Roundtable on Religious Studies and Academic Credibility beyond ‘World Religions’

A while back a few of us gathered for what became the first of a ‘successful’ bout of roundtables conducted by a cadre of ‘amazing people’ with differing and ‘unique’ opinions. In that first ‘test’ for the ones that would follow, six of us gathered together to discuss the ‘future of religious studies.’

A few highlights from that recording are the revelation that what one does with a degree in religious studies inevitably leads toward a fine career at Starbucks, that ‘relativity,’ being one step from ‘subjectivity,’ is the ‘post-modernist quagmire of death and destruction that will consume all academic fields if it’s allowed to spread too far,’ and that we ourselves, despite the wishes of many, are not, in fact, the future of religious studies.

After that first attempt came many others and the RSP has blossomed nicely. A few of us finished the degrees that were at that time ‘in-progress’ and moved on—and away—from Edinburgh. This last September we were given the opportunity—thanks to romance—to all be back in town, and arranged a ‘reunion-of-sorts.’ This time, our conversation was a bit less organized, but by no means less interesting. A few of us had begun working on Ph.D. programs, and a few of us had just entered into the early-to-final stages of those begun around the time of the first recording. We sat in the same seats, in the same room, and sipped the same canned cocktails as before. Interestingly, our positions, opinions, and arguments seem both old and new, the result of time working together, learning each other’s personalities, and becoming closer friends and colleagues. Please share in our discussion, comment, discuss on your own and, as always, thanks for listening.

Kevin came back to Edinburgh, cap in hand. Liam thought this was a brilliant thing!

Kevin came back to Edinburgh, cap in hand. Liam thought this was a brilliant thing!

Many thanks to Ethan for penning this prose.

8 replies
    • Avatar
      David Mcconeghy says:

      Are you using this in a course? Perhaps you could contact your instructor for help or share your questions with us?

      Reply
    • Avatar
      David Mcconeghy says:

      Sophie, I’m afraid this episode pre-dates our transcription efforts. We’ll add it to the growing list in the archive that needs transcribing. Sorry that doesn’t help you today, but hopefully it will help others in the future.

      Reply
  1. Avatar
    Avisha says:

    Please assist. My assignment question is if they all think that the term world religion is problematic and why.
    Secondly if they are taking a phenomenological or critical approach.
    Do they feel religion evolved over time.
    Do they offer a way forward.
    Please help

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Zwivhuya Tshilani says:

    Thus podcast is very informative in terms of religions, but also my concern is that you talk over each other in most cases, i ended up not getting some of the points you guys were trying to make.
    the part where you talked about the idea of whose book is popular and self inflected desire , i could not get the start of the entire thing.
    some terms as well, i couldnt get it and me being a Tshivenda Speaking student under UNISA. i honestly struggled to get the terms, i would get them wrong in terms of spelling.

    a pdf of this podcast would really help with most things i and maybe some other listeners did not get.

    but thank you and i will read through all the six people who were into the conversation

    Reply

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