Posts

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).  Read more

John Wolffe and Ronald Hutton on Historical Approaches

Welcome back! Our inaugural podcast of the new semester brings you two short interviews on the subject of historical approaches to the study of religion, recorded by David Robertson at the Open University’s Contemporary Religion in Historical Context conference in Milton Keynes, July 2013.

First up is John Wolffe, who gives us an overview of the approach, its strengths and weaknesses, the impact that the internet has had on historical research and the shift towards “new history” which focusses on the marginalised over the powerful. Professor Wolffe also describes how one of his recent projects was planned and executed,which should prove valuable to those of us planning historical research. He also extols the role of historical research in uncovering “hidden histories” which can undermine constructed and confrontational narratives of historical identity.

In the second half, Professor Ronald Hutton of the University of Bristol gives a more in-depth case-study, talking about his book on the emergence of Wicca, The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (OUP, 1999), and how it was received by the academy and by the pagan community. Of particular interest here for the interviewer was the fact that, although sections of the book are often given to undergraduate students, they somehow seem to prefer Gerald Gardner’s own fantastical account of initiation into a pre-Christian Moon-goddess cult over Hutton’s more down-to-earth – yet no less fascinating – account.

Thanks to the Open University for supporting these and other recordings.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us, or use our Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com links to support us when buying your important books etc.

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.

interview - photoThis first podcast, recorded at the Open University’s Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective conference in Milton Keynes in May, organised with Paul-Francois Tremlett (convenor of the OU’s Cross-Cultural Identities research theme) focuses on identity and dislocation, either through diaspora or through rapid social change. Jasjit Singh’s research focuses on how young British Sikh’s negotiate their religious identity; Isabel Cabana Rojas discusses the emigration of Peruvian Catholics to Japan in the 19th century and the subsequent return of some of them to Peru; Marta Turkot discusses the rapidly changing religious situation in Poland today, one of the bastions of Catholicism in Europe. The discussion takes these as a starting-points, however, to address broader issues of identity formation.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us, or use our Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com link to support us when buying your important books etc.

You can read Paul-Francois Tremlett’s report of the two Cross-Cultural Identities panels at the conference here.

Paul Tremlett photoPaul-François Tremlett is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University. His PhD research focused on local religion and national identity in the Philippines at  the extinct volcano Mount Banahaw. His present research is more theoretically oriented, including spatialities and geographies and place-making practices; modernity(ies) and secularism(s); Marxism and classical and contemporary social theory.

Jasjit Singh -photoDr Jasjit Singh has recently completed a PhD which examined the religious lives of 18-30 year old British Sikhs focusing on the different ways in which young Sikhs now learn about Sikhism. He has spoken about his research on BBC Radio 4 and has published a number of academic articles and book chapters. He is currently employed as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds and is looking to examine the role of devotional music in identity formation and religious transmission. Further details about his work can be found at: www.leeds.ac.uk/sikhs

Podcasts

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).  Read more

John Wolffe and Ronald Hutton on Historical Approaches

Welcome back! Our inaugural podcast of the new semester brings you two short interviews on the subject of historical approaches to the study of religion, recorded by David Robertson at the Open University’s Contemporary Religion in Historical Context conference in Milton Keynes, July 2013.

First up is John Wolffe, who gives us an overview of the approach, its strengths and weaknesses, the impact that the internet has had on historical research and the shift towards “new history” which focusses on the marginalised over the powerful. Professor Wolffe also describes how one of his recent projects was planned and executed,which should prove valuable to those of us planning historical research. He also extols the role of historical research in uncovering “hidden histories” which can undermine constructed and confrontational narratives of historical identity.

In the second half, Professor Ronald Hutton of the University of Bristol gives a more in-depth case-study, talking about his book on the emergence of Wicca, The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft (OUP, 1999), and how it was received by the academy and by the pagan community. Of particular interest here for the interviewer was the fact that, although sections of the book are often given to undergraduate students, they somehow seem to prefer Gerald Gardner’s own fantastical account of initiation into a pre-Christian Moon-goddess cult over Hutton’s more down-to-earth – yet no less fascinating – account.

Thanks to the Open University for supporting these and other recordings.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us, or use our Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com links to support us when buying your important books etc.

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.

interview - photoThis first podcast, recorded at the Open University’s Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective conference in Milton Keynes in May, organised with Paul-Francois Tremlett (convenor of the OU’s Cross-Cultural Identities research theme) focuses on identity and dislocation, either through diaspora or through rapid social change. Jasjit Singh’s research focuses on how young British Sikh’s negotiate their religious identity; Isabel Cabana Rojas discusses the emigration of Peruvian Catholics to Japan in the 19th century and the subsequent return of some of them to Peru; Marta Turkot discusses the rapidly changing religious situation in Poland today, one of the bastions of Catholicism in Europe. The discussion takes these as a starting-points, however, to address broader issues of identity formation.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us, or use our Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com link to support us when buying your important books etc.

You can read Paul-Francois Tremlett’s report of the two Cross-Cultural Identities panels at the conference here.

Paul Tremlett photoPaul-François Tremlett is Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University. His PhD research focused on local religion and national identity in the Philippines at  the extinct volcano Mount Banahaw. His present research is more theoretically oriented, including spatialities and geographies and place-making practices; modernity(ies) and secularism(s); Marxism and classical and contemporary social theory.

Jasjit Singh -photoDr Jasjit Singh has recently completed a PhD which examined the religious lives of 18-30 year old British Sikhs focusing on the different ways in which young Sikhs now learn about Sikhism. He has spoken about his research on BBC Radio 4 and has published a number of academic articles and book chapters. He is currently employed as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds and is looking to examine the role of devotional music in identity formation and religious transmission. Further details about his work can be found at: www.leeds.ac.uk/sikhs