Video Blogging Religious Studies

Video_blogAfter nearly a year of development (mostly me being bogged down by other responsibilities), I have finally released the first Religion for Breakfast video blog episode on YouTube: Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Episodes that soon will follow include: How did the New Testament Form? What are Demons? Why do we believe in God/gods? Are Religions Inherently Violent? Who Invented Magic Wands?

I will tend toward my own expertise on ancient Greco-Roman religions, but I hope to include as many topics that broadly fall under Religious Studies.

I see this as the culmination of what I wanted Religion for Breakfast to be…an educational outlet that bridges the gap between the academic study of religion and the public. Religious Studies is one of the most provocative fields within the humanities. Few fields elicit such excitement, vitriol, and passion as religion…so why hide the greatest advancements of religious studies within jargon-laced academic journals with an audience that never exceeds a few thousand readers? Reaching a broader audience should take greater precedence in academia than it currently does.

Because religion evokes such passion, though, misinformation abounds in visual media. Inflammatory documentaries, silly movies, and pro/anti-religion screeds populate the airwaves. Moreover, YouTube is devoid of accessible educational videos that engage the most basic topics of religion (particularly my own sub-field of Ancient Christianity). I don’t want to presume that my videos will be accessible, educational, or even enjoyable…but this is my goal, because, seriously, this is important.

As I’ve been saying all over this blog, studying religion taps into the deepest concerns of humanity. Whether you are religious or not, we all wrestle with the questions religion seeks to answer. Studying the cultural, sociological, and philosophical concepts of religion not only fosters a deeper understanding of ourselves but ultimately humanizes others who are different.

On a less grandiose note…religion is just freaking awesome. Do you need a reason to watch a video on the Dead Sea Scrolls? On invisibility rituals? On sacred space? No…I didn’t think so.

So, I hope you enjoy the videos…and please subscribe!

 

Andrew Henry is a PhD student in early Christianity at Boston University. His research focuses on the popular and domestic religion of the eastern Mediterranean, particularly the magico-religious rituals deployed to harness and direct ritual power.

Comments

  1. Lynn Aikens says:

    I like your writing and now I like your videos. Thanks I learned some cool things I never knew. Keep up the good work, we need it.
    Blessings Jake

    • Andrew Henry says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I really appreciate the kind words…putting myself out there like this is nerve-wracking.

  2. I like how the Essenes considered their source of knowledge to be the most valuable things to protect before the Romans came attacking and destroying. Much like what we would run into our house to save if it was burning down.

    • Andrew Henry says:

      To be fair, they probably always stored their scrolls in these caves…attack or no attack. But it did have the happy coincidence to preserve the texts for over 2000 years for us to study today.

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