Category Archives: Dispatches

Too short to be essays, too long to be paragraphs, too composed to be notes

Getting Ready for World Religions

The small liberal arts university where I occasionally teach offers courses in “World Religions.” The discipline of Religious Studies questions the “world religions approach” these days, for good reasons, along with the very idea of “religion” as separate from things … Continue reading

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Currently Working On

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Cultural Symbolism, or Baking at Christmas

I have done some baking this Christmas, for the first time in at least a decade. I’m not entirely sure why I stopped baking at Christmas; it was probably some combination of busy-ness and overwhelm and the idea that we … Continue reading

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Seasons’ Greetings

Since my father died, I have tried to re-establish the practice of sending Christmas cards. It was a response to shame, as my personal initiatives often are. My dad sent Christmas cards, I realized when I cleaned out the house, … Continue reading

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Back from Jesus Camp

Watched Jesus Camp this morning in class, as an exercise in looking for some of the sociological effects of religion, like legitimation and authority, as well as the operation of authenticity claims. The movie raised controversy when it came out … Continue reading

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Prayer and the News About It

Our service for wholeness and reconciliation went on as scheduled last night at 6:15 p.m. EST.  I was a little surprised to learn from the news at 11 that it was our pastor’s idea – I know he didn’t say … Continue reading

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Prayer IS Something

 

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