Ann Taves (UCSB) and Egil Asprem (Stockholm): Explanation and the Study of Religion. Timothy Alexander Smith (Otago): Science and Religion: A Conflict of Methods. The introduction to Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters by Christian Smith. E. Fuller Torrey on his book Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods: Early Humans and the Origins of Religion. Caitlin E. Barrett (Cornell): Archaeology of Ancient Religions. Ideas were not enough: Locke, Spinoza and Voltaire were all brilliant, but religious freedom in Europe was driven by statecraft not philosophy. Lea Ypi (LSE): From Revelation to Revolution: The Critique of Religion in Kant and Marx. Landon Schnabel (Indiana): Opiate of the Masses? Social Inequality, Religion, and Politics.

Peter Jonkers (Tilburg): Religion as a Source of Evil. Does religion cause violence?: Chris Fleming on the end of politics. What religious beliefs reveal about post-truth politics. Fuck it: Let’s rank the religions.


Eldar Sarajlic (BMCC): The Ethics and Politics of Child Naming. Marcus Banks on the hashtag of the Right: Overusing capital letters. The feminist case for single payer: It’s time to take health care away from the power of bosses and spouses. Gene Sharp has passed away — but his ideas will go on inspiring activists around the world. Trump wants to replace food stamps with food boxes, for some reason: It’s like Blue Apron, but terrible (and more). Trump doesn’t give a dam: His infrastructure “plan” is an obvious scam — but why didn’t he offer something legit? Trump’s defense of alleged wife-beaters stirs unchivalrous right-wing responses. Jill Gentile on Trump, Freud, and the puzzle of femininity.

Trump’s words will leave a lasting mark: History proves that presidential rhetoric impacts policy, sometimes long after the president himself has left office. “It’s like every up-and-coming wingnut is, in the manner of Trump advisor Stephen Miller, that one friend everyone had in high school who made outrageously vicious statements and, when he didn’t get laughs, told everyone to lighten up — only expanded into a movement with millions of followers”.


Carl T. Bogus (Roger Williams): The Hard, Simple Truth About Gun Control. New York Times publishes column from the world’s least reliable gun researcher: John Lott is back to his old tricks. What have we learned about “gun violence”, as a phenomenon and as a political cause, over the last five years? Armed and unaccountable: Daniel Pope on why the gun debate cannot ignore police shootings. Alexandra Filindra and Noah J. Kaplan (UIC): What about Fear of Crime? White Americans’ Gun Control Preferences and the Role of (Racialized) Crime Considerations. Kara Fox on how US gun culture compares with the world.

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