Carmen is an instructor at the University of Waterloo, in the Religious Studies Department and in the Arts First Program. She is also a fellow with the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism, at Ontario Tech University. She reviews the extant Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) policy governing right-wing extremism and related conduct in the CAF. Her scholarly interest centres on the overlapping belief systems of Christian apocalyptic thought and conspiracy theorists, and their joint impact on the American political system, with a particular focus on the belief systems of religious communities on the margins of society that, co-opt pop culture practices and trends. Carmen is a regular contributor to Religion Dispatches, an online journal that publishes work about the intersection of religion, politics, and American culture. Gender, race, moral panics, ethics, concepts of evil and end times, and the media play significant roles in the religious political movements she studies leading to publications which cross disciplinary lines. These publications include a chapter in Angry Groups and Politics: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Their Motivations and Effects on Society, and an invited chapter in the upcoming book The Right and the Radical Right in the Americas by York University’s Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. More information on Carmen's work can be found on her website.
This month's Discourse! welcomes back Founding Editor Chris Cotter to the host's chair, along with guests Ting Guo and Carmen Celestini. They first discuss Queen Elizabeth II and “mourning” in Hong Kong, and then more broadly. This segues neatly into a conversation about the Filipino conspiracist who has dubbed herself the “Queen of Canada”. They talk about the Iranian protests, and "compulsory hijabs". Finally, they have a wee rant about how religion and spirituality is presented in mental health surveys.
In this episode, Maxinne Connolly-Panagopoulus explores a range of Dr. Carmen Celestini's work on conspiracy theories, Christian apocalyptic thought and its impacts on political systems in America. They discuss early antimasonic movements, white supremacists from Christian Identity Organisation and discuss the parallels between old and new conspiracy thought and try to understand what is driving people to these movements.
Through personal stories and historical accounts not always included in the telling of multiculturalism in Canada, Fletcher explores the merits of belonging. Defining the term "belonging" we learn the reality of Canadian multiculturalism and re-conceive how Canada can move forward to truly be an inclusive society. Fletcher explains the importance of her work in this book, and how is can be use by religious studies scholars in the current political landscape.
Dr. Douglas Cowan discusses his newest book where he explored the religious imagination of Stephen King through his horror novels. Cowan is well known for his research in the area of religion and pop culture through analysis of films and literature. The podcast focuses not only on Stephen King but the process of deciphering the religious motifs within King's work, and the importance of this work to religious studies.