christianity

Podcast

Ancient Christian Origins: A Heterogeneous History

In this week’s episode, the RSP’s Sidney Castillo talks with Professor William Arnal about ancient Christian origins and the development of Christianity through New Testament sources such as the Gospel of Thomas and Q.
Response

Painfully Stripped Away, Painfully Added

Adam Park's response to episode 330 highlights boxing as a site for identity creation and the legacy of muscular Christianity as two important takeaways of our interview with Arlene Sanchez-Walsh.
Podcast

Near Death Experiences

In this episode, Christopher Cotter discusses Near Death Experiences with Jens Schlieter. How does one study reports of such experiences from a critical study of religion perspective? How are such reports related to modern societal developments such as ‘secularization’, individualization, or advances in medical science?
Podcast

Challenging the Normative Stance of Aniconism in the Study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

In this episode, Candace Mixon discusses aniconism with Birgit Meyer & Terje Stordalen. Would our normative assumptions about the absence of images in certain traditions be better served by turning to aesthetics?
Podcast

Lady Death and the Pluralization of Latin American Religion

In today’s podcast, Professor R. Andrew Chesnut connects Brazil’s colonial past to its pluralist present and explains why folk saint devotion to Santa Muerte or Lady Death is one of the fastest growing religious movements in the world.
Podcast

Discourse #8 (June 2019)

This month on Discourse, Breann Fallon, Carole Cusack and Ray Radford approach the Australian news from a Religious Studies perspective. We cover the appeal of Cardinal George Pell, the drama around Israel Folau, and the impact of Christianity on the recent Australian federal election results.
Podcast

Discourse, Australia Edition

Breann Fallon, Carole Cusack and Ray Radford approach the Australian news from a Religious Studies perspective. We cover the appeal of Cardinal George Pell, the drama around Israel Folau, and the impact of Christianity on the recent Australian federal election results.
Podcast

Jesuits, Mormons, and American Religion in the World

My conversation with Maffly-Kipp begins with McGreevy's book, expands to include her work on Mormonism in contrast to Catholicism, and ends with a discussion of evangelical historian Mark Noll, in whose honor Notre Dame was originally going to host a conference, but was cancelled at the last minute.
Response

Healing and higher power: a response to Dr Wendy Dossett

While those that reject the concept of God can never associate the “higher power” with the divine, it is obviously still appropriate to explore whether a metaphysical force might lay behind it power and, if so, what it might be. After all the origins of Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in the late 1930s, are undeniably Christian.
Podcast

Religion, Youth, and Intergenerationality

We begin this interview by asking what is ‘youth’? How do sociologists define it? What are some of the current trends in sociological research on youth? What, if anything, is distinctive about youth experience? Discussion then turns to ‘religion and youth’, focusing on why scholars might be interested in it, ...
Response

Conference Report (and rant): Fandom and Religion, Leicester, 2015

Conference report for The Religious Studies Project by our very own Venetia Robertson, RSP Editor and a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. The University of Leicester hosted the Fandom and Religion conference this July 28-30 in affiliation with the Theology, Religion and Popular Culture network. A reasonably small conference with just over 30 presenters and 50 attendees, organisers Clive Marshall and Isobel Woodcliffe of Leicester’s Lifelong Learning Centre ran the event smoothly
Podcast

Christian Reconstruction

Rousas John Rushdoony might be one of the most important Christian theologians you've never heard of. In this interview, Professor Michael McVicar discusses Rushdoony and Christian Reconstruction. McVicar gained unprecedented access to Rushdoony's personal files, ...
Podcast

Sri Lankan Buddhism and Colonialism

Usually one of the first associations upon hearing ‘Sri Lankan Buddhism’ is either the religious violence that swept across the island in the recent decades, or the Pali canon and Theravada Buddhism. In this interview with Anja Pogacnik, Dr. Stephen Berkwitz doesn’t really speak of either.
Response

Identity Crisis: the Nones and Habitual Christianity

Many of my participants felt that familiarity with Christianity permitted them to be critical in a way that they could not with other religious traditions. This podcast coincides with Linda Woodhead’s recent Croall Lectures, aimed at interrogating the question: Is Britain still a Christian country? Drawing on her own qualitative research and recent surveys in the UK,
Response

The Gamrie Brethren: At the Heart of Cosmic Struggle and the Fringes of the Imagined Community

I hope I can place Webster’s research [on the Scottish Brethren] in the wider social and historical context, the ‘national level’ alongside the ‘local’ and ‘global’ ones. In the RSP's interview with Joe Webster, listeners are treated to rich ethnographic data which reveal how an immediate ‘local’ context is embedded in ‘global’ processes and networks. Webster conducted his fieldwork in the fishing village of Gardenstown or ‘Gamrie’ in Aberdeenshire, in the north-east of Scotland.
Response

African, Christian… Fake? Explorations in Religious Authenticity

When Adogame rhetorically asks, “which kind of Christianity is authentic,” he implies that conversations on religious authenticity revolve around evaluating various strains of interpretation and practice. Or, put another way, that religious authenticity is a matter of orthodoxy and orthopraxy. But is it? A highlight of Afe Adogame’s interview is his emphasis upon the brimming capacity for African Christianities, whether in Western or African settings,...
Podcast

African Christianity in the West

‘Africa’. ‘Christianity’. ‘The West’. Three seemingly simple terms with clear referents. Three categories which – perhaps unsurprisingly, to regular listeners of the RSP – have been, and continue to be, associated with and invoked in support of myriad competing agendas, truth claims, ideologies, and more.
Response

Having Coffee with God: Evangelical Interpretations of God as a Person Among People

Four decades ago, it would have seemed absurd to hear God characterized by American evangelical Christians in terms of personhood, with words such as audible, visible, or coffee-drinker. Characteristics attributed to God often indicate apotheosis—some quality beyond human understanding, beyond worldly constraints. Commonly used terms include supernatural, omnipotent, and incorporeal, to name a few. Four decades ago,
Podcast

Prayer, Pretense, and Personification: How God becomes real

Luhrmann details the rise of evangelicals in the 60’s and 70’s, and how anthropological work can be informed by evolutionary psychology. This serves as a framework to understand the unique training processes that teach an individual that their mind is not only open to their own thoughts, but God’s as well.
Response

Resisting Conformity at the Margins of Marginal Christianity

Acknowledging the difficulties surrounding the identification and definition of a subject of study that is not only deliberately diverse but also intentionally resistant to definition, Ganiel and Martí nonetheless discern within emerging Christianity a distinct religious orientation built around the practice of deconstruction. In what her interviewer has reckoned to be the first Religious Studies Project podcast to focus solely on the study of an expression of contemporary Christianity,...
Podcast

The Emerging Church

The Emerging Church Movement (ECM) is notoriously difficult to define. What are scholars of ‘religion’ to do with a trend seemingly emerging both within and without many contemporary manifestations of (Western) Christianity, that is both anti-institutional and ecumenical, aims to avoid hierarchies and power structures, embraces creativity,...
Podcast

“Unruly Angels”: An Interview with Ingvild Gilhus

Angels seem always to break boundaries. Neither human nor god, male nor female, whether Christian or otherwise, angels seem always to have functioned as representatives of an unruly popular religious impulse which seems to sit just below the elite constructions with which the study of religion has traditionally concerned itself.
Response

Demons, Exoticism, and the Academy

demons and spiritual warfare aren’t something that snake handlers invented just yesterday, it is a major thread woven through the entire history of Christianity, and one that continues to be woven through it today. Something that strikes me about contemporary spiritual warfare is how it’s not so radically different thematically in its interests and its languages than a lot of contemporary American religion.
Podcast

Demons, possessions, and exorcisms: Sean McCloud on “Spiritual Warfare”

How should one approach the study of demons and spiritual warfare? In this conversation with University of North Carolina, Charlotte professor Sean McCloud, demons, possessions, and exorcisms that might have once been considered fringe or marginal elements of the American religious scene are now part of a robust “haunted” or supernatural landscape.
Podcast

NSRN Annual Lecture 2012 – Matthew Engelke: In spite of Christianity

What do we talk about when we talk about religion? What do we recognize as essential and specific to any given faith, and why? In this lecture, I address these questions by drawing on fieldwork among humanists in Britain, paying particular attention to humanism’s relation to Christianity.
Response

The Secular Reality

"If, as [Douglas Pratt] is contending, we don’t want the “metaphysical dimension” and “stories” of religion at the personal as well as societal level, this is not persistence; this is a new phenomenon altering centuries of evolving theological trajectory." Douglas Pratt presents us with a most noble and worthwhile endeavor in his Religious Studies Project podcast entitled, The Persistence and Problem of Religion.
Podcast

Mormonism, Growth and Decline

Can Mormonism be described as a New Religious Movement? Is there a unified phenomenon which can be classified as Mormonism? Is Mormonism to be considered as a form of Christianity? This week, Chris is joined by Ryan Cragun – Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tampa, Florida – to discuss not only these conceptual issues,...
Response

Is There a Christian Agenda Behind Religious Studies Departments?

"[Martin] alludes to a greater problem: the imbalance of power, the greater influence of Christianity in Western academia, compared with other religions, both major and minor." A version of this post was published earlier today with a couple of minor but important changes made by Chris and mistakenly not communicated to the author. These unauthorised changes have been removed, and the version presented below meets with the approval of both Mr Lataster and the editors.