An interview with Kevin W. Gray on “The Postsecular”

Discussion focuses upon the history of the ‘postsecular’, potential definitions, disciplinary and geographical differences, and ultimately suggests that ‘postsecularity’ is effectively dressing up ‘secularity’ in obfuscating clothing.

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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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  • Narrative and Reflexivity in the Study of Religion: A Roundtable Discussion (Video and Audio!)

    The idea for this roundtable was that it would follow on directly from this week’s interview on religion and literature, but expand the discussion to cover a variety of points relating to narrative, autobiography and (auto)ethnography in the study of religion. Featuring Dr Wendy Dossett, Prof. Elaine Graham, Dr Dawn Llewellyn, Ethan Quillen, and Dr Alana Vincent.

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    Religion and Literature: An Interview with Alana Vincent

    How can studying literature help us to study religion? And what the question even mean? In this interview, Alana Vincent, Lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University of Chester, sets out some of the interesting intersections of these two fields. We can glean ethnographic or historical detail from literary works, and

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    Peter Harrison on Science and Religion in Europe: A Historical Perspective

    Professor Peter Harrison discusses the false historical assumptions behind the current perception that “science” and “religion” have always been in conflict. Providing a wide-ranging historical overview, Harrison begins with the early interplay between religious institutions and scientific activity, goes through the transitions from Newton to Darwin, and then reflects on how the solidification of the false “conflict” narrative has played out in the past half-century. Peter Harrison is currently Director of the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland, and was formerly at the University of Oxford as the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion.

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    Now We Know Religion is Not Disappearing, by Essi Mäkelä

    Various new religious movements seek to establish a presence in politics through challenging the hegemony of traditional churches in a very peculiar way.

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    The Interstices of Science and Religion, By Lewis West

    Having exiled the supernatural, science finds itself left with the task of writing a modern genesis, or a liturgy for a secular age.

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    Halloween Special: Religion’s Role in Terror Management Theory, by Robert B. Arrowood

    When confronted with mortality, humans face the possibility of experiencing a significant amount of terror. Interestingly, many times, people are able to avoid this terror and actually enjoy the mortality themes that are presented. Consider the horror movie industry. To illustrate, Paranormal Activity (Blum & Peli, 2007) brought in

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    Beyond Maps: Eoin O’Mahony’s Geographies of Religion and the Secular in Ireland, By Edward Wigley

    We should be aware of the delocalising effect of attempts to remove religion from public spaces and the consequences this process has for those who dwell and invest meaning within these spaces.

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    Geographies of Religion and the Secular in Ireland: An Interview with Eoin O’Mahony

    In this broad-ranging interview, O’Mahony eruditely demonstrates what geography can bring to the academic study of ‘religion’ and presents Ireland as a fascinating context within which to examine processes of boundary-making between the contested constructs of ‘religion’ and the ‘secular’. After taking listeners through a sweeping history of ‘religion’ in Ireland, O’Mahony then discusses the contextual politics of studying ‘religion’ in Ireland before exploring three different contestations over ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ place-making in Ireland.

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    Studying “Non-Ordinary Realities”: A Roundtable Discussion

    Bettina Schmidt and David Wilson organised a series of panels at the 2014 BASR Conference in Milton Keynes on the topic of “Studying Non-Ordinary Realities”, as part of the conference’s “Cutting Edge” sub-theme. We managed to make time to get Bettina and David, along with panel participants Fiona Bowie and RSP

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    Taking Witchcraft and Possessions Seriously with Philip Almond, By David McConeghy

    When the past has provided us as many truly excellent documents as early modern Europe has on witchcraft and possessions, what need have we to inject ourselves into their discussions?

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    Philip Almond on Witchcraft and Demonic Possession in Early Modern England

    Emeritus Professor Philip Almond discusses his work on witchcraft and demonic possession in early modern England, including issues such as the “familiar cultural script” that was usually played out, the strategic interests of those making accusations, and the broader context of post-Reformation turmoil in which confessional claims to truth took on new urgency.

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    The Invention of the Emerging Church Movement, By Travis Cooper

    It might help to consider what exactly terms like “The Emerging Church Movement” (ECM) and its terminological correlates (e.g., emerging, emergence, or emergent) intend to describe.

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    Resisting Conformity at the Margins of Marginal Christianity, By Katharine Sarah Moody

    Acknowledging the difficulties surrounding the identification and definition of a subject of study that is not only deliberately diverse but also intentionally resistant to definition, Ganiel and Martí nonetheless discern within emerging Christianity a distinct religious orientation built around the practice of deconstruction.

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    The “Emerging Church”: An Interview with Gladys Ganiel

    The Emerging Church Movement (ECM) is notoriously difficult to define. What are scholars of ‘religion’ to do with a trend seemingly emerging both within and without many contemporary manifestations of (Western) Christianity, that is both anti-institutional and ecumenical, aims to avoid hierarchies and power structures, embraces creativity, deconstruction and experimentation, and actively promotes a ‘neutral’ and ‘non-judgmental religious space’ where almost anything goes? In this week’s podcast, Chris is joined by Dr Gladys Ganiel to discuss this ‘problematic’, important and boundary-pushing phenomenon.

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