Dr Marion Bowman is Senior Lecturer in the Religious Studies department at the Open University, Vice President of the European Association for the Study of Religions, a former president of the BASR and of the Folklore Society, and serves on the executive board of SIEF’s Ethnology of Religion Working Group.
She began her academic career at Glasgow University, but switched to Lancaster University where she came under the influence of Professor Ninian Smart, a revolutionary figure who has acquired almost mythic status in the field of Religious Studies. Her research is concerned with vernacular religion (‘religion as it is lived’), contemporary spirituality including a long-term study of Glastonbury, material culture and pilgrimage. She is currently Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded project Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals, Past and Present: http://www.
Marion’s Publications include Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life: Expressions of Belief (2012) co-edited with Ulo Valk; Beyond the New Age: Exploring Alternative Spiritualities (2000) co-edited with Steve Sutcliffe; and recently ‘”He’s My Best Friend”: Relationality, Materiality, and the Manipulation of Motherhood in Devotion to St Gerard Majella in Newfoundland’ in Terry Woo & Becky Lee, eds. Canadian Women Shaping Diasporic Religious Identities (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016, pp.3-34); ‘“Helping Glastonbury to Come into Its Own”: Practical Spirituality, Materiality, and Community Cohesion in Glastonbury’ in Practical Spiritualities in a Media Age, Curtis C Coats and Monica M Emerich, eds. (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. 2015, pp.51-65.)
Images of Jesus on a slice of toast; Koran verses in an aubergine; statues which cry blood; Angel Colour cards and Atlantean crystal therapies; popular religious expressions are everywhere. In this interview, Marion Bowman showcases her fascinating research into the ways in which religion permeates everyday life, paying particular attention to the manifestations at the famous Glastonbury Festival.
Does the public benefit from the social-scientific study of religion? Should it? How do we demonstrate benefit, measure it, communicate it? What are the practical and theoretical issues surrounding the idea of how the study of religion can operate in the, or perhaps as a, public good? For that matter, what do we mean by ‘public’ or ‘benefit’?
Following from our interview on Monday with Ingvild Gilhus, today's podcast presents an "authors meet critics" session on the new edited volume by Ingvild Gilhus and Steven Sutcliffe, New Age Spirituality: Rethinking Religion. This was recorded at the University of Edinburgh at the launch of the book,
This week we've got something a little different for the Features segment. A couple of months ago the RSP attended the Open University's conference on Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspectives. We thought this would be a great opportunity to do another RSP video!
In the last feature of the "semester" we're continuing with the video format. A couple of months ago the RSP attended the Open University's conference on Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspectives. I went about asking the pundits a couple of questions about Religion and its Publics. This week we have the second question (link for Part 1 in the sidebar).