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The Religious Studies Project
The Religious Studies Project
Podcasts and Resources on the Contemporary Social-Scientific Study of Religion
Conspiracy Theories, Public Rhetoric, and Power

What are conspiracy theories? How do we distinguish the conspiracy theories from religion? And what are the effects of this categorization? In this episode, Andie Alexander chats with RSP co-founder David G. Robertson about the roles and effects of conspiracy theory discourses in the academy and more broadly. Robertson outlines the primary academic approaches to conspiracy theories and argues that we, as scholars, should be deconstructing these categories and taking seriously their implications in our social worlds. Ranging from early studies and current psychological studies on mental illness to the role of conspiracy theories in social governance, media, and ‘fake news’, Robertson demonstrates just how intertwined these discourses are in our modes of knowledge production.

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Conspiracy Theories, Public Rhetoric, and Power

"You don't go to religious studies conferences with the title of the conference being 'The Problem with Religion,'" so why do we use that rhetoric to talk about conspiracy theories? Listen in to Andie Alexander's interview with RSP co-founder David G. Robertson to find out why!

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Illustration of Guy DeBord's Naked City

Manifestos and the Academic Study of Religion

What are manifestos? How are they employed in society? What can the academic study of religion offer to help understand them? The faculty and students in the Dept. of Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney have a few thoughts on that. Tune in to learn more!

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Our Latest Response

The Problem of Contextuality in Global Environmental Discourses

Decolonizing ecological studies or environmental humanities forces us to "return to the problem of context," writes Rosemary Hancock in this response to our interview with Anna Gade.


Sharing scholarly dialogue about our podcasts

Earlier Responses

Following Resistance

How can Islamic Studies help advance the study of religion and visual and material culture, asks Anna Bigelow in this response to our interview with Richard McGregor. One way is through “close attention to the subtleties” of context, method, and discipline that characterize work that intently follows the objects and their “multiple, shifting registers.”

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New Types of Storytelling for the Non-Religious

Maria Nita says we’ve gone beyond new stories for the nonreligious in this response to our episode with Tim Stacey. We see “new types of storytelling,” she contends, and this opens exciting ethnographic opportunities for future scholarship.

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The views expressed in podcasts, features and responses are the views of the individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Religious Studies Project or our sponsors. The Religious Studies Project is produced by the Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750).