David G. Robertson is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University, co-founder of the Religious Studies Project, and co-editor of the journal Implicit Religion. His work applies critical theory to the study of alternative and emerging religions, and to “conspiracy theory” narratives. He is the author of UFOs, the New Age and Conspiracy Theories: […]
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David G. Robertson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Religious Studies department of the University of Edinburgh. His research examines how UFO narratives became the bridge by which ideas crossed between the conspiracist and New Age milieus in the post-Cold War period. More broadly, his work concerns contemporary alternative spiritualities, and their relationship with popular […]
How do we deal with different cultural languages when teaching an Introduction to Buddhism course? Is cultural familiarity something to be broken immediately and displaced by new concepts and perspectives? Is it to be leveraged as devices for easy onboarding to other, more unfamiliar terms and ideas? Are they to be outright ignored? David Robertson is joined by Matthew Hayes
Welcome back to the latest edition of the Religious Studies Project Opportunities Digest! This week you will find twelve conference call for papers, two journal call for papers, and three event opportunities. Be sure to check out the more recent issue of Implicit Religion! The journal is edited by our very own David Robertson and includes an article by Vivian Asimos, whose recent RSP podcast on Slenderman and Online Mythology can found here. The journal can be viewed online at equinox! Thank you so much to everyone who has signed up to support the RSP thus far through our Patreon–and PayPal options. We are aiming for 100 patrons (currently 35) to fund planned developments over the coming year. See our donations page for details of how you can sign up for a regular subscription, leave a one-off donation, advertise with us, or use our Amazon links.
In the fourth of our editors’ picks, Ray Radford takes “the soppy route on this choice, as David Robertson’s interview with David Wilson on ‘Spiritualism and Shamanism’ was the very first interview/podcast I heard from the RSP way back in my days as an undergrad. This podcast (along with some amazing lecturers and tutors) helped cement that religious studies was the right choice.
In the third of our editors’ picks, David Robertson picks “the interview that I wished I had done. Reading Tim Fitzgerald’s The Ideology of Religious Studies (2000) as an undergrad was part of a seismic shift in my perspective, from an interest in religions to an interest in ‘religion’ […]. This is a dense interview that rewards another listen.”
This afternoon we had the first meeting of the Trustees of the Religious Studies Project Association (that’s the name of the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation that produces the RSP). Besides Chris Cotter and myself (David Robertson), the Trustees are Carole Cusack (Sydney), Russell McCutcheon (Alabama) and Dominic Corrywright (Oxford Brooks), so getting them all in the same virtual room was quite a feat.
In this interview, Owen Coggins joins us to talk about the use of religious (and sacrilegious) language and imagery in Drone Metal, a genre which stretches metal to low, slow, repetitive extremes. Drawing on the work of Michel de Certeau, he tells David Robertson that the prevalence of language relating to mysticism and “spiritual experience” may be due to the genre’s focus on the physicality of the musical experience.
A panel on the public impact and engagement of Religious Studies/Study of Religion/s led by committee members of the British Association for the Study of Religions, including Dr Stephen Gregg (Wolverhampton), Dr Christopher Cotter (Edinburgh), Dr Suzanne Owen (Leeds Trinity), Dr David Robertson (The Open University) and Dr Steven Sutcliffe (Edinburgh).
Issues discussed include why RS continues to be a “muted voice” …
The interview conducted by David Robertson from the Religious Studies project with Bjørn Ola Tafjord (University of Tromsø) and Arkotong Longkumer (University of Edinburgh) explores the meanings, challenges and various usages of the increasingly popular notion of Indigenous Religion(s).
“The Unverifiable Truth-claim”, recorded at BASR 2016, hosted by David Robertson, and featuring Christopher Cotter, Katie Aston, Jonathan Tuckett, and Krittika Bhatta… Bhatta… Bhattacharjee! Plus a special appearance by RSP Managing Editor, Thomas Coleman!
What makes the sociology of religion and Religious Studies distinct from each other – if anything? Paul-Francois Tremlett, Titus Hjelm and David Robertson discuss what the two approaches have in common, and how they differ. Importantly, they consider how they might learn from each other.
What is a discursive approach to the study of religion? And how can it answer the crises of contemporary RS? Kocku von Stuckrad tells David Robertson in this week’s RSP podcast. Discursive analysis of one kind or another is perhaps the most prominent methodology in the study of religion today.
I find it our duty to walk the line that holds us from letting the veracity of a claim dictate our field’s observational models or orientations. A single informant’s truth is anecdote, not evidence.
Seven or so minutes into David Robertson’s interview with Rice University’s Jeffrey Kripal, Kripal cuts to the heart of an issue that plagues contemporary religious studies scholars: Do we have the tools and will to seriously examine experiences of the fantastic in the present age?
While there is little disagreement as to the basic content of Gurdjieff’s spiritual teaching, there is currently no concrete proposal about the place of Gurdjieff within the broadly scientific study of religions.
In David Robertson’s interview with Professor Carole Cusack of the University of Sydney and Steven Sutcliffe, Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religion at the University of Edinburgh, …