https://i2.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/EB.jpg?fit=95%2C129&ssl=1 129 95 Christopher Cotter https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png Christopher Cotter2012-05-14 08:03:282018-08-21 10:54:49Studying "Cults"
Although "cult" and "sect" are used as technical terms in religious studies, in their popular usage, "cult" tends to refer to a New Religious Movement [NRM] or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered reprehensible. Since such pejorative attitudes are generally considered inappropriate for the academic study of religion, ...
https://i0.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/jolyon-mitchell.jpg?fit=151%2C200&ssl=1 200 151 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-05-07 09:14:232018-08-21 10:54:29Jolyon Mitchell on Religion, Violence and the Media
Discussions of religion in the media nowadays frequently revolve around issues of violence and social unrest. Religions and media can become collaborators in promoting peace and opening negotiations; at the same time the media can become host to extremist narratives which may incite violence. Does the media have a responsibility to promote peace?
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMGP0727.jpg?fit=2304%2C1728&ssl=1 1728 2304 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-05-02 14:16:302018-08-21 10:54:58Roundtable: Can We Trust the Social Sciences?
In another roundtable gathering, conversation ranges from the strengths and weaknesses of such data, whether there is more to the social sciences than quantitative methods, and the place of the social sciences within a multi-disciplinary Religious Studies field. Can we trust social sciences when we study religion? Is a social scientific approach the future of religious studies?
https://i0.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/callum-brown.jpg?fit=228%2C221&ssl=1 221 228 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-04-30 08:10:162018-08-21 10:55:22Historical Approaches to (Losing) Religion
How can we use historical approaches in the study of religion? More specifically, can we use historical approaches to understand why people are losing it? Professor Callum Brown tells us why historical approaches have much to tell us about religious change. How can we use historical approaches in the study of religion?
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/bron_taylor_1.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1 300 200 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-04-23 08:36:202018-08-21 10:55:36Religion After Darwin
Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species was published in 1859, and had an immediate and dramatic effect on religious narratives. Traditional religions were forced to adopt an evolutionary worldview, or to go on the offensive; whereas New Religious Movements like Wicca or New Age adopted an environmental concern as a central part of their belief. And possibly, ...
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/linda_woodhead.jpg?fit=200%2C225&ssl=1 225 200 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-04-16 08:12:062018-08-21 10:55:50The Secularisation Thesis
The secularisation thesis - the idea that traditional religions are in terminal decline in the industrialised world - was perhaps the central debate in the sociology of religion in the second half of the 20th century. Scholars such as Steve Bruce, Rodney Stark and Charles Taylor argued whether religion was becoming less important to individuals, or that only the authority of religions in the public sphere was declining.
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Beit-Hallahmi-148x150.jpg?fit=148%2C150&ssl=1 150 148 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-04-09 09:00:142018-08-21 10:56:14Psychological Approaches to the Study of Religion
"In practice, experimentation requires much effort, imagination, and resources. The subject of religion seems too complex and too ‘soft’ for the laboratory. It is filled with much fantasy and feelings, two topics which academic psychology finds hard to approach." Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin, and Michael Argyle. The Psychology of Religious Behaviour, Belief and Experience. London: Routledge, 1997, p. 47.
https://i0.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/MarkusDavidsen.jpg?fit=789%2C1097&ssl=1 1097 789 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-04-02 08:00:532018-08-21 10:56:22Fiction-Based Religions
The majority of those who identified as a Jedi on the 2001 UK census were mounting a more-or-less satirical or playful act of non-compliance; nevertheless, a certain proportion of those were telling the truth. How does a religion constructed from the fictional Star Wars universe problematise how we conceptualise other religions, and the stories they involve?
https://i2.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/bettina_schmidt.jpg?fit=200%2C200&ssl=1 200 200 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-03-26 08:57:242018-08-21 10:57:32Doing Anthropological Fieldwork
“If we want to discover what [wo]man amounts to, we can only find it in what [wo]men are: and what [wo]men are, above all other things, is various. It is in understanding that variousness – its range, its nature, its basis, and its implications – that we shall come to construct a concept of human nature that, more than a statistical shadow, and less than a primitivists dream, ...
https://i2.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/tuckett.jpg?fit=2299%2C2658&ssl=1 2658 2299 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-03-21 08:00:152018-08-21 10:58:27Roundtable: What is the Future of Religious Studies?
After this week’s podcast, which involved eight scholars giving their views on the future of Religious Studies, there was really only one way we could create a suitably collective and varied response – six postgrads sitting around a table, accompanied by pink gin and our trusty dictaphone. Conversation ranges from the public perception of what Religious Studies does, ...
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/what-is-the-future-of-RS21.gif?fit=800%2C600&ssl=1 600 800 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-03-19 08:00:182018-08-21 10:58:51What is the Future of Religious Studies?
This week we decided to do something a bit different. Every time David and Chris have conducted an interview, they have been asking the interviewees an additional question: “What is the Future of Religious Studies?” The result is this highly stimulating compilation of differing perspectives and levels of optimism The result is this highly stimulating compilation of differing perspectives and levels of optimism on what has become one of the most hotly debated topics in the academic study of religion at the start of the second decade of the twenty-first century.
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Jay-demerath.jpg?fit=480%2C470&ssl=1 470 480 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-03-12 06:33:382018-08-21 10:58:56Substantive Religion and the Functionalist Sacred
Could the difficulties associated with the academic conceptualisation of "religion" be overcome by changing our focus instead to "the sacred"? Jay Demerath tells Chris why we should define religion substantively - that is, in terms of specific attributes like rituals, deities or dogmas - but the sacred in terms of the function it serves in the lives of individuals and cultures.
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/davie.jpg?fit=218%2C291&ssl=1 291 218 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-03-05 06:15:402018-08-21 10:59:09The Changing Nature of Religion
In the 1960s, most sociologists consciously or unconsciously bought into idea of the 'death of god' - religion became effectively invisible to academia. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, a number of events - most notably the 'Satanic Verses' controversy - dramatically increased the 'visibility' of religion: it became a political problem. Now, in the 21st century, ...
https://i2.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Sarah-Jane-Page.jpg?fit=223%2C359&ssl=1 359 223 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-02-27 07:00:592018-08-21 11:00:04Youth, Sexuality and Religion
The Religion, Youth and Sexuality: A Multi-faith Exploration project, based at the University of Nottingham, looked at 18 to 25 year-olds from a variety of faith backgrounds in order to understand attitudes and practices around sexuality and how this was negotiated in relation to religious traditions. Dr Sarah-Jane Page, one of the research fellows, ...
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/GDC-301011-12-web.jpg?fit=336%2C448&ssl=1 448 336 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-02-20 09:00:142018-08-21 11:00:15The Insider/Outsider Problem
The Insider/Outsider problem, relating to where scholars position themselves relating to the subject matter (whatever that may be), is one of the most perennial problems in the academic study of religion. Does one have to be a member of a community for your testimony about that community to be valid? Or does your membership of the community invalidate your objectivity?