Mother Earth, Sister Earth: A Response to the RSP Interview with Dr. Susannah Crockford

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I have lived in the American Southwest much of my life, and so Dr. Crockford’s description of Sedona and its inhabitants was very familiar to me (although I have never visited that particular corner of Arizona). I was somewhat startled, though, by the idea of connecting the kind of hyperemotionalized and largely disembodied approach to spirituality and the environment that she found there to gendered discourses. On a personal level, as a former inhabitant of the region, I see much closer connections between the kind of American New Age spirituality she described and the transhumanist millenarianism that pervades much of the culture of Silicon Valley.
Ecospirituality
emotion
gender
millenarianism
nature
Race MoChridhe
Susannah Crockford

The RSP needs you!

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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
early career academics
postgraduates
religious studies programs
religious studies project
religious studies students

Stretching Good Faith: A Response to Candy Gunther Brown

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If Candy Gunther Brown’s work is so divergent with her peers in academia, how does one contextualize her understanding of yoga and her approach to it? In keeping with Bender’s assessment that Brown “exemplifies the ‘caveat emptor’ genre of popular writing about CAM,” I would argue that Brown’s writings on yoga are most similar to the genre of Christian-based criticism of yoga.
Candy Gunther Brown
Daniel Gorman Jr
Encinitas
Jennifer Sedlock
Yoga

On Reading Ralph Ellison Theologically

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Most scholars examining invisibility in Ellison’s novel consider it a social metaphor: the novel’s protagonist is made invisible by people’s refusal to really see him. Yet Harriss claims invisibility is also a theological trope, with roots in biblical materials, Protestantism, and Kongo traditions, antecedents that establish it as an unmarked religious category. More than the social marginalization of black bodies, Harriss contends invisibility is metaphysical, too.
Cooper Harriss
Dusty Hoesly
invisible theology
Literature
Race
Ralph Ellison
Secular

The Religious Meanings of Borders

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Maffly-Kipp offers what might be thought of as a mandate for borders for religious historians towards the end of the conversation. She and Gorman are talking about global histories, and specifically how global history re-shapes American religious history. Maffly-Kipp says it’s not enough to note borders and the crossing of borders, in religious histories. Instead, the meaning and affects and effects of borders on religion must be carefully examined.
borders
Daniel Silliman
Edward Oke
Janette Oke
Laurie Maffly-Kipp
Missionary Church

Messengers of Many Gods: A Response to the RSP Interview with Tehri Utriainen

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Angels don’t just make esotericism accessible to Christians; they make the legacy of Christian thought and active dialogue with the Christian world accessible to people who have often left both on bad terms, and would not otherwise be willing or able to engage with them.
angels
Race MoChridhe
syncretism
Tehri Utriainen
Thor

Explaining Witchcraft: Response to ‘Witchcraft in Slovenia’

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In her interview, Mirjam Mencej discusses her fascinating research into witchcraft in rural Slovenia. She conducted field work in Eastern Slovenia into people’s beliefs on witchcraft. Though restricted to rural areas in Eastern Slovenia, she claims belief in witchcraft is very much alive.
Cognitive Approaches
Hans van Eyghen
Mirjam Mencej
social evolution
Witchcraft

Could Empathy Encourage Hyperactive Authority Detection?

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Misplaced Faith? an interview with Professor Luke Galen, inspires some interesting speculations that I’ll offer in response. First, the mention of gender differences in the context of individual differences in the “sensus divinitatis” and agency detection is potentially important.
Cognitive Approaches
hyperactive agency detection
Luke Galen
Nick Stauner

Unwitchers and Witchcraft Discourse as Social Control: In Response to Mirjam Mencej

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In a recent interview with the Religious Studies Project, Mirjam Mencej, PhD, Professor of Folklore Studies and Comparative Mythology at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Ljubljana speaks about her ethnographic research and findings which are presented in her 2017 publication
Mirjam Mencej
new age
Patricia 'Iolana
unwitching
Witchcraft

Teaching Religion: A Response to Douglas Brooks

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In his classroom, there is a clear divide between scholar and practitioner, between religious studies and religious practice. Obviously, [Brooks] is an example of how those two worlds comingle. But he is also committed to further advancing the study of religion as a secular discipline – in the same way that one studies history, psychology, sociology, and the like.
academic study of religion
Douglas R Brooks
teaching
William Chavez

Studying Tantra from the Inside and Out

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In this interview on ‘Studying Tantra from the Inside and Out’, Douglas R Brooks allows the listener an insight into his own personal and academic development, and an account of how various factors led him to the study of South Indian Shrividya Shakta Tantrism. There are many interesting elements to consider therein,...
Douglas R Brooks
insider/outsider
Sammy Bishop
Tantra
Yoga

Paths to Sexual Ethics

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Paths need not be linear nor our place on them stagnant, rather we can draw from the past and draw it into the present moment, revisiting and revising as we ask new questions in enduring, and uniting, struggles over ethics in sexuality and beyond.
Elisabeth Becker
Ethics
gender
Islam
Kecia Ali
Sexual Ethics
Sexuality

The Religious and Political Landscape in Peru: A Historic and Cautionary Tale

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I can’t help but see the parallels between the Peruvian religious and political history which Fonseca outlines in his interview and the events currently taking place in the United States where religion and politics are more intricately entwined than ever before by a minority Far-Right Conservative Christian movement and its dominant media presence. This intriguing parallel makes Fonseca’s interview timely and important as history repeats itself.
Olivia Singer
Patricia 'Iolana
Peru
religion and politics

Reliability and Religion: A response to Misplaced Faith?

Claiming that social deficit increases religious belief is also hard without presupposing that some belief was already there. Compensating lack of social interactions by interacting with an invisible, divine, being is easier if the individual already has some prior belief. Without it, jumping to beliefs in invisible beings seems a long jump.
Cognitive Approaches
cognitive science of religion
Hans van Eyghen
Luke Galen
misattributed agency

Higher Education in the Digital Age In response to Simmons and Altman

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The Religious Studies Project in the UK and State of Formation in the US stand out as two exemplary religious studies projects, often, as with these two, in collaboration with other universities, (as opposed to individual departments or programmes) that utilise social media daily to reach and interact with their intended audience.
digital age
Education
graduate education
Interdisciplinarity
Patricia 'Iolana
Social Media