The 'Persistence' and 'Problem' of Religion

In this interview, Professor Pratt outlines a model for understanding the nature of the ‘persistence’ of religion, paying particular attention to three interwoven dimensions: narrative, ethical, and metaphysical. He also discusses, in the light of this model, the contemporary ‘problem’ of exclusivism and extremism which arguably arise from the lack of an adequate conceptual mechanism for coping with religious diversity.
Christopher Cotter
Douglas Pratt
Secularization

Mormonism, Growth and Decline

Can Mormonism be described as a New Religious Movement? Is there a unified phenomenon which can be classified as Mormonism? Is Mormonism to be considered as a form of Christianity? This week, Chris is joined by Ryan Cragun – Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tampa, Florida – to discuss not only these conceptual issues,...
christianity
Demography
Mormonism
NRMs
qualitative
quantitative
Ryan Cragun
Secularization
Tampa

Biblical Studies and Religious Studies

What is the relationship between Religious Studies and the study of the Christian New Testament? Although RS is often considered to be "studies of thee other religions", Biblical Studies also offers a way into the broader theoretical and definitional issues in the study of religions. As Dale B. Martin explains to Jack Tsonis,...
Biblical Studies
Dale Martin
jack tsonis
podcasts
yale

Christmas Special - Only 60 Seconds!

Can Steve Sutcliffe talk about “habitus” for a full 60 seconds without deviation, hesitation or repetition? How much does David Wilson know about “Postmodernism”? Mr David Robertson is your host (ably assisted by Mr Chris Cotter) for this special festive episode of the Religious Studies Pro Recorded live in Edinburgh on December 20th, 2012.
Christopher Cotter
David Robertson
david wilson
Ethan Quillen
habitus
James Cox
Jonathan Tuckett
only 60 seconds
postmodernism
steven sutcliffe

Five Lectures on Atheism, Nonreligion, and Secularity, from the NSRN

In partnership with the NSRN (Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network), it is our pleasure to bring you the audio recordings of five very important lectures from Grace Davie, Humeira Iqtidar, Callum Brown, Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, and Jonathan Lanman.
Atheism
belief
callum brown
grace davie
Humeira Iqtidar
Jonathan Lanman
London
Monika Wohlrab-Sahr
nonbelief
Nonreligion
nsrn
Secularism

Studying Nonreligion within Religious Studies

How we can position the study of non-religion within the discipline of Religious Studies? Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Those of you who have been listening to the Religious Studies Project for some time will be somewhat familiar with the emerging sub-field of ‘non-religion’ studies. Perhaps you have listened to our podcast with Lois Lee, ...
Christopher Cotter
Definition
Ethan Quillen
Frans Jespers
louise connelly
Nonreligion
Religious Studies
steven sutcliffe
teemu taira

Religion in the 2011 UK Census

An 'emergency broadcast' from the Religious Studies Project... featuring George Chryssides, Bettina Schmidt, Teemu Taira, Beth Singler, Christopher Cotter, and David Robertson. What did the 2011 census data actually say, and how did the press report it? Why does it matter, and how can we use the data more constructively?
beth singler
Bettina Schmidt
Census
Christopher Cotter
David Robertson
George Chryssides
jediism
NRMs
teemu taira
James R. Lewis

Who joins New Religious Movements?

In this episode of the Religious Studies Project, Lewis shares some of his views on the study of NRMs. It seems, claims Lewis, that our current generalizations about who joins such movements is based on outdated statistics. It seems no longer to be the case that it is primarily young people who join NMRs, rather joiners’ age has increased during recent decades.
age
Data
james r. lewis
New Religious Movements
NRMs
quantitative
Surveys

Astrology

If statistics are to be believed, close to 100% of people in the UK know their astrological sun-sign. But what is astrology, exactly? Is it merely a “survival” from the medieval worldview, and what is its relationship to modernity and scientific thought? Most pertinently, does it have something profound to tell us about the nature of popular belief, or vernacular religion?
Astrology
David Robertson
nick campion
podcasts
Popular Religion
vernacular religion

Book Reviews

When we were contacted earlier this year by a couple of publishers asking if we’d be interested in reviewing books, we immediately thought “Yes – but how?” We’re not a journal, and didn’t want to do the traditional journal review, but we do love books, and especially talking about them. So when Chris suggested we could combine several reviews into a roundtable format, ...
Christopher Cotter
craig martin
David Goodhew
David Robertson
david wilson
Jonathan Tuckett
marion bowman
R. Scott Smith
reviews
Ule Valk

What is the Public Benefit of the Study of Religion?

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’?
Bettina Schmidt
gordon melton
INFORM
marion bowman
Naomi Goldenberg
nick campion
podcasts
public benefit
Suzanne Owen
tim jensen

Brian Victoria on Zen Buddhist Terrorism and Holy War

Is there something particular about religion which makes it a more potent ‘violence enabling mechanism’ than other factors? Are some religions more likely to inspire violence than others? And why should scholars even care? In this interview, Chris discusses these issues and more with Professor Brian Victoria, who, in addition to his scholarly credentials, is a fully ordained Zen Buddhist priest.
Brian Victoria
Buddhism
Holy War
Terrorism
violence
War
Zen

Rudolf Otto

Rudolf Otto was a highly influential figure in the history of Religious Studies, but whether that influence was for good or not is a debatable issue. His ideas about the sui generis nature of the religious experience and of an irreductible numinous or sacred foreshadow the work of scholars such as Eliade, but proved highly divisive for scholars and practitioners alike.
Jonathan Tuckett
numinous
philosophy of religion
podcasts
robert orsi
rudolf otto
Sacred
the Holy

The Sacred

Religion and the Sacred, the Sacred and religion. Two words that seemingly go together like hand in glove but just how accurate is that? When we talk about religion it’s very hard not to talk about the Sacred but when we talk about the Sacred does this mean we have to talk about religion? What does the Sacred even mean? This introduction began with “Sacred” but it may well be more appropriate to write “sacred”.
Durkheim
gordon lynch
Jonathan Tuckett
podcasts
Sacred
Sociology

Druidry and the Definition of Religion

Contemporary Druidry often presents itself as the native spirituality of the British Isles. However, there is not one form of Druidry and there are also significant numbers of Christian and atheist Druids as well as those that combine Druidry with Wiccan or other perspectives and practices. From international organisations to local ‘groves’, there are diverse types of Druid groups, ...
Charity
Christopher Cotter
David Robertson
Definition
Druidry
Indigeneity
Law
Paganism
religion
Rowan Williams
Suzanne Owen
UK
Wicca