Religion and its Publics (Part 2)

In the last feature of the "semester" we're continuing with the video format. A couple of months ago the RSP attended the Open University's conference on Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspectives. I went about asking the pundits a couple of questions about Religion and its Publics. This week we have the second question (link for Part 1 in the sidebar).

By David G. Robertson

David G. Robertson is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University, co-founder of the Religious Studies Project, and co-editor of the journal Implicit Religion. His work applies critical theory to the study of alternative and emerging religions, and to "conspiracy theory" narratives. He is the author of UFOs, the New Age and Conspiracy Theories: Millennial Conspiracism (Bloomsbury 2016) and co-editor of After World Religions: Reconstructing Religious Studies (Equinox 2016) and the Handbook of Conspiracy Theories and Contemporary Religion (Brill 2018). Twitter @d_g_robertson | Academia | blog.

David G. Robertson

David G. Robertson is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University, co-founder of the Religious Studies Project, and co-editor of the journal Implicit Religion. His work applies critical theory to the study of alternative and emerging religions, and to "conspiracy theory" narratives. He is the author of UFOs, the New Age and Conspiracy Theories: Millennial Conspiracism (Bloomsbury 2016) and co-editor of After World Religions: Reconstructing Religious Studies (Equinox 2016) and the Handbook of Conspiracy Theories and Contemporary Religion (Brill 2018).

Twitter @d_g_robertson | Academia | blog.

By Suzanne Newcombe

Suzanne Newcombe researches religion within the disciplines of sociology and social history. Much of her time is now focused on Ayuryog (www.ayuryog.org), an ERC-funded project lead by Dagmar Wujastyk. More generally Suzanne has specialized in the study of new and minority religions (particularly those with their roots in Hinduism and Buddhism) and the social history of yoga, Ayurveda and complementary/alternative medicine in Britain. She has a continuing interest in prophecy and has edited a collection on the subject for the Ashgate-Inform series on minority religions and spiritualities with her colleague Sarah Harvey. Additionally, she teaches as an Associate Lecturer for A332: Why is Religion Controversial? for the Open University  in London.

Suzanne Newcombe

Suzanne Newcombe researches religion within the disciplines of sociology and social history. Much of her time is now focused on Ayuryog (www.ayuryog.org), an ERC-funded project lead by Dagmar Wujastyk. More generally Suzanne has specialized in the study of new and minority religions (particularly those with their roots in Hinduism and Buddhism) and the social history of yoga, Ayurveda and complementary/alternative medicine in Britain. She has a continuing interest in prophecy and has edited a collection on the subject for the Ashgate-Inform series on minority religions and spiritualities with her colleague Sarah Harvey. Additionally, she teaches as an Associate Lecturer for A332: Why is Religion Controversial? for the Open University  in London.

By Theo Wildcroft

Theo Wildcroft is a PhD researcher with the Open University, UK. She investigates the democratization and evolution of physical practice as it moves beyond yoga lineages. She co-authored an upcoming article on non-institutional religious practice and pain in the new journal, Bodies and Religion, and authored 'Context. Consent. Contact. An Animist Approach to Consent'. A yoga teacher herself with a decade of experience, Theo’s work has been featured in a number of transnational yoga spaces online, including articles for GatherYoga and J Brown’s yoga podcast.

Theo Wildcroft

Theo Wildcroft is a PhD researcher with the Open University, UK. She investigates the democratization and evolution of physical practice as it moves beyond yoga lineages. She co-authored an upcoming article on non-institutional religious practice and pain in the new journal, Bodies and Religion, and authored 'Context. Consent. Contact. An Animist Approach to Consent'. A yoga teacher herself with a decade of experience, Theo’s work has been featured in a number of transnational yoga spaces online, including articles for GatherYoga and J Brown’s yoga podcast.

By Alison Robertson

Alison Robertson is a PhD candidate in Religious Studies at the Open University, conducting research into BDSM as lived religious practice.  Prior to beginning her PhD she was a Religious Studies teacher and a Principle Examiner for GCSE and A Level Religious Studies. Her research interests include lived and personal religion, edgework, self-inflicted and/or positive experiences of pain, and blurring the lines people draw between categories such as religious and non-religious or ‘extreme’ religious practice and insanity.

Alison Robertson

Alison Robertson is a PhD candidate in Religious Studies at the Open University, conducting research into BDSM as lived religious practice.  Prior to beginning her PhD she was a Religious Studies teacher and a Principle Examiner for GCSE and A Level Religious Studies. Her research interests include lived and personal religion, edgework, self-inflicted and/or positive experiences of pain, and blurring the lines people draw between categories such as religious and non-religious or ‘extreme’ religious practice and insanity.

By Marion Bowman

Dr Marion Bowman is Senior Lecturer in the Religious Studies department at the Open University, Vice President of the European Association for the Study of Religions, a former president of the BASR and of the Folklore Society, and serves on the executive board of SIEF’s Ethnology of Religion Working Group. She began her academic career at Glasgow University, but switched to Lancaster University where she came under the influence of Professor Ninian Smart, a revolutionary figure who has acquired almost mythic status in the field of Religious Studies. Her research is concerned with vernacular religion (‘religion as it is lived’), contemporary spirituality including a long-term study of Glastonbury, material culture and pilgrimage.  She is currently Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded project Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals, Past and Present: http://www.pilgrimageandcathedrals.ac.uk/about

Marion’s Publications include Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life: Expressions of Belief (2012) co-edited with Ulo Valk; Beyond the New Age: Exploring Alternative Spiritualities (2000) co-edited with Steve Sutcliffe; and recently ‘”He’s My Best Friend”: Relationality, Materiality, and the Manipulation of Motherhood in Devotion to St Gerard Majella in Newfoundland’ in Terry Woo & Becky Lee, eds. Canadian Women Shaping Diasporic Religious Identities (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016, pp.3-34); ‘“Helping Glastonbury to Come into Its Own”: Practical Spirituality, Materiality, and Community Cohesion in Glastonbury’ in Practical Spiritualities in a Media Age, Curtis C Coats and Monica M Emerich, eds. (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. 2015, pp.51-65.)

Marion Bowman

Dr Marion Bowman is Senior Lecturer in the Religious Studies department at the Open University, Vice President of the European Association for the Study of Religions, a former president of the BASR and of the Folklore Society, and serves on the executive board of SIEF’s Ethnology of Religion Working Group.

She began her academic career at Glasgow University, but switched to Lancaster University where she came under the influence of Professor Ninian Smart, a revolutionary figure who has acquired almost mythic status in the field of Religious Studies. Her research is concerned with vernacular religion (‘religion as it is lived’), contemporary spirituality including a long-term study of Glastonbury, material culture and pilgrimage.  She is currently Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded project Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals, Past and Present: http://www.pilgrimageandcathedrals.ac.uk/about

Marion’s Publications include Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life: Expressions of Belief (2012) co-edited with Ulo Valk; Beyond the New Age: Exploring Alternative Spiritualities (2000) co-edited with Steve Sutcliffe; and recently ‘”He’s My Best Friend”: Relationality, Materiality, and the Manipulation of Motherhood in Devotion to St Gerard Majella in Newfoundland’ in Terry Woo & Becky Lee, eds. Canadian Women Shaping Diasporic Religious Identities (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016, pp.3-34); ‘“Helping Glastonbury to Come into Its Own”: Practical Spirituality, Materiality, and Community Cohesion in Glastonbury’ in Practical Spiritualities in a Media Age, Curtis C Coats and Monica M Emerich, eds. (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. 2015, pp.51-65.)

In response to:

In the last feature of the “semester” we’re continuing with the video format. A couple of months ago the RSP attended the Open University’s conference on Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspectives. I went about asking the pundits a couple of questions about Religion and its Publics. This week we have the second question (link for Part 1 in the sidebar). 

A massive thanks needs to go out to the Open University for providing the venue and all the respondents for being good sports!

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