Prince, Seventh-Day Adventism and the Apocalyptic Threat of the 1980s

In the light of his recent death, it is important to note how Prince’s music contributed to public discourse about religious norms and eschatological hopes. Prince’s most successful period as a recording artist came during the 1980s, and his lyrics throughout this decade reflect a contemporary escalation in discussions of the apocalyptic. Continue reading

Shadows in History: Religious and Intellectual History in Higher Education

The final post in the ‘Teaching America’ series is by Professor Raymond J. Haberski Jr. (Indiana University School of Liberal Arts) , author of God and War: American Civil Religion Since 1945, (Rutgers University Press, 2012) , who discusses his approach to teaching intellectual and religious history in higher education. Continue reading

America’s First Muslim Convert: Alexander Russell Webb

The Nineteenth Century was a period of unprecedented religious innovation within the United States, writes John L. Crow (Florida State University). It was also at this time that America started looking east and paying attention to the religions of India, China, and Japan. By the end of the century, the first American Buddhist organization was founded by Japanese missionaries in California. It was during this period when so many eyes were looking east that Alexander Russell Webb found Islam. Continue reading

The religious life of Malcolm X

Considering the profound impact Islam had on the life of Malcolm X, particularly in shaping his political views and changing his ideology of racism, Preeti Bath argues, it is an aspect of his life that needs to be further researched in order to truly understand the religious journey of Malcolm X (Malik E Shabazz), from an atheist to a minister for the NOI to a Sunni Muslim. Continue reading

As American as Apple Pie: U.S. Female Converts to Islam

As U.S. citizens who understand American cultural and societal norms, American female converts to Islam are in a good position to serve as advocates and agents for change, not only for themselves, but also on behalf of their fellow Muslim Americans. These American voices are offering a challenge to both the greater non-Muslim American community and the Muslim American community in clearly articulated, individual voices saying: I am a ‘real American’, I am a ‘real Muslim’, I am ready to have the conversation. You bring the vanilla ice cream – I’ll bring the apple pie. Continue reading

Racializing “Muslims”: Constructing a Muslim Archetype

More recently scholars, including those focusing on European Muslims, have incorporated the racialization framework to complement, rather than replace, Orientalism and Islamophobia to explain how Muslims experience prejudice and discrimination. This paper reinforces the racialization framework by arguing that in the United States Muslims have become victims of race-based violence through the construction of visible archetype of “Muslim” utilizing symbolic markers such as name, dress, phenotype, and language (Naber 2008). How do we explain the experiences of Muslims, who are ethnically, nationally, racially, and phenotypically diverse, in terms of racism? Continue reading

Contemporary Pakistani American Women Writers: Writing their own stories, finding their own voices

Instead of presenting homogeneous views of the Pakistani American experience of immigrant or second-generation women, each of the authors articulates the need to be different in order to define and decide the lives of their women characters in their respective fiction. They present the Pakistani identity as well as the influence of Islam in the lives of their protagonists, not as a central element, but as another trait that adds to the individual characters. They, therefore, voice unique lives and present diverse stories that reflect select stories of the Pakistani American women’s experience in and among the Other in the US. Continue reading

Reading Islamophobia in Azar Nafisi’s “Reading Lolita in Tehran”

One of the more subtle platforms from which RLT promotes its unique Islamophobic agenda is the recurrent rendering of Islam as tantamount to Marxism and Communism in their alleged totalitarianism, strategies, and end results. In her discussion of the political milieu that dominated the immediate post-Revolution sociopolitical landscape in Iran, Nafisi’s memoir is predisposed to equate the predominant Islamic movement of the time with those of the Marxist and Communist parties. Continue reading

God and the Revolution: Christianity, the South, and the Communist Party of the USA

In an article written for the Financial Times in October 2013, the journalist Robert Wright claimed that “[o]rganised labour has never taken hold in the American South, where unions are viewed with suspicion”. He quoted Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who argued that … Continue reading

The United States Christian Commission and the Civil War Dead

To aid in the identification of remains, and to alleviate the distress felt by bereaved families unable to ascertain the final resting-place of their sons, the Christian Commission distributed small identifier tags a rudimentary precursor to metal dog tag. Continue reading