Notes on: What is Religion?

Often, people don’t recognize how multifaceted the answers are to “what is religion?,” “what are the sources of theologies,” “what are the components of theologies?” Talking about Christianity, the Bible is often seen as the theological source. By recognizing how the associated histories and theologies, as well as how the Bible is far from the onlyContinue reading “Notes on: What is Religion?”

Retraction: Brains, Politics, and Essentialism

In three previous blogs (here, here, and here), I made statements I can no longer stand by. (I should have made this post a long time ago, but until a conversation in the past few weeks, I had forgotten I made these statements, and I got a bit too excited about the “easy” explanation. IContinue reading “Retraction: Brains, Politics, and Essentialism”

Presentism En Masse: Sex and Gender, Diction, and Historical Narratives

Earlier today while reading and reviewing an in-progress chapter for a friend, it occurred to me that we are all vastly guilty of a very specific kind of presentism. We’re so blind to this presentism that it goes almost completely unnoticed, and it happens without cognizance. I’m guilty, too. We much more readily reserve categoriesContinue reading “Presentism En Masse: Sex and Gender, Diction, and Historical Narratives”

Difference, Intelligence, and Life

Crows, scientists say, are as smart as the typical five-to-seven year-old. Any comment about the “intelligence” any kind of “life” has or does not have is immediately problematic–and human-centric. The more we learn about other forms of life, the more we realize how much more they know than previously acknowledged and how much more weContinue reading “Difference, Intelligence, and Life”

Notes on: “Social Construction”

As I have written numerous times, and as my students can attest, I am a proponent of seeing everything as a social construction. Such a position is easily misunderstood. I often hear: what do you mean that so-and-so is a social construction. There are different ways to look at this, but at its core, social constructions are productsContinue reading “Notes on: “Social Construction””

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Updated December 29, 2017 I will never apologize for supporting and defending students. I will also never apologize for challenging them and helping them think and work in ways and with greater intensity than they ever thought possible! My exact teaching philosophy varies according to the institution, the department, the course, the students, and evenContinue reading “Statement of Teaching Philosophy”

Bachmann: Archeology Proves the Bible is True

GOP politician Michele Bachmann recently commented: …You know the remarkable thing–when you read the Bible, every archeology find that’s ever come forward has only proved the authenticity of the Bible… Such a statement is both interesting and very problematic because Bachmann’s words are false, and because correctness is found much more in the exact opposite. ThatContinue reading “Bachmann: Archeology Proves the Bible is True”

Facts Exist on a Spectrum – Adventures Teaching Writing

Teaching First Year Writing this semester continues to be an exciting, interesting journey. A few nights ago, I was trying to decide how I wanted to address a lesson introducing the broad topic of facts, opinions, arguments, and related topics. My approach always involves both discussion and the philosophy. The lesson ended up being transformative for the students, according toContinue reading “Facts Exist on a Spectrum – Adventures Teaching Writing”