Word Clouds to Assess Learning

I really like the suggestion that Shayna Sheinfeld shared in a recent article, for using word clouds in a pre-test and then post-test in classes. If you ask students what they think, or think they know, about a topic, on the first day of class or the start of a new unity, and create a word [Read More…]

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The Skeptical Zoroastrian

Question: What do you call someone who doesn’t know whether two gods exist? Answer: A “diagnostic.”   HT Vance Socci for the joke. [Read more…]

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Do You Want To Know The Truth?

Hemant Mehta shared a really useful thought experiment/discussion starter, which deserves to circulate widely. It is inspired by a newspaper column by Robert Kirby, and takes the form of a simple question: if there was a button that you could push, which would tell you definitively whether there is a God, and more specifically, whether [Read More…]

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Methodological Atheism and Agnosticism in the Study of Religion

Academic study focuses on the world of cause and effect, on evidence and probability. And so there has been much discussion of methodological naturalism in the sciences, at least among those who are disgruntled by the fact that the sciences don’t make room for God or provide evidence for God. The same discussion can be [Read More…]

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Sabbatitude

Most of you will be aware that I was on sabbatical last semester. My department administrator used the term “sabbatitude” at some point early in the semester, and I liked the term, and so I thought I would use it in the title of this post, since every blogger who gets a sabbatical inevitably must [Read More…]

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#CFP: Encountering the Unexpected

The Religion Graduate Organization invites you to submit paper and panel proposals to the semi-annual Religion Graduate Conference, Encountering the Unexpected: Glitches, (Dis)placements, and Marginalia. This conference actively encourages interdisciplinary discussions about unexpected encounters in the field and in the archives. Specifically, this conference aims to explore surprise occurrences in academic work when ideas, texts, people, and [Read More…]

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Welcome to the Blogosphere, Josh!

My former student Josh Boeke has started a blog, and his first post tells a bit about his own personal faith journey away from fundamentalism. I get a brief mention on it, and on the one hand, it makes me really wish that he and I had had more of a chance to continue the [Read More…]

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Research in Religious Studies Conference #CFP

Jim Linville shared the poster above, which is a great opportunity for students  of religion at any level to present their research at an academic conference. And answering the question “What Would Jim Do?”, here’s an academic conference LOLcat to accompany the call for papers:     [Read more…]

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You Can Now Touch the Face of the Cosmos

Although it will be a few more months before it is out in print, the Kindle edition of Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion is now available. Take a look at the table of contents on Amazon's preview, if you aren't sure why I am so very [Read More…]

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Religion and Spaceflight

Paul Levinson recently shared the video above on his blog, which is a lecture explaining the rationale for the forthcoming book, Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion. This is the collection that my science fiction short story, “Biblical Literalism in the New Jerusalem,” will be published in. [Read More…]

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Faith and Skepticism

Paul Malan recently wrote an article about skepticism and conservative religious views thereof. Let me provide some samples of how it approaches things: Companies have learned that organic and natural say more about the mind of the consumer than they say about the product, and they sell more potato chips when they use words that make us feel good about [Read More…]

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