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://i2.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://i0.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://i1.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://i0.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?
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/graham-e1328999669802.jpg?fit=185%2C187&ssl=1 187 185 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-02-13 06:00:012018-08-21 11:00:35Animism
Animism is often taken as referring to worldviews in which spirits are to be found not only in humans, but potentially in animals, in plants, in mountains and even natural forces like the wind. It was of central importance in early anthropological conceptions of religion, most notably in the work of E. B. Tylor.
https://i0.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/wiebe.jpg?fit=400%2C285&ssl=1 285 400 Christopher Cotter https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png Christopher Cotter2012-02-06 07:00:332018-06-07 07:58:57The Relationship between Theology and Religious Studies
It is generally accepted - at least as far as most academics are concerned - that there is a distinct difference between religious studies and theology. As you shall see from this interview, however, things are much more complicated, and Professor Wiebe is particularly qualified to present his own take on the relationship between these two distinct disciplines.
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/images.jpeg?fit=160%2C239&ssl=1 239 160 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-01-30 06:00:472018-08-21 11:02:09Invented Religions
What is an "Invented Religion"? Why should scholars take these religions seriously? What makes these “inventions” different from the revelations in other religions? What happens when an author does not want their story to become a religious text? You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes.
https://i1.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Armin_W._Geertz.jpg?fit=170%2C236&ssl=1 236 170 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-01-23 00:07:282016-04-11 03:58:23Cognitive Approaches to the Study of Religion
The cognitive study of religion has quickly established itself as the paradigmatic methodology in the field today. It’s grounded in the concept that religiosity is natural because it is well adapted to the cognitive propensities developed during the evolution of our species. In this episode, Professor Armin Geertz tells Chris why it deserves its prominent profile, and how it is developing.
https://i2.wp.com/www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/151-jim-cox-e1325940689496.jpg?fit=130%2C172&ssl=1 172 130 David Robertson https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/logo.png David Robertson2012-01-14 00:01:282016-04-10 20:17:55The Phenomenology of Religion
Phenomenology is an important methodology in the study of religions, but can be inaccessible to the student. In this interview, James Cox outlines the phenomenology of religion to David in a clear, concise way, avoiding jargon and placing the methodology in the broader context of the history of European philosophy and comparative religion.