Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Roadside Religion

Wednesday, July 18

Tomorrow we'll discuss roadside religion, by looking at the work of Tim Beal and some sci-fi shrines.

Beal, "Introduction," Roadside Religion
   Read this chapter carefully, and see if you are reminded of any passages from American Gods. Be sure to print it and bring it with you to class.

Two Short News Articles on Sci-Fi Roadside Shrines:

Finally, watch the video below.  It's a great interview with Tim Beal that includes a pilgrimage.

Looking forward to your comments!


  1. I really enjoyed the video on Beal. I watched it after I read the introduction and it was helpful to put the reading into a visual context. One part i really liked in the video is when they go to the house with the 33 foot jesus and they are commenting on all the candles and things that have broken off or been left behind, but how all these pieces mean something - they all carry a story of a visitor who has come to the site on their own journey.

    1. I agree the video really did help to put it in context for me after reading the intro

  2. What I liked most about the intro is how Beal decided to do this after going on a road trip with his family. He realized the significance of getting to know and study these Road Side Religions. And his studies, as he points out, is from an outsiders view which makes it more interesting. Here we have a person that has no degree in religion doing a study on this magnitude. And he touches base on Eliade as well as other scholars in the subject. The intro really got me interested on what he learned

  3. I think it's fairly safe to say that Beal has definitely read his Eliade, given his direct references to sacred and profane space, and the circumstances involved in the creation and existence of the both of them. I found of particular interest was his claims about this great divide and struggle between cynicism and faith, as two opposite ideologies. The idea that the cynics and the faithful are combating to determine the future of the human race is not entirely unfounded, given how easily this can be fitted as 'science vs religion' or 'capitalists vs communists' or really any type of ideological debate.

  4. I really enjoy this idea expressed by Beal in thw reading and the video. These places earn seem to give and earn some sort of merit for being places of such profound experiences. Sounds like a really interesting book; I know I would love to see many of those sights.
    The Cptn. Kirk shine-city sounds crazy. But I'm sure it's only the beginning of crazy with all the star trek were going to cover.