Visual Culture and the Study of Religion: An Interview with Birgit Meyer

After the keynote, at the EASR, guest interviewer George Ioannides had the opportunity to meet with Professor Meyer to discuss her work, her career, her views on the importance of studying religion and/as material and visual culture, and her advice for students who similarly wish to research topics at the intersection of cultural anthropology and the study of religion.

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  • What is RSP?

    The Religious Studies Project (RSP) is an international collaborative enterprise producing weekly podcasts with leading scholars on the social-scientific study of religion. Find out more…

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  • Conference Report: International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion (IACSR) 5th Biennial Conference

    The RSP would like to thank Christopher Kavanagh for writing the conference report.

    For the past few days I attended the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion’s (IACSR) 5th Biennial Conference. The theme this year was focused on addressing the state of the field, 25 years after the cognitive

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    What “in the world” is theory?, by Kati Curts

    Despite Meyer’s own resistance to being named a theorist, I argue that her sensational mediation is a form of theory making, one which more students of religion should embrace.

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    “Religion and Pluralities of Knowledge”: A Roundtable Discussion

    It’s time for another RSP roundtable, folks. Thanks very much to Liam for facilitating this, and to Angus, Essi, George and Hanna for joining him for a stimulating discussion.

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    On the Outside Looking In: Western Appropriations of Eastern “Subtle Body” Discourse, by David Gordon White

    To my knowledge, prior to the nineteenth century, suksma sarira was never applied to the body of a living human being. In India’s yogic and tantric literature, this has simply been called “the body,”

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    “The Subtle Body”, an interview with Jay Johnston

    During the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religion at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, Damon Lycourinos had the pleasure of interviewing Jay regarding her work on the subtle body and alternative notions of intersubjectivity, addressing both the theoretical and methodological implications for the academic study of subtle embodiment, and what the future might hold for this in the academy and beyond.

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    At the Limits of Orientalism: The Politics and Problems of Labelling in the Career of Michael A. Cook, by Stephanie Wright

    Having so vigorously rocked the academic boat early in his career, Cook later changed tack gracefully when he realised that he had set a course in the wrong direction.

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    The Holberg Prize 2014 Episode With Michael Cook, “Bigger Things Do Rest On Smaller Things.”

    Professor Michael Cook, winner of the Holberg Prize 2014, has had a huge influence on the historical study of Islam. In this episode, Knut interviews Professor Cook about his decision to go into history in the first place, about his writing process, the role of the humanities, his reflections about teaching, and why he finds it so important to get the details right.

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    The Work of Carlo Ginzburg as the Researcher and the Reimagined Researched, by Damon Lycourinos

    what I will be addressing in this response, which I believe has become an area of concern for both ethnographers and subjects, are the effects that the ‘researcher’ might have in organising and constructing the identity of the ‘researched’ in emic self-representations.

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    “Global Categories; Local Contexts”: An interview with Carlo Ginzburg

    Carlo Ginzburg is professor emeritus in History of European Cultures in Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. A distinguished historian with a remarkable career, Ginzburg is known for his microhistorical research approach. His most well-known book The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth Century Miller follows clues from seemingly small and inconsequential cases and details, in order to illuminate the bigger picture, the richness and complexity of historical phenomena.

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    A Response by James Cox to Bjørn Ola Tafjord on the Classification ‘Indigenous Religions’

    By defining Indigenous Religions as focused primarily on ancestors and as rooted in location, I have restricted the term in a way that then opens up wide permutations of ancestral and localised traditions as they are affected by modernity, globalisation, travel and mass communication, including indigenous people living in diaspora…

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    The Uses of “Indigenous Religion”: An Interview with Bjørn Ola Tafjord

    Since the 1980s, the category of “Indigenous Religion” – or “Religions” – has become a staple feature of the terminology of the study of religion. But what do we mean when we use it? Is it necessarily tied to a particular geographical area? Or something which originates with a particular

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    Religion, threskeia (θρησκεία) and the Return of the Hellenes: On Brent Nongbri’s Before Religion, by Nickolas Roubekas

    Nongbri’s work, as I see it, offers a very valuable tool not only in approaching and interpreting the ancient usage of terms such as religio and threskeia and their respective history but also how those ambiguous terms are adopted and used by modern people who long for those ancient practices that scholars label “religious” in order to establish claims that touch upon different matters

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    The First Rule of Adjuncting is…

    The first rule of adjuncting is you don’t talk about adjuncting.[1]

    The second rule of adjuncting is… you don’t talk about adjuncting!

    If you have seen the film Fight Club, a visually stunning piece based on Chuck Palhnuik’s book by the same title which savagely critiques modern consumerism, you know that I

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    Before “Religion”: a History of a Modern Concept, with Brent Nongbri

    Brent Nongbri talks to Jack Tsonis about his recent book, “Before Religion: a History of a Modern Concept”. Nongbri provides an overview of the history of “religion” as a concept in the English speaking world, highlighting that the seemingly “natural” or “obvious” definition of the term is actually highly specific to the modern West. Nongbri suggests that awareness of this history should make people consider carefully the language that they use to describe human behaviour, especially when dealing with cultures that fall outside the scope of “European modernity”.

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