People are usually more comfortable talking about their strengths rather than their weaknesses. It’s human nature. The same can be said about religious studies. When scholars talk about it, you can expect them to emphasize the positive. But like many academic fields, religious studies also faces challenges. Some come from the outside—say, when schools and governments and religious traditions want to know why religious studies ought to be pursued at all. Other challenges come from within, when different scholars disagree with each other about what the field should even be.
In this episode, a former president of the American Academy of Religion joins us to talk about challenges of religious studies. Professor Thomas Tweed of the University of Notre Dame has spent a lot of time thinking about external and internal challenges to religious studies. His proposed solution to these challenges may sound surprising. He says religious studies scholars should think and talk more about values.
About Thomas Tweed
Thomas Tweed is the Welch Professor of American Studies and a professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. He served as president of the American Academy of Religion in 2015.
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