It was so hard for me to pick just two pieces that have influenced my thinking. The first piece is actually by a professor of mine, Michael Pettinger, and it’s called “Double Love” from a larger anthology called Queer Christianities that several Lang professors have worked on (you should go buy it!). The piece brings ideas of queerness and sex and other embodied topics into religious topics such as grace. I read this in Karen Bray’s Queering and Decolonizing Theology course, and it honestly changed how I view the ways in which we demarcate what is religious versus what is not. The second piece I have chosen is one about Lived Religion by Meredith McGuire. The piece talks about medieval ideas of holiness and the sacred, and how we can view these topics today. I read this in Mark Larrimore’s Theorizing Religion class. Both of these texts have helped me to conceptualize what religion is and how it functions in the world that we live in. Most people assume that the Religious Studies department is about looking at ancient, thousand-year-old texts. And it sometimes is, and it’s awesome, but these texts show that religion is a very real and tangible source in our modern-day world.