Welcome to Tax Day, if you’re in the United States. They say that only two things in this world are certain: death and taxes. I concentrate on death, of course, and at any rate, there are lots of people who get away without paying taxes at all. I am not among them, more’s the pity.
So, while some of us are working towards one of life’s supposed ubiquities (taxes), here are a few stories that have to do with religion.
- Star Trek Hypothesis
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President argues that Buddhism, Hinduism, and Marxism are demonstrations of Satanic Power.
- “America’s Top Exorcist,” a rather lurid CNN video piece in which the Vatican’s chief American exorcist, and inspiration for new movie “The Rite,” is given the mini-biopic treatment. This would be uninteresting and just another case of lurid religion-movie tie-ins in the media (especially around horror-genre films), except that I’ve recently become interested in the immense rise in the number of officially credentialed exorcists in the Catholic Church in the last few years, and the scary rise in exorcisms generally.
- Mayan Corn God/Jester God images discovered
- Prehistoric Burial Sites in PNG
- Robert Fisk on Secular Popular Revolts Not Backed By Secret Islamists
- “A Taxonomy of Gods”
- The Trot Dance Ritual in Khmer New Year celebrations (Khmer language video)
- Mike Huckabee interview with Jon Stewart
- 7 Best Unintentionally Sexual Church Signs
Actual links and comments after the jump
Some things that have crossed my wires (in all senses) recently, that I’m keeping track of:
- Theory is a force that gives us meaning. A very good post which makes a point similar to that of the revered J.Z. Smith: in order for theory to be truly useful, it must be at least temporarily granted the opportunity to direct and determine portions of our reasoning. Or else it’s largely just academic window dressing. My students will be reading this next Spring.
- “But Don’t We All Just Feature In Our Own Stories?” No. Against Narrativity.
- The flexibility of memory. An awesome Slate Magazine project in mass manipulation, demonstrating media’s awesome capacity for mind-control, even in the supposedly democratic anti-ideological age of the !n†3rw3Bz. Also, remember Satanic Ritual Abuse? It never happened either.
- Another great post by Economic Anthropologist Keith Hart on Marcel Mauss: Mauss on gifts, markets, and money.
- A nice intro to Whorfian-style language-constraint theory on BoingBoing, of all places.
- Highlight the connections between people! A call for doing anthropology differently, along the lines of what I think as the Deleuzian dictum: “Relativism is not the the relativity of truth, but the truth of relation.”
- OOOOOOH! Anthropology Timelines!
- Some thoughts on whether folktales, the sort of which I have spent a fair bit of time studying, translating, and interpreting, were involved in Khmer revolts of the Middle Period.