“Soka Gakkai, Kōmeitō and the religious voices of Japan’s political arena

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Throughout Japanese history, religion has always coloured and influenced the matters of the state. Religious validation of imperialist aggression and Japan’s war efforts in the first half of the 20th century is just one example of this.
Japan
Japanese new religions
Komeito
religion and politics
Soka Gakkai

Muslim Superheroes

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A. Dave Lewis joins us again for a discussion of representations of Muslims in superhero comics. We talk about some positive representations, like Kamala Khan, Marvel's new Ms Marvel, and some less-than-positive portrayals, like Frank Millar's Holy Terror!
A Dave Lewis
comics
David Robertson
Islam
Ms Marvel
Popular Culture
representation
Superheroes

Worldviews and Ways of Life

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Ann Taves joins us to discuss her work arguing that we should study religions under the broader rubric of "worldviews" and "ways of life". This ambitious interdisciplinary project aims to place a micro-level analysis of individual worldviews into a broader evolutionary perspective.
AA
alcoholics
ann taves
cognitive science of religion
evolutionary
interdisciplinary
psychology
Psychology of Religion
Secularism
ways of life
worldviews

From Static Categories to a River of Theories: "The Myth of Disenchantment"

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In a free wheeling conversation, Dr. Jason Josephson-Storm and Dan Gorman discuss the intellectual history of religious studies and the myth that magic is dead.
Comparative Literature
Continental Philosophy
Critical theory
Intellectual History
Japan
Modernization
Occultism
postmodernism
religion
Religious Studies
spiritualism

Situating Religion within Justice

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In this podcast Professor Joe Bulbulia of Auckland University speaks to Thomas White about situating the study of religion within a broader concept of ‘justice’. Bulbulia calls ‘religion and spirituality those features of nature [in the biocultural sense of the word] that combine to cultivate a sense of justice in people’. Bulbulia argues that common across human societies are conceptions of obligation and responsibility:
bio-cultural
cognitive science of religion
Evolution
justice
quantitative analysis

Stereotyping Religion: Critical Approaches to Pervasive Cliches

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"Religions are belief systems", "Religions are intrinsically violent", "Religion is Bullshit"... these are just some of the pervasive cliches that we might hear from time to time in the English-speaking world about our central topic of discussion on the RSP, 'religion'.
Cliche
Critique
Discourse
Ideology
Power
religion
Stereotype

Why do we believe? Evolution, Primates, and the Human Niche

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In this wide-ranging interview, Chris and Professor Fuentes discuss the themes of the lecture series, the intersections of research on human evolution, ethnoprimatology, and human nature, with the study of religion more generally, the Planet of the Apes films, and more. Along the way,...
anthropology
belief
Evolution
meaning
primatology
sociality

Drone Metal Mysticism

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In this interview, Owen Coggins joins us to talk about the use of religious (and sacrilegious) language and imagery in Drone Metal, a genre which stretches metal to low, slow, repetitive extremes. Drawing on the work of Michel de Certeau, he tells David Robertson that the prevalence of language relating to mysticism and "spiritual experience" may be due to the genre's focus on the physicality of the musical experience.
drone metal
Heavy Metal
Michel De Certeau
Music
Mysticism
sunn o)))

Myth, Solidarity, and Post-Liberalism

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With the rise of reactionary politics across the globe, it is arguably increasingly important for the academic community to give consideration to the prospects of developing and strengthening solidarity across apparent religious, political and economic differences. In this podcast, Chris speaks to Dr Timothy Stacey (University of Ottawa) about his forthcoming book, Myth and Solidarity in the Modern World:
Economics
Liberalism
London
Myth
Politics
Post-Liberalism
religion
Secular
Solidarity
Timothy Stacey

Magic and Modernity

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This conversation between Richard Irvine, Theodoros Kyriakides and David G. Robertson concerns magical thinking in the modern world. We may think that such ideas are confined to the fringes in the secular, post-Enlightenment world, but this is not necessarily the case. We talk about Weber's rationalisation and James Frazer's evolutionary model of modernity, and how they relate to ideas of belief, and magic.
Magic
magical thinking
modernity
nonbelief
Secularity
superstition
Unbelief

Religious change in Japanese Shinto

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In this week's podcast, Hans Van Eyghen sits down with Professor Michael Pye to discuss the  various historical, political, and social factors that have impacted Japanese Shinto. Though Shinto is widely known as the indigenous religion of Japan, it is rarely discussed in detail and has attracted little attention from scholars. In this week's podcast,
Japanese Religion
Politics and Religion
Religious Change
Religious Syncretism
Shinto

The BASR and the Impact of Religious Studies

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A panel on the public impact and engagement of Religious Studies/Study of Religion/s led by committee members of the British Association for the Study of Religions, including Dr Stephen Gregg (Wolverhampton), Dr Christopher Cotter (Edinburgh), Dr Suzanne Owen (Leeds Trinity), Dr David Robertson (The Open University) and Dr Steven Sutcliffe (Edinburgh). Issues discussed include why RS continues to be a "muted voice" ...
BASR
engagement
impact
Law
media
Public

'Good' Grief? Rituals of World Repairing

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Toys, Rabbits, and Princess Diana - three things that may not seem at all connected. However, when one starts to question the notion of grief, bereavement, and death in the contemporary West, these three are more connected than appears. In this podcast, Breann Fallon interviews Professor Douglas Ezzy of the University of Tasmania on the power of symbols...
Community
Death
individualism
Princess Diana
Relationships
religion
Ritual
Symbols
The Velveteen Rabbit

From Non-Religion to Unbelief? A developing field...

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In this podcast, we check in with the state of the field, discuss developments beyond the Anglophone "West", some of the many exciting projects being worked on under the "Understanding Unbelief" banner, the utility and pitfalls of the terminology of "unbelief", and some of the critical issues surrounding the reification of survey categories.
Atheism
bias
Funding
gender
methodology
Non-Religion
nonbelief
nonbelievers
Unbelief
West

Against Invention: A richer history for 'Hinduism'

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In this interview Associate Professor Will Sweetman talks to Thomas White about the idea that ‘Hinduism’ and many of the other terms we use to classify religions—including the term religion itself—are modern inventions, emerging out of nineteenth-century inter-cultural contact and European colonialism. Will argues against this critique, and to make his case he draws on historical sources that discuss ‘Hinduism’ both outside of the anglophone ...
category
colonialism
hinduism
History
India
religion