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On Scholars & Saints we'll explore some of the most pressing issues and cutting-edge methods in Mormon Studies, and put them in conversation with scholarship from the discipline of Religious Studies. You might be wondering, what is Mormon Studies? Mormon Studies refers to the broad interdisciplinary efforts of scholars both within and outside the Latter Day Saint tradition to understand the religion founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830. Mormonism includes well known branches like the The Chu ...
 
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It has long been assumed the Evangelical opposition to climate activism was rooted in apathy caused by pre-millennialism. Robin Veldman‘s research says otherwise and locates climate skepticism within the broader trope of “embattlement.” Rooted in religious discourses that began in the 1970s and in America’s Culture Wars, Evangelical discourse has w…
 
What is tantra? Why are some practices classified as tantric while others are not? How might we rethink this term and its application? To begin answer these questions, Dr. Ellen Gough (Emory University) joins Andie Alexander to discuss her forthcoming book, Making a Mantra: Tantric Ritual and Renunciation on the Jain Path to Liberation (University …
 
In this March 2021 episode of Discourse! we have a University of Sydney reunion with Professor Carole Cusack, Dr. Breann Fallon, and Ray Radford. Covering current affairs in Australia the Usyd team discuss three recent news items. The first item is framed around civil religion and nationalism: it’s the controversial upgrade of Australian Tennis Pla…
 
Dr. Ronit Y. Stahl is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California Berkeley. As a historian of modern America, Dr. Stahl focuses on pluralism in American society by examining how politics, law, and religion interact in spaces such as the military and medicine. Her first book, Enlisting Faith: How the Military Chaplaincy Shaped Rel…
 
What do Muslims, Mormons, and Satanists have in common? They’ve all been minoritized in America through accusations of sexual abuse says Megan Goodwin. Focusing on the idea of “contraceptive nationalism,” Goodwin argues that allegations and instances of sex abuse have been used as markers of religious difference to present some groups as a threat t…
 
On this episode of Scholars & Saints I’m chatting with Latter-day Saint philosopher Dr. Joseph Spencer about a book by Lebanese philosopher and poet Jad Hatem called Postponing Heaven: The Three Nephites, the Bodhisattva, and the Mahdi. Postponing is a comparative theological work drawing on the continental philosophical tradition that considers th…
 
In this episode, Richard McGregor discusses his new book, Islam and the Devotional Object: Seeing Religion in Egypt and Syria with Candace Mixon. Why do scholars of religion have such a variety of incomplete and messy tools to “follow the objects”? Find out with the curious stories of devotional objects from Cairo and Damascus. Two rationales inspi…
 
At the height of the Jim Crow era in Chicago, Noble Drew Ali founded the Moorish Science Temple of America. Using the language of Islam, he articulated a new religio-racial identity that subverted the racially oppressive lens of “negro” that had been used for decades as a powerful legal tool to subvert the rights of people of color after the Civil …
 
Environmental issues take center stage in this month’s episode of Discourse!, hosted by Michael Munnik with guests Suzanne Owen and Daniel Gorman Jr. How is the media covering the intersection of religion and the latest environmental issues? Listen and find out! First the groups speaks on some of the differences in major news publications and their…
 
Religious studies approaches to the environment have long privileged Western ecological frameworks. Anna Gade’s work, Muslim Environmentalisms reframes this area, both critiquing and building upon the tools of religious studies (RS) and environmental humanities (EH). Religious studies, for its part, has privileged Jewish and Christian understanding…
 
What is a myth? What might we mean by myth-making? What can an approach to how people make myths and tell stories in their everyday lives bring to the study of ‘religion’ and ‘non-religion’? And what might Gandalf and Captain Picard have to do with any of this? Joining Chris to discuss myth-making and its role among non-religious people, and climat…
 
Today on Scholars & Saints, we’re chatting with McKay Coppins, a Latter-day Saint journalist who has covered American politics for Newsweek, Buzzfeed, and The Atlantic for the past decade. In December 2020, Coppins wrote a long-form essay for The Atlantic called “The Most American Religion,” in which he probes questions about Mormonism’s relationsh…
 
Today on Scholars & Saints I’m chatting with Dr. Cristina Rosetti about a controversial new document making the rounds on Latter-day Saint social media called the Latter-day Saint Radical Orthodoxy manifesto. Today we’ll situate the manifesto within its broad historical context and compare it with similar groups among other Christian denominations.…
 
In the second part of our special episode on the Latter-day Saint Radical Orthodoxy Manifesto, I'm chatting with Dan Ellsworth, a signatory to the manifesto and a prominent writer and advocate within the Radical Orthodoxy community. This is part 2 of a 2-part special episode.Stephen Betts
 
In this January episode of our current events podcast, Discourse!, Savannah Finver speaks with Candace Mixon and Suzanne Newcombe as the team wrestles with the QAnon Shaman and the January 6th attack on the U.S. Presidential election certification, pandemic anti-vaccine misinformation campaigns, and growing evidence of the "conspirituality."…
 
On this episode of Scholars & Saints, we're chatting about Mormons and secularism. In his recent book Make Yourselves Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism, Peter Coviello argues that early Mormonism resisted the biopolitical disciplines of the secular nation-state, largely because of Joseph Smith's doctrine of human divi…
 
Today on Scholars and Saints we’re talking about the ways in which the American Frontier acted as a kind of religion of “Americanness” in 19th century America. We’ll talk about how Latter-day Saints fit into that American Frontier religion, and how they negotiated and contested the boundaries of Americanness and good religion in their encounters wi…
 
Today on Scholars & Saints, I’m chatting with Professor Ronit Stahl about the US military chaplaincy. During World War I, the unprecedented size of the US military, along with a mandatory draft meant that the military had to contend for the first time with large scale religious pluralism. Over the course of the twentieth century, the military chapl…
 
Today on Scholars & Saints, I’m chatting with Professor Stephen Taysom about former Latter-day Saint president Joseph F. Smith. The nephew of church founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., Joseph F. Smith witnessed many of the most striking events of early Mormonism from his childhood in Nauvoo, to his adolescence on the Midwestern plains, to the settlement of…
 
Today on Scholars & Saints, I’m chatting with Professor Michael MacKay of Brigham Young University and Dr. Mark Ashurst-McGee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Joseph Smith Papers Project about Joseph Smith and what he termed “translations” of ancient documents. In this episode we review essays by Ann Taves, Michael MacKay, Jared H…
 
In this episode, Breann Fallon talks to Dr. Kathleen McPhillips about her work on the Catholic Church and the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.The Religious Studies Project
 
This month's Discourse! - with Chris Cotter, Ray Kim, and Theo Wildcroft - kicks off with a festive twist on our now-traditional focus upon Covid-19 to discuss recent relaxations in restrictions in the UK, halal vaccinations, and much more.The Religious Studies Project
 
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