Responses

Scholars in dialogue with our weekly podcast

Scholars in Dialogue with our weekly podcast

Our Latest response

The Moral Narratives of New Materialism and Posthumanism

Who or what are the actors in Posthuman and New Materialist narratives, asks Peter J. Bräunlein in this response to our interview with Paul-Francois Tremlett. In the face of populist "great simplifiers like Trump Bolsonaro or Modi," what will scholars do with our increasingly complex and diverse narratives about religious change?

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Rethinking Rethinking

“A lot of definitional magic has been spent to save religion from secularisation theory,” writes Titus Hjelm in this response to our episode with Paul-François Tremlett, “but at the end of the day, incommensurability is a real issue in this debate.” So what can be said today of the ongoing differences between lived religious perspectives at the level of the individual and those scholarly perspectives that look at broader social and cultural forces and trends.

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The (De-)Mystification of Christian Origins

In her response to our episode on Ancient Christian Origins with Bill Arnal, Michelle Sdao cites the risks of “methodolatry” and highlights emerging scholarship and methods on the edges of the disciplinary divides among religious studies, textual criticism, New Testament Studies and other allied fields.

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Hidden and Also Shared Around the Globe

How can Jewish Studies help us rethink concepts like “the political”? In this response to our episode featuring Carsten Wilke interviewed by Sidney Castillo, Jonathan Garb highlights additional aspects of “the rise of kabbalah as a potent cultural force in the early modern period” that challenge the limits of cross-cultural comparison.

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Performing Scripture

What are the limits of scripture as a performative concept? In this response to this season’s episode with Richard Newton, M. Cooper Harriss examines Newton’s hybrid understanding of scripture as a forceful and malleable process of signification.

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Whose fetish?

Recognizing the influence of “Christian colonialist attitudes” on scholarly discourses about the value of sacred objects means understanding how we are all implicated by our field’s ongoing use of the term “fetish.”

Echoing the lessons from Breann Fallon’s interview with Prof. J. Lorand Matory, respondent Colby Dickinson calls us to account for the ways in which “we are all hypocritical in our assigning of values to certain things and downplaying the value in other things.” This includes, he writes, the theories of fetishism by Marx and Freud to which our field seems inescapably connected.

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Health, Wealth, & Spiritual Warfare: The UCKG from Brazil to Australia

Get a global perspective on the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), whose Australian branches were discussed in our recent episode with Dr. Kathleen Openshaw.

Describing the UCKG as a leader in a global Pentecostal vanguard influencing the Catholic Church, respondents Professor Andrew Chesnut and Dr. Kate Kingsbury outline how the UCKG’s focus on health, wealth, and spiritual warfare have been critical to its success with migrants in Australian and around the world.

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