Welcome to my Blog

26 10 2008

My name is Daniel Bernard, Ph.D in the study of religion. I decided to set up this blog in an effort to make public some of the more private questions and issues that occur during the process of engaging in academic research.

For those wondering about the title of this blog, I refer you to this excerpt from Jonathan Z. Smith’s article entitled “Religion, Religions, Religious” (Critical Terms for Religious Studies, ed. Mark C. Taylor, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), p. 269:

In [1553]… toward the beginning of the first part of his massive Crónica del Perú (1553), the conquistador historian Pedro Cieza de León described the north Andean indigenous peoples as “observing no religion at all, as we understand it (no… religion alguna, à lo que entendemos), nor is there any house of worship to be found.”

This, however, is the twenty-first century. We’re starting to see religion everywhere now, and we’re starting to understand phenomena as “religious” that Pedro Cieza de León could not have taken seriously. Questions are far more abundant than answers now, but religion is not going away. My goal is to take religion and religious people seriously. And it is by careful, critical, and fair scholarship that I attempt to meet this goal.

I hope you check back here now and then to see where some of my research is going. Feedback is never unwelcome.