In this interview, recorded at the SocRel 2017 conference in Leeds, Professor Adam Possamai discusses the rising popularity of ‘Hyper-Real religion’ – a category encompassing Jediism, Matrixism, and other movements taking influence from popular culture. Situating hyper-real religions within the contemporary context of digital capitalism, Possamai discusses how changes in the market can also affect religion, with particular reference to the ‘pygmalion effect’: the blurring of boundaries between popular culture and everyday life. How do these Hyper-Real religions relate to the hegemony of capitalism? The interview then
A Response to Erica Bornstein on “Beyond ‘Faith-Based Organizations’: Religion and NGOs in Comparative Perspective”
By Chika Watanabe
In this interview, we talk with Erica Bornstein about her studies of religious giving and social activism in India and Africa, and what the results of her research contribute to our understanding of the complex configurations of ‘Faith-Based Organizations’ across diverse religious contexts.
A Response to James Spickard on “Alternative Sociologies of Religion: Through Non-Western Eyes”
by Jonathan Tuckett
In this interview, recorded at the SocRel 2017 Annual Conference, Professor James Spickard talks about his latest project. Starting with a critique of North American sociology’s approach to religion, Spickard emphasises how our concepts of religion are historically grounded, arising from a particular time and place. How can we remedy this, and how can we look at our own concepts more critically and reflexively?
A conference report by Hans Van Eyghen
Visiting your Alma Mater is always accompanied by mixed emotions. On the one hand you see familiar things you missed but on the other hand you’re confronted with downsides you hoped were a thing of the past. My visit to the KULeuven
A response to “Muslim NGOs and Civil Society in Indonesia: An Interview with Robert Hefner”
By John Thibdeau
Religion and NGOs
Produced by R. Michael Feener
While the service provision activities of some religious NGOs complement and enhance systems of low state capacity, in others they compete with state services and in still others service delivery by religious NGOs is associated with political parties and forms part of their electoral strategies.
A Response to Wesley J. Wildman on “Modelling Religion and the Integration of the Sciences and the Humanities in the Bio-cultural Study of Religion”
By Leonardo Ambasciano
Following his Albert Moore Memorial Lecture at Otago University, celebrating 50 years of Religious Studies at Otago, Professor Wesley Wildman talks to Thomas White regarding the integration of the sciences and the humanities in his bio-cultural approach to the study of religion.
A response to “What do we mean by Indigenous Religion(s)” with Bjorn Ola Tafjord and Arkotong Longkumer
by Liudmila Nikanorova
We talk a lot about the World Relgions Paradigm at the Religious Studies Project, and this discussion looks more closely at one of the ancillary categories, Indigenous Religion. What exactly does this term refer to? Does it refer to specific religions (plural) or a kind of religion (singular)? What makes some religions indigenous and not others? What are the political implications? Bjorn Ola Tafjord & Arkotong Longkumer outline some of the language games that involve Indigenous Religion.
A Response to “Hindu Traditions in Contemporary British Communities” with Theodora Wildcroft and Stephen Jacobs
by Race MoChridhe
This podcast explores how Hindu belief and traditions have been incorporated into modern western practices. An overview of the British kirtan community and the Art of Living movement is followed by a discussion of authenticity, reconciliation of tradition and modernity, and the influence of popular culture. As appropriation of culture and questions of authenticity pervade conversations across fields, the study of contemporary British Hindu movements is important in understanding how millennia old religious traditions are being used in new, modern contexts.
It’s the start of a new season (semester?) of podcasts for the Religious Studies Project and we have a new responses editor in the form of me – Jonathan Tuckett!
You may remember me from back in the very early days of the podcasts when I interviewed Timothy Fitzgerald.