Monday, November 19, 2012

Skimming the surface of religious studies 2012!

So that was my AAR 2012. (I left early in order to make up classes missed at school due to Hurricane Sandy.) Highlights? Someone's describing his first year students' "naivete as their ally" - as when one inter-viewed a Mayan god through a shaman. Someone's tracing St. Cuthbert's ducks to a pagan silk robe placed in the saint's grave by a king. A Hegelian account of forgiveness. An argument that to resist the individualization of capitalist modernity we must recognize our neighbor as God - and as our enemy. A Sikh's account of his religion's emergence into the secular space of pluralism since the Wisconsin gurudwara shootings. An account of how the Hare Krishnas were prevented from singing at the Minnesota State Fair because they insisted on moving - couldn't they just rent a stand like everyone else? A queering of Avaloki-tesvara whose multi-morphic compassion could make him/her an inspiration to multiply marginalized people. Lining up two more fabulous contributors for our "Queer Christianities" volume. And of course that talk where someone said that Lessing took liberties with Leibniz, but they were Leibnizian liberties! There are 1200 panels in the conference so I didn't even scrape the surface of the surface. You get a sense of what else was going on in the book exhibits - above are pics of some that caught my fancy. (I didn't bother taking pictures of the legions of books on secularism and its others, on pop culture, and ethnographies of new religions and churches.) Don't ask me this time next year if I've read them all. No, actually, please do!

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