Fresh new perspectives on the study of religion, ranging from SoulCycle to Mark Twain
American Examples: New Conversations about Religion, Volume Two
, is the second in a series of annual anthologies produced by the American Examples workshop hosted by the Department of Religious Studies at The University of Alabama. In the latest volume from this dynamic academic project, nine scholars with diverse topics and methodologies vividly reimagine the meaning of all three words in the phrase “American religious history.” The essays use case studies from America, broadly conceived, to ask trenchant theoretical questions that are of interest to scholars and students beyond the subfield of American religious history.
Cody Musselman uses a Weberian analysis to explore questions of identity, authority, and authenticity in the world of SoulCycle while Zachary T. Smith finds commonality between the rhetoric and practices of scholarship and mixed martial arts. Erik Kline provides a new perspective on the psychedelic mysticism of the 1960s, and Brook Wilensky-Lanford takes stock of the cultural power of parody in Mark Twain’s last work of fiction. Christopher Cannon Jones examines the reciprocal relationship between religious texts and cultural contexts by comparing early Mormon missions to Hawai‘i and Jamaica and Lindsey Jackson explores what debates over circumcision can tell us about gender stereotypes and motherhood. Dana Lloyd uses the 1988 Supreme Court decision in Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association
as a case study in order to consider how Indigenous religion and sovereignty have been understood and adjudicated in the American legal system. Matt Sheedy studies the identity categories of “atheist” and “ex-Muslim” and Brad Stoddard uses ethnographic fieldwork to evaluate the role of religious pluralism in regulating and policing correctional institutions. Editors Samah Choudhury and Prea Persaud provide an introduction that reconsiders the trajectory of the American Examples project in light of the siege on the US Capitol in January 2021 and the continuing COVID pandemic.
for more information on upcoming workshop dates and future projects.
Michael J. Altman / Samah Choudhury / Lindsey Jackson / Christopher Cannon Jones / / Erik Kline / Dana Lloyd / Cody Musselman / Prea Persaud / Matt Sheedy / Zachary T. Smith / Brad Stoddard / Brook Wilensky-Lanford