The Religious Studies Project Master Archive

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Episode Data for #, Roundtable: Can We Trust the Social Sciences? CONTENT:
TITLE: Roundtable: Can We Trust the Social Sciences?
EPISODE_#: ERROR We have another ‘treat’ for you this week – we’ll let you decide whether that was an accurate description or not – in the form of another roundtable discussion, with a slightly different group of people. This was recorded late on the 28th of March at the University of Chester during the British Sociological Association’s Sociology of Religion Study Group (SOCREL for short)’s conference (although, of course, this is an ‘unofficial’ discussion).
Ethan: “We ask a question on a survey, we get an answer… and then we have to fill in the space…”
The topic of discussion grew out of a presentation delivered by Callum Brown at the University of Edinburgh (at the same time as we recorded our podcast with him) on the topic of “People of no religion: The demographics of secularisation in the English speaking world since 1900”, which presented, amongst other things, some conclusions from large-scale demographic surveys of religious identification. Ethan Quillen disagreed forcefully that conclusions drawn from questionnaires and censuses can be used to draw large-scale conclusions, and tabled the motion, “Can We Trust the Social Sciences?” If you are new to the podcast – this is not what we usually do. If you are a regular listener – you might enjoy this, or you might not; either way, we are back to normal with Jolyon Mitchell’s interview on Religion, Media and Violence on Monday. For an interesting and more rigorous response essay to this podcast, please see Tim Hutchings’ A Response to Callum Brown: Connecting “When” and “Why” in Digital Religion.
David and Ethan
David and Ethan
Conversation ranges from the strengths and weaknesses of such data, whether there is more to the social sciences than quantitative methods, and the place of the social sciences within a multi-disciplinary Religious Studies field. Can we trust social sciences when we study religion? Is a social scientific approach the future of religious studies? What is an alternative to a social scientific approach?  These questions and more form the basis for what we intend to act as a bridge between our previous roundtable (“What is the Future of Religious Studies?”) and our forthcoming roundtable (“Should scholars of religion be critics or caretakers?”), timetabled for release on 6 June 2012. Discussion largely focussed upon Quantitative Methods… something which future podcasts with Ariela Keysar and David Voas shall be focusing on more explicitly:
Do social scientists depend upon assumptive reasoning when it comes to filling in the blanks in their data? Does a decline in church attendance mean a decline in conviction, or simply a decline in one’s attendance at church? By providing boxes do we force people into boxes? What does one individual tell us about a category? What is it specifically about religion that makes this such an issue? How do we trust people to answer in a certain way?
Kevin: “Aren’t you better hypothesising by going out and asking people questions than by sitting around and hypothesising?”
Reference is made to the panel session on Religious Conspiracies at which David, Kevin and Ethan had presented earlier in the day. We also refer to Tom Rees’ excellent Epiphenom blog. Ethan plays Devil’s advocate, whilst Chris throws himself on the pyre and asks Ethan what he thought was wrong with his approach in his MSc Thesis.
Mat: “It’s not perfect, and I would love to go out and buy a tailored pair of trousers but… I’m not gonna get it. So I’ll go out and buy a pair that are closest to my size, and that’s the most economic way…”
It was late… two thirds of the panel had been up since 7 am travelling down from Edinburgh. The conclusion? Should there be a balance between quantitative and qualitative approaches? Well… yes. But individual scholars may have to side with one or the other. We need a holistic approach, and this isn’t generally something one scholar can accomplish by themselves… Sponsored by Pepsi Max, and pink gin.
Katie clearly found Ethan “hilarious”
The Discussants: Katie Aston Having completed a BA (hons) in Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art in 2006, Katie went on to complete her Masters in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths University, with a dissertation investigating gender performance within contemporary Stand Up comedy in London. Building on a pilot study of the Atheist Bus Campaign,  she is currently undertaking an ethnographic study of non-religious value construction and material cultures. She is looking specifically at rationalism and the role Christian heritage within non-religious individuals and organisation, taking a historical perspective from the freethought archives of Bishopsgate Institute. Katie is an Assistant Editor at NSRN Online, the web presence of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network. Christopher R. Cotter Chris recently completed his MSc by Research in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, on the topic ‘Toward a Typology of Nonreligion: A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Narratives of Scottish University Students’. He is currently taking a year out from study to pursue PhD applications, present at conferences, and work on projects such as this. His future research will continue to expand the theme of ‘non-religion’ to apply to ‘everyone’ in religiously diverse, socio-economically deprived urban environments, simultaneously deconstructing the religion-nonreligion dichotomy in the process. He is Deputy Editor and Bibliography Manager at the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network, and currently editing the volume ‘Social Identities between the Sacred and the Secular’ with Abby Day and Giselle Vincett (Ashgate, 2013). See his personal blog, or academia.edu page for a full CV. Matthew Francis Matthew graduated from Leeds with a joint-honours degree in Philosophy and Theology and Religious Studies. He subsequently undertook a Masters by Research, where he examined the ideas of Georges Bataille in relation to the problem of meaning in death in contemporary society. Matthew is the Postgraduate Officer for the Sociology of Religion study group (SocRel) of the British Sociological Association (BSA). He has taught on undergraduate and postgraduate modules on subjects including the Sociology of Religion and Religion in Modern Britain. Matthew recently completed an AHRC-funded PhD at Leeds, which investigated the move to violence in the beliefs of groups. He is the editor for RadicalisationResearch.org, an AHRC/ESRC funded website which provides a resource for policy-makers and the media on radicalisation and extremism, and works at Goldsmiths University managing the Religious Literacy Leadership Project. Ethan Quillen Circular Academia: Navigating the Dangerous Waters of Term Re-Assignment for the Religious Studies Project. David G. Robertson 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 culture. Forthcoming publications: “Making the Donkey Visible: Discordianism in the Works of Robert Anton Wilson” in C. Cusack & A. Norman (Eds.), Brill Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production. Leiden: Brill (2012) “(Always) Living in the End Times: The “rolling prophecy” of the conspracist milieu” in When Prophecy Persists. London: INFORM/Ashgate (2012). For a full CV and his MSc thesis on contemporary gnosticism, see his Academia page or personal blog. Kevin Whitesides Kevin Whitesides completed his B.A. in Religious Studies at Humboldt State University. He is currently developing an MSc dissertation at the University of Edinburgh on ’2012′ millennialism as part of a broader emphasis on countercultural transmission. Kevin has contributed articles to ‘Archaeoastronomy’ and ‘Zeitschrift fur Anomalistik’, has contributed chapters for two anthologies on apocalypse and prophecy, and has presented widely on the ’2012′ milieu at academic conferences and universities.
DATE 2012-05-02 14:16:30
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/roundtable-can-we-trust-the-social-sciences/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/IMGP0727.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Census, Demography, Religious Studies, Social Sciences, Sociology of Religion, Surveys
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Roundtable-2.mp3
EXCERPT: In another roundtable gathering, conversation ranges from the strengths and weaknesses of such data, whether there is more to the social sciences than quantitative methods, and the place of the social sciences within a multi-disciplinary Religious Studies field. Can we trust social sciences when we study religion? Is a social scientific approach the future of religious studies?
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Ethan Gjerset Quillen


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/ethan-gjerset-quillen/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/ethanQuillen.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Katie Aston


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/katie-aston/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/katie_aston.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Kevin Whitesides


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/kevin-whitesides/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Kevin_Whitesides.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Matthew Francis


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/matthew-francis/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Matthew_Francis.jpg


Responses

Episode Data for #16, Historical Approaches to (Losing) Religion CONTENT:
TITLE: Historical Approaches to (Losing) Religion
EPISODE_#: 16 How can we use historical approaches in the study of religion? More specifically, can we use historical approaches to understand why people are losing it? Professor Callum Brown tells us why historical approaches have much to tell us about religious change. Callum Brown is Professor of Religious and Cultural History at the University of Dundee. He is a social and cultural historian with special research interests in religion and secularisation in the post 1750 period – especially in the 20th and 21st centuries – mostly in Scotland and Britain, but also Canada, USA and Ireland. He is currently involved in the project A Social and Cultural History of Modern Humanism, covering Scotland, UK, Ireland, Canada and USA and using especially oral history focusing on the social and cultural origins of individuals’ humanism, looking at issues like family background, religious experiences, and cultural alignments. He is also about to publish Religion and the Demographic Revolution: Women and Secularisation in Canada, Ireland, UK and USA since the 1960s (London, Boydell & Brewer), which looks at demographic behaviour in the North Atlantic world, and the correlations between gender change, the sexual revolution, changes in patterns of marriage and cohabitation, and changes in religious ritual (such as religious solemnisation of marriage, baptism and funeral rites), and incorporates considerable statistical research.  You may also be interested in our recent interview with Professor Linda Woodhead on the Secularisation Thesis, and Bjoern Mastiaux’s essay on the same topic. For an interesting response essay to this podcast, please see Tim Hutchings’ A Response to Callum Brown: Connecting “When” and “Why” in Digital Religion. For a more ‘informal’ response, you can listen to our roundtable discussion session on the question Can We Trust the Social Sciences?.
DATE 2012-04-30 08:10:16
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-callum-brown-on-historical-approaches-to-losing-religion/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: History, quantitative, scotland, Secularism, Secularization
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/RSP16-Brown.mp3
EXCERPT: How can we use historical approaches in the study of religion? More specifically, can we use historical approaches to understand why people are losing it? Professor Callum Brown tells us why historical approaches have much to tell us about religious change. How can we use historical approaches in the study of religion?
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Callum Brown


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/callum-brown/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/callum-brown.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

Episode Data for #15, Religion After Darwin CONTENT:
TITLE: Religion After Darwin
EPISODE_#: 15 Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species  was published in 1859, and had an immediate and dramatic effect on religious narratives. Traditional religions were forced to adopt an evolutionary worldview, or to go on the offensive; whereas New Religious Movements like Wicca or New Age adopted an environmental concern as a central part of their belief. And possibly, for individuals and groups committed to protect, preserve or sacralise nature, environmentalism has become a kind of religion in itself. Bron Taylor is Professor of Religion and Nature at the University of Florida. He is also a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. His central scholarly interest and personal passion is the conservation of the earth’s biological diversity and how human culture might evolve rapidly enough to arrest and reverse today’s intensifying environmental and social crises. He edits the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, as well as the two-volume Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. His latest book is Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (2009) – the first chapter can be read on his website, along with a wealth of other supplimentary material including a piece on Bron’s thoughts on the movie Avatar, as discussed in the podcast
DATE 2012-04-23 08:36:20
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-bron-taylor-on-religion-after-darwin/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Environment, Evolution, nature, religion and science
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/RSP15-Taylor1.mp3
EXCERPT: Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species was published in 1859, and had an immediate and dramatic effect on religious narratives. Traditional religions were forced to adopt an evolutionary worldview, or to go on the offensive; whereas New Religious Movements like Wicca or New Age adopted an environmental concern as a central part of their belief. And possibly, …
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Bron Taylor


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/bron-taylor/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/bron_taylor_1.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: The Last Best Hope of Earth? Bron Taylor and the Limits of Dark Green Religion

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/dusty-hoesly-the-last-best-hope-of-earth-bron-taylor-and-the-limits-of-dark-green-religion/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #14, The Secularisation Thesis CONTENT:
TITLE: The Secularisation Thesis
EPISODE_#: 14
Linda Woodhead

The secularisation thesis – the idea that traditional religions are in terminal decline in the industrialised world – was perhaps the central debate in the sociology of religion in the second half of the 20th century. Scholars such as Steve Bruce, Rodney Stark and Charles Taylor argued whether religion was becoming less important to individuals, or that only the authority of religions in the public sphere was declining. Data from the US and South America, however, began to challenge many of their basic assumptions. Professor Linda Woodhead joins us to discuss the background and legacy of the secularisation thesis.

A transcription of this interview is also available as a PDF.

DATE 2012-04-16 08:12:06
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-linda-woodhead-on-the-secularisation-thesis/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Religious Decline, Secularization, Sociology of Religion
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/RSP14-Woodhead.mp3
EXCERPT: The secularisation thesis – the idea that traditional religions are in terminal decline in the industrialised world – was perhaps the central debate in the sociology of religion in the second half of the 20th century. Scholars such as Steve Bruce, Rodney Stark and Charles Taylor argued whether religion was becoming less important to individuals, or that only the authority of religions in the public sphere was declining.
TRANSCRIPT_URL https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/transcript/the-secularisation-thesis-transcript/

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Linda Woodhead


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/linda-woodhead/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/linda_woodhead-1.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: Secularization: A Look at Individual Level Theories of Religious Change

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/bjorn-mastiaux-secularization-a-look-at-individual-level-theories-of-religious-change/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #13, Psychological Approaches to the Study of Religion CONTENT:
TITLE: Psychological Approaches to the Study of Religion
EPISODE_#: 13
In practice, experimentation requires much effort, imagination, and resources. The subject of religion seems too complex and too ‘soft’ for the laboratory. It is filled with much fantasy and feelings, two topics which academic psychology finds hard to approach. Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin, and Michael Argyle. The Psychology of Religious Behaviour, Belief and Experience. London: Routledge, 1997, p. 47.
Psychology of religion involves the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to religious institutions, as well as to individuals of all religious or noreligious persuasions. Last November, Chris had the pleasure of chatting to Professor Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi about the psychological approach, how one applies it to the study of religion, and the various challenges and advantages contained therein. This interview was recorded in the heart of New York City, and we can only hope that the ambient noise adds to the character of the interview. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi studied clinical psychology in Israel and the U.S. and is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Haifa. He has published extensively in the critical theory of academic psychology with focus on the psychopathology of religion. His books include Despair and Deliverance: Private Salvation in Contemporary Israel (1992), Psychoanalytic Studies of Religion: A Critical Assessment (1996) and The psychology of religious behaviour, belief and experience (1997) with Michael Argyle. He is also author of The Israeli Connection (Pantheon 1987), concerning the Israeli armaments industry, and Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel (Olive Branch 1993), a counter-mystification of the origins, accomplishments, contradictions, and betrayals of Zionism. In answer to the question “what can science say about atheism?”, Professor Beit-Hallahmi published the article “Cognitive Approaches to the Study of Religion, and Erica Salomon’s response essay.
DATE 2012-04-09 09:00:14
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-benjamin-beit-hallahmi-on-psychological-approaches-to-the-study-of-religion/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Atheism, Israel, Psychology of Religion
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/RSP13-Beit-Hallahmi.mp3
EXCERPT: “In practice, experimentation requires much effort, imagination, and resources. The subject of religion seems too complex and too ‘soft’ for the laboratory. It is filled with much fantasy and feelings, two topics which academic psychology finds hard to approach.” Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin, and Michael Argyle. The Psychology of Religious Behaviour, Belief and Experience. London: Routledge, 1997, p. 47.
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/benjamin-beit-hallahmi/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Beit-Hallahmi-148x150-1.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: Religion’s common denominators, and a plea for data

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/stuart-ritchie-religions-common-denominators-and-a-plea-for-data/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #12, Fiction-Based Religions CONTENT:
TITLE: Fiction-Based Religions
EPISODE_#: 12 The majority of those who identified as a Jedi on the 2001 UK census were mounting a more-or-less satirical or playful act of non-compliance; nevertheless, a certain proportion of those were telling the truth. How does a religion constructed from the fictional Star Wars universe problematise how we conceptualise other religions, and the stories they involve?  And what makes certain stories able to transcend their fictional origins and become myths? Markus Altena Davidsen is a PhD candidate at the universities of Aarhus, Denmark and Leiden, Netherlands, and assistant lecturer in the sociology of religion in Leiden. Since 2009, he has been working on a PhD project entitled “Fiction-based Religions: The Use of Fiction in Contemporary Religious Bricolage”. In this project, Davidsen attempts to do three things. Firstly, he maps the various ways on which religious groups since the 1960s have been integrating elements from Tolkien’s literary mythology with beliefs and practices from more established religious traditions. This material is used to develop a typology of forms of religious bricolage (harmonising, domesticating, archetypal etc.) which are also at work in alternative spirituality in general. Secondly, he looks at how Tolkien religionists legitimise their religious practice (to themselves and others) given that it is based on a work of fiction. These accounts are compared with what cognitive theory has to say about narratives and plausibility construction. Thirdly, Davidsen treats how the internet has facilitated the emergence of a self-conscious spiritual Tolkien milieu. Some preliminary conclusions from the project are presented in the forthcoming article “The Spiritual Milieu Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Literary Mythology”, in Adam Possamai (ed.), Handbook of Hyper-real Religions, in the series Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion 5, Leiden & Boston: Brill, 185-204. You can keep up with Markus’s work on Invented Religions. And you may enjoy Markus and Carole’s contributions to our edited episode on “The Future of Religious Studies“.
DATE 2012-04-02 08:00:53
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-markus-davidsen-on-fiction-based-religions/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Fiction and Religion, Invented Religions, New Religious Movements, Science Fiction
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/RSP12-Davidsen.mp3
EXCERPT: The majority of those who identified as a Jedi on the 2001 UK census were mounting a more-or-less satirical or playful act of non-compliance; nevertheless, a certain proportion of those were telling the truth. How does a religion constructed from the fictional Star Wars universe problematise how we conceptualise other religions, and the stories they involve?
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Markus Davidsen


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/markus-davidsen/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/MarkusDavidsen.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: Divine Inspiration Revisited

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/hanna-lehtinen-divine-inspiration-revisited/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #11, Doing Anthropological Fieldwork CONTENT:
TITLE: Doing Anthropological Fieldwork
EPISODE_#: 11

“If we want to discover what [wo]man amounts to, we can only find it in what [wo]men are: and what [wo]men are, above all other things, is various. It is in understanding that variousness – its range, its nature, its basis, and its implications – that we shall come to construct a concept of human nature that, more than a statistical shadow, and less than a primitivists dream, has both substance and truth.” (Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, 1973:52)

This quotation from Clifford Geertz, one of the canonical figures in anthropology, succinctly sums up what anthropology tries to do. Anthropology is essentially a comparative study of socio-cultural behaviour and attitudes, and is one of the most complex yet fundamental tools in the scholar of religions’ toolbox.

Some scholars make a career out of being an anthropologist of religion, others employ the techniques of ethnographic fieldwork in combination with other approaches and methodologies. And, of course, even those scholars who are attempting to be solely anthropologists of religion cannot divorce religion from the host of other contextual factors within which they believe they have found it. This week, David (and, briefly, Chris) are joined by Dr Bettina Schmidt of the University of Wales, Trinity St David, who gives an insightful personal account of the complex task of conducting anthropological fieldwork, with examples from a variety of contexts.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on The Insider/Outsider Problem, and/or reading Katie Aston’s response Insider and Outsider – An Anthropological Perspective. Anthropology is a complex beast, and something which can only truly be learned in the field. As our friend Damon Zacharias Lycourinos has said:
“Anthropology is the art and science of taking paradigms of ethnography from your supervisor, taking them into the field, realising that they are wrong due to their objectivity, re-shaping and introducing a new school of anthropological theory, and expecting your re-shaped paradigms to be annihilated by your future students.”
DATE 2012-03-26 08:57:24
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-bettina-schmidt-on-doing-anthropological-fieldwork/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: anthropology, anthropology of religion, Fieldwork
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/RSP-11-Schmitt.mp3
EXCERPT: “If we want to discover what [wo]man amounts to, we can only find it in what [wo]men are: and what [wo]men are, above all other things, is various. It is in understanding that variousness – its range, its nature, its basis, and its implications – that we shall come to construct a concept of human nature that, more than a statistical shadow, and less than a primitivists dream, …
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Bettina Schmidt


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/bettina-schmidt/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/bettina_schmidt.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

Episode Data for #, Roundtable: What is the Future of Religious Studies? CONTENT:
TITLE: Roundtable: What is the Future of Religious Studies?
EPISODE_#: ERROR
David Robertson, Chris Cotter, Ethan Quillen, Jonathan Tuckett, Kevin Whitesides & Liam Sutherland (NB: ‘we’ are not the future of Religious Studies – although some of us hope to be – that would just be silly)

After this week’s podcast, which involved eight scholars giving their views on the future of Religious Studies, there was really only one way we could create a suitably collective and varied response – six postgrads sitting around a table, accompanied by pink gin and our trusty dictaphone. Conversation ranges from the public perception of what Religious Studies does, what to do with a RS degree, to the financial practicalities of doing postgraduate research in the UK and US today. Mostly, though, it’s a collective rant about the cognitive study of religion (for a more educated discussion on cognitive approaches to the study of religion, see our interview with Armin Geertz)..

**Regular visitors please note – we have moved our weekly feature articles to Wednesdays instead of Fridays. This will continue until further notice, and is intended to promote more discussion**

If you are new to the podcast – this is not what we usually do. If you are a regular listener – you might enjoy this, or you might not; either way, we are back to normal with Bettina Schmidt’s interview on Anthropological Approaches on Monday.

The bleeping noises are Chris’s camera, and the clunks are Liam’s can of Gin. We hope you enjoy it, we certainly enjoyed recording it. We’ll be recording another at the SOCREL (Sociology of Religion) Annual Conference in just a few days time (with a more diverse range of participants!). If you’d like this to become a regular feature, please let us know.

Choice quotations:

“What do you do with a Religious Studies degree? You get a Master’s. What do you do with a Religious Studies Master’s? You get a PhD? What do you do with a Religious Studies Phd? You work in Starbucks.”

“I think of Religious Studies less as a discipline and more as the name of a department.”

“relativity… is one step up from subjectivity, which is the post-modernist quagmire of death and destruction that will consume all academic fields if it’s allowed to spread too far…”

The Discussants:

Editor’s Note: The author bios below have been left as they were first published in 2012. 

Christopher R. Cotter recently completed his MSc by Research in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, on the topic ‘Toward a Typology of Nonreligion: A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Narratives of Scottish University Students’. He is currently taking a year out from study to pursue PhD applications, present at conferences, and work on projects such as this. His future research will continue to expand the theme of ‘non-religion’ to apply to ‘everyone’ in religiously diverse, socio-economically deprived urban environments, simultaneously deconstructing the religion-nonreligion dichotomy in the process. He is Deputy Editor and Bibliography Manager at the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network, and currently editing the volume ‘Social Identities between the Sacred and the Secular’ with Abby Day and Giselle Vincett (Ashgate, 2013). See his personal blog, or academia.edu page for a full CV.


Ethan Quillen, Circular Academia: Navigating the Dangerous Waters of Term Re-Assignment for the Religious Studies Project.


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 culture. Forthcoming publications: “Making the Donkey Visible: Discordianism in the Works of Robert Anton Wilson” in C. Cusack & A. Norman (Eds.), Brill Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production. Leiden: Brill (2012) “(Always) Living in the End Times: The “rolling prophecy” of the conspracist milieu” in When Prophecy Persists. London: INFORM/Ashgate (2012). For a full CV and his MSc thesis on contemporary gnosticism, see his Academia page or personal blog.


Liam Sutherland is a Religious Studies Postgraduate student at Edinburgh University undertaking a Masters by Research, on the relevance of E.B Tylor for the contemporary theory of religion, defining religion and modern scholars with a ‘Neo-Tylorian’ influence or affinity. He is a native of Edinburgh where he also completed his undergraduate degree  in 2009, producing a dissertation on contemporary Indigenous Australian spirituality and the politics of land rights. Though he began in Politics, and took many Politics and school of Social Science courses, he quickly fell in love with Religious Studies! Liam has also written the essay An Evaluation of Harvey’s Approach to Animism and the Tylorian Legacy for the Religious Studies Project.


Jonathan Tuckett, What is Phenomenology? for the Religious Studies Project.


Kevin Whitesides completed his B.A. in Religious Studies at Humboldt State University. He is currently developing an MSc dissertation at the University of Edinburgh on ‘2012’ millennialism as part of a broader emphasis on countercultural transmission. Kevin has contributed articles to ‘Archaeoastronomy’ and ‘Zeitschrift fur Anomalistik’, has contributed chapters for two anthologies on apocalypse and prophecy, and has presented widely on the ‘2012’ milieu at academic conferences and universities.

DATE 2012-03-21 08:00:15
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/roundtable-what-is-the-future-of-religious-studies/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Group.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Higher Education, Religious Studies
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/RSP-roundtable-1.mp3
EXCERPT: After this week’s podcast, which involved eight scholars giving their views on the future of Religious Studies, there was really only one way we could create a suitably collective and varied response – six postgrads sitting around a table, accompanied by pink gin and our trusty dictaphone. Conversation ranges from the public perception of what Religious Studies does, …
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Jonathan Tuckett


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/jonathan-tuckett/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Jonathan_Tuckett.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Kevin Whitesides


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/kevin-whitesides/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Kevin_Whitesides.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Liam Sutherland


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/liam-sutherland/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Liam_Sutherland.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Ethan Gjerset Quillen


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/ethan-gjerset-quillen/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/ethanQuillen.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

Episode Data for #10, What is the Future of Religious Studies? CONTENT:
TITLE: What is the Future of Religious Studies?
EPISODE_#: 10 This week we decided to do something a bit different. Every time David and Chris have conducted an interview, they have been asking the interviewees an additional question: “What is the Future of Religious Studies?” The result is this highly stimulating compilation of differing perspectives and levels of optimism on what has become one of the most hotly debated topics in the academic study of religion at the start of the second decade of the twenty-first century.
The underlying motivation behind placing this question on the agenda of the Religious Studies Project was one of finances. In the current economic climate – particularly in the UK – and with the increasing commodification of the Higher Education sector. It is no longer acceptable for academics to sit pontificating in their ivory towers, and every discipline (but particularly Religious Studies) is finding itself increasingly in the firing line in terms of funding and resources. This issue is so pressing that the British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR) and the British Sociological Association’s Sociology of Religion Study Group (SOCREL) – the two professional organisations that together represent the UK’s leading scholars in the study of religion – have joined forces to present a joint panel on ‘Public benefit in the study of religion’ at the BASR annual conference, September 5-7 2012 University of Winchester, UK. However, this is not the only issue on the table. Topics range from interdisciplinarity and institutional conflict, to innovative new methodologies, directions and foci. Some of these academics have already appeared on the Religious Studies Project, others’ interviews have yet to be released, yet each has their own unique perspective to offer, and we hope that you appreciate this compilation. Featured in this podcast (with links to their previously released interviews): We wanted to do something special with this podcast, because it is the tenth edition of the Religious Studies Project. We hope this has been a worthwhile exercise! Later in the week, we will be releasing a ‘unique’ response to this episode, and we hope it will prove similarly worthwhile. If you stick with us for the next ten episodes, you’ll be treated to interviews with Bettina Schmidt (University of Wales), Markus Davidsen (Aarhus University), Bejamin Beit-Hallahmi (University of Haifa), Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University), Ariela Keysar (Trinity College, Massachusetts), Bron Taylor (University of Florida) and more…
DATE 2012-03-19 08:00:18
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-what-is-the-future-of-religious-studies/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/what-is-the-future-of-RS21.gif
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Higher Education, Religious Studies
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/RSP10-What-is-the-future-of-Religious-Studies.mp3
EXCERPT: This week we decided to do something a bit different. Every time David and Chris have conducted an interview, they have been asking the interviewees an additional question: “What is the Future of Religious Studies?” The result is this highly stimulating compilation of differing perspectives and levels of optimism The result is this highly stimulating compilation of differing perspectives and levels of optimism on what has become one of the most hotly debated topics in the academic study of religion at the start of the second decade of the twenty-first century.
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Armin Geertz


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/armin-geertz/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Armin_W_Geertz.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Carole Cusack


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/carole-cusack/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Cusack_72.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: James L. Cox


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/james-l-cox/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/James_Cox-1030x579-1-e1595019409697.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: George Chryssides


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/george-chryssides/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/George_Chryssides.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Donald Wiebe


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/donald-weibe/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Donald_wiebe.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Bettina Schmidt


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/bettina-schmidt/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/bettina_schmidt.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Markus Davidsen


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/markus-davidsen/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/MarkusDavidsen.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Graham Harvey


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/graham-harvey/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Graham_harvey.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


Responses

Episode Data for #9, Substantive Religion and the Functionalist Sacred CONTENT:
TITLE: Substantive Religion and the Functionalist Sacred
EPISODE_#: 9 Could the difficulties associated with the academic conceptualisation of “religion” be overcome by changing our focus instead to “the sacred”? Jay Demerath tells Chris why we should define religion substantively – that is, in terms of specific attributes like rituals, deities or dogmas – but the sacred in terms of the function it serves in the lives of individuals and cultures. From this perspective, religion can be considered one of a number of potential sources of the sacred. Jay Demerath is currently the Emile Durkheim Distinguished Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he has been a faculty member since 1972, including ten years as Chair. Prior to UMass, he received a 1958 A.B. from Harvard and a 1964 Ph.D from the U. Of California, Berkeley before rising from Instructor to Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and serving as Executive Officer of the American Sociological Association. Among his many publications, he is author or editor of fourteen books, including the award-winning Crossing the Gods: World Religions and Worldly Politics (2001) and the recent Sage Handbook for the Sociology of Religion (2008). The current Chair-elect of the Religion Section of the American Sociological Association, he is also past-President of the Eastern Sociological Society, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Association for the Sociology of Religion. Of particular relevance to this interview is his paper from 2000, The Varieties of Sacred Experience: Finding the Sacred in a Secular Grove, from the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 39, p. 1–11. Here’s the abstract:

This paper contends that the social scientific study of religion has long labored under a chafing constraint and a misleading premise. It suggests that our primary focus should be on the sacred, and that religion is just one among many possible sources of the sacred. Defining religion “substantively” but the sacred “functionally” helps toresolve a long-standing tension in the field. Broadened conceptions of the sacred and of “sacralization” help to defuse the conflict among the two very different versions of secularization theory: the “all-or-nothing” versus the “middle range.” Meanwhile, a conceptual typology of the sacred pivots around the intersections of two distinctions (compensatory vs. confirmatory and marginal vs. institutional). This generates four distinct scenarios: the sacred as integrative, the sacred as quest, the sacred as collectivity, and the sacred as counter-culture. The paper concludes with three admonitions for research in the area.

DATE 2012-03-12 06:33:38
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/jay-demerath-on/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: defining religion, Sacred, Secularization, Sociology of Religion
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/RSP9-Demerath.mp3
EXCERPT: Could the difficulties associated with the academic conceptualisation of “religion” be overcome by changing our focus instead to “the sacred”? Jay Demerath tells Chris why we should define religion substantively – that is, in terms of specific attributes like rituals, deities or dogmas – but the sacred in terms of the function it serves in the lives of individuals and cultures.
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Jay Demerath III


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/jay-demerath-iii/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Jay-demerath.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: Circular Academia: Navigating the Dangerous Waters of Term Re-Assignment

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/ethan-gjerset-quillen-circular-academia-navigating-the-dangerous-waters-of-term-re-assignment/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #8, The Changing Nature of Religion CONTENT:
TITLE: The Changing Nature of Religion
EPISODE_#: 8 In her keynote address to the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in Milwaukee last October, Grace Davie eruditely portrayed the changing perceptions of ‘religion’ over the last fifty years. In the 1960s, most sociologists consciously or unconsciously bought into idea of the ‘death of god’ – religion became effectively invisible to academia. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, a number of events – most notably the ‘Satanic Verses’ controversy – dramatically increased the ‘visibility’ of religion: it became a political problem. Now, in the 21st century, religion is increasingly being construed by politicians, educators, the media etc, as a useful resource to be exploited. These public perceptions are but one facet of the way in which ‘religion’ can be understood as ‘changing’. In this interview with Chris, Professor Davie discusses the place of religion in modern Europe, paying particular attention to the place of the United Kingdom within the European context. In an effort to combat the caricatures that typify media accounts of religion in the contemporary world, Davie discusses the changing nature of religion, in academia and in the public square, and considers the impact of the arrival of new cultures into Europe, whilst reflecting on secular reactions to these. Three freely accessible articles by Prof. Davie which should be of interest to our listeners are “Thinking Sociologically about Religion: A Step Change in the Debate?“, published by The ARDA in 2011,  “Is Europe an Exceptional Case?” from The Hedgehog Review (2006), and “Working Comparatively” from the University of Kent’s Research Methods for the Study of Religion website. This interview was recorded in October 2011 in Milwaukee, WI at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
DATE 2012-03-05 06:15:40
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/grace-davie-on-the-changing-face-of-religion/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: europe, public sphere, Sociology of Religion, UK
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/RSP8-Davie.mp3
EXCERPT: In the 1960s, most sociologists consciously or unconsciously bought into idea of the ‘death of god’ – religion became effectively invisible to academia. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, a number of events – most notably the ‘Satanic Verses’ controversy – dramatically increased the ‘visibility’ of religion: it became a political problem. Now, in the 21st century, …
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Grace Davie


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/grace-davie/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Grace_Davie.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: What to do with Davie’s ‘Vicarious Religion’?

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/amarnath-amarasingam-what-to-do-with-davies-vicarious-religion/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #7, Youth, Sexuality and Religion CONTENT:
TITLE: Youth, Sexuality and Religion
EPISODE_#: 7 The Religion, Youth and Sexuality: A Multi-faith Exploration project, based at the University of Nottingham, looked at 18 to 25 year-olds from a variety of faith backgrounds in order to understand attitudes and practices around sexuality and how this was negotiated in relation to religious traditions. Dr Sarah-Jane Page, one of the research fellows, talks to Chris about the project’s findings, which were sometimes surprising. Religion is found to be a significant influence, but one influence among a number of others.  About Dr. Page Dr Page completed her doctorate in 2009, in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham, investigating motherhood and priesthood as well as the non-ordained spouses of women priests in the Church of England. More recently, she was Research Consultant for the European Commission funded project, Citizens in Diversity: A Four-nation Study of Homophobia and Human Rights (www.citidive.eu). The British case study, with which she was involved, focused on ascertaining types of homonegativity encountered in the UK context, in order to understand the complexities and nuances relating to contemporary attitudes to homosexuality. She is now based at Aston University. A .pdf of the full findings of the Religion Youth and Sexuality project can be downloaded here, and a podcast about the research is also available. Dr Page has also co-authored a book (with A. K. T. Yip) based on the research which will be published by Ashgate during 2012, entitled Religious and Sexual Journeys: A Multi-faith Exploration of Young Believers.
DATE 2012-02-27 07:00:59
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-sarah-jane-page-on-youth-sexuality-and-religion/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: gender, Sexuality, UK, Youth
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/RSP7-Page.mp3
EXCERPT: The Religion, Youth and Sexuality: A Multi-faith Exploration project, based at the University of Nottingham, looked at 18 to 25 year-olds from a variety of faith backgrounds in order to understand attitudes and practices around sexuality and how this was negotiated in relation to religious traditions. Dr Sarah-Jane Page, one of the research fellows, …
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Sarah-Jane Page


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/sarah-jane-page/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Sarah-Jane-Page.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

Episode Data for #6, The Insider/Outsider Problem CONTENT:
TITLE: The Insider/Outsider Problem
EPISODE_#: 6

The Insider/Outsider problem is one of the most perennial problems in the academic study of religion. This distinction, relating to where scholars position themselves relating to the subject matter (whatever that may be), permeates not only almost every aspect of academia, but has profound implications for each and every one of us conducts ourselves in relationship with the other people we encounter in our day-to-day lives. Dr George Chryssides joins Chris this week to discuss this fascinating issue.

This interview was recorded in September 2011 at the British Association for the Study of Religions‘ Annual Conference, hosted by Durham University.

DATE 2012-02-20 09:00:14
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-george-chryssides-on-the-insideroutsider-problem/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/insider20outsider20collab.jpg
CATEGORY: Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: anthropology, bias, insider/outsider, Religious Studies
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/RSP6-Chrysiddes.mp3
EXCERPT: The Insider/Outsider problem, relating to where scholars position themselves relating to the subject matter (whatever that may be), is one of the most perennial problems in the academic study of religion. Does one have to be a member of a community for your testimony about that community to be valid? Or does your membership of the community invalidate your objectivity?
TRANSCRIPT_URL https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/transcript/the-insider-outsider-problem-transcript/

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: George Chryssides


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/george-chryssides/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/George_Chryssides.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: Insider and Outsider: An Anthropological Perspective

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/katie-aston-insider-and-outsider-an-anthropological-perspective/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #5, Animism CONTENT:
TITLE: Animism
EPISODE_#: 5 Animism is often taken as referring to worldviews in which spirits are to be found not only in humans, but potentially in animals, in plants, in mountains and even natural forces like the wind. It was of central importance in early anthropological conceptions of religion, most notably in the work of E. B. Tylor. More recently, however, Graham Harvey has challenged the traditional conception of animism, seeking to understand it as “relational epistemologies and ontologies”; in other words, it is a way of living in a community of persons, most of whom are other-than-human. About Dr. Graham Harvey Dr Graham Harvey has been Reader in Religious Studies at the Open University since 1993, and is also the President Elect of our sponsors, the British Association for the Study of Religions. Other than Animism, his work has covered a wide range of subjects, from Judaism, Paganism, Indigenous Religions and Shamanism. His most important publication on animism is his 2005 book Animism: Respecting the Living World. It is supported by www.animism.org.uk, which features essays, articles and interviews which expand on the material in this podcast. His paper, ‘Animals, Animists and Academics’, from Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 41.1 (2006), is available to download here, if you have University access. If not, (or, indeed, as well,) “Animism rather than Shamanism”, from Spirit Possession and Trance : New Interdisciplinary Perspectives (edited by Bettina Schmidt and Lucy Huskinson, Continuum 2010) is available here.
DATE 2012-02-13 06:00:01
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-graham-harvey-on-animism/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/61VBSAMA42L._SX324_BO1204203200_.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: animism, anthropology of religion
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/RSP5-Harvey.mp3
EXCERPT: Animism is often taken as referring to worldviews in which spirits are to be found not only in humans, but potentially in animals, in plants, in mountains and even natural forces like the wind. It was of central importance in early anthropological conceptions of religion, most notably in the work of E. B. Tylor.
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Graham Harvey


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/graham-harvey/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Graham_harvey.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


Responses

Episode Data for #4, The Relationship between Theology and Religious Studies CONTENT:
TITLE: The Relationship between Theology and Religious Studies
EPISODE_#: 4 Our interview this week features Chris speaking to Professor Donald Wiebe from the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College in the University of Toronto on the relationship between Theology and Religious Studies. Ed. note. Out of necessity this interview was not recorded on our normal equipment, and we apologise for the poorer quality of the sound this week.  The relationship between Theology and Religious Studies  is not a simple one. David Ford writes that at its broadest, theology is thinking about questions raised by and about religions (2000:3). These questions are largely directed towards notions of transcendence (typically gods), incorporate doctrinal issues and are “essentially a second-order activity arising from ‘faith’ and interpreting faith” (Whaling, 1999:228-229). Essentially, theology is thinking about religion from within religion – although when most people refer to “Theology”, what they mean is “Christian Theology”. It is generally accepted – at least as far as most academics are concerned – that there is a distinct difference between religious studies and theology. This is succinctly summarised by Ninian Smart’s statement that “historical and structural enquiries, such as sociology, phenomenology, etc., […] are the proper province of [the study of] Religion, and the use of such materials for Expressive ends […is] the doing of Theology” (in Wiebe, 1999:55). As you shall see from this interview, however, things are much more complicated, and Professor Wiebe is particularly qualified to present his own take on the relationship between these two distinct disciplines. His primary areas of research interest are philosophy of the social sciences, epistemology, philosophy of religion, the history of the academic and scientific study of religion, and method and theory in the study of religion. He is the author of a number of books, including Religion and Truth: Towards and Alternative Paradigm for the Study of Religion (1981), The Irony of Theology and the Nature of Religious Thought (1991), and, of particular relevance to this interview, The Politics of Religious Studies: The Continuing Conflict with Theology in the Academy (1999). In 1985 Professor Wiebe, with Luther H. Martin and E. Thomas Lawson, founded the North American Association for the Study of Religion, which became affiliated to the IAHR in 1990; he twice served as President of that Association (1986-87, 1991-92). This interview was recorded at the European Association for the Study of Religions‘ Annual Conference in Budapest in September 2011, where Professor Wiebe also presented a particularly relevant paper with his colleague Luther H. Martin, entitled “Religious Studies as a Scientific Discipline: The Persistence of a Delusion”. Out of necessity it was not recorded on our normal equipment, and we apologise for the poorer quality of the sound this week.
Jonathan Z Smith: “[R]eligion is an inextricably human phenomenon. […] Religious studies are [therefore] most appropriately described in relation to the Humanities and the Human Sciences, in relation to Anthropology rather than Theology. What we study when we study religion is one mode of constructing worlds of meaning, worlds within which men find themselves and in which they choose to dwell.” (1978, Map is Not Territory, 290)
References: Ford, David F., 2000 [1999]. Theology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Whaling, Frank, 1999. “Theological Approaches” in Peter Connoly (ed.), Approaches to the Study of Religion. London: Cassell, pp. 226-274. Wiebe, Donald, 1999. The Politics of Religious Studies: The Continuing Conflict with Theology in the Academy. New York: St Martin’s Press.
DATE 2012-02-06 07:00:33
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-donald-wiebe-on-theology-and-religious-studies/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: needs transcription, Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: EASR, IAHR, NAASR, Religious Studies, Theology
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/RSP4-Wiebe.mp3
EXCERPT: It is generally accepted – at least as far as most academics are concerned – that there is a distinct difference between religious studies and theology. As you shall see from this interview, however, things are much more complicated, and Professor Wiebe is particularly qualified to present his own take on the relationship between these two distinct disciplines.
TRANSCRIPT_URL ERROR

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Donald Wiebe


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/donald-weibe/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Donald_wiebe.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: The Merits of Hybrid Theology

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/gemma-gall-the-merits-of-hybrid-theology/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #3, Invented Religions CONTENT:
TITLE: Invented Religions
EPISODE_#: 3

What is an “Invented Religion”? Why should scholars take these religions seriously? What makes these “inventions” different from the revelations in other religions? What happens when an author does not want their story to become a religious text?

In this interview with David, Carole M. Cusack (Associate Professor in Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney) answers these questions and more, exploring her notion of “Invented Religions” and introducing the listener to a wide variety of contemporary and unusual forms of religion. Discussion flows through a range of topics – from Discordianism and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to Scientology, Jediism and the New Atheism – and demonstrates how the works of authors such as Thomas Pynchon and Robert A. Heinlein can be transformed by others and take on a life of their own. In her own words, “This is a fiction so good it should be true…”

[N.B., Carole asked us to let you know that when she said that George Adamski founded the Aetherius Society, she meant George King. Both Georges encountered Venusians in 1954, but Adamski was in the US and King in the UK. A forgivable error, we’re sure.]

A transcription of this interview is also available as a PDF, and has been pasted below.

Of particular relevance to the topic of this interview is Carole’s article

Science Fiction as Scripture: Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land and the Church of All Worlds in Christopher Hartney, Alex Norman, and Carole M. Cusack (eds), Creative Fantasy and the Religious Imagination, special issue of Literature & Aesthetics, Vol. 19, No. 2, SSLA, 2009, pp. 72-91. The full text is available here. If you have  access to the International Journal for the Study of New Religions, you may also find the following article of interest: Discordian Magic: Paganism, the Chaos Paradigm and the Power of Parody, International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol. 2, No. 1, May 2011.

DATE 2012-01-30 06:00:47
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-carole-cusack-on-invented-religions/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Invented Religions, New Religious Movements, Scientology
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/RSP3-cusack.mp3
EXCERPT: What is an “Invented Religion”? Why should scholars take these religions seriously? What makes these “inventions” different from the revelations in other religions? What happens when an author does not want their story to become a religious text? You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes.
TRANSCRIPT_URL https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/transcript/invented-religions-transcript/

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Carole Cusack


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/carole-cusack/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Cusack_72.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: Finding religiosity within a parody

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/essi-makela-finding-religiosity-within-a-parody/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #2, Cognitive Approaches to the Study of Religion CONTENT:
TITLE: Cognitive Approaches to the Study of Religion
EPISODE_#: 2

The cognitive study of religion has quickly established itself as the paradigmatic methodology in the field today. It’s grounded in the concept that religiosity is natural because it is well adapted to the cognitive propensities developed during the evolution of our species. In this episode, Professor Armin Geertz tells Chris why it deserves its prominent profile, and how it is developing.

What we’re learning from the cognitive study of religion.

This interview was recorded at the European Association for the Study of Religions‘ Annual Conference in Budapest in September 2011. Out of necessity it was not recorded on our normal equipment, and we apologise for the poorer quality of the sound this week.

DATE 2012-01-23 00:07:28
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-armin-geertz-on-cognitive-approaches-to-the-study-of-religion/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/default-image.jpg
CATEGORY: Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Cognition, Cognitive Study of Religion, Evolution
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/RSP2-geertz.mp3
EXCERPT: The cognitive study of religion has quickly established itself as the paradigmatic methodology in the field today. It’s grounded in the concept that religiosity is natural because it is well adapted to the cognitive propensities developed during the evolution of our species. In this episode, Professor Armin Geertz tells Chris why it deserves its prominent profile, and how it is developing.
TRANSCRIPT_URL https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/transcript/cognitive-approaches-to-the-study-of-religion-transcript/

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: Armin Geertz


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/armin-geertz/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Armin_W_Geertz.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: Christopher R. Cotter


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/christopher-r-cotter/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1Chris_Elephants-Breann-Fallon.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: What We're Learning from the Cognitive Study of Religion

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/erika-salomon-what-were-learning-from-the-cognitive-study-of-religion/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet

Episode Data for #1, The Phenomenology of Religion CONTENT:
TITLE: The Phenomenology of Religion
EPISODE_#: 1

Phenomenology is an important methodology in the study of religions, but can be inaccessible to the student. In this interview, James Cox outlines the phenomenology of religion to David in a clear, concise way, avoiding jargon and placing the methodology in the broader context of the history of European philosophy and comparative religion.

Cox’s latest and most complete work on the subject is An Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion (2010), published by Continuum. A review which questions his relating phenomenological and cognitive approaches by Paul Tremlett in Culture and Religion 11/4 (2010) is available here. Also recommended is his earlier A Guide to the Phenomenology of Religion (2006), also published by Continuum. His 2008 article from DISKUS, the BASR journal, “Community Mastery of the Spirits as an African Form of Shamanism” applies the phenomenological method to certain African practices in order to argue for Shamanism as a universal  category. If you are interested in what Professor Cox had to say about the development of Religious Studies more broadly, we heartily recommend From Primitive to Indigenous: The Academic Study of Indigenous Religions (Ashgate, 2007). It is simultaneously an account of colonial contact with indigenous religions, a history of how scholars have conceptualised religion, and an attempt to create a new definition of “religion”.

A transcription of this interview is also available as a PDF. 
DATE 2012-01-14 00:01:28
PERMALINK: “https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/podcast-james-cox-on-the-phenomenology-of-religion/”
FEATURED_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/51l6FhpzCL._SX318_BO1204203200_.jpg
CATEGORY: Podcasts, Season 1, Updated Episodes
TERMS: Cognition, defining religion, History of Religious Studies, Phenomenology
TYPE: podcast
YOUTUBE_LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCypfitkcldmX1CpAqCp7PKw
AUDIO_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/RSP1-cox-joint1.mp3
EXCERPT: Phenomenology is an important methodology in the study of religions, but can be inaccessible to the student. In this interview, James Cox outlines the phenomenology of religion to David in a clear, concise way, avoiding jargon and placing the methodology in the broader context of the history of European philosophy and comparative religion.
TRANSCRIPT_URL https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/transcript/the-phenomenology-of-religion-transcript/

Contributors

CONTRIBUTOR: James L. Cox


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/james-l-cox/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/James_Cox-1030x579-1-e1595019409697.jpg


CONTRIBUTOR: David G. Robertson


BIO LINK: "https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-g-robertson/"


HEADSHOT: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Mustaches009-1024x972-1.jpg


Responses

RESPONSE: What is Phenomenology?

RESPONSE_URL: https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/response/jonathan-tuckett-what-is-phenomenology/

RESPONSE_CONTRIBUTOR: // not sure how to do this yet