Identity

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Using Archaeology to Learn about Christian Diversity and Martyr Shrines

Sarah Griffis highlights how Morehouse demonstrates the central issue of studying diverse social groups in antiquity: "how do you get something new out of what’s already there before it? Whatever it is that’s new needs to be intelligible enough to be compelling and persuasive."
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Sovereignty, Historical Memory, and the Importance of Aliite Worldviews

"The processes by which the Aliites imagine their history reveal much about how state sanctioned ideas and institutions gain and maintain seeming natural validity," writes Chernoh Sesay, Jr., in response to our interview with Spencer Dew on the Aliites.
Podcast

Power and Diversity in 4th Century Martyr Shrines

How were 4th century Christian martyr shrines locations for the negotiation of power and diversity? In this interview, Nathaniel Morehouse explains the contested nature of these shrines.
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Lamenting the Lie

"The struggle to fight for truth in an age of Lies must be relentless," writes Darrius D. Hills in this week's response to our episode with Eddie Glaude and his work on James Baldwin, Begin Again.
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Race and the Aliites

Complex issues of race, identity, citizenship, sovereignty, and Law come together in this interview with Spencer Dew about the New Religious Movements surrounding Noble Drew Ali and the groups he inspired.
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Encountering the Historical Jesus-People

"No matter where we do our reading, we bring ourselves to the task," writes Dr. Allison L. Gray in this response to our interview with William Arnal on "Ancient Christian Origins"
Podcast

The Lie at the Heart of America

James Baldwin's critique of America and its racism is an "urgent lesson" for contemporary America, writes Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. in his new book Begin Again.
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The Secret Life of Scriptures: Black Scriptures as Tending to New Afro-Futures

In Joseph L. Tucker Edmond's response to our interview with Richard Newton, we see a continuation of the extended, organic metaphors of Newton's scriptural lens for studying Alex Haley's Roots. What does it mean to tend a future, asks Tucker Edmonds, and who tends the futures for Black subjects?
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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.
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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.
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May the Fourth Be With You

To honor May the Fourth, International Star Wars Day, please enjoy this compilation of classic Religious Studies Project interviews about Star Wars!
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The Essential and Complex Relationship of Religion and Media

The use of new digital media may sometimes be clumsy, not well understood, and subject to failure at times, writes Robin Harragin Hussey, but it is the current and future manifestation of the way many religions and religious people want to share and make themselves known.
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Media and the Study of Religion

Vivian Asimos, Chris Cotter, Time Hutchings and Suzanne Owen discuss the intersections of Media and the Study of Religion.
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Secular Jewish Millennials in Israel/Palestine

In this podcast, Chris Cotter is joined by Dr Stacey Gutkowski to discuss what it means to be a ‘secular Jewish Israeli millennial’.
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Reflections on “Thinking with Jonathan Z. Smith”

Aaron Hughes, the keynote speaker for the #JZSatNTNU Conference in Trondheim, Norway, talks with the RSP about the legacy of Jonathan Z. Smith's work for the field of religious studies.
Podcast

Patrons Special: RSP Discourse #2 (October 2018)

Welcome to the second issue of “Discourse”, where our editors and guests take a critical look at how the category “religion” is being used in the media, the public sphere, and the academic field. This episode, Chris (Cotter) is joined by Chris (Silver) and Theo Wildcroft, both long-time friends and contributors to the RSP, for a cross-Atlantic discussion. After the inevitable discussion of US identity conflicts and terrorism, and ugly manifestation of the KKK in Northern Ireland, discussion moved on to the accepted protocols of trick or treating, and the use of patisserie in debates on LGBT human rights vs religious freedom.  Can’t access this episode? Subscribe at https://www.patreon.com/projectrs
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Religious cliché and stigma

As part of the podcast on pervasive clichés, Chris Cotter interviews Brad Stoddard and Craig Martin regarding their recent work how popular clichés are enculturated within our culture. This conversation explores how clichés are both useful and detrimental to the study of religion in that they frame expectations about religion and speak to the social expectations of religious groups by others.
Podcast

Changing Your Story: Assessing Ex-Member Narratives

Ex-member testimony can be a difficult to deal with. Such testimony tends to receive privileged treatment in anti-cult literature, while some academics are prone to be sceptical, even suggesting ex-member testimony is worthless due to the danger of adaption and fiction.
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Report: 2015 Joint Conferences of the New Zealand and Australian Associations for the Study of Religion

The biennial conference of the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religions (NZASR) and the annual conference of the Australian Association for the Study of Religions (AASR) were held together in Queenstown, New Zealand from December 8-10 2015. Interdisciplinary perspectives and theoretical approaches across the humanities and social sciences were evident in the wide-range of papers presented. Islam, and Asian religions more generally, were the most consistent objects of focus, perhaps unsurprising given Australasia’s proximity to Asia and recent increased media attention to the Islamic State.
Podcast

Gender, queer theory and religion

In this interview, Dr. Mary Jo Neitz continues the conversation about religion and gender by focusing on theories from LGBT studies and queer studies. Using her work as an ethnographer, as well as the work of American philosopher Judith Butler, Neitz distinguishes the categories ...
Podcast

Religious Demography in the US

In this week's podcast we focus on religious demography and identification, survey tools used for religious demography in America, differences between religious identities and identifications, Americans’ shifting religious identifications, correlations between religion and social positions such as ethnicity or generational cohort, and correlations with various social and political issues.
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Religion and Planetary Ethics

Speaking of religions as “eco-social constructions across multiple species, over multiple generations, and over multiple histories,” in this interview Whitney Bauman puts forward an ethics of understanding ourselves and others as planetary creatures, and understanding religion, science, and nature as non-foundational, non-substantive categories.
Podcast

21st Century Irish Paganism

in this interview, we discuss Jenny Butler's work on Paganism in Ireland, the impact of that particular context upon the Paganism/s she has researched - particularly in terms of language, mythology, and the natural landscape - and also some of the issues associated with the academic study of Paganism in general.
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What is ‘Buddhism in the West’?

I often see “Buddhism in the West” lumped in with new religious movements (NRMs) or more interestingly as sources of therapeutic influence for new styles of mental health treatment such as those seen in the field of Psychology. The compulsion to lump Buddhism with new religious movements may derive from a variety of influences. There appears to be much debate regarding what defines Buddhism in the West. Particularly, ...
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Hyphenating Identities

We find ourselves in a time when countries like the UK and the US are, even now, officially providing their citizens the option of identifying via the use of hyphenated ethnicities. In yet another excellent Religious Studies Project interview, we hear from University of California Santa Barbara Associate Professor Rudy Busto talking about race and religion in the United States.
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.
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Religious Experience: Understanding and Explaining (Video)

The RSP collaborated with Society for the Scientific Study of Religion at their 2014 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis to offer and video record an interdisciplinary panel on the study of religion. Each of the papers presented are not only from different fields in the study of religion but also methodologically or theoretically apply an interdisciplinary approach. The authors represent the best in their fields. Some are established scholars with a body of work while others are up-and-coming talent.
Podcast

Is Britain still a Christian country?

In what sense can a country be “Christian”? Today on the Religious Studies Project, we welcome back Professor Linda Woodhead to discuss and interrogate the question "Is Britain Still a Christian Country?", the topic of her recent Croall Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.
Podcast

Comics and the Superhero Afterlife

In this wide-ranging interview with A. David Lewis, comic books are presented as an irreplaceable cultural medium for engaging with issues of mortality, identity, subjectivity, and cosmology. With an overwhelming slate of comic book driven television series (Walking Dead, Gotham, ...
Podcast

“Would You Still Call Yourself an Asianist?”

Over the course of Ramey's career he has gradually and smoothly made a significant shift. Of course he still studies material relevant to his earlier training, but a shift in research focus from inter-religious cooperation to diaspora religion, eventually studying south Asian communities in the U.S.
Podcast

‘Religion’ as ‘sui generis’

In this interview with Thomas Coleman, McCutcheon discusses what he terms as the “socio-political strategy” behind the label of “sui generis” as it is applied to religion. The interview begins by exploring some of the terms used to support sui generis claims to religion (e.g. un-mediated, irreducible etc.)...
Podcast

Identity or Identification?

Identity or Identification? In this second podcast for Identities? Week, the Culture on the Edge group address the issue of religious identity. Is our identity – cultural, religious or other – something which causes us to act, or something which we choose to mobilise in certain circumstances? And what part do scholars have in reifying these discourses?
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Cross-Cultural Identities Roundtable

It’s Identities? Week here at the Religious Studies Project, with not one but two specially-recorded roundtable discussions about how identity is negotiated (if indeed it is) through our religious, ethnic, sexual and socio-cultural identities. This first podcast focuses on identity and dislocation, either through diaspora or through rapid social change.