To post this on here, considering this here weblog was begun, originally, to document my academic career.
Comparative Religion Written Examination
Student Major Paper: Authority Among the Good: An Examination of Authority in Conflicts Between ‘Orthodox’ And ‘Heterodox’ Religious Groups (Proto-Orthodox Christians, Medieval Cathars and Post-VII American Traditionalist Catholics)
Student Minor Paper: Communion and Exclusion: Consideration of the Mass as Sacrifice in Explanations of American Traditionalist Resistance to Post VII Liturgical Reform
Questions for MA exam
When compared and contrasted with some other religious traditions, Christianity has often been characterized as placing most of the emphasis on ideas rather than practice in its fundamental self-definition, on “orthodoxy” rather than “orthopraxy.” Is that a useful generalization or a problematic one? Imagine that you are sketching out your lecture addressing this question, as one unit within your upper-level undergraduate course on “Fundamental Issues in the Study of Christianity.” What would be your main points? What 2 or 3 or 4 examples from primary sources would you certainly want to include among the students’ readings for this lecture, and why? Be sure to mention at least a couple of the most important scholarly articles or books that would also be read for this unit, and give some indication of their pertinence.
Field: Religion and Culture
Discuss the central differences between learned and popular witch beliefs in Europe. Your essay should consider the distinct origins and context of these levels of belief, as well as specific regional examples of how the belief systems interacted during the witch trials of the 15-17th centuries.
Field: ‘Theory and Method’ Offer a working definition of ‘religion’. Defend your definition by explaining how it responds both descriptively and analytically to the needs of a field like ‘comparative religions’ in the contemporary academic world of interdisciplinary scholarship and engagement. How might you understand it in relation to definitions of religion put forward by Durkheim, Geertz, Bataille, Girard and Godelier? (Address at least 3 of these scholars in your response.)