Redefining Religion


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Editor's note. This is the third in a series of essays on the Trump phenomenon—or "Trumpism," if such a thing can be defined—and what it reveals about the relationship between religion and politics in America today. Be sure to check out the previous essays by Roger Griffin and Landon Schnabel , and look for one final installment from Sightings before the U. One of the more interesting elements of the contemporary American political scene is its rhetorical exaggeration.

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The First Great Awakening: Redefining Religion in British America, by John Howard Smith

However, contemporary national political rhetoric, especially from the presidential candidates, is more ferocious than in any recent memory. Much of this proceeds from conflation.

Why the rhetorical ferocity? We are witnessing a battle over what we might term the American civil religion. Each side in this battle seeks to capture the moral high ground. For the past forty years or so, the moral high ground was reliably held by what we may term the egalitarians. As foreshadowed by his campaign, Donald Trump has spent his presidency fear-mongering over imaginary or exaggerated problems, toward sinister ends.

Trump claims of widespread voter fraud are a pretext for cracking down on voters who favor Democrats. He invents crime statistics to lay the groundwork for authoritarian law-and-order policies.

Redefining Religion in British America, 1725–1775

Trump, a declared Presbyterian, may not be a man of deep faith. In doing so, these supposed defenders of religious freedom are instead waging a war on it, further blurring the separation of church and state in America.


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Many women admit that they enjoy the social approval that follows their successful efforts to restrain their eating. While such approval is generated in reference to dominant cultural icons of womanhood, its appeal may be particularly strong among women who are not part of the dominant culture. For women of color, losing weight can serve as a means for negotiating dominant cultural i.

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People treat you better when you lose weight and look beautiful. In other words, part of what makes the Religion of Thinness so compelling is that it seems to give women what traditional religion has so often denied them, namely, control and the power of self-definition. Get Control Now!

In her daily rituals of self-surveillance, a woman gains a feeling of power that she does not experience in other areas of her life.

Redefining the Boundaries of Belonging: The Transnationalization of Religious Life

Food was making my own decisions about what I would eat, when I would eat, how much I would eat. It also represents an attempt to negotiate ideologies of gender that imprison women in their bodies by associating them with the realm of the flesh. I finally got my diet down so simple In the tidy realm of ideas, in the seemingly simple purity of thought, many anorexics and bulimics seek refuge from the changes, vulnerabilities, and needs of embodiment. Ultimately, women who become devoted to thinness through an array of images, beliefs, and rituals are not simply seeking a thinner body.

They are also seeking liberation from the gender norms that have imprisoned them in their bodies. On the one hand, the sense of agency that dieting creates can be seen to reflect and embody the relative freedom that some women mostly white and middle-class now enjoy and that many women have come to want. That some of the primary rituals American culture offers women for cultivating a sense of health, agency, worth, and well-being require obedience to restrictive gender ideals suggests the limits of the power that losing weight engenders.

Redefining Religion: Uzbek Atheist Propaganda in Gorbachev-Era Uzbekistan

Czyzewski and M. Curtin and L. Newman, Fallon, et al. Anthropology of food. Subscribers Login Password Log in Cancel. Contents - Previous document - Next document.

Negotiating the Narrow Norms of Womanhood. Full text PDF Send by e-mail.

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