Posts by Kile Jones

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The Post-Colonial Method versus the Sociological Method in the Study of Religion: Top-down or Bottom-up?

In the current study of “religion,” two different methods have developed that are often in tension with each other.  The first is the Post-Colonial Method (PCM)[1] with scholars like Talal Asad, Edward Said, Timothy Fitzgerald, and Gayatri Spivak, and the second is the Sociological Method (SM) with scholars like Steve Bruce, Phil Zuckerman, and Barry […]

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Forgiveness from a Humanist Perspective

On October 2nd I was invited to present on forgiveness and reconciliation from a humanist perspective.  It was an eight person panel for “Ahimsa Day” at Claremont Lincoln University.  It was me, a Jew, Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and a Jain. I am pretty sure most of us are familiar with Alexander Pope’s famous […]

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Scientific Understandings in Theories of Religion: Which Science Ought We to Emphasize?

No one individual science can completely explain anything, especially religion.  The interconnected nature of the universe is such that, in order to understand any single phenomenon, one must utilize all of the sciences.  When the totality of the sciences (natural and social) has been utilized in an explanation of religion, the question remains: Is “religion” anything […]

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“Blinking at Reality:” All or Nothing on Public Land

“If the property belongs to God he is able to pay the tax.” Robert Ingersoll In Lynch v. Donnelly (1984) the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a Christmas display in a mall in Pawtucket Rhode Island did not advocate “religion.”  SCOTUS found that the crèche fulfilled a “secular purpose” of the city to “celebrate the […]

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Atheism Is Still “Other”

In “Atheists As “Other”: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society,” Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann show that “atheists are less likely to be accepted, publicly and privately, than any others from a long list of ethnic, religious, and other minority groups” (pg. 211).  Using various statistics—the American Mosaic Project Survey, Gallup […]

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Do We Need More “Ministerial Exceptions”?

This post is written in conjunction with the “Religion and Law in the U.S.” course dialogue project and is directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao. In a recent unanimous and precedent-setting Supreme Court ruling, a “ministerial exception” was given to Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School regarding employment discrimination.  Cheryl Perich, a “called teacher” at Hosanna-Tabor, […]

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Meaning and meaning: An Important Difference

I agree with the overall gist of Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning (1946) in the fact that we all desire, will, and create meaning in our own ways. I consider meaning-making a phenomenon firmly rooted in subjective human experience. But what exactly do we mean by “meaning?” Often times I find that two different ways of understanding “meaning” get conflated.

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New Journal: Claremont Journal of Religion

A new journal is born! “Religion” is one of the most difficult words to define.  People use the word all of the time but have a hard time flushing out its precise meaning.  Having spent time on issues surrounding defining “religion,” I felt it would be a good idea to start a new journal where […]

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Clarity or Vagueness? Issues in Theological Discourse

“All simplifications of religious dogma are shipwrecked upon the problem of evil.” Imagine for a second that you are somebody who believes in the existence of “something” beyond the physical cosmos. You are not sure how to talk about this “something” but you are confident enough that it is there. Would it be better for […]

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Reformer, Revolutionary, or Rationalist? Three Types of Feminism

What do Martin Luther and Mary Daly have in common? They both realized that they could not reform the Roman Catholic Church from “the inside-out.”  They came to believe that some institutions, even those dear to the heart, are not worth saving.  One of the most significant differences between Luther and Daly—aside from the obvious […]

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Kile Jones

Kile Jones hold a Bachelors of Theology (B.Th.) from Faith Seminary, a Masters of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) and a Masters of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) from Boston University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Religion at Claremont School of Theology.


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