What better way to end our series on Religion and Cultural Production than with a podcast combining two of my favourite topics - religion and comic books (and we will have none of your middle-class renaming "graphic novels" round RSP HQ)! Today, RSP assistant editor Per Smith talks to A. David Lewis and attempts to delineate an emergent and very rich sub-discipline.
What better way to end our series on Religion and Cultural Production than with a podcast combining two of my favourite topics – religion and comic books (and we will have none of your middle-class renaming “graphic novels” round RSP HQ)! Today, RSP assistant editor Per Smith talks to A. David Lewis and attempts to delineate an emergent and very rich sub-discipline.
While some comic books tell traditional (or invented) religious stories, others touch upon religious themes more indirectly. In discussing the many ways that this relationship can unfold David touches upon broader issues of interest to religion scholars like the place of imagery within religious traditions. Prohibitions against certain types of religious images can, for instance, pose challenges to comic book artists desiring to tell certain kinds of religious stories. He also delves into the superhero archetype, and discusses how the comic book genre is particularly suited to tell stories of a mythological character.
And what does any of this have to do with Scientology?
Tim Hutchings: "My own field of research is digital religion, an area with a particularly troubled relationship to history. Scholars and commentators interested in digital culture and its significance for religion have struggled to distinguish what is truly new from what has come before, and continue to search for helpful ways to talk about change."
As the RSP continues to grow, we're going to be returning more frequently to topics and themes which have already been touched upon in previous podcasts and features.
In this interview, Dr. Julie Exline discusses what led to her interest in Struggles and some of the background behind the development of the Religious and Spiritual Struggle Scale. She goes on to talk about why the scale includes struggles relevant to both religious believers and nonbelievers and how this work related to some of her current work on god images in both groups.
Might books be a "space" like Museums for the sacred-secular work of Holocaust remembrance? In this response by Samuel J. Spinner to our season 9 episode with Avril Alba, stories take center stage as examples of "cultural innovation necessitated by catastrophe and catalyzed by a reworking of the relationship between people and texts."
"Wright (2007), for example, has suggested that, “the modern superhero is a contemporary manifestation of the ancient shamanic role” (2007:127). While Pedler has argued that, “Morrison’s mission [...is] to make our reality as interesting as theirs, as surreal, full of every potential and possibility” (Pedler, 2009:264), making them, in effect, shamanic fictions."
Professor Michael Cook, winner of the Holberg Prize 2014, has had a huge influence on the historical study of Islam. In this episode, Knut interviews Professor Cook about his decision to go into history in the first place, about his writing process, the role of the humanities, his reflections about teaching, and why he finds it so important to get the details right.
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’?
James Kapaló takes us inside the Eastern European secret police archives to show us how minority and new religious groups were portrayed. We explore the visual and material presence of religious minorities in the secret police archives in Hungary, Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
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?
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Professor Peter Harrison discusses the false historical assumptions behind the current perception that "science" and "religion" have always been in conflict. Providing a wide-ranging historical overview, Harrison begins with the early interplay between religious institutions and scientific activity, ...
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