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Publications

Building on the success of Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Clichés, this follow up volume dismantles a further 10 widespread stereotypes and clichés about religion, focusing on clichés that a new generation of students are most familiar with. Written in an easy and accessible style, Stereotyping Religion II: Critiquing Clichés is suitable for all readers looking to clear away unsophisticated assumptions in preparation for more critical studies.

Each chapter includes:

- A description of a particular cliché

- Discussion of where it appears in popular culture or popular media

- Discussion of where it appears in scholarly literature

- A historical contextualization of its use in the past

- An analysis of the social or rhetorical work the cliché accomplishes in the present

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It is surprising to learn that as many as half of U.S. correctional departments offer government-funded and supported faith-based correctional departments within the prison walls. In this critical, historically contextualized, and deeply researched ethnography of faith-based correctional institutions in Florida, where such carceral programs started in 1999, Brad Stoddard argues that FCBIs serve the interests of neoliberal politics and economics by creating a relatively deregulated sphere of state-sanctioned programs aimed at socialization and rehabilitation. Spiritual Entrepreneurs delves into the intensifying public debate about the appropriate role of religion in American politics and society. Stoddard demonstrates that Florida is an essential place for understanding the history, development, impact, and implications of the larger trend to empower “faith-based” social service providers and their favored solutions in key areas of the public sphere. 

Organized in chronological order, of the founding of each movement, this documentary reader brings to life new religious movements from the 18th century to the present. It provides students with the tools to understand questions of race, religion, and American religious history. Movements covered include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), the Native American Church, the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, and more. The voices included come from both men and women.

Each chapter focuses on a different new religious movement and features:

  • an introduction to the movement, including the context of its founding

  • two to four primary source documents about or from the movement

  • suggestions for further reading

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Thirty or forty years ago, the phrase method and theory in Religious Studies scholarship referred to more social scientific approaches to the study of religion, as opposed to the more traditional theological hermeneutics common to the field. Today, however, it seems that everyone claims to do theory and method, including those people who shun social scientific approaches the academic study of religion. As a result, what does it mean to do theory and method in an era where the phrase has no distinct meaning? To help address this question, the North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR) addressed the issue of theory at its annual meeting in 2015. Based on what all agreed were productive and rigorous conversations, NAASR returned to the topic at its meeting a year later, where panelists and presenters discussed the issue of method. This volume is a collection of papers presented at the 2016 NAASR meeting, where panelists specifically addressed description, interpretation, comparison, and explanation in Religious Studies scholarship. 

Publications

Our culture is full of popular stereotypes about religion, both positive and negative. Many people uncritically assume that religion is intrinsically violent, or that religion makes people moral, or that it is simply "bullshit". This concise volume tackles 10 of these stereotypes, addresses why scholars of religion find them to be cliched, describes their origins, and explains the social or political work they rhetorically accomplish in the present.

Written in an easy and accessible style, Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Cliches will be of interest to all readers looking to clear away unsophisticated assumptions in preparation for more critical studies. 

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Book Chapters

“Spirituality is about Spirituality,” Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Cliches Volume 2, 2023.

 

“Policing Pluralism in Florida's Faith-Based Prisons,” American Examples. University of Alabama Press, 2022.

 

“Why do some Christians use snakes in their worship?” Religion in Five Minutes. Equinox Publishers, 2017.

 

“'Show me the Money': Big-Money Donors and the Cognitive Science of Religion,” Theory in a Time of Excess. Equinox Publishers, 2017.

 

“'Not a Task for Amateurs': Graduate Instructors and Critical Theory in the World Religions Classroom,” co-authored with Tara Baldrick-Morrone and Michael Graziano, in After “World Religions,” Reconstructing Religious Studies. Acumen Publishing Limited, 2016.

 

“Origins Reconsidered: A Response to Russell McCutcheon,” in Fabricating Origins: Working with Culture on the Edge. Equinox Publishers, 2015.

 

 

Essays and Articles

“Entheogens: Psychedelic Religion in the United States, Part Two,” Religion Compass (under consideration).

 

“Entheogens: Psychedelic Religion in the United States, Part One,” Religion Compass (forthcoming).

 

“Ayahuasca Tourism: Curating Authenticity in Transformative Times,” Nova Religio 28.1, 2024 (forthcoming).

 

“Christianity and Convict Labor in the Postbellum South,” Religions 11.12, 2020: 1-10.

 

“Constructing Spirituality in the Cognitive Science of Religion,” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 32.3, 2020: 288-298.

 

“Preparing for Jobs Outside the Academy,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 49.1-2, 2020: 23-26.

 

“God's Favorite Gun,” Journal of Religion and Violence 7.3, 2020: 255-277.

 

“Better Get to Know Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy.” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 44.4, 2015: 40-44.
 

 

Encyclopedia Articles

“Pat Robertson,” in Encyclopedia of Religion and Politics in America. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2016.

 

“Unification Church,” in Encyclopedia of Religion and Politics in America. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2016.

 

“Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” in Encyclopedia of Religion and Politics in   America. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2016.

                                         

“Postpartum Support International,” in American Women's History: An Encyclopedia. Facts on    File (2014).

 

“Rose Pastor Stokes,” in American Women's History: An Encyclopedia. Facts on File (2014).

 

“Shaft,” in Multicultural America, edited by Carlos Eliseo Cortes and J. Geoffrey Golson. New York: Sage Publications, 2013.

 

“Alice Paul,” in Encyclopedia of the Twenties in America. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2012.

 

“Noble Drew Ali,” in Encyclopedia of the Twenties in America. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2012.

 

Media

 

“1-800-REL-HELP ‘Cult’” episode, American Examples (University of Alabama Religious Studies Department) podcast and YouTube video, July 22, 2021.

 

“Faith-Based Prisons in the United States,” The Revealer podcast, May 7, 2021.

 

“Gary Smith and Brad Stoddard, PhD Interview,” Psychedelica Lex podcast and YouTube video, Oct. 10, 2020 (parts 1 and 2).

 

“Race and New Religious Movements,” University of Alabama Religious Studies Department podcast, July 2020.

 

“Stereotyping Religion, Critiquing Clichés,” New Books in Religion podcast, April 3, 2019.

 

“Stereotyping Religion: Critical Approaches to Pervasive Clichés,” The Religious Studies Project podcast, April 30, 2018.

 

“Inmates get a 'second chance' at federal grants for higher ed under experimental program,” PBS Newshour, September 14, 2016.

  • A complete list of my publications (articles, book chapters, encyclopedia articles, etc.) is available on my CV

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