Jason Bivins

Jason C. Bivins is a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University. He is the author of Religion of Fear: The Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press, 2008) and The Fracture of Good Order: Christian Antiliberalism and the Challenge to American Politics (University of North Carolina Press, 2003). He is currently working on two monographs. The first is "Spirits Rejoice!": Jazz and American Religion, and the second is Embattled Majority, a genealogy of the rhetoric of "religious bigotry" in conservative Christian politics since the 1960s. Read Jason Bivins' contributions to Reflections on summer reading, Surveying religious knowledge, and Religion and the midterms.

Posts by Jason Bivins:

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Get it on

The first thing you notice about Frequencies is the sheer proliferation of categories, though they clearly are not categories in either the Hegelian or the quotidian sense. They are more like soundings into the depths of a shared darkness or lenses through which we might glimpse an otherwise blinding luminescence. Words cluster inside the frame of the screen, that ubiquitous medium through which we all present ourselves to ourselves. At the top is an index. On the side is a cloud of things called “resonances” and “wavelengths,” both terms nodding to Deleuzian technologies of circulation. And within we find an even 100 musings.

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Adrift on common dreams

What a strange, provocative experience it has been to dwell with Kathryn Lofton’s Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon during these unsettling months. The seams of public life seem especially frayed of late—a precariousness underscored by disasters natural and political that keep coming. And yet ours is the radiant moment of endless possibility so central to Lofton’s subject, whose chief promise is that of a self that matters, that experiences abundance and becoming. It was with this coexistence in mind that I plunged into Oprah’s world.

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Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Circling the line

I was asked after the 2008 Presidential election to make some loose predictions about the future of conservative political religions in the United States. As any handicapper would, I’ve kept tabs as the Town Halls grew first loud and then armed, as cries of outrage were heard in legislatures, as conspiracies once the province of Lyndon LaRouche were given a national airing, and as tea parties were held. I’m not surprised, of course, having written two books about the recrudescence of religious antiliberalism. But I found it very interesting that Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Agea wonderfully rich collection of reflections on Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age—should appear in the thick of revived public panics regarding the perceived value of secularism. As bumper sticker-length slogans are hurled like grenades from various corners—celebrating the “divinely-inspired” vision of the Founders or defending their cautions against religious presence in public life—it seems obvious that secularisms are precisely what we should be scrutinizing. Right?

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

The cooling embers

Politics is not reducible to elections, of course. Yet these contests—particularly the quadrennial spectacle that is a Presidential race—usually conclude with opportunities for political reflection. Nowhere is this more evident than in the blogosphere, now crowded with academics’ reflections mere days following the tallying of votes. [...]

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

A speck, a fleck, and—voila!—a governor

Clifford Geertz said it first (riffing on Ryle): the difference between twitches and winks could only be accomplished by “sorting out the structures of signification” through “thick” descriptions. So there she is, winking at all of us, giving a “shout out” to third graders (no spousal dap that could be misconstrued as a “terrorist fist jab”). What, then, is the “speck of behavior” and “fleck of culture” that gives rise to Governor Palin’s winks? And what “webs of significance” have academics made from the lines spooled out in this nasty season, from the often moribund dyad “religion and politics”? [...]

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