Three New Things You Should Know About Now: Sacred Matters, North American Hinduism, and AMERICAN RELIGION IN AMERICA

By Michael J. Altman

Three things you should know about:

1. Sacred Matters: Religious Currents in Culture

If you haven't seen it yet, please check out the new web magazine I'm editing with Gary Laderman, Sacred Matters. We have our first batch of articles up on the site and I'm really proud of them. The whole project is a giant experiment in re-thinking the way we write about religion and culture.

RiAH readers will be especially interested in the wonderful essay from historian E. Brooks Holifield, "Why Do American's Seem So Religious?" I was lucky enough to take a seminar on that exact subject with Brooks when he first started kicking these ideas around and I look forward to the book that will eventually tackle this question. Oh, and we also have articles on legal pot in Israel and Beyoncé.

2. CFP: North American Hinduism Group of the AAR

This Group seeks paper and panel submissions that advance the study of Hinduisms in North America and related diaspora contexts, develop a more sophisticated understanding of what distinguishes these Hinduisms from those in South Asia, and nurture thoughtful debate on the methodologies unique to and appropriate for their study. We welcome any paper or panel submissions that might fulfill these goals.

Additionally, we are interested in panels and papers addressing these more specific topics:

• Racialization of Hindus in North America

• Visual and material culture (for possible cluster of cosponsor with Religion, Film, and Visual Culture and Religion, Media, and Culture groups): In addition to paper or panel submissions the NAH Group is interested in curating an exhibit of material and visual culture and seeks recommendations for objects, artifacts, and media for inclusion.

• Green Hinduisms: Hinduism and the environment in North America
If you have questions contact me or Shreena Gandhi, the co-chairs:

Michael Altman,
Shreena Gandhi,


Last, but not least, my Honors History of Religion of America (an terribly awkward name stuck on the books) course is blogging this semester. Starting this week students will be writing about the things we're covering in class and relating our discussion with current events and anything else they see fit to write about. It's a giant experiment. I'd love it if the RiAH crowd could stop by and lend comments and feedback throughout the semester. Also, the name of the blog comes from the caps-lock subject line of an email I got from a student about the course. I love it.


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