Each of the scholars involved on this panel has raised some of the historical and contemporary challenges associated with studying Scientology (or, as they suggest, “Scientologies”) and their thoughts about potential directions forward in circumstances which can sometimes feel like a frustrating research impasse. To my mind, what has stood out most clearly across the […]
About David Robertson
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Entries by David Robertson
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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.
The Religious Studies Project have launched a Patreon campaign – Chris and David explain why. Be part of the solution, not the problem…
On October 31 – November 2, the Marriot Hotel of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana hosted the 2014 annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR) in conjuncture with the Religious Research Association (RRA). The major theme for SSSR was “Building Bridges” and beautifully illustrated on the program cover by Kenan Sevinc. From my understanding, this was the first year that the program was in colour.
BREAKING NEWS: Today, the RSP is “born again” – as the Theological Dispatch.
Due to a huge donation from the Templeton Foundation, we are now going in a slightly different direction. As of today, our mandate is to investigate how religion and spirituality brings positive change to society, and helps make us all better citizens of God’s world.
I asked him about this quote from J. Z. Smith; he replied that he was correct, religion is a constructed category, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t also real. So Latour takes the constructionist agenda of the post-structuralists a step further. Our categories are indeed invented, but not “merely” so, for they are also real. They become real through our wielding of them.
The story goes that somewhere on the West Coast of Africa, sometime in the 17th Century,
Not long after I arrived home following the 2013 CESNUR conference, having spent some forty-odd hours door-to-door flying from Sweden to Australia, I tweeted “Great conference, beautiful country, lovely people”. The lengthy transit (dare I say ‘pilgrimage’) usually involved in making one’s way to CESNUR from the Antipodes is never too much to bear, for despite being small the conference is always one filled with enthusiastic colleagues …
” It is truly lovely to have met so many nice people when I arrived at the conference knowing virtually no one. My planned early night is yet again railroaded by the “couple” of “quick” emails I had to send, and I crawl into bed just before midnight. Despite the exhaustion, it is difficult to sleep on account of the whirring mind induced by the weekend’s conversations.”
“Is it necessary, helpful even, to only study religion if you are not religious? Does the secular scholar of, say Hinduism, stand to be a better scholar than another with the same training but who happens to personally be Hindu? Does having a personal involvement in the group that one is studying assist one in understanding Otto’s numinous?”
In this interview with Robert Orsi, Religious Studies Professor from Northwestern University, Jonathon and Dr. Orsi discuss the seemingly evergreen writer Rudolf Otto.
“Reframing understandings of (non)religion according to types of sacred which are independent of religious categories, allows (non)religious identities to be conceptualised to acknowledge the simultaneous intersection of multiple subjectively compatible (yet seemingly contradictory) religious and/or nonreligious identities, and paves the way for scholars to take religion seriously whilst avoiding unwarranted reverence.”
I begin this response to Titus Hjelm’s discussion of the continuing relevance of Marxist approaches to the study of religion by noting his assertion that Marx is underemployed as a source of ideas, partly because he has generally been regarded as critical of religion. A number of additional reasons are also relevant. One difficulty for Marxist scholars has been the extent to which the predictive power of Marxist models was brought into question as the twentieth century unfolded.
“My intentions rather are to assist applicants to understand a little better what all is involved in evaluating applicants for a position, and perhaps to help applicants prepare themselves better to participate in the application and interview processes.”
In what follows I have attempted to give some basic information and advice intended for the person who has recently finished graduate work and is seeking…
Too many graduate students seem unprepared for what awaits them once they complete their dissertations. Sadly, in many cases their professors seem not to have considered it to be their responsibility to provide them with some of the tools necessary for navigating the job market and beginning their careers. It is into this gap that the following twenty-one thesis statements–which have benefited …
“Stage fright is something everybody has to handle in their own way. But academic culture is something we can deliberately change. This short essay is an attempt to begin that process with some pointers for effective public speaking.”
On behalf of bored audiences everywhere, I wrote this essay to promote good public speaking. It is being circulated widely on the Internet. As a result, …