The Life of an Academic: Let’s Talk Religious Texts

Firstly, I am repenting for the lack of my blogging in the last week, I have no real excuse except that I got busy, and a little bit lazy. But now I’m back! And ready to talk about books.

Last time I checked in, I was starting Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow and I must say, I haven’t made much progress. Classes have started and, being an English major, it’s not easy to keep up with the constant readings AND trying to read for pleasure. So, for now I have abandoned Andrew’s Brain for the academic readings. Specifically, I’ve been reading Globalization and Fundamentalism for one of my Sociology classes.

So far the text is heavy, as most academic books tend to be, but the topics are incredible. The main discussions we tackle are religious fundamentalists. These are groups of people (sects of religion) that have chosen to seek a way of life and belief system that attempts to replicate pre-modern beliefs. Pre-modern societies tied religions with political systems, and shared “meta-narratives” (a bigger meaning for life). This means that a person who lived in a pre-modern world would have only known or met people who has the exact same purpose for life and belief systems. Fundamentalists, I’ve learned from the text, want to live their lives in a pre-modern mentality of strict religious constraints and beliefs. They are oftentimes politically motivated.

Whew! That got intense, fast. Basically, this book is doing a great job at making me think about the world through a religious lens. I grew up pretty much religion-free environment, so the idea of spirituality is fascinating to me. This class and this book is starting to give me a sense of the immense role religion still plays in societies around the world. We are far from a secular world, even here in America. One fact that blew my mind is that Evangelicals (including some radical groups as seen in Jesus Camp) comprise such a large group of people that they can swing a vote. That’s incredible! It’s also something that I had never considered before reading this.

I know this book isn’t the on average person’s reading list, but if you are looking for something different, something thought-provoking, yet completely understandable, try out this book. And if you want to have a debate or discussion, hit me up!

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