University of Virginia Spring 2021 course on American Religious Innovation will cover Scientology

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by COS and NOI News, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. University of Virginia Spring 2021 course RELC 3215 on American Religious Innovation will cover Scientology.

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    RELC 3215 | American Religious Innovation

    Kathleen Flake

    This course is about America's newer religious movements: Scientology, Nation of Islam and Mormonism. The class will be using theories of ritual and text to understand how religious communities constitute themselves around an originating vision and retain a sense of continuity notwithstanding dramatic change. We will ask also why these three movements have created such crisis for the American state and anxiety among its citizens.

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  2. Aardwolf Member

    The anxiety probably stems from the fact that they're cults. Or at least Scientology is, not sure about Islam or Mormonism though.
  3. Kathleen Flake, the professor who will be teaching the class.

    Kathleen Flake

    Richard Lyman Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies


    PhD, University of Chicago: Ph.D.

    - Major Area: History of Christianity (American)

    - Minor Area: Theology & Narrative

    MA in Religious Studies, Catholic University of America:

    JD, University of Utah School of Law

    BA in English, Brigham Young University

    Research Interests

    Professor Flake's research in the area of American Religious History focuses on the adaptive strategies of 19th and 20th century American religious communities and the effect of pluralism on religious identity; she is also interested in the constructive function of text and ritual in maintaining and adapting the identity and gendered power structures of religious communities. In the area of American Legal History, she studies the influence of American law on American religion and the theological tensions inherent in the First Amendment religious clauses. Her current project is “Mormon Matriarchy, a Study of Gendered Power in Antebellum America.” Prior to her appointment at Virginia, she taught at Vanderbilt University in both the Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion. Before becoming an academic, she litigated cases on behalf of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Washington, D.C.


    - Mormonism & American Culture

    - American Religious Innovation

    - Church-State Conflict

    - Modern American Marriage in Historical Context

    Selected Publications

    The Politics of Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

    "Ordering Antinomy: Ante Bellum Mormonism’s Priestly Offices, Councils, and Kinship.” Journal of Religion and American Culture 26.2 (Summer, 2016).

    “The Development of Early Latter-day Saint Marriage Rites, 1831–1853,” Journal of Mormon History 41.1 (January 2015): 77–103.

    “Joseph Smith’s Letter from Liberty Jail: A Study in Canonization,” Journal of Religion 92.4 (October 2012): 515–526.

    “Whose Christianity is ‘American’?: The Enduring Contest of Churches and the State." In American Christianities, ed. Catherine A. Brekus and W. Clark Gilpin. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

    “The Emotional and Priestly Logic of Plural Marriage.” Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture Series No. 15. Logan, UT: Utah State University, 2010.

    “Protecting the Wilderness: Comments on Howe's The Garden in the Wilderness.” Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 79.4 (Dec. 2010): 863–870.

    "Translating Time: The Nature and Function of Joseph Smith's Narrative Canon,” Journal of Religion 87.4 (October 2007): 497–527.

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