The first thing that strikes you when looking at Frequencies is the scope of the project and the breadth of contributions it includes. The breadth of the essays is truly amazing—people, events, places, books, a CD, ideas. The project covers a lot of ground. And just for the pleasure of reading some of these essays, I’m grateful and moved. I wonder, however, about two things. One is about form and one is about content. First, the question about form: Is this a genealogy? Second, the question about content: What are the avenues of spirituality that the project maps?Read the rest of Traditional but not religious.
Ari Y. Kelman
Ari Y. Kelman is an Associate Professor of American Studies at UC Davis. He also serves as the director of the Graduate Group in the Study of Religion. His interests focus primarily on aural cultures, with particular focus on the sonic dimensions of American religious communities. He is also a scholar of contemporary Jewish culture, in its many manifestations. Kelman is the author of Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio and Sacred Strategies and is the editor of Is Diss a System: a Milt Gross Comic Reader.
Posts by Ari Y. Kelman:
Whether you see “the secular” as a threat or a refuge, an option or an impulse, we are all trying to survive it, and one could argue that religious folks are trying to survive the secular far more ardently than secular folks are trying to survive the religious (at least in the United States). Of course, most of us fall somewhere in between—looking for and cobbling together meaning in and around the edges of religious and secular schools of thought and belief. Yet, for all of the boundary marking and making, secular and religious are not mutually exclusive; they are mutually constitutive.
And that’s where Lofton (along with an audience of millions) finds Oprah: at the intersection of religious and secular, in between spiritual and material, personal and communal, ritual and improvisational. And it is a brilliant discovery.Read the rest of Surviving the secular.