ReligionWise

Belief, Conspiracy, and Identity - Dustin Nash

January 15, 2022 Institute for Religious and Cultural Understanding Season 1 Episode 5
Belief, Conspiracy, and Identity - Dustin Nash
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ReligionWise
Belief, Conspiracy, and Identity - Dustin Nash
Jan 15, 2022 Season 1 Episode 5
Institute for Religious and Cultural Understanding

This episode of ReligionWise features a conversation with Dustin Nash, Associate Professor of Religion Studies at Muhlenberg College.

In this conversation, we discuss conspiracy narratives and how the methods of religious studies can help us understand why individuals believe what they believe. Additionally, we consider how belief can lead to action as well as support an individual's view of self and identity.

Show Notes:

Show Notes Transcript

This episode of ReligionWise features a conversation with Dustin Nash, Associate Professor of Religion Studies at Muhlenberg College.

In this conversation, we discuss conspiracy narratives and how the methods of religious studies can help us understand why individuals believe what they believe. Additionally, we consider how belief can lead to action as well as support an individual's view of self and identity.

Show Notes:

Chip Gruen:

Welcome to ReligionWise the podcast where we feature educators, researchers and other professionals discussing topics on religion and their relevance to the public conversation. My name is Chip Gruen. I'm the Director of the Institute for Religious and Cultural Understanding at Muhlenberg College, and I will be the host for this podcast. Today's guest is Dr. Dustin Nash, Associate Professor of Religion Studies in the Department of Religion Studies at Muhlenberg College, we sat down to talk about epistemology, belief, conspiracy theory, and how all these things fit together. He's a good guest to have on those topics because he's both published and taught on these topics, including a first year seminar that he does called Proving the Unprovable that thinks about what people believe and why they believe it, particularly when those beliefs are out of the mainstream. He has also produced a article entitled "Fossilized Jews and Witnessing Dinosaurs at the Creation Museum: Public Remembering and Forgetting at a Young Earth Creationist Memory Place" in which he thinks a lot about how community and ideology and belief all wrap up together in this public place of remembrance. So it's my pleasure to welcome today, Dr. Dustin Nash. Welcome to ReligionWise Dustin, thanks for joining us today.

Dustin Nash:

Thank you for having me.

Chip Gruen:

So I know that both in your teaching and research, you're interested in thinking about not only what people believe, but digging deeper into why they believe those things and what those beliefs might do for them. Can you talk a little bit about how you became interested in this topic?

Dustin Nash:

Yeah, so my, my entrance into this subject, came through some initial research that I did on the young earth creationist community in the United States, where I did field research at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, and then later at the Ark Encounter, which is, which was constructed and is run by the same parent organization as the Creation Museum. And it was through that research, which was done in support of a class that really triggered an interest in how these communities are forming, why people were going to these places who was going there, and the kind of dynamics of the communities that they were supporting, especially having done field research at these sites, my own discomfort in those spaces being palpable, and how that ran in kind of dissonance with their stated goals. The goals of these sites were ones of bringing people into thinking in the way that they wanted people to think. But having been in those spaces, I found this uncompelling to a certain extent. And so I didn't feel like they were functioning so much in that way, that I wasn't their audience. Their audience was somewhere else it was doing other work, really, for people who are already members of the community. So these weren't, these weren't machines to create new members of those communities to to show the compelling or to convince people, if you are an ardent evolutionist going to the Creation Museum is not going to make one give up belief in evolution. But if you are already at least open to the ideas of young earth creationism, these are sites that will help confirm that, that position for you. So no one, it's not creating, you might say new young earth creationist, it's really legitimating that identity for the community already in place. This is what my own research led me to suggest and that it's doing really important things for them in helping build a narrative, or a story that they can align their identity with, and point to a museum or a location as the proof of that identity. Because we in the United States, we view as almost nothing more authoritatively than museums, museums are the thing that we regard as being most authoritative for one reason or another.

Chip Gruen:

Yeah, you know, it's interesting. One of the things that I've been interested in reading about and thinking about is the, just the question of public discourse, like what how does the public talk about religion or about belief systems, about narratives, generally? It's interesting what you say about authority being vested in the structure of the museum, rather than in say, an educational, a more traditional educational institution or a print literature or something along those lines.

Dustin Nash:

And there's been lots of research on this the there's survey data. And this is nothing specific to say younger young earth creationism, I mean, just even when it comes to how the American in the United States how people view sources as authoritative on, say, the Civil War, or something like this. What comes up again and again, is that museums are institutions, these places, they are the most authoritative, or memorials battlegrounds, that there's something about places. And the way that places function in our identity or the, they seem more objective than individuals, even scholars. So actually, historians come in pretty low on that survey, which I find fascinating.

Chip Gruen:

So we'll get more in detail about the social function about these communities in a little bit, but one aspect of this I want to dig into a little bit more is why this topic seems really relevant right now. How this is entering into our world, I mean, on ReligionWise, we like to talk about not only these things in their esoteric abstraction, but, but thinking about them in connection with our world. And it seems to me that the public, even in the last several years, is more interested in talking about how we tell stories about how we frame conversations, to take only the most obvious example, something like Thomas Jefferson, the founding father versus Thomas Jefferson, the slave holder. And I'm wondering, you know, how the conversations about religion, conversations about history, you know, sort of boil down to conversations about epistemology, how we know what we know, and how we frame that more generally.

Dustin Nash:

So the way that I've been thinking about this in my own work, and the way that I've been encountering it, there's been a lot of research done on how how religious actors make claims about how they know what they know, or how their own internal epistemological systems might support, reaching the conclusions that they need to reach in order for the identities to be maintained. So that one of the really interesting studies that I've read in the past few years by a particular scholar named Butler was again, this was in relation to my research on creationism. But it brought up a very interesting notion about recursivity, in knowledge, so recursivity in the scientific method, and the construction of scientific ideas and knowledge, and how that functions maybe a little differently in what we, in the public discourse would be talking about with conspiracy theories, or in other various, not conspiracy theories, but within particular religious traditions as well. What it really showed is that, you know, there's a lot that's in common, there's a lot that's very similar between these. But there's some interesting things that are different. When it comes to this idea of recursivity. I think it's connected very importantly, to our present moment, within within the pandemic, and think about how different ideas about or how knowledge grew over the course of the pandemic, from a scientific standpoint about how the virus replicated or how it was passing so that we changed and got, we know, we knew more later on than we did at the beginning. And as knowledge and research grew, we could adapt and change the conclusions regarding how the virus behaves, and that, that affected policy along the way as well. And that was allowable within a scientific method because the recursivity that's built into the scientific method allows us to come back around as it were, and fully challenge our conclusions at the beginning. So that as new as more information is accumulated you can it is allowable and even desirable, to reevaluate your initial global conclusion. Within, we'll take an example of conspiracy narratives, there is tremendous recursivity that's allowed at the level of detail, so that you are allowed to constantly return again and again and again to develop more details that are especially supportive of the conclusion. But recursivity is not allowed in coming back around to question the global narrative or the ultimate conclusion. That's not part of the recursivity. And actually, once that is allowed, it allows others within the community to reject that conclusion, based on the other details that have already been produced.

Chip Gruen:

So I want to make the connection between epistemologies around, say, fundamental or conservative religious belief, and something that we might label as conspiracy theory, because I think what I hear you saying is that these things are related to one another, in that they have sort of similar epistemological moves, even though we might not necessarily categorize them as all the same kind of information.

Dustin Nash:

Absolutely. And I myself as being a comparativist, I see a lot of value in, in bringing things into dialogue, even if they're not the same thing. In fact, that's what makes it really illuminating when they're not exactly the same thing. So thinking from the standpoint of take taking a lens of religion studies, or thinking about how epistemological structures might work within religious communities, and putting that lens on conspiracy narratives or conspiracy theories allows us to see new things in the conspiracy narratives, and allows us to see things we might not have noticed as they were functioning within, within different religious communities or how they're thinking about things. And there's, there's real interesting work to be done in bringing these things into dialogue with one another. It's interesting that it seems that this is a notion or idea, especially with regard to conspiracy theory or conspiracy narratives, that the researcher, the discipline of religious studies is starting to see a role for itself in these conversations, that the literature is starting to expand with more religion scholars wanting to talk about, in one sense, what religion studies has to offer the study of conspiracy narratives precisely because of the tools and methods that we've been using to study other things for all this time. Also, recognizing that there are places where conspiracy narratives have formed an important element of religious discourses, or, alternatively, cases where conspiracy narratives have been making claims about different religious communities so that there's different ways of intersection between religion studies and the study of conspiracy theory or conspiracy narratives, that is becoming more more researched, more analyzed, I think, to the benefit of everyone involved. This will create new knowledge that's going to help everyone.

Chip Gruen:

So let's move a little bit beyond the the abstract to the specific example that I think is on a lot of people's minds right now. We are right now, very near the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which is, of course, inexorably linked with the QAnon conspiracy. And, you know, there have been conspiracies with us conspiracy theories with as always, I mean, the, around the JFK assassination, or around the moon landing, or Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance, I mean, there, this is just a part of the framework of how we understand and work through history and things that are difficult to understand. But this seems, I don't know, is it different? Is QAnon different? Are we in a different place? Or is this just maybe some of the same turned up to 11 on the amp?

Dustin Nash:

I don't have final answers on that one. But I think there is a lot that's similar to things in the past and things that are different. So we can see the similarity, we can see the particularity and we can see the universality. When it comes to, as you just said, these kinds of narratives that are rooted in kind of an epistemology of doubt relating to figures of authority or authoritative narratives, those have always been there. And they've been an important part of cultures for a very, very long time. An important part of American culture as well I can think being a child of the 90s, the the between JFK shooting or grey aliens or X Files and all of these things we can we can see that there's been this sub current, these narratives, great large governmental cover up kind of stories, that's all, there's nothing new to the idea then that's so important to QAnon of the amorphous narrative of this secret of governmental cabal that is going to be revealed, eventually, and people are going to be prosecuted. It's this kind of eschatological moment of new world order that will be established. But at least the secretive element of that narrative, not entirely new. It's really the specifics. And then the way that what might be new is the way that technology allowed it to spread in a way that it never had been before. I know that a number of religious communities are, have been excited about the way in which the internet allows them to reach new people in the context of the pandemic, you can stay connected with members of your community in a way that you might not have otherwise been able to, or I know, in a recent class, we were even talking to a rabbi who was excited about the fact that they were getting more people tuning into videos of their Havdalah services than they ever got actually coming to the synagogue for the for the actual service. So the potential there for stay for spreading information, or communal participation is just different than it ever was before. You can't achieve the same thing through the self publication of magazines or pamphlets or any of these factors. So I think there is work to be done in thinking about how, as a, I would think of QAnon as almost kind of a poly cultural conglomeration that spread virally on the internet, there's more work that may need to be done on how the role that technology played in that process.

Chip Gruen:

Yeah, it seems to me like one of the great open questions right now is about algorithms and how algorithms push certain kinds of information and whether that is a radicalizing element, you know, in the dissemination of information, whereas traditional print structures, I think, are biased against radical, you know, and more reinforce status quo or conservative epistemological methods.

Dustin Nash:

Absolutely. If you have a machine that is geared and rewarded by putting things in front of people that get them excited. And then if that is also allowing them to see more of themselves or more of their existing ideas spread more broadly, then I think I have to imagine that it really did play a play a role in ramping up the intensity. I think, as we said, there's nothing there's nothing necessarily new about the kind of larger narrative. What really was new was the attack on the Capitol. And the discourse, which had, obviously is disturbing and troubling on a number accounts, but there's lots of troubling and disturbing narratives existing in the world. It's the way that it culminated in action that was potentially new and different. And how did you get from the discourse to the action? How do we square that circle, or circle that square is where I'm not sure we have clear answers yet. I think that I mean, on a political level that many politicians would like to find the direct, find the direct cause, or through line to that they want to find. I'm worried that there, they might not find anything that that when it comes to evidence, when you want to prove connections between these things, there isn't that kind of evidence to be found, necessarily.

Chip Gruen:

So just to be clear, could you so you talked about QAnon as a as a discursive thread. Right, that it's, it's we call it a conspiracy theory, but it's something that was bubbling up for a long time. And then what you said was that that also leads to particular action in the world the insurrection at the Capitol. Can you talk a little bit about the discourse, the QAnon discourse itself? And then how that may have led to the events of January sixth?

Dustin Nash:

You know, actually, this is where I think the lens of religion studies helps a great deal because the the origins of the QAnon discourse go back to particular information drops that are being published on a particular on 4chan and then on on 8chan, and they're very cryptic, but they very quickly are getting interpreted by particular individuals were become the authoritative interpreters of these of this information and it, it builds it's really building out of we might say conspiracy theories that already existed such as immediately preceding like birtherism, long standing narratives surrounding or suspicions within right wing politics regarding Hillary Clinton, which morphed then into a more specific narrative about arrests of particular political actors that are imminent that this is going to happen soon any day now. And then it gets a little bit bigger, and that there's a whole cadre of individuals that are ensconced within the government, everyone, I mean, a very mixed bag of individuals, from politicians, to media figures, to the mainstream media, movie stars, all of these individuals, they're all members of this deep state or secret government that is going to eventually be arrested, they're going to be executed. And that, slowly, this evolves into what I think is can very convincingly be described as a almost millenarian type of narrative, where we're closely closely we're coming, especially as Donald Trump starts to be viewed from within the QAnon discourse from a very kind of salvific perspective, that they are the savior within the narrative who will allow for this final, eschatological moment of arrest of all of these individuals, and also the beginning of a new world so that a new paradise will follow this event, it starts to fit into a mold of or what seems like a very familiar narrative. If you have a very traditional background in religion studies, that's that's not a story that's new to us. It's a well worn story, actually. And when we start to notice that I think we can start to understand why people became, once they were embedded within this discourse, once they saw themselves as part of that discourse and saw their why they became so invested in it, it had religious elements that were compelling. I think there's another piece to this, which I'm reminded of a previous podcast conversation with Professor Hartley Lachter a scholar of Kabbalah, I'm reminded of Kabbalah, in this context of one of the things in the past, that he has talked to me about is the role of Kabbalah and what that might have done for especially Jewish individuals living in a subaltern status in Spain, or Italy or in southern France and how it provides a narrative. Kabbalah provided a narrative of explanation for 'we know the meaning of our own scriptures, even though we're surrounded by kind of medieval Christian communities that are saying we don't understand the meaning of our own scriptures.' And it gave each individual Jew a role in the really a divine drama. So that by doing things like observing particular Mitzvot, you're really affecting god, you're doing something on a religious level in a specific impersonal way that the pre existing narratives didn't support. With regard to QAnon the action hits the road, because there's they're seeing in themselves a part, that's a way to participate in the divine drama of the moment, to be a part of it. And they're being called to a moment to participate. And I think that helps explain why some, not all, but some people wanted to be there for the moment, wanted to be the good guys within the story as they understood it.

Chip Gruen:

So let me push on this a little bit, because I think the comparison to Kabbalah is an interesting one. But the difference I see is that there you are talking about a religious minority, which is powerless in the political, social, economic world that is around them, and they develop this counter narrative. Whereas though QAnon itself is not a majority movement, some of the identifying characteristics of these people tend to be white, middle class, evangelical, certainly Christian are not minority, fringe, marginalized communities. And I find that distinction to be interesting, right again from the religious studies. perspective, I'm not sure that I would expect people who would be in those kind of hegemonic categorizations to be participating in this kind of discourse. Am I missing something about how these people perceive themselves in the world?

Dustin Nash:

Yes, actually. I think the big the big difference here is it is a matter of perception. So whereas from a statistical I think by any objective criteria, you're absolutely correct, that there's nothing about the primary demographics of the group that would suggest any of the any of that direct comparison, say to 13th century Jews living in Christian majority cultural contexts. However, anyone who has interviewed members of the group, talk to them about how they see their place in the world or their position in the world tell you that there is the perception of a siege mentality, that everything that they understand as being themselves that they're being oppressed, and that the elites are financially oppressing them. The globalists quote, unquote, globalists are oppressing them, that even an important element of certain areas of QAnon is that particular technologies or medicines have been denied them. So we see perceptions of economic disenfranchisement, even in the places where QAnon starts to bleed over into white supremacist narratives, we can see the notions of replacement theory so that other racial groups or religious groups are replacing whites within the country. So there is this, even though again, from an objective standpoint, it's difficult to say that any of that is is stands on anything, but it is the perception that counts. And it's a story of that's been told to them again, and again, through various media for a very long time, from certain sectors of media. So this kind of culture war element to it, is really important.

Chip Gruen:

So the careful listener, for the last 20, some odd minutes will have picked up on the number of times you or I have talked about community, and used the word social. And I just want to draw out a little bit of what you mean by that. So that these narratives are not these inert things that sort of sit in a book or sit in a post, but in fact, they're doing important social work for for individuals and communities. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Dustin Nash:

Yeah, I'm, uh, at least from my own standpoint, in my own work within religion studies, I'm constantly thinking about what stories do for groups and the work that they do for them, especially as it relates to constructing a notion of their own identity. And one element of that we might think of as no group wants, no group wants a negative image of itself, it's always going to positively construct the conception of its own identity. So if we're talking about talking about groups that might have participated in, in the January 6 insurrection, the stories that are leading up to that are framing them as the heroes of a narrative, the chosen heroes of a story and that is, again, for a group that is perceiving itself as being under siege from all of these cultural, or social or demographical headwinds, is very important in establishing legitimation for why the view that they already have of the world is correct, that their perception or their why they are also claims to power. Why is the balance of power the way that it is? Is this a way to potentially claim additional power in particular sectors or maintain power? So there's lots of different kinds of work that stories can do for any given group, whether it's that positive self identification, whether it tells them how they should be relating to other groups of people, how they should be relating to various institutions, and how they should be claiming their roles or places or power in relationship to other groups of people in other institutions. It's these are important things for collective group identity.

Chip Gruen:

And that they can, beyond the collective, they can also provide meaning and order for an individual's perception of themselves and their own identity and make them feel connected to a larger group as well.

Dustin Nash:

Absolutely, it makes the world knowable, and in a very important way. We often talk about ontology or the building the categories in which we can understand the world. I think one of the big problems with a lot of people with trying to understand QAnon is coming from the outside. Those categories don't make sense. They don't fit the categories that we know. So if it doesn't fit the categories that we know, it seems absurd. We might say, How could anyone believe this? How could anyone have then been convinced to go and storm the Capitol building as might see to be a participant in that in that narrative, but if you think about it more holistically, in the way that the narrative gave meaning to people's lives, and I mean that in a very specific and literal sense of making it knowable, and putting it into fit into what they were already feeling on an emotional level, about the relationships between groups or relationships to institutions, and made that all part of a linear or comprehensible at the very least comprehensible whole, we might understand better how people would say, Yes, I'm going to go and I'm going to be a part of that story, and attack the Capitol.

Chip Gruen:

So there's another element I want to follow up on a little bit. Because again, if you're, if you're watching the news, and you're watching the development of these systems, because as you say, they are tacking one way or another to account for new details. It's amazing the amount that other kinds like that, that there are small conspiracy theories, that all tend to get scooped up together. So for example, one of the most recent developments was this waiting for either JFK or JFK Jr. to you know, come back and reveal themselves as not only alive, you know, but ready to take a meaningful role in history as it plays out. And I think that there are other you know, so again, thinking about the pandemic, or thinking about vaccinations, but that this value of wanting to stitch these things together into one holistic narrative seems to also be another element that we can talk about.

Dustin Nash:

Yeah, and we can imagine, it's similar than we, if we think about various religious communities, trying to make sense of the world as it is, as it's experienced for the community through time, I can think about this from a Jewish studies standpoint of meta narratives, so that these meta narratives which might be rooted in some original texts, or some original interpretations of those texts, but they they continue, and they continue to give meaning in much later time periods. So the meta narrative, especially within Jewish studies that we talk a lot about is the Jewish meta narrative of, of oppression, so the of cycles of oppression and saving, which are rooted all the way back into the Deuteronomistic history within the Hebrew Bible and notions of divine punishment for wrongs that are built right into the biblical narrative itself. But that becomes a model for understanding events far well beyond the the biblical period in trying to explain things like Russian pogroms, or even in a troubling instances of the Holocaust itself. But this idea of meta narrative, I think, is really helpful here. So as the community QAnon begins before the COVID pandemic, but it it really brings that into this into this narrative very quickly and very efficiently, even when it comes to something like JFK, Jr. not coming back, or not arriving in at the Dallas airport. When that doesn't happen, that doesn't invalidate the narrative writ large. It is folded more neatly back into the narrative. This goes actually back to what I was saying about the recursivity, there's no piece of evidence that can dis... that's allowed to to disprove the larger conclusion. So him not showing up at that time can't disprove though it might for a few individuals, it might be very jarring, but on a broader collective scale. It can only produce more detailed commentary, commentary or more detailed analysis that supports the narrative. That's the only thing that's really allowed. So I really like this idea of meta narrative for for thinking of thinking about this, this issue or this problem of when new things are encountered by the existing narrative, how they get folded in, or accepted as part of the pattern or part of the the bigger story.

Chip Gruen:

I'm going to ask you now to be a prognosticator. From what you know about other types of epistemologies, belief systems, conspiracy theories of the past, what do you see in the next year or two, or five or 10? About this group? You know, we would think that they would be frustrated by the pro... their prognostications not coming true. But but that's not the way it works. What what do you see happening going forward?

Dustin Nash:

Obviously, I'm, I'm not a fortune teller. But I would actually, first of all, I would suspect, it's not going to go away, there's no piece of evidence, there's no event that is going to end the community, as it were, or stop the stop the narrative or stop the discourse, it's only going to continue. As to what the size of the community is, I'm not sure at this point. But I would actually suspect that the, the more that it is able to incorporate contemporary events into the narrative, the more it will be able to maintain stasis, and the more that it will potentially appeal to more people as a way of making meaning out of their world. Because so much of the discourse within QAnon came to focus on Donald Trump, especially in the latter half of his of his presidency, if he should choose to run again in 2024, for the presidency in 2024, I have to imagine that that will be folded in very significantly into the narrative, and will continue to drive it. The pandemic is also going to continue to drive it depending on the headwinds of this or that I've already seen memes or pieces of information regarding the Omicron variant as an element of QAnon now as a further Deep State kind of conspiracy to, to do this or do that. So, as history unfolds, history is incorporated into the narrative, as long as the narrative continues to allow for it. It, it will maintain.

Chip Gruen:

So one of the things we like to do I mean, all of these topics, you know, they're drawn out of our guest's teaching and research, and we think about what they mean for public conversation. But we always want to come back and think about how should this affect our listener's entrance into that public conversation as well. And I want to put kind of a point on this, and ask if being aware of any of these processes being sort of metacognitive about our own belief, or about how these conspiracy theories work, should be, could be instructive for the ways that we consume information.

Dustin Nash:

It should certainly inform the way that we consume information, I think information literacy, in general, as a public we're very bad at to begin with. So there's a there's a big element of trying to understand, where are we receiving information? How are how are we interpreting it? What are the biases that might be coming into play when we interpret information, regardless of who we are? And what those biases might be? What are the limits of the conclusions that I can reach from the information that I have? I think, a major element of conspiracy narratives is that they make really big claims. They make really big conclusions on very limited amounts of evidence. And, I think in general, as a teacher, and as somebody who teaches students to write that in an academic mode. I don't want people to be making really big arguments or claims based on limited information. We should be, we should scale our conclusions to the evidence available to us. And in this way, this would be really good. Another thing that I think is a good lesson to take from this from the standpoint of a broader, interested public is thinking about Who, who are the people that are involved in this story? And how are they getting involved, say with the with the January 6 insurrection, or people who have become, you might say, have fallen down the rabbit hole of QAnon. I've run into this with a study of a number of you might say smaller or marginalize religious groups, or what is pejorative the pejorative term that generally gets thrown around with cult. And I think in a lot of cases, there is a notion that the people that tend to adhere to these narratives or these stories, or join these communities that they were, they didn't think hard enough. They didn't consider all the information or they weren't intelligent, or some other kind of pejorative conclusion regarding the individual, rather than understanding how there is real reasons why people find these narratives compelling, and why they are convinced by them. And so even an individual who is very literate with regard to information might be tempted based on a whole variety of other factors to be compelled by this narrative, to see themselves in the story, to have it make meaning out of the world, for them to make the world knowable to them in a way that they're comfortable knowing it. We can lose sight of that, because that's a much more complex and difficult thing. Rather than labeling someone as unintelligent, or fooled or conned, that makes them more passive and doesn't understand the their agency and activity with regard to this and and how important it can be for them. It can be really, really important.

Chip Gruen:

All right, well, Dr. Dustin Nash, thank you very much for joining us today. It's been great fun talking to you about conspiracy theories, epistemology and belief structures.

Dustin Nash:

Thank you. It's my pleasure to be here.

Chip Gruen:

This has been ReligionWise, a podcast produced by the Institute for Religious and Cultural Understanding of Muhlenberg College. For more information and additional programming, please visit our website at religionandculture.com. There, you'll find our contact information, links to other programming, and have the opportunity to support the work of the Institute. ReligionWise is produced by the staff of the Institute for Religious and Cultural Understanding of Muhlenberg College, including Christine Flicker, and Carrie Duncan. Please subscribe to ReligionWise wherever you get your podcasts. We look forward to seeing you next time.