Christopher F. Silver

Christopher F. Silver is a doctoral student in research psychology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He currently holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) of Education in Learning and Leadership from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga USA. He has a masters degree in research psychology from the UT Chattanooga and a masters degree in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario Canada. Most recently his research explored American Atheism exploring the complexities of self-identity adjectives in how atheist and agnostic participants self-describe. His research now shifts to research on emotion at UT Knoxville. In addition, Dr. Silver has served as an instructor at UT Chattanooga and Widener University teaching courses in psychology and religious studies. He currently works with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing as Virtual Learning Coordinator and Curriculum Developer. His email address is Christopher-Silver@utc.edu.

Contributions by Christopher F. Silver

podcast

Atheism, New Religious Movements, and Cultural Tension

Extensive research has been conducted in exploration of the American religious landscape; however, only recently has social science research started to explore nonbelief in any detail. Research on nonbelief has been limited as most research focuses on the popularity of the religious “nones” or the complexities of alternative faith expressions such as spirituality. Through two studies, one qualitative and one quantitative, Dr. Christopher F. Silver's research explored how nonbelievers’ self-identify.

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Paul Williamson on Serpent Handling

In this week’s podcast, Chris Silver and Dr Paul Williamson explore Williamson’s research related to documentation of the Serpent Handling Sects of Appalachia. By some accounts these traditions are in decline due to globalization. Williamson has attempted to study these traditions qualitatively and quantitatively to better understand ...

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Ralph Hood on Mysticism

Dr. Ralph W. Hood Jr. has extensive experience in the field of psychology of religion and particularly in the study of mysticism and mystical experience. As an early pioneer in the renaissance of the field of psychology of religion, Hood’s work is extensive and prolific exploring a variety of research topics in the social sciences of religion.

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Mandy Robbins on Personality Types

As one of the earliest forms of Personality Assessment, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI was first formally published in 1942 by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. Inspired by the theoretical richness of Carl Jung, the MBTI explored and celebrated the differences of people regarding their behavior. Psychology certainly has benefited from the application of Personality Type in a variety of ways.

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Faith Development Theory

Over ten years ago, Streib saw applicability to Fowler’s stages, but not in their typical empirical application. Heinz realized that Fowler’s descriptions had descriptive utility in how individuals structure and formalize their belief, but he also recognized that the graduated method of “stages” was empirically and culturally problematic. For Streib, these systems of meaning were not passé or scant in any way, only different.

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Reflections on Teaching Religious Studies Online

"As we find new and innovative ways to teach students, we as instructors are charged (sometimes without formal or proper orientation) to adopt new methods of instruction." This podcast explores the nature of learning within online learning and the benefits and disadvantages of this type of curricular design.

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A Word by Any Other Name: The Emergent Field of Non-religion and the Implications for Social Meaning

"As I write this response, I find myself in an inner struggle as a Social Scientist. In one sense Dr Lee’s podcast and my subsequent response beg a question of causation. For me the question has its origins in the psychological. Does atheism and/or agnosticism lead to secularization and by proxy non-religious systems of meaning? Or as a social movements continue to gain adherents, do we see a diffusion of new ideas."

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Religion and Food

This week we bring you an interview with Chris Silver speaking to Professor Michel Desjardins of Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, on the topic of Religion and Food. Connections are made with recent turns in the academic study of religion (gender, materiality etc.), and other areas of study such as religion and nutrition/health.

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RSP Psychology of Religion Participatory Panel Special

The RSP Psychology of Religion Participatory Panel Special took place during the International Association for the Psychology of Religion 2013 world congress this August in Switzerland, hosted at the at the University of Lausanne. We asked for the RSP listeners to steer the conversation and YOU responded with tough questions...

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D. Mitra Barua on Immigrant Buddhism in the West

"...Rebranding the Buddhist concept of Harmony to be a more politically comparable term to the Canadian mosaic..." Dr. D. Mitra Barua is an instructor of Religious Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and has a Masters in Buddhist Philosophy undertaken in Sri Lanka.

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Religious Experience: Understanding and Explaining (Video)

The RSP collaborated with Society for the Scientific Study of Religion at their 2014 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis to offer and video record an interdisciplinary panel on the study of religion. Each of the papers presented are not only from different fields in the study of religion but also methodologically or theoretically apply an interdisciplinary approach. The authors represent the best in their fields. Some are established scholars with a body of work while others are up-and-coming talent.

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What is 'Buddhism in the West'?

I often see “Buddhism in the West” lumped in with new religious movements (NRMs) or more interestingly as sources of therapeutic influence for new styles of mental health treatment such as those seen in the field of Psychology. The compulsion to lump Buddhism with new religious movements may derive from a variety of influences. There appears to be much debate regarding what defines Buddhism in the West. Particularly, ...

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Discourse! April 2020 with Christopher Cotter, Chris Silver and Savannah Finver

In April’s episode of Discourse!, Chris Cotter, Chris Silver and Susannah Finver place the current global situation relating to coronavirus front and centre in their discussion.

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Religious cliché and stigma

As part of the podcast on pervasive clichés, Chris Cotter interviews Brad Stoddard and Craig Martin regarding their recent work how popular clichés are enculturated within our culture. This conversation explores how clichés are both useful and detrimental to the study of religion in that they frame expectations about religion and speak to the social expectations of religious groups by others.

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Patrons Special: RSP Discourse #2 (October 2018)

Welcome to the second issue of “Discourse”, where our editors and guests take a critical look at how the category “religion” is being used in the media, the public sphere, and the academic field. This episode, Chris (Cotter) is joined by Chris (Silver) and Theo Wildcroft, both long-time friends and contributors to the RSP, for a cross-Atlantic discussion. After the inevitable discussion of US identity conflicts and terrorism, and ugly manifestation of the KKK in Northern Ireland, discussion moved on to the accepted protocols of trick or treating, and the use of patisserie in debates on LGBT human rights vs religious freedom.  Can’t access this episode? Subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/projectrs

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