Donovan Schaefer is an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His first book, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power (Duke, 2015) drew links between affect theory, evolutionary biology, and the study of power. His second book, Wild Experiment: Feeling Science and Secularism after Darwin (Duke, 2022) argues for a rejection of the feeling/thinking binary and considers the implications of this shift for how we understand a range of topics from science and secularism to racism and conspiracy theory.
Following the social media discussions started by our interview with Craig Martin and response from Kevin Schilbrack, Donovan O. Schaefer furthers the conversation by asking us to explore the complexity and materiality of discourse analysis.
Discussion starts with the entanglement of the concepts 'religion' and 'secularism', a brief discussion of the problems associated with the World Religions Paradigm, and then moves to the pedagogical merits and challenges of teaching 'secularism/s' within a World Religions model. We hope you enjoy this experiment!