Religious study is one of the most interesting course I ever took in college, and my advice for future student of RElS 1301 is that you need to always keep an open minded for things that you will learn in this class. Religious studies was nothing like I thought it would be, it’s a lot more interesting, so I think you will likely to get suprised by what you read. Secondly, if you never use Medium and Slack before, like I was, be patient because you will get used to them as the course go on. Moreover, professor Schmidt is very responsive, if you struggle with something, you can always reach out to him through Slack and he will work with you. #IntroRelUh

This lesson has really opened my mind about invented religions and Jediism, which is a big surprise for me. I know how popular Star Wars is, but it never cross my mind that people could see the Force as a religion. With this in mind, I can understand why most people react negatively to the newly invented religions. Unlike Buddhism or Christianity, Jedi and the Force were created by entertainment corporation. However, from what we have learned about the essences of religion, Jediism and Satanism have many similarities to some mainstream religions. But since scholars are still not able to grasp the whole definition of religion, I find that it not easy thing to deny the invented religion. #IntroRelUH

Before this lesson, I simply think of nationalism as a kind of pride that tie the people of nation together against the foreigner, but never realize how much religious nationalism have impacted Muslim American. Because I always support the mask order, I also did not understand how people have been seeing mask as an un-American. However, as I become more aware of how trouble nationalism is, I couldn’t help myself but thinking of how America gonna change for the better. Nevertheless, with such a strong Christian background and most of traditions are Christian based, I also could not imagine America loses itself. #IntroRelUH

Before this lesson, I have only known of the KKK as a racist group that mainly exist the South, but I was not aware of their ideology or their justification. Taking protestant’s perspective of faith, the Klan criticize and spread discrimination against the Catholic church. They aim to connect all Protestant, and to become the only Christianity in the country. However, ironically, the unity that the KKK hope to become only include white Protestant. Although, the group also include other activities such as charity or helping black community building churches, their foundation and goal, making American society more pure with white Protestant, have never changed. With this in mind, one thing that still remain a bit unclear to me is about the motive of group, or the source of reason for the group’s dissatisfaction with the current United State. #IntroRelUH

When I first heard about the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Right Commision in a government class few years ago, I did not disagree with the court’s rule which was in favor of the baker, who refused to make wedding cake for a gay couple, but after this lesson, I learned that I did jump into conclusion about the case a little fast. By asking myself the question of whether limitation should exist in religious freedom, I was able to see the matter from a different point of views. I realized the important of having some set of restrictions in religious freedom; it helps preventing the discrimination, which use religion reason as coach to cover itself.


Before this lesson I wasn’t sure about the meaning of intersectionality or applying the word in a sentence. Thinking about intersectionality, the first thing I have in mind is the image of a crossroad intersection. As we have learned from the past lessons that race, gender, sex, class are related to one another, and from lesson 3.6 I learned that intersectionality is where all these elements meet. With this in mind, intersectionality is a key factor in understanding a person’s identity and how it challenges or benefits their life. However, I still haven’t able to grasp all the significance of the term in religious study.


Before I started digging into lesson 3.5, #Class, I was questioning myself of possible connections between the role of class and the religious study, and I could not find any answer other than a fact that wealthy people often have more expensive religious practice than someone from poor class income…

Before this lesson, I have noticed the discrepancy of power between men and women within religions, but I didn’t think of how people constructed the notions of dominance male god. To me this is a very interesting point because, once again, it leads me to wonder whether religions and the socially constructed idea of gender and sex equally influence one another or one just have more influence on one than another. Also from this chapter, I learned the distinction between gender and sex, though it’s a bit confused at first. From my understanding sex would fall into the category of biology while gender is largely constructed by culture and society. However, I get confused again it states that “sexuality is too” culturally constructed (84).

After this lesson, I would not think of race with just biological perspective, but as a constructed idea which was created to benefit the people in power. I was partly aware of how the notion of race was introduced just few centuries ago by pseudoscientist, however, I never thought of how a harmful concept could remain in our society for such a long time. Now, I understand that race and power have always supported one another, and it’s been done by the process of racialization. In other word, racism was made for power but maintained by discrimination. Overall, the idea of race has become a part of the social system, and it has been growing like a cancer. #IntroRelUH

Similar to what we learned in prior lesson, people often take more than one method when it comes to defining space, and we are, I believe, still in the process of gaining the full understand of what space ultimately is. In honest words, I’m having trouble comprehending Tweed’s argument, but regardless of my problem, it’s still fairly easy to find an example of space in daily life. As Tweed has stated that spaces are interrelated, meaning it can exist as a crossing place where people are able to travel back in time or moving to the future. Therefore, to me spaces can be any place, it’s not necessarily a quiet place or somewhere in particular, but a space where I’m able to transcend, getting zoom in/out view of the current situation. #IntroRelIUH

Nam Nguyen

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