Conversion and Deconversion as Concepts in the Sociology of Religion

For this interview with Lynn Davidman, we focus on the concepts of conversion and deconversion, illustrations of these processes in various contexts, what each term means and how each is experienced in someone’s life, the histories of these terms and their use in scholarship, and issues that arise from their conceptualization or use.

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  • Ours Can Be To Reason Why

    While perspectives about conversion are Christian-centric, the idea of conversion itself is religion-centric.

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    Religious Studies Project Opportunities Digest – 26 April 2016

    Dear subscriber,

    We are pleased to bring you this week’s opportunities digest and would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has submitted calls for papers, event notifications, job vacancies, etc. On that note, we would also like to encourage you to continue to do so (and invite those who remain hesitant to begin)!

    It is super easy

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    Modern & Lofton Illumine “Religion”

    Lofton points out that while many scholars recognize the shortcomings of Geertz’s work, we can’t stop reading it. Admittedly, it’s great fun to teach in undergrad courses. Why’s that?

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    Historicism, Reflexivity, and Our Discourses on Theory: Or, Why Lacan Is Not a Garnish

    Theory, from this perspective, is not something that’s added to a world that is already fully present to us; on the contrary, the things are after-effects of the theory.

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    Descriptions of Religion as Explanations of Religion

    This week’s podcast features Kathryn Lofton and John Modern on the entanglement of description and explanation, the importance of self-reflexivity, and answering the “so what?” question…

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    DEATH, Religion, and Terror Management Theory

    Psychologist Dr. Jonathan Jong draws on experimental research utilizing terror management theory to discuss the role of religious and other worldviews in assuaging the fear of the inevitable—DEATH.

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    Music, Marketing and Megachurches

    Music is a big part of a new “mediapolois”, part of a marketing matrix of people, places and industries. Today, music’s meaning is more often part of a branded ecosystem, not limited to entertainment, but part of the experience of everyday life, including religion.

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    Can Religion Explain the KKK?

    While Baker’s interventions regarding the need to take seriously the “religion” of the Klan is noted, I question whether she does not herself reinforce problematic epistemological and methodological assumptions about “religion.”

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    From the Ku Klux Klan to Zombies

    Many of us only know about the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan through film and television, and much of what we see blurs fact and fiction. Distinguishing each side of that messy divide is the prolific Kelly J. Baker, exploring how media portrayals of the hate group have influenced audiences and, in turn, fed back on its own members. This previously unaired interview conducted by A. David Lewis from 2013 sketches out the rise of the KKK on the large and small screen, its relevance to discussions of religious terrorism today, and perhaps even a link to Baker’s other work on zombies in popular culture.

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    Nature alive: Amazonian religion in Peru

    In this podcast, Dr Jaime Regan Mainville, a leading researcher in the anthropology of religion and linguistics, discusses his ethnographic research among some of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin.

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    Identity and Capitalism

    This interview with Craig Martin explores the limits of identity formation under modern Capitalism. Martin’s work Capitalizing Religion: Ideology and the Opiate of the Bourgeoisie focuses on the ways in which culture and religion are produced for consumption.

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    The Interplay of Religion and Popular Culture in Contemporary America

    In exploring the interstices running along the contours of religion and popular culture researchers must not neglect the embodiment and praxis of religious expression in popular culture and vice-versa.

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    Popular Culture Studies and Bruce Springsteen: Escaping and Embracing Religion

    “There’s always the risk in popular culture studies – first of all, it’s so fluid, you know, things change so fast – that the minute you’ve said something, it’s obsolete. And there’s always the risk that the material can’t bear the weight of analysis,” said Kate McCarthy in 2013, shortly after the re-release of her co-edited volume God in the Details. However, listening back to this unreleased interview, her commentary both on the metamorphic nature of popular culture studies and on the music of Bruce Springsteen remain salient and fresh even today

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    Making Space for the Better Book

    There is the perception that critical scholarship will not get a fair hearing, and there is a perception that theological or confessional scholarship is incapable of being fair.

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