My most recent publication is now available to subscribers of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion. It's not exactly a real big deal, since it is only a short response to several other, much more substantive pieces, but it turned out to be hard to write and very interesting (for me) nonetheless. It's a discussion of the idea of "historicism" as an approach to the academic study of religion and it responds to two excellent articles by two very erudite colleagues of mine, Nancy Levene and Constance Furey. The online article can be found here (behind a paywall -- sorry). 


My teaching semester began about six weeks ago. This is the first semester I've started as an associate professor with tenure, which feels good. I'm teaching two sections of my institution's first-year liberal studies seminar, called the Common Intellectual Experience, and one section of a 300-level religious studies course called simply "Religion and Violence."

I've just finished writing two essays, both of which, if all goes well, should end up being published in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. One is a short piece on the concept of historicism in religious studies, a response to several other articles, and the other is a fairly broad essay on recently deceased theorist of religion Gary Lease. With those finished, or mostly finished anyhow, I have to catch up on a backlog of books to review. If for some reason you should be looking for my writings, I also have an article in a fairly recent (Nov. 2007) collection from Brill, edited by Randolph C. Head and Daniel Christensen, called  Orthodoxies and Heterodoxies in Early Modern German Culture: Order and Creativity 1550-1750. This one still seems new to me because I have yet to see a copy of it, oddly enough.

I'm including this information partly because I've been irritated lately at how hard it is to use the web to track down the work of academic writers I'm interested in. For example: I assign Scott Appleby's Ambivalence of the Sacred in my Religion and Violence class. I know there are a number of shorter, more recent, more topical pieces by Appleby around on the web -- transcribed lectures, short essays, etc. -- and I'd love to have my students read some of them. But if you do an ordinary Google search, you just find a milion websites selling his book. If he had a personal blog -- and, Scott, on the off-chance that you're reading this, don't take this as a complaint -- I'd be able to track down all the relevant work very easily. So, I'm going to start doing that myself, i.e., periodically posting updates on what I'm working on along with relevant links. Not that I can imagine that anyone's ever going to assign my work for a class, but, well, you know, whaever.

Have a nice day.


My publisher, Ashgate, sent me this promotional flyer for my book to distribute as I see fit. I'm putting it here mainly because I like the way it looks and it makes me feel a little more like a real author. Feel free to download it (PDF) and give it to all the librarians you happen to run across.

My book finally came out, about two weeks ago. It's a great relief to have it in hand, finally. It's the product of many, many years of work.

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