dean’s ‘night watch keys’ for girls, students returning to their rooms after ‘after midnight’ entertainment, their ‘attendance to theaters and dances” and replied, “It is not Methodism: I fear it is aloof: it is not the way of sound discipline or sound and sure scholarship …” Margaret Addison’s desire to bend the rules and give more autonomy to the Victoria Women’s Student Union contributed to Mr and Mrs Burwash’s resignations from the school in 1913, as they faced the pressure from Methodist Church leaders like Carman.

It was not until Methodists joined with a group of Presbyterians and Congregationalists to form the United Church of Canada in 1925 that Vic saw drastic changes for his Methodist men. Disputes over the union of the Church and Presbyterian Knox College eventually led to the establishment of Emmanuel College in 1928, which formalized Victoria’s existing religious education into a separate institution. However, it would be naïve to say that this removed the Christian undertones from Victoria’s student life entirely.

Since its inception as a college, Vic has seen Christian values ​​and theological lectures mixed with students’ liberal arts studies, with many Victoria graduates entering the ministry themselves. Each of the early directors and presidents had been affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church in some capacity, and most of them had been ordained ministers. Even in the late 19th and 20th centuries, this student-minister-administrator pipeline held true for Samuel Nelles, Nathanael Burwash, Richard P. Bowles, Edward W. Wallace, and Northrop Frye. As recently as 1992 to 1998, Sang Chul Lee served as Chancellor of Victoria College. An advocate for oppressed groups in the Church, Lee served as the thirty-second Moderator of The United Church of Canada. Grace before meals, the celebration of exclusively Christian holidays, and the sentiment of faculty and students maintained institutional Christian ties through much of the 20th century.

Today, the influence of the United Church of Victoria is at its lowest. Emmanuel College now teaches a wide variety of theologies, ranging from Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, and Indigenous belief systems; fewer administrators than ever have ties to the United Church. In 2008, the United Church Archives were finally separated from the Victoria University Archives, which had been housed together since their origins. However, 13 of the 37 people appointed to the Board of Regents remain members of The United Church of Canada, and an annual grant of $200,000 from the Church has been given to Vic through 2019.

Although we may no longer share the same values ​​or perspectives as Albert Carman or Egerton Ryerson, Victoria’s story of adversity and religious significance offers a more holistic view of the Vic we know today. As Vic and Emmanuel alumnus, United Church minister, Principal and Chancellor Northrop Frye said, “Victoria has a legacy and that legacy is not buried treasure or a handed down secret, but an experience renewed by all who come into contact with him. ”

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Patriarch of Moscow stokes Orthodox tensions with remarks on war | Religion https://helviti.com/patriarch-of-moscow-stokes-orthodox-tensions-with-remarks-on-war-religion/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/patriarch-of-moscow-stokes-orthodox-tensions-with-remarks-on-war-religion/ Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, leader of Russia’s dominant religious group, has sent his strongest signal to justify his country’s invasion of Ukraine – describing the conflict as part of a struggle against sin and pressure liberal foreigners to hold “gay parades” as the price of admission into their ranks. Kirill, a longtime ally of Russian […]]]>

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, leader of Russia’s dominant religious group, has sent his strongest signal to justify his country’s invasion of Ukraine – describing the conflict as part of a struggle against sin and pressure liberal foreigners to hold “gay parades” as the price of admission into their ranks.

Kirill, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had previously refrained from criticizing the Russian invasion – alienating many members of Ukrainian Orthodox churches who had previously remained loyal to the Moscow Patriarch during a schism in their country. . Several of these former loyalists now snub Kirill in their public prayers, some demanding independence from the Moscow church even as their country’s political independence is in jeopardy.

Kirill, in a sermon delivered on Sunday before the start of Orthodox Lent, echoed Putin’s baseless claims that Ukraine was engaged in the “extermination” of Russian loyalists in Donbass, the breakaway region in eastern Ukraine held since 2014 by two Russian-backed separatist groups. Kirill focused almost all of his speech on the war on Donbass – not to mention Russia’s widespread invasion and bombardment of civilian targets.

Kirill described the war in spiritual terms on Sunday.

“We have entered into a struggle that has not a physical meaning, but a metaphysical one,” he said.

He claimed that some separatists in Donbass suffered from their “fundamental rejection of the so-called values ​​that are proposed today by those who claim world power”.

He claimed this unnamed global power poses a ‘test for the loyalty’ of countries by demanding they hold gay pride parades to join a global club of nations with its own ideas of freedom and ‘consumerism’. .

But many Orthodox Christians in Ukraine were appalled by Kirill’s stance on the war in Ukraine. The Patriarch of Moscow has claimed for centuries the ultimate loyalty of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, even though the latter has retained a large degree of autonomy. And many priests, monks and worshipers had remained loyal to Kirill even with the formation of a more nationalist Kyiv-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2018 and 2019.

The war shatters that loyalty for some, however.

Many bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have authorized their priests not to commemorate Patriarch Cyril in their prayers during public worship services – a symbolically important statement in the Orthodox tradition, which emphasizes the communion of the faithful with their divinely ordained hierarchy.

Since the start of the war, up to 15 dioceses of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine have allowed the patriarch’s name to be omitted, according to the Union of Orthodox Journalists, a news site providing generally positive information on the Church with a Muscovite tendency.

Rev. Mykola Danilevich, who has served as a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, confirmed on his Telegram account that “many of our priests have stopped commemorating the Patriarch of Moscow for worship services.”

“And the reason is obvious,” Danilech wrote on March 1, before Kirill’s final Sunday sermon. “The open treacherous invasion of Ukraine is a huge mistake by Russia. … People have not heard from the Patriarch a clear assessment of this war and his call to stop this madness.”

The clergy of at least two dioceses – Lviv and Volodymyr-Volynskaare – are calling for the independence of the Moscow church, according to their Facebook pages.

Many Ukrainian Orthodox are shocked that Kirill “condemned evil in the broadest terms but said nothing about the war let alone its initiation by Russia,” said Catherine Wanner, professor of history, d Anthropology and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

“In the violence, death and terror that overwhelms Ukraine right now, I don’t think anyone cares about specific jurisdictions,” said Wanner, whose studies focus on the region. “But it will be a radical change.”

The Reverend Cyril Hovorun, professor of ecclesiology, international relations and ecumenism at University College Stockholm, said Kirill’s latest comments showed him in a “golden cage”.

He said Kirill helped “provide the ideology” that Putin used to justify Russian hegemony over the region, and in return the church received strong support from the government.

“Even if he (Kirill) understands what is happening in Ukraine with the war, even if he wants to speak and call things by their proper name, he cannot,” said Hovorun, author of several books on the war. Orthodoxy in Ukraine. and beyond. “He’s a completely unfree character who must follow the official narrative faithfully.”

Archbishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States said Patriarch Kirill’s latest comments were “incomprehensible.”

“Regardless of our beliefs and whatever our position on social and moral issues, you cannot use this as a propaganda tool to justify the Russian invasion and the slaughter of innocent people,” he said.

Many Orthodox and other religious conservatives, including in Ukraine, share Kirill’s position on sexual ethics, said the Reverend John Burgess, a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and author of ‘Holy Rus’: The Rebirth of Orthodoxy in the New Russia”.

“But Ukrainians and Ukrainian Orthodox are under attack, suffering, fearing for the future of the nation,” Burgess said. “None of that is reflected in the sermon. If rockets fall on Kharkiv and Kiev, and the Patriarch starts talking about gay parades, it seems something is wrong here.

Burgess said the practice of refusing to commemorate a patriarch in prayer has precedents. Some Russian Orthodox priests suffered persecution under the communist regime for refusing to commemorate a patriarch whom they considered too compromising with the Bolshevik government.

Religious people who are currently walking away from Kirill could be “risking their future,” Burgess said.

“If President Putin and the Russians really win in Ukraine, what will happen to these bishops? he said. “They will be removed, or they will have to go into the basement.”

Associated Press religious coverage receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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Shannon Grimes, Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies, will deliver a Distinguished Faculty Lecture https://helviti.com/shannon-grimes-professor-of-religious-and-ethical-studies-will-deliver-a-distinguished-faculty-lecture/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 20:10:16 +0000 https://helviti.com/shannon-grimes-professor-of-religious-and-ethical-studies-will-deliver-a-distinguished-faculty-lecture/ Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies Shannon Grimes will deliver Meredith College’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 7 p.m. at Jones Auditorium. Seating will be limited in the Jones Auditorium and a live streaming option will be available. To visit infotogo.meredith.edu/convocation/faculty_lecture for details on participation options. The subject of the Distinguished Faculty […]]]>

Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies Shannon Grimes will deliver Meredith College’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 7 p.m. at Jones Auditorium.

Seating will be limited in the Jones Auditorium and a live streaming option will be available. To visit infotogo.meredith.edu/convocation/faculty_lecture for details on participation options.

The subject of the Distinguished Faculty Lecture is “Becoming Gold: Alchemy, Art and Religion in Roman Egypt.” Alchemy is generally considered a pseudo-science effort transmute lead into gold. In his lecture, Grimes will explore the origins of alchemy in Roman Egypt and uncover a richer and more complex picture of alchemy, which is rooted in the craft traditions of ancient Egyptian temples where the making of gold was associated with the making of gods.

She will discuss how the religious elements of alchemy arise from the production and “activation” of divine statues. These temple craft traditions were disrupted in Roman times due to the establishment of new trade networks in Egypt, and were further transformed as alchemical recipes were reinvented in Christian and Islamic contexts, but an alchemical connection between gold and God remained.

Grimes received his doctorate in religious studies from Syracuse University in 2006 and began teaching at Meredith College the same year. For several years, she served as chair of the Department of Religious and Ethical Studies. She has also won awards at Meredith College for her teaching and research. While Grimes teaches a wide range of courses – from biblical studies and world religions to environmental ethics – her main area of ​​expertise is religion. and philosophy in the Greco-Roman world. She is particularly interested in ancient visions of nature and the cosmos, and the links between science, magic and religion. She is the author of several articles on ancient alchemy and her first book, Becoming Gold: Zosimos of Panopolis and the Alchemical Arts in Roman Egyptwas published by Rubedo Press in 2018.

The Distinguished Faculty Lecture was designed to represent a significant research achievement by a Meredith faculty member. The first lecture was presented in 1964 by English teacher Norma Rose.

This event is free and open to the public. The conference counts as a general education academic/cultural event for Meredith students. The Distinguished Faculty Lecture is sponsored by the Meredith Convening Committee.

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‘The Chosen’ Director to Speak at Utah State University – Cache Valley Daily https://helviti.com/the-chosen-director-to-speak-at-utah-state-university-cache-valley-daily/ Wed, 02 Mar 2022 00:22:22 +0000 https://helviti.com/the-chosen-director-to-speak-at-utah-state-university-cache-valley-daily/ Dallas Jenkins on set while filming The Chosen. LOGAN – Utah State University will host Dallas Jenkins, creator and director of ‘The Chosen.’ The free event will take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall. Patrick Mason, Leonard J. Arrington Professor of Mormon History and Culture, will host a discussion with Jenkins […]]]>

Dallas Jenkins on set while filming The Chosen.

LOGAN – Utah State University will host Dallas Jenkins, creator and director of ‘The Chosen.’ The free event will take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall.

Patrick Mason, Leonard J. Arrington Professor of Mormon History and Culture, will host a discussion with Jenkins about how the free show that depicts the life of Jesus Christ became so popular. He said the event is a collaboration between the Arrington Lecture Series, the Religious Studies Program, and the Logan LDS Institute of Religion.

“It’s because of the impact of The Chosen,” Mason said. “The popularity he has had with all kinds of people in the state of Utah, Latter-day Saints and people of other faiths. In fact, some of the supporters of our religious studies program have asked us to bring Dallas Jenkins to campus as someone who crosses and bridges these traditional divides. We reached out to him and his people, and it worked. We are really excited.

“The Chosen” began airing in 2017 and released two out of seven planned seasons. It depicts New Testament stories through the lives of the characters involved. The show is hugely popular among evangelical, Latter-day Saint, and Catholic audiences, among others.

Mason said the series has been quite a brave undertaking, trying to put words in the mouths of Jesus, not to mention the apostles, Mary Magdalene and everyone around her. However, providing a take on some of the human interest stories was what appealed to viewers the most.

“The New Testament Gospels as originally written are meant to be human stories, especially the Gospels of Mark and Luke. They are full of great human stories that I sometimes think are loses sight, especially in the translation and things like that. In a lot of ways, I think with this series, Jenkins captured the spirit or the ethos of those early gospels as they were written.

Jenkins is expected to talk about the birth of “The Chosen” and how it is one of the biggest crowd-funded media projects to date. There will also be a Q&A section where members of the public can submit questions.

Mason said many religions often disagree with each other over their respective beliefs and understandings of Jesus Christ. However, Jenkins, who describes himself as an evangelical Christian raised by Baptists, partnered with a production company operated by Latter-day Saints to distribute “The Chosen” and bridged some of those religious divides.

“That’s one of the things we’re going to talk about, some of Jenkins’ misconceptions about Latter-day Saints that were cleared up while he was working alongside them to produce this series. He was actually criticized by some members of his own community because of this close partnership with the Latter-day Saints.This relationship has not always been warm between the two communities.

A large and diverse audience is expected for Wednesday evening’s event. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. It will also be streamed live on the event webpage.


will@cvradio.com





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What is religion anyway? https://helviti.com/what-is-religion-anyway/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 20:51:30 +0000 https://helviti.com/what-is-religion-anyway/ In 2013, the Disciples of the New Dawn began posting highly offensive memes on Facebook. They attacked everyone from pagans and steampunk fans to women who had C-sections. Tapping into fears about religious fundamentalism and the public’s obsession with ‘cults’, their vitriolic posts went viral. As the posts were shared with increasing frequency, some began […]]]>

In 2013, the Disciples of the New Dawn began posting highly offensive memes on Facebook. They attacked everyone from pagans and steampunk fans to women who had C-sections.

Tapping into fears about religious fundamentalism and the public’s obsession with ‘cults’, their vitriolic posts went viral.

As the posts were shared with increasing frequency, some began to question whether Disciples of the New Dawn was a genuine religious community or just a cabal of internet trolls driving us to digital outrage (it’s turns out it was them).

When I teach religious studies classes, I like to use the case of the New Dawn Disciples as an opportunity for students to grapple with the concept of religion itself. This leads them to think about questions such as: what makes a religion real? Or, what makes a religion “religious”?

Although we may feel like “we know religion when we see it”, we generally struggle to be exact when it comes to determining what counts as religion. Even if we have a vague idea, defining religion is like pinning jelly on a wall.

Which makes things difficult. For, before we can delve into the subject of religion, we must first define the object of our study.

So what is this thing we call “religion” anyway?

How we defined “religion”.

Many scholars, saints, and scholars have attempted to define religion. Although interpretations vary in style and substance, sociologist Peter Berger has identified two general types: substantive and functionalist.

In short, substantive definitions attempt to define what religion is. Functionalist definitions attempt to describe what religion does.

Here are some examples of substantive definitions:

  • Religion is “belief in spiritual things”. — EB Tylor
  • “Religion is what develops and expresses the experience of the numinous in its various aspects.” -Rodolphe Otto
  • “Religion is the recognition that all things are manifestations of a power that transcends our knowing.” —Herbert Spencer

Here is a sample of functionalist definitions:

  • Religion is “eminently social” because “religious representations are collective representations that express collective realities”. – Émile Durkheim
  • “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature…a protest against real suffering…it is the opium of the people…the illusory sun which revolves around man until he evolves not around itself.” -Karl Marx
  • “…something does religious work if it is engaged in negotiating what it is to be human.” —David Chidester
  • “Religion is anything that gets you through the night.” -Frank Sinatra

Others have defined religion from the perspective of anthropology, feminism, philosophy, and other disciplines. This led to definitions of religion as follows:

  • a “cultural system” (Clifford Geertz)
  • a category of family resemblances (Ninian Smart)
  • “categories of the masculine symbolism” (Grace Jantzen)
  • confluences of flows “that intensify joy and confront suffering” (Thomas Tweed)
  • “a cognitive act of creative and accurate memory” (Pamela Sue Anderson)
  • “a technology to interrogate human experiences and the boundaries between people and other things” (Anthony Pinn)
  • a vital reality of human “desire” (bell hooks)
  • “an ever-changing ecosystem of objects” (S. Brent Plate)
  • “Vestigial states” competing with nations for the allegiance of peoples (Naomi Goldenberg)

And that’s just to name a few!

In the end, no definition pleases everyone. No definition does all the work required of it. As American Studies scholar Thomas Tweed has said, “No constituent disciplinary term is elastic enough to do all the work that academics ask of it.”

But that doesn’t mean we give up the effort.

Instead, Tweed wrote, “we should continually refine and revise our understanding…for different purposes and in different contexts.” In other words, the definition of religion abounds!

Religion, religions, religious.

Examining this abundance of definitions, scholar Jonathan Z. Smith quickly concluded that religion is not a universal or consistently applied term.

Because it’s often white, European, and Christian-influenced guys who define it, it’s important to note that many cultures don’t have an equivalent concept.

For example, among Hindu traditions, there is no parallel for the word “religion”. Instead, practitioners prefer the concept of santana dharma (cosmic order or eternal obligation). Likewise, in Japan, there was no comparable word for “religion” or concept corresponding to its Western meaning prior to colonial contact.

This is why many now agree that religion is not even a thing in itself, but a concept of our own creation.

This conclusion does not render the whole enterprise of studying religion worthless. Instead, Smith and others encouraged students of religion to turn away from studying religions per se to study how people talk about religion. Or, study what counts as “religion” in the first place.

Study religion as a human creation.

What makes religious studies essential is not that it studies the “sacred” or anything particularly set apart or special (it is the work of disciplines like “theology”).

Alternatively, the study of religion leads us to pay attention to how humans use the concept of “holy” to make sense of the world around them and their place in it.

The why of the study of religion does not change. Religion remains interesting, complex and important. We just need to change what we study and how we are going to make sense of it.

As we embark on this “What You Missed Without a Religion Class” journey, we’ll talk about a lot of things we consider “religious,” but with a twist. Instead of treating these things as taboo, sacred or sacrosanct, we will study religious rituals, beliefs and objects as deeply human creations.

This means that instead of trying to reach the hidden, inner or mystical life of religious actors, our task is to study the external and the observable. Although this approach does not exclude the possibility of the numinous, it definitely does not try to prove, approve or criticize it. Heck, he doesn’t even try to figure it out or define it.

So we suspend [or bracket] our judgment and proceed to study beliefs, practices or objects as if they were simply the product of our own making. The same goes for our definition of “religion” itself.

In my next article, we’ll start doing just that, exploring the practice of ritual fasting in multiple traditions.

Further reading:

  • “The Invention of World Religions” by Tomoko Masuzawa
  • “Before Religion” by Brent Nongbri
  • “The Invention of Religion in Japan” by Jason Ananda Josephson Storm
  • “Consuming Religion” by Kathryn Lofton
  • “Interaction of Things” by Anthony B. Pinn
  • “Religion as Vestigial States”, by Naomi Goldenberg
  • “What is Religion? Debating the Academic Study of Religion”, ed. by Aaron Hughes and Russell T. McCutcheon
  • “Religion, Religions, Religious,” by Jonathan Z. Smith

Want an answer to your questions about religion? Connect with Ken on Twitter: @kchitwood.

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Lawyer and religious leader inaugurating the lecture series | News, Sports, Jobs https://helviti.com/lawyer-and-religious-leader-inaugurating-the-lecture-series-news-sports-jobs/ Wed, 23 Feb 2022 05:17:55 +0000 https://helviti.com/lawyer-and-religious-leader-inaugurating-the-lecture-series-news-sports-jobs/ ELKINS — Davis & Elkins College will open its Spring Lecture Series on Thursday, sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy. Allyson McKinney Timm, founder and executive director of Justice Revival in Washington, DC, will be the guest speaker for the 7 p.m. event at the Myles Center for the […]]]>

ELKINS — Davis & Elkins College will open its Spring Lecture Series on Thursday, sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy.

Allyson McKinney Timm, founder and executive director of Justice Revival in Washington, DC, will be the guest speaker for the 7 p.m. event at the Myles Center for the Arts.

In his lecture entitled “Reconciling religion and human rights? The experience of a lawyer grappling with lingering tensions over gender equality,” Timm will explore the complex relationship between religion and human rights and, in particular, the ongoing tensions over the issue of gender equality.

“D&E is very fortunate to have a leading human rights lawyer and faith leader joining us as we begin the Center’s spring presentations on democracy and faith,” said Dr. Bryan Wagoner, associate professor of religious studies and philosophy and director of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy. “Allyson is a national thought leader who will help our community reflect on women’s rights as human rights and the complex connections between rights discourse and matters of faith.

A human rights lawyer, scholar, and religious leader, Timm has two decades of experience advocating for the dignity and rights of people on the margins, in the United States and around the world. His work promoting justice and equality has spanned the non-profit, private and academic sectors. After founding Justice Revival in 2017, she was named “one of ten religious leaders to watch” by the Center for American Progress the following year. His writing has appeared in Sojourners, California Lawyer, The Independent, USA Today, Yale Divinity School’s Reflections magazine, and others.

As a Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights at Yale Law School, Timm taught and supervised students at the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, investigating and analyzing issues such as child and forced marriage. , human trafficking, religious freedom. and the human rights to education and housing.

Timm also created and led the Uganda Field Office of the International Justice Mission, an organization that launched a successful program to defend the property and inheritance rights of vulnerable widows and orphans.

Prior to joining IJM, Timm was a litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins LLP, where she contributed to a team that successfully advocated for the reform of unlawful conditions in California’s juvenile prison system. She worked on a first civil action to combat human trafficking and served as a volunteer in a trial team with the Office of the Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Over the years, she has worked on several projects dealing with constitutional law, justice and peacebuilding issues in what is now South Sudan.

Timm holds professional degrees in law and business from Georgetown University and a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. She is ordained a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and will be teaching adult education and preaching at Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church on Sunday, February 27.

Timm’s lecture is the first in a series sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy this spring that focuses on the themes of democracy and faith. All are free and open to the public. Mandatory masks and social distancing.

For more information, email Wagoner at wagonerb@dewv.edu.



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Is Bitcoin a religion? What the answer reveals about humanity https://helviti.com/is-bitcoin-a-religion-what-the-answer-reveals-about-humanity/ Sun, 20 Feb 2022 21:00:25 +0000 https://helviti.com/is-bitcoin-a-religion-what-the-answer-reveals-about-humanity/ Read enough about bitcoin, and you will inevitably come across people who refer to cryptocurrency as a religion. Bloomberg’s Lorcan Roche Kelly called Bitcoin “the first true religion of the 21st century.” Bitcoin proponent Hass McCook called himself “The Friar” and wrote a series of Medium articles comparing Bitcoin to a religion. There is a […]]]>

Read enough about bitcoin, and you will inevitably come across people who refer to cryptocurrency as a religion.

Bloomberg’s Lorcan Roche Kelly called Bitcoin “the first true religion of the 21st century.” Bitcoin proponent Hass McCook called himself “The Friar” and wrote a series of Medium articles comparing Bitcoin to a religion. There is a Church of Bitcoin, founded in 2017, that explicitly calls legendary Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto its “prophet.”

In Austin, Texas, there are billboards with slogans like “Crypto Is Real” that eerily mirror the ubiquitous Jesus billboards found on Texas highways. Like many religions, Bitcoin even has dietary restrictions associated with it.

The dirty secret of religion

Does the fact that Bitcoin has prophets, evangelists and dietary laws make it a religion or not?

As a specialist in religion, I think this is the wrong question to ask.

The dirty secret of religious studies is that there is no universal definition of what religion is. Traditions such as Christianity, Islam and Buddhism certainly exist and have similarities, but the idea that these are all examples of religion is relatively new.

The word “religion” as it is used today – a loose category that includes certain cultural ideas and practices related to God, the afterlife, or morality – first appeared in Europe around the 16th century. Before that, many Europeans understood that there were only three types of people in the world: Christians, Jews and Gentiles.

This pattern changed after the Protestant Reformation when a long series of wars broke out between Catholics and Protestants. These became known as the “religious wars”, and religion became a way of talking about the differences between Christians. At the same time, Europeans encountered other cultures through exploration and colonialism. Some of the traditions they encountered shared some similarities with Christianity and were also considered religions.

Non-European languages ​​have historically had no direct equivalent to the word “religion”. What counted as religion has changed over the centuries, and there are always political interests at play in determining whether or not something is a religion.

As scholar of religion Russell McCutcheon argues, “So the interesting thing to study is not what religion is or is not, but the process of ‘making’ itself – that this activity of fabrication takes place in a courtroom or whether it is a claim made by a group about their own behaviors and institutions.

Critics point to irrationality

With that in mind, why would anyone claim that Bitcoin is a religion?

Some commentators seem to be making this claim to steer investors away from Bitcoin. Emerging markets fund manager Mark Mobius, in an attempt to dampen cryptocurrency enthusiasm, said “crypto is a religion, not an investment.”

His statement, however, is an example of the fallacy of false dichotomy, or the assumption that if something is one thing, it cannot be another. There’s no reason why religion shouldn’t also be an investment, a political system or just about anything else.

Mobius’ point, however, is that “religion”, like cryptocurrency, is irrational. This criticism of religion has existed since the Enlightenment, when Voltaire wrote: “Nothing can be more contrary to religion and to the clergy than reason and common sense”.

In this case, calling Bitcoin a “religion” suggests that bitcoin investors are bigots and don’t make rational choices.

Bitcoin as good and healthy

On the other hand, some Bitcoin proponents have leaned into the religion label. McCook’s articles use the language of religion to highlight certain aspects of Bitcoin culture and normalize them.

For example, “stacking sats” — the practice of regularly buying small fractions of bitcoins — sounds weird. But McCook calls this practice a religious ritual, and more specifically, “tithing.” Many churches practice tithing, in which members make regular donations to support their church. So this comparison makes seated stacking more familiar.

While for some people religion may be associated with the irrational, it is also associated with what religious scholar Doug Cowan calls “good, moral, decent error.” In other words, some people often assume that if something is really a religion, it must represent something good. People who “stack the sats” can seem weird. But people who “tithe” can seem wholesome and principled.

Using religion as a framework

For scholars of religion, categorizing something as a religion can open up new insights.

As a scholar of religion, JZ Smith writes: “’Religion’ is not an indigenous term; it is created by scholars for intellectual purposes and therefore it is up to them to define it. For Smith, categorizing certain cultural traditions or institutions as religions creates a comparative framework that will hopefully lead to new understanding.

With that in mind, comparing Bitcoin to a tradition like Christianity can make people notice things they haven’t noticed before.

For example, many religions were founded by charismatic leaders. Charismatic authority does not come from government office or tradition, but only from the relationship between a leader and his followers.

Charismatic leaders are considered by their followers to be superhuman or at least extraordinary. Because this relationship is precarious, leaders often remain distant to prevent their followers from viewing them as ordinary human beings.

Several commentators have noted that the inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, looks like something of a prophet. Nakamoto’s true identity – or if Nakamoto is actually a team of people – remains a mystery. But the intrigue around this character is a source of charisma with consequences on the economic value of bitcoin. Many of those who invest in bitcoin do so partly because they consider Nakamoto to be a genius and an economic rebel. In Budapest, artists have even erected a bronze statue in homage to Nakamoto.

There is also a connection between Bitcoin and millenarianism, or the belief in an upcoming collective salvation for a select group of people.

In Christianity, millennial expectations involve the return of Jesus and the final judgment of the living and the dead. Some Bitcoiners believe in an inevitable coming “hyperbitcoinization” in which bitcoin will be the only valid currency. When this happens, the “Bitcoin believers” who have invested will be vindicated, while the “non-moneymakers” who have shunned cryptocurrency will lose everything.

A path to salvation

Finally, some Bitcoiners view Bitcoin not just as a way to make money, but as the answer to all of humanity’s problems.

“Because the root cause of all our problems is basically money printing and the resulting misallocation of capital,” McCook asserts, “the only way to save the whales, or the trees are going to be saved, or the the children are going to be saved is if we just stop the degeneration.

This attitude may be the most significant point of comparison with religious traditions. In his book “God Is Not One,” religion professor Stephen Prothero highlights the distinctiveness of the world’s religions using a four-point model, in which each tradition identifies a unique problem with the human condition, proposes a solution, offers specific practices to reach the solution, and highlights examples to model this path.

This model can be applied to Bitcoin: the problem is fiat currency, the solution is Bitcoin, and the practices consist of encouraging others to invest, “piling sats” and “hodling” – refusing to sell bitcoins to maintain his value. Examples include Satoshi and other figures involved in the creation of blockchain technology.

So does this comparison prove that Bitcoin is a religion?

Not necessarily, because theologians, sociologists, and legal theorists have many different definitions of religion, all of which are more or less useful depending on how the definition is used.

However, this comparison can help people understand why Bitcoin has become so attractive to so many people, in a way that would not be possible if Bitcoin were approached as a purely economic phenomenon.

This article was originally published on The conversation by Joseph P. Laycock at Texas State University. Read the original article here.

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CCH teacher receives Catholic Education Award https://helviti.com/cch-teacher-receives-catholic-education-award/ Sat, 19 Feb 2022 11:12:13 +0000 https://helviti.com/cch-teacher-receives-catholic-education-award/ By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – Lethbridge Herald on February 19, 2022. Lance Rosen LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com A teacher from Catholic Central High School has been selected as the recipient of the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta (CCSSA) Excellence in Catholic Education Award for 2021-2022.Lance Rosen has been with HCC for four years, teaching welding and […]]]>

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – Lethbridge Herald on February 19, 2022.

Lance Rosen

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

A teacher from Catholic Central High School has been selected as the recipient of the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta (CCSSA) Excellence in Catholic Education Award for 2021-2022.
Lance Rosen has been with HCC for four years, teaching welding and religious education.
“I was very completely surprised and very honored to receive this award,” Rosen said.
The award recognizes Catholic educators in Alberta who are passionate about Catholic education and the students they teach, inspire their students, and demonstrate a commitment to Catholic education and teaching excellence.
Rosen said he was just grateful to be recognized because he doesn’t consider his practice to be any more exemplary than his colleagues.
“I work with amazing people and it was truly an honor to be recognized for something that I try to do in my daily life,” Rosen said.
He said he was mostly surprised because he has been teaching for such a short time compared to some of his colleagues.
“It was such an honor to be considered among some of these giants that I work with,” Rosen said.
He said he really enjoys teaching at CCH because he gets the best of both worlds. He shares his faith with these students through his religious studies and in his welding course he teaches his students practical skills that will help them in their future.
“In my welding classes, it’s been a blessing, because we have students coming in who have no idea what they’re going to do in the future, and they’ve tried welding classes and it has inspired some to pursue this as a career,” Rosen said.
He said it was very cool to expose the students to possible career paths, if they choose this trajectory, their life is changed by these opportunities that the school gives them.
“It’s really appropriate for me and I love it so much, to have that balance, to talk about my faith, Catholicism, but I also love, you know, being in the trades and interacting with both types of people. ‘students,’ Rosen said.
He said he did automotive technology and welding and got involved in youth ministry in Medicine Hat and then went into education. He started at Medicine Hat College and after his freshman year, he transferred to the University of Lethbridge and completed his degree in Education.
“I’m just very grateful to be recognized in this way. It just means a lot to me because it’s a big reason I became a teacher, and being recognized for it just means a lot. It lets me know that I’m on the right track with things,” Rosen said.

To follow @APulidoHerald on Twitter

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Butler Delivers Annual Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice | News https://helviti.com/butler-delivers-annual-greeley-lecture-for-peace-and-social-justice-news/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 05:42:06 +0000 https://helviti.com/butler-delivers-annual-greeley-lecture-for-peace-and-social-justice-news/ Anthea D. Butler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered the Harvard Divinity School’s Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice last Thursday. The Greeley Lecture, an annual event hosted by the Divinity School, examined the relationship between race, religion and nationalism around the world over the past five years. Butler, chairman of Penn’s […]]]>

Anthea D. Butler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered the Harvard Divinity School’s Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice last Thursday.

The Greeley Lecture, an annual event hosted by the Divinity School, examined the relationship between race, religion and nationalism around the world over the past five years.

Butler, chairman of Penn’s Department of Religious Studies, focused on transforming evangelicalism in the United States into a movement associated with politics and nationalism.

The discussion was moderated by Charles M. Stang ’97, director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at the Divinity School.

Butler described C. Peter Wagner, an influential author and religious leader, as a key figure in the evolution of evangelicalism. Wagner founded the New Apostolic Reformation, a movement that began in the 1990s and quickly grew to attract politicians including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

“That kind of belief system started to infuse the kind of things that we see in people involved in the white Christian nationalist movement and also in people who were there during the 1/6 insurrection,” Butler said. .

This movement, Butler argued, also gave rise to para-church political groups such as the organization that prayed at Houston’s Reliant Stadium for Rick Perry in 2011. However, members of these groups began to be linked by more than just religion, she said.

“These kinds of meetings bring together a disparate group of people who are not only Christian believers, but also political actors,” Butler said.

In recent years, the share of Americans who identify as evangelical has grown, Butler said — a phenomenon she attributed in part to the growth of “NASCAR Christians,” a term she coined for people who have Christian beliefs but do not attend church regularly.

“My feeling is that these are the people who are identified as evangelical Protestants now, because they see something that embraces both their religious beliefs and their political beliefs, and your nationalist beliefs that Donald Trump identified with,” she said.

With complex factors such as the interweaving of religion and politics, the redefinition of evangelicalism, and the interplay between nationalism and race, Butler said there is a need to re-examine evangelicalism with a sociological definition. and cultural.

“If you talk about evangelism as just a theological movement, you miss the point,” she said. “It’s not that anymore.”

—Writer Kenneth Gu can be reached at kenneth.gu@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @kennygu8.

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Why do people call Bitcoin a religion? https://helviti.com/why-do-people-call-bitcoin-a-religion/ Mon, 07 Feb 2022 16:34:28 +0000 https://helviti.com/why-do-people-call-bitcoin-a-religion/ (The Conversation) – Read enough about Bitcoin, and you will inevitably come across people who refer to cryptocurrency as a religion. In Austin, Texas, there are billboards with slogans like “Crypto Is Real” that eerily mirror the ubiquitous Jesus billboards found on Texas highways. Like many religions, Bitcoin even has dietary restrictions associated with it. […]]]>

(The Conversation) – Read enough about Bitcoin, and you will inevitably come across people who refer to cryptocurrency as a religion.

In Austin, Texas, there are billboards with slogans like “Crypto Is Real” that eerily mirror the ubiquitous Jesus billboards found on Texas highways. Like many religions, Bitcoin even has dietary restrictions associated with it.

The dirty secret of religion

So does the fact that Bitcoin has prophets, evangelists, and dietary laws make it a religion or not?

As a specialist in religion, I think this is the wrong question to ask.

The dirty secret of religious studies is that there is no universal definition of what religion is. Traditions such as Christianity, Islam and Buddhism certainly exist and have similarities, but the idea that these are all examples of religion is relatively new.

The word “religion” as it is used today – a loose category that includes certain cultural ideas and practices related to God, the afterlife, or morality – first appeared in Europe around the 16th century. Before that, many Europeans understood that there were only three types of people in the world: Christians, Jews and Gentiles.

This pattern changed after the Protestant Reformation when a long series of wars broke out between Catholics and Protestants. These became known as the “religious wars”, and religion became a way of talking about the differences between Christians. At the same time, Europeans encountered other cultures through exploration and colonialism. Some of the traditions they encountered shared some similarities with Christianity and were also considered religions.

Non-European languages ​​have historically had no direct equivalent to the word “religion”. What counted as religion has changed over the centuries, and there are always political interests at play in determining whether or not something is a religion.

As scholar of religion Russell McCutcheon argues, “So the interesting thing to study is not what religion is or is not, but the process of ‘making’ itself – that this activity of fabrication takes place in a courtroom or whether it is a claim made by a group about their own behaviors and institutions.

Critics point to irrationality

With that in mind, why would anyone claim that Bitcoin is a religion?

Some commentators seem to be making this claim to steer investors away from Bitcoin. Emerging markets fund manager Mark Mobius, in an attempt to dampen cryptocurrency enthusiasm, said “crypto is a religion, not an investment.”

His statement, however, is an example of the fallacy of false dichotomy, or the assumption that if something is one thing, it cannot be another. There’s no reason why a religion shouldn’t also be an investment, a political system or just about anything else.

Mobius’ point, however, is that “religion”, like cryptocurrency, is irrational. This criticism of religion has existed since the Enlightenment, when Voltaire wrote: “Nothing can be more contrary to religion and to the clergy than reason and common sense”.

In this case, calling Bitcoin a “religion” suggests that bitcoin investors are bigots and don’t make rational choices.

Bitcoin as good and healthy

On the other hand, some Bitcoin proponents have leaned into the religion label. McCook’s articles use the language of religion to highlight certain aspects of Bitcoin culture and normalize them.

For example, “stacking sats” — the practice of regularly buying small fractions of bitcoins — sounds weird. But McCook calls this practice a religious ritual, and more specifically, “tithing.” Many churches practice tithing, in which members make regular donations to support their church. So this comparison makes seated stacking more familiar.

While for some people religion may be associated with the irrational, it is also associated with what religious scholar Doug Cowan calls “good, moral, decent error.” In other words, some people often assume that if something is really a religion, it must represent something good. People who “stack the sats” can seem weird. But people who “tithe” can seem wholesome and principled.

Associating Bitcoin with religion could add a sliver of morality. Takoyaki Tech/Getty Images

Using religion as a framework

For scholars of religion, categorizing something as a religion can open up new insights.

As religious scholar JZ Smith writes, “’Religion’ is not an indigenous term; it is created by scholars for intellectual purposes and therefore it is up to them to define it. For Smith, categorizing certain traditions or cultural institutions as religions creates a comparative framework that will hopefully lead to new understanding. With that in mind, comparing Bitcoin to a tradition like Christianity can make people notice things they haven’t noticed before.

For example, many religions were founded by charismatic leaders. Charismatic authority does not come from government office or tradition, but only from the relationship between a leader and his followers. Charismatic leaders are considered by their followers to be superhuman or at least extraordinary. Because this relationship is precarious, leaders often remain distant to prevent their followers from viewing them as ordinary human beings.

Several commentators have noted that the inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, looks like something of a prophet. Nakamoto’s true identity – or if Nakamoto is actually a team of people – remains a mystery. But the intrigue around this character is a source of charisma with consequences on the economic value of bitcoin. Many of those who invest in bitcoin do so in part because they consider Nakamoto to be a genius and an economic rebel. In Budapest, artists have even erected a bronze statue in homage to Nakamoto.

Golden-faced bust wearing a hoodie.

A bust of Satoshi Nakamoto in Budapest, Hungary. Fekiste/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

There is also a connection between Bitcoin and millenarianism, or the belief in an upcoming collective salvation for a select group of people.

In Christianity, millennial expectations involve the return of Jesus and the final judgment of the living and the dead. Some Bitcoiners believe in an inevitable coming “hyperbitcoinization” in which bitcoin will be the only valid currency. When this happens, the “Bitcoin believers” who have invested will be vindicated, while the “non-moneymakers” who have shunned cryptocurrency will lose everything.

A path to salvation

Finally, some Bitcoiners see bitcoin not just as a way to make money, but as the answer to all of humanity’s problems.

“Because the root cause of all our problems is basically money printing and the resulting misallocation of capital,” McCook asserts, “the only way to save the whales, or the trees are going to be saved, or the the children are going to be saved is if we just stop the degeneration.

This attitude may be the most significant point of comparison with religious traditions. In his book “God Is Not One,” religion professor Stephen Prothero highlights the distinctiveness of the world’s religions using a four-point model, in which each tradition identifies a unique problem with the human condition, proposes a solution, proposes specific practices to reach the solution and highlights examples to model this path.

This model can be applied to bitcoin: the problem is fiat currency, the solution is bitcoin, and the practices are to encourage others to invest, “pile sats” and “hodling” – refusing to sell bitcoin for maintain its value. Examples include Satoshi and other figures involved in the creation of blockchain technology.

So does this comparison prove that Bitcoin is a religion?

Not necessarily, because theologians, sociologists, and legal theorists have many different definitions of religion, all of which are more or less useful depending on how the definition is used.

However, this comparison can help people understand why Bitcoin has become so attractive to so many people, in a way that would not be possible if Bitcoin were approached as a purely economic phenomenon.

(Joseph P. Laycock is an assistant professor of religious studies at Texas State University. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

The conversation

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