God Bless America: US Civil Religion and the President as Prophet, Priest and Martyr of the Nation

Ever noticed how nearly every time a US president makes a speech, it ends with “God Bless America”? Ever wondered why? Contrary to popular assumption, it’s not just because the United States is one of the most religious countries on earth, although this certainly plays a part. Several researchers have highlighted that the United States …

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The Religion Factor: A missing link in Migration Studies? Part two

In the previous post Geertje den Oudsten shared with us her experience at a Summer School on Migration in Greek this summer and challenged the idea that religion can only be used as a classifactory concept in Migration Studies. Today part two. The reality of these migratory experiences are inescapable in current-day Greece. Against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, …

The Religion Factor: A missing link in Migration Studies? Part One

This summer I was very happy to be able to attend a Summer School named 'Cultures, Migrations, Borders' on the Greek island of Lesvos. The programme aimed at MA students and PhDs from different fields, and although there were no lecturers nor any other students with a Religious Studies background, I assumed the subject of …

A Fragment of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? Part One

Last week, Karen King, Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, presented a papyrus fragment in which Jesus referred to Mary as “my wife”. The fragment seems to date from the fourth century A.D. and is written in the Coptic language. Recent papyrological discoveries related to the world of Early Christianity such as these seem …

The Life and Work of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

On Monday 24 September, 2012, the University of Groningen awarded Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu with an honorary doctorate. His honorary promoter, Professor Dr Geurt-Henk van Kooten, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, gave a stirring address in which he highlighed Tutu's amazing achievements, particularly in the context of the South African Truth …