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Christmas Special 2015 – Fourteen to One!

DSCF1523Fourteen contestants. One tetchy quizmaster. Three microphones. Numerous cases of wine. One glamorous assistant. Many bruised egos. A boisterous studio audience. A splash of irreverence. Dozens of questions. Four years of podcasts! A rapidly diminishing reservoir of academic credibility. And far, far too many in-jokes… it can only mean one thing, right? It’s time for the Religious Studies Project Special 2015!

DSCF1602Back in August. as many of you will be aware, the RSP had the pleasure of being well-represented at the XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions at the University of Erfurt, Germany. Having previously recorded fun-filled festive specials at BASR and EASR conferences, we decided that it would be a crying shame if we didn’t manage to continue to collect the full set… and thus was born the audio delight that we present to you now, in celebration of the end of our fourth year “on the air.”

DSCF1480This year we welcome back Jonathan Tuckett as host, with score-keeping assistance from Ethan Quillen, technical wizardry from David Robertson and atmospheric jeers and cheers from our studio audience, to bring you Religious Studies Fourteen-to-One. in this academic royal rumble, fourteen contestants enter, but only one can emerge victorious. Can Carole Cusack keep the coveted RSP Special crown? Listen to find out!

In order of appearance, our fourteen unlucky victims contestants are:

  • DSCF1553Christopher Cotter
  • Kim Knott
  • Eileen Barker
  • Jack Tsonis
  • Carole Cusack
  • Stephen Gregg
  • Kevin Whitesides
  • Teemu Taira
  • Beth Singler
  • William Arfman
  • Moritz Klenk
  • Anders Petersen
  • Markus Davidsen
  • Liam Sutherland

DSCF1445Listeners may also be interested in our previous ‘holiday’ specials – Only 60 Seconds, Nul Point, and MasterBrain – as well the serious interviews we recorded in Erfurt, with Whitney Bauman, Tomoko Masuzawa, Susan J. Palmer, S. Brent Plate, Johannes Quack, and Kocku von Stuckrad.

General, inoffensive and non-specific greetings to all our listeners, and best wishes for 2016! We are, of course, well aware that the RSP year is dictated to a large part by the hegemonic cultural norms in Scotland, and in ‘the West’ more broadly… we hope that you can forgive any uncritical uses of the “C-word” in this podcast! (No, not that one…)

DSCF1536

We’ll be back in January for year five – even bigger and better than ever. Many thanks to everyone who took part in this recording – the contestants, the hosts, Anja Pogacnik for awesome photography and the studio audience. Thanks to the IAHR team in Erfurt for facilitating this recording at incredibly short notice. And, finally, and perhaps most importantly, thanks for listening.

Outtakes and Review of the Year

A very special episode of the podcast this week, to mark the beginning of our annual summer hiatus.

Photo: Podcast Fuel

This week is brought to you by Gordon’s Gin & Tonic (other gins are available)

For the past year, I (David) have kept a file where all the little amusing bits that didn’t make it into the weekly episodes got put. Sometimes, this was because of restraints of time, but more often they were simply too ‘scandalous’. I broadcast them here with that proviso. (I should also mention that they became far fewer when the others began to realise what I was up to…)

But before that, Chris, Louise and I got together to look back at the past year for the RSP. What have we learned? What worked and what didn’t? And we look to the future, and next year’s plans.

We’d love to hear from you, the listeners, about you liked this year, and what you’d like to see more of. Or less of. Episodes like this, for example.

We’ll be back in September. Thanks for listening.

You can also download this podcast, and subscribe to receive it weekly, 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.

Just to give you an idea of what the academic year 2012/13 meant for the RSP, here is a list of all the podcasts we released. Summer listening, perhaps?

You’ll find a lot more – including roundtable discussions and our weekly features essays in our archive.

Sociotheology and Cosmic War

Over the course of the last few decades religious violence has become an increasingly salient topic of public discourse and particularly in its global manifestations. In the social sciences these discourses focus primarily on explanations of violent acts that are driven by the socio-political contexts enveloping them. Mark Juergensmeyer argues that such explanations only tell part of the story, however, since some actions are motivated by a religious vision, like the vision of “cosmic war.” Talking to Per in this podcast Juergensmeyer explains how a “sociotheological approach” is particularly well suited to the task of understanding religious violence by engaging the worldviews of violent actors directly and taking their theological concerns as seriously as their political ideologies.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter. And if you want to support the RSP, you can click through to Amazon.co.uk through our affiliates link, and we will earn referral fees from any transactions during your visit.

Mark Juergensmeyer is a former president of the American Academy of Religion and the current director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbera where he also teaches sociology and religious studies. He is a prolific writer and speaker whose work deals with South Asian religion and politics, religious violence and global religion among other topics. Recent books include Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, and the just released The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence, which contains a chapter outlining, “A Sociotheological Approach to the Study of Religious Violence.”

Biblical Studies and Religious Studies

What is the relationship between Religious Studies and the study of the Christian New Testament? Although RS is often considered to be “studies of thee other religions”, Biblical Studies also offers a way into the broader theoretical and definitional issues in the study of religions. As Dale B. Martin explains to Jack Tsonis, Biblical Studies is non-confessional and provides a useful toolbox for historical and textual analysis. They go on to discuss the possibility or otherwise of RS as politically neutral, and the state of the discipline within the modern academy in the US.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on Is there a Christian Agenda behind Religious Studies departments?

Dale Martin is Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies, Director of Graduate Studies at Yale University, specialising in New Testament and Christian Origins, including attention to social and cultural history of the Greco-Roman world. His books include Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation, Pedagogy of the Bible: an Analysis and Proposal, and New Testament History and Literature, and was an associate editor for the revision and expansion of the Encyclopedia of Religion, published in 2005. He has published several articles on topics related to the ancient family, gender and sexuality in the ancient world, and ideology of modern biblical scholarship, including titles such as: “Contradictions of Masculinity: Ascetic Inseminators and Menstruating Men in Greco-Roman Culture.”

Astrology

If statistics are to be believed, close to 100% of people in the UK know their astrological sun-sign. But what is astrology, exactly? Is it merely a “survival” from the medieval worldview, and what is its relationship to modernity and scientific thought? Most pertinently, does it have something profound to tell us about the nature of popular belief, or vernacular religion? Nicholas Campion tells David why it does in this fascinating interview.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us.

Nicholas Campion is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology and Anthropology, and Director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture. His research interests include the nature of belief, the history and contemporary culture of astrology and astronomy, magic, pagan and New Age beliefs and practices, millenarian and apocalyptic ideas, and the sociology of new religious movements. This calls for a multi-disciplinary approach and, before joining Lampeter University in 2007, he was, in turn, Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religions and Senior Lecturer in History at Bath Spa University. He is a member of the international executive committee of the conferences on the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena (INSAP), is editor of Culture and Cosmos, a Journal of the History of Astrology and Cultural Astronomy and is in the editorial boards of Correlation, the Journal of Research in Astrology and Archaeoastronomy, the Journal of Astronomy in Culture. His most recent publications include Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions (New York University Press, 2012), Astrology and Popular Religion: Prophecy, Cosmology and the New Age Movement (Ashgate 2012), and the two-volume History of Western Astrology (Continuum 2009).

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Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 30 Nov 2012

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a variety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on wordleour ‘contact’ page.

Apdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Publications
  • Reviewers
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Jobs
  • Fellowships

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


JOURNALS


Journal of Media and Religion, no. 4, Oct 2012

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/jmr;jsessionid=225jjd44suwds.alexandra

Contemporary Buddhism, 13, no.2

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcbh20/13/2

Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

http://www.utpjournals.com/Journal-of-Religion-and-Popular-Culture.html

Register for free individual access – http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/122213

The Buddhist College of Singapore has  just launched a new peer-reviewed Chinese & English journal of Buddhist Studies, the Singaporean Journal of Buddhist Studies.      http://www.bcs.edu.sg/index.php/bcs_en/journal/

The first issue is to be published in a year or sO

Contact: chuancheng [AT] bcs.edu.sg

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=199021


PUBLICATIONS


Ashgate Press has offered a 20% discount to our members.

http://www.ashgate.com/SSSR

Use this Discount Code into the little box: SSSR20


Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France

Oxford University Press

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Looking-Mary-Magdalene-Alternative-Pilgrimage/dp/0199898421/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1354262049&sr=8-4


Introduction to Buddhism (second edition)

Peter Harvey – Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Studies

University of Sunderland

http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item6860643/?site_locale=en_GB

It has been updated, refined and expanded throughout, being now 547 pages rather than  the 374 of the first edition.


REVIEWERS


The forthcoming issue of the Open Access Journal of International Relations Research (JIRR) is looking for submissions for its reviews section.

The next issue is themed on the Arab Spring and we have some interesting and challenging submissions for publication from researchers around the world. We would like to invite PhD students in particular to write distinctive and entertaining reviews, of books, television, film, music and other media that speaks to issues in international relations.

Getting a publication record established in peer-revised journals can be difficult and JIRR wants to encourage more reviews from all areas of the IR community.

We have 3 books which we need reviews over the next month. you can keep the book for free;

The Gun: The Story of the AK-47 by C.J. Chivers

Terrorism: A Philosophical Enquiry by Dr Anne Schwenkenbecher

Understanding Al Qaeda: Changing War and Global Politics by Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Though we would warmly welcome submissions from other media.

submissions [AT] journalofinternationalrelationsresearch.com


CALLS FOR PAPERS


CFP: The Pure Land in Buddhist Cultures: History, Image, Praxis, Thought

University of British Columbia | Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2, 2013

Abstracts due: February 1, 2013

Papers due: May 23, 2013

Conference website: http://pureland2013.wordpress.com


CFP: The Center for EU-Russia Studies in Estonia is holding a workshop on Religion, Law, and Policy Making.

Jim Richardson is the keynote speaker. The Call for Papers can be found under NEWS at http://www.sssrweb.org


CFP: The Henry Institute at Calvin College is having their 7th symposium on Religion and Politics, this one honoring Corwin Smidt.

The Call for Papers can be found under NEWS at http://www.sssrweb.org


CFP: Bethel University is hosting a conference on Reconciliation and Sociology.

Korie Edwards is the keynote speaker. http://www.sssrweb.org


CFP: ‘PSALM CULTURE AND THE POLITICS OF TRANSLATION’

Deadline extended to 7 JANUARY 2013

http://psalmculture.com  please submit all proposals and correspondence to

psalmculture [at] gmail.com.


CONFERENCES


What is Early Modern English Catholicism?

Date: 2013-01-15

Description:  What is Early Modern English Catholicism? A conference around the question of what is understood by the term Early Modern English Catholicism will be held at Ushaw College, Durham from 28 June 1 July 2013. The plenary speakers will be Eamon Duffy (Cambridge), Brad Gregory (Notre Dame),

Contact: james.kelly3 [AT] durham.ac.uk

Announcement ID: 198976

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198976


JOBS


University of Nebraska – Omaha – Assistant Professor (Judaic Studies)

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45976

Wilfrid Laurier University – TENURE-TRACK POSITION – Aboriginal Religion & Culture

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45966

Wilfrid Laurier University – TENURE-TRACK POSITION – Christianity in a Global Context

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45967

Wichita State University – Curtis D. Gridley Professor in the History and Philosophy of Science

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45952

Central Connecticut State University – One-year, emergency appointment at the Assistant Professor rank to teach courses in the history of the Middle East

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45982


FELLOWSHIPS


UC Berkeley Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellowship in Buddhist Studies, 2013-2014

With the generous support of the Shinnyo-en Foundation, the Program in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley is pleased to invite applications for a one-year postdoctoral research-teaching fellowship. The term of the appointment is July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, with the possibility of a one-year renewal.

The Fellowship is intended to foster the academic careers of recent Ph.D.’s, providing time to pursue their research along with the opportunity to gain teaching experience. Fellows are expected to teach two courses per year under the auspices of the Group in Buddhist  Studies. (At least one course will be at the undergraduate level.) In addition, Fellows will give a public lecture on their research as part of the Center for Buddhist Studies Colloquium Series, and they are expected to take part in regular Center for Buddhist Studies events and workshops. We particularly welcome applicants whose research and teaching interests complement areas covered by Berkeley’s Buddhist Studies faculty. Fellows will be provided with office space, library privileges and a salary of approximately $50,000 that comes with benefits.

Applicants must have their doctoral degrees in hand by June 30, 2013, and must be no more than six years out of their doctorate. Candidates who do not yet hold a Ph.D. but expect to by June 30, 2013, should supply a letter from their home institution confirming their schedule to completion.

Applicants whose teaching and research interests are primarily in the area of Japanese Buddhism should apply to the Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellowship in Japanese Buddhism, administered through the Center for Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley, rather than to the Shinjo Ito Fellowship in Buddhist Studies.

Applicants should submit the following materials:

Curriculum vitae

Graduate school transcripts

A personal statement of no more than 2000 words outlining previous research (including dissertation), the research the applicant will  undertake during the term of the fellowship, future professional goals, as well as any other information deemed relevant to the application

A writing sample

A two- to four-page statement of teaching interests, along with two brief course proposals (with optional syllabi) of courses they propose to teach for the Group in Buddhist Studies (Note: UC Berkeley courses normally meet a total of three or four hours per week throughout a fourteen-week semester)

Three letters of recommendation

Application Deadline and Notification of Award

All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be postmarked on or before Monday, January 14, 2013. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. Only complete applications will be considered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all documentation is complete and that referees submit their letters of recommendation by the closing date. Awards will be announced in March, 2013.

Send all materials to:

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Buddhist Studies

Group in Buddhist Studies

University of California, Berkeley

3413 Dwinelle Hall, #2230

Berkeley, CA 94720-2230

U.S.A.

For more information about Buddhist Studies at Berkeley, please visit http://buddhiststudies.berkeley.edu. The Shinnyo-en Foundation is the secular, philanthropic arm of the Shinnyo-en Order that supports educational programs. UC Berkeley is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educator. Women, minorities, and international candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

What is the Public Benefit of the Study of Religion?

This year’s BASR annual conference at the University of Winchester included a panel on the ‘Public benefit in the study of religion’. The panel was organised by BASR Hon. Secretary, Bettina Schmidt, and Chair of BSA-SOCREL, Abby Day, representing the two main professional organisations representing the UK’s scholars of religion. The other speakers taking part were Eileen Barker of INFORM, Tim Jensen and Douglas Davies. Given that the Religious Studies Project has a manifesto of disseminating contemporary RS research to the public, we felt that we wanted to talk to scholars about this question. This edited podcast was the result.  

Does the public benefit from the social-scientific study of religion? Should it? How do we demonstrate benefit, measure it, communicate it? What are the practical and theoretical issues surrounding the idea of how the study of religion can operate in the, or perhaps as a, public good? For that matter, what do we mean by ‘public’ or ‘benefit’?

This question relates to our daily practice as researchers when asking for funding or having to present the outcomes of our research. Research Councils ask every applicant to explain the possible impact of a research project and in the coming years we will have to demonstrate as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) the wider impact of our research. But are discussions of this type necessary in order to  understand and perhaps improve the relevance to the public of our research – and discipline – or are we simply looking for justifications to be able to continue research which has little public benefit?

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us.

wordle

Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 23 Nov 2012

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a variety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on our ‘contact’ page. wordle

pdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Publications
  • Training
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Jobs
  • Fellowships/PhD positions

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


JOURNALS


Sociology of Religion, advance notice – http://socrel.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/recent?papetoc

Marian Burchardt – Faith-Based Humanitarianism: Organizational Change and Everyday Meanings in South Africa

The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture is a web-based, peer-reviewed journal committed to the academic exploration, analysis, and interpretation of the interrelations between and interactions of religion and religious expression and popular culture – broadly defined as the products of contemporary mass culture. The journal is based in Canada but is international in scope and open to the exploration of religion and popular culture in a variety of cultures and from a multiplicity of disciplinary perspectives.


Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online  is now on trial via

http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/

Access is on campus or off campus via VPN.

The trial ends on 18 December.


PUBLICATIONS


Digital Religion: Understanding religious practice in new media worlds – Heidi A. Campbell (ed)

Digital Religion offers a critical and systematic survey of the study of religion and new media. It covers religious engagement with a wide range of new media forms and highlights examples of new media engagement in all five of the major world religions. From cell phones and video games to blogs and Second Life, the book:

  • provides a detailed review of major topics
  • includes a series of case studies to illustrate and elucidate the thematic explorations
  • considers the theoretical, ethical and theological issues raised.

http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415676113/


New Brill series – Iberian Religious World

Description:  “Iberian Religious World” is a peer-reviewed series that publishes academic works that analyze the different types of religiosity found in the Iberian World. But what is exactly the Iberian World? The space of the Iberian World is one that changes according to time. If until the end of the fourteen …

Contact: ana.valdez [at] yale.edu

Announcement ID: 198741

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198741


Online search interface to my Digital Bibliography of Chinese Buddhism

The bibliography contains 2,273 entries on Chinese-language Buddhist publications dating from 1860 to the 1950s. Information has been sourced from print bibliographies, online catalogues, and first-hand bibliographic research. Each item page includes research links to related resources such as WorldCat, the MFQ(B) article database, and the DDBC Person Authority. Entries can be searched by keyword and the results filtered by publication date. Although other online bibliographies on this topic exist, I hope my contribution will be significant for the thoroughness of its citations and editing, and its links to other useful digital resources.

http://bib.buddhiststudies.net/


TRAINING

RESEARCH METHODS FOR THE STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGION AN INTENSIVE TRAINING PROGRAMME

Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society, University of Kent

18-22 February 2013

This training programme is available for doctoral students registered at any higher education institution in the UK/EU. It is based on previous training developed by the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society, funded by the AHRC, which led to the development of the Religion Methods website (www.kent.ac.uk/religionmethods), and aims to provide students with a core training in fieldwork approaches to the study of religion.

Topics covered by the training will include:

·         Conceptualising religion for research

·         Key elements and processes of research design

·         The role of theory in social research

·         The politics and ethics of research

·         Sampling

·         Rigour and validity in research

·         Using quantitative data-sets for research on religion

·         Ethnographic approaches in theory and practice

·         Visual methods

·         Developing research interviews

·         Using qualitative data analysis software

·         Researching objects and spaces

·         Producing research proposals

To attend this training programme, students not registered at the University of Kent will be required to pay a £100 registration fee, which would cover attendance at all sessions and the costs of training materials. Delegates would need to make their own arrangements for accommodation, and there is a wide selection of affordable B&B provision in the Canterbury area. For those planning to commute on a daily basis, Canterbury is now less than an hour from London St Pancras on the high speed train link.

Space on the programme is limited and the deadline to register your interest to attend this programme is Thursday 13 December. To register your interest, please email Lois Lee (l.a.lee [at] kent.ac.uk) with a short statement outlining the university at which you are currently registered, the focus and method of your doctoral project and the stage of the project you are currently at.


CALLS FOR PAPERS


CFP: “From New Religions to the Blurry Edges of Spirituality: Where do Cults Fit in the American Religious Landscape?” Panel at the Annual Conference of the French Association for American Studies

Date: 2012-12-15

Description:  Call for Papers for the panel “From New Religions to the Blurry Edges of Spirituality: Where do Cults Fit in the American Religious Landscape?” held at the Annual Conference of the French Association for American Studies, Angers 22nd-26th 2012. French and American journalists adopted a variety of a…

URL: afea.fr/spip.php?article447#atelier%205

Announcement ID: 198772

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198772


CFP: Jews and Muslims in the Czarist Empire and the Soviet Union

Date: 2013-01-31

Description:  In the second half of the 19th century the administrative and intellectual elites of the Russian Empire became increasingly aware of its multiethnic and multireligious character. In the age of national aspirations this trait of the  Russian State was often seen as a potential threat by parts of the  …

Contact: Franziska.Davies [at] lrz,uni-muenchen.de

Announcement ID: 198792

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198792


CONFERENCES


Please join us for papers and round-table discussion about the role of ethics and religion in contemporary Scotland at ‘Elect Affinities:

Robin Jenkins, Ethics, and Religion in the Scottish Novel.’

Friday, 23 November 2012, 11.30am – 4.30pm Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh

This Interdisciplinary workshop is held in association with the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies (Aberdeen) and the Centre for the Novel (Aberdeen).

Papers will be presented by:

Margery Palmer McCulloch (Glasgow)

Ken Keir (Aberdeen)

Corey Gibson (Edinburgh)

J. Linden Bicket (Glasgow)

Timothy C. Baker (Aberdeen)

To view the programme, please see the attached flyer or visit:

http://www.iash.ed.ac.uk/star/media/ElectAffinitiesSymposiumPoster.pdf

To book a place, please contact Linda Tym

(Linda.Tym [at] ed.ac.uk) or Timothy C. Baker (t.c.baker [at] abdn.ac.uk).


‘Daughters of Isis’ study day

Saturday February 16th 2013

Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT.

A series of presentations examining the lives, roles, health and deaths of ancient Egyptian women. Presented by Egyptology Online in association with the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology.

PROGRAMME

9.15        REGISTRATION: tea/coffee

9.45        Welcome and Introduction

10.00     Vanishing Queens: Three Mummy Mysteries

Dr Joyce Tyldesley

10.45     Medical Care for Women in Pharaonic Egypt

Roger Forshaw

11.15     BREAK

11.45     Women and Literacy

Dr Glenn Godenho

12.30     A Little of What you Fancy

Pauline Norris

1.00        LUNCH (please make own arrangements)

2.00        The 2013 Bob Partridge Memorial Lecture

Women’s Religious Roles during the Late Period: The lives and afterlives of Asru and Tasheriankh Dr Campbell Price

3.00        BREAK

3.30        The Mystery of a Wooden Cane found in an OK Female Burial: an

Accessory Staff or a Walking Aid?

Iwona Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin

4.00        What Skeletal Evidence can tell us about Women in Ancient Egypt

Emily Marlow

4.30        Conclusion

http://egyptmanchester.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/event-daughters-of-isis-study-day-saturday-february-16th-2013


SEX: Religious and Theological Perspectives

Location: New Jersey

Date: 2012-12-01

Description:  Sex: Religious and Theological Perspectives Princeton Theological Seminary Graduate Student Conference March 7-8, 2013 Princeton, New Jersey Sexas a concept,

identity, and practice has been the target of sustained controversy in public and academic discussions involving religion, theology, politics, …

Contact: courtney.palmbush [at] ptsem.edu

Announcement ID: 198738

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198738


Challenging Consensus: new perspectives on Religious Nonconformism

1-2 Feb 2013

University of Leipzig

www.uni-leipzig.de/challenging_consensus


JOBS


Assistant/Associate/Full Professor in South or East Asian or African History

Georgetown University

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFK133/assistant-associate-full-professor-in-south-or-east-asian-or-african-history/

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor in Middle East History

Georgetown University

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFK130/assistant-associate-or-full-professor-in-middle-east-history/

University of Calgary – Assistant/Associate Professor, Numata Chair

in Buddhist Studies

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45934

Indiana University – Bloomington – Modern Hebrew Lecturer at Indiana

University-Bloomington

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45906

University of Arizona – Assistant Professor, Japanese Contemporary

Culture

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45932

Ohio State University – Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45924


FELLOWSHIPS


Woolf Institute Visiting Fellowship 2014

Description: The Woolf Institute, which specialises in the study of relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims from multidisciplinary perspective, invites applications for its annual visiting fellowship. The Fellowship, tenable for a two to three month period that overlaps one of the Cambridge terms 2014:  …

Contact: bs411 [AT] cam.ac.uk

URL: www.woolf.cam.ac.uk

Announcement ID: 198823

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198823

Research Fellowships, Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim

Location: California

Date: 2012-12-15

Description: The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim invites applications for its research fellowships for the AY 2013-2014. The USF Ricci Institute is an internationally renowned research institute and archive that promotes the study  …

Contact: lee [at] usfca.edu

URL: usf.usfca.edu/ricci//

Announcement ID: 198835

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198835

(New) Dissertation Completion Fellowships at the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis

Location: Missouri

Date: 2013-01-06

Description: The John C. Danforth Center at Washington University in St. Louis is pleased to offer one or two fellowships to support completion of a dissertation on religion and politics in the United States. Fellows will spend the 2013-2014 academic year in residence at Washington University in St. Louis.

Contact: rap [at] wustl.edu

URL: rap.wustl.edu/dissertation-completion-fellowship/

Announcement ID: 198682

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198682

wordle

Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 16 Nov 2012

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a variety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on our ‘contact’ page.

A pdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Peer website
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Projects
  • Jobs/Fellowships/PhD positions

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


JOURNALS


Material Religion: Special issue on Popularizing Islam: Muslims and Materiality http://www.bergpublishers.com/BergJournals/MaterialReligion/tabid/517/Default.aspx

Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, http://adanewmedia.org/

The journal Religion and Gender has just published its latest issue at

http://www.religionandgender.org

It is a special issue addressing the theme ‘Religion and Masculinities: Continuities and Change’, guest edited by Björn Krondorfer and Stephen Hunt. The volume further includes one article in the open section, and nine book reviews. We invite you to review the Table of Contents here and then visit our website to review articles and items of interest.


PEER WEBSITE


TAROSA – Teaching Across Religions of South Asia

We are writing to let you know about an initiative we have recently been pursuing with funding support from the HEA, to set up a website aimed at promoting critical engagement with South Asian religious traditions in various teaching and learning contexts. Our aim has been to develop a resource which challenges the world religions optic through which most students (at both secondary and tertiary level) come to learn about South Asian traditions, by focusing instead on practices and ideas which seem to operate across such boundaries. The site is called Teaching Across Religions of South Asia, hence Tarosa, and you can view what we have so far put up at http://tarosaproject.wordpress.com/. As you will see, the main tool we use to promote a different way of looking at the religious traditions of south asia is a series of pedagogical case studies which provide students with the ability to look in depth at examples of practice/ideas, and challenges them to engage critically with the evidence presented therein.

We believe that the success of the website will depend upon us being able to develop a rich and varied archive of case studies, and it is primarily for this reason that we are writing to you now. If you have material from your research or wider knowledge which you would like to develop into a case study to contribute to the site, we would love to hear from you! We would of course fully credit your contribution to the site, and would be most eager to hear from anyone who would like to get further involved in this work. We also would welcome your feedback as peers and practitioners on the way we have set up and developed the site so far.


CALLS FOR PAPERS


CFP: Updated: International Conference “Buddhism & Australia 2013” on 23-25 January 2013

Description:  Buddhism ja Australia is pleased to inform you that the 2nd International Conference Buddhism & Australia will be held on 23-25 January, 2013 in Perth, Western

Australia.Acknowledging the history of Buddhism in the region the main goal of the conference is to research and investigate the buddhavac …

Contact: info [at] buddhismandaustralia.com

URL: www.buddhis.andaustralia.com

Announcement ID: 198653

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198653


CFP: Florida State University Department of Religion Graduate Student Symposium

Location: Florida

Date: 2012-12-01

Description:  Call for Papers: The Florida State University Department of Religion is pleased to announce its 12th Annual Graduate Student Symposium to be held February 22-24, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. Last years symposium was a huge success, allowing over 60 presenters from over 18 universities and departme …

Contact: fsureligionsymposium@gmail.com

URL: religion.fsu.edu

Announcement ID: 198521

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198521


CFP: AFTERLIFE

Eighteenth Annual Postgraduate Religion and Theology Conference Hosted by the University of Bristol

8&9 March 2013

Keynote speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton

This conference brings together postgraduates and early-career academics working on the study of religions from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, creating a space for them to share their work and to further encourage research and collaboration within the University of Bristol (the host institution), and among members of other universities within the South West region and beyond.

The conference has a long history of drawing together postgraduate students and their supervisors from universities in the surrounding area and beyond.

Last year saw us expand to a record number of participating speakers, delegates, and partner institutions. Forty-nine papers, divided in seventeen sessions, were presented by postgraduate students and early career academics, from eighteen universities. Almost one hundred delegates attended at least part of the conference. A session for undergraduate papers was also held, with notable success.

Although we encourage applications that directly address the theme of the conference ‘Afterlife’, in all its interpretations, contributions are welcome from all disciplines and areas related to the study of religions:

theology, history, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, literature, art, music, etc.

Presentations will be grouped in panels, each consisting of three 20-minute papers followed by a 30-minute period for questions and discussion. Panels will be chaired by lecturers from Bristol and other partner universities.

We are also accepting submissions for research posters. Displayed in the conference common room, these will allow further communication of research.

A prize will be awarded to the poster voted best by the conference participants. Guidelines of the preparation of posters and a sample poster presentation can be found on the conference’s website. Please note that an applicant may submit a poster as well as a paper and that both may be accepted, on the condition that they cover different topics.

Please submit abstracts for papers and/or posters through our University’s ‘Stop Shop’ page at:

http://shop.bris.ac.uk/browse/product.asp?catid=521&modid=1&compid=1

The deadline for submitting proposals will be 12:00 noon on Tuesday 15 January 2013.

Kindly note that the organisers are not in a position to assist anyone with visas, and will not consider or accept abstracts from those who require assistance with visas.

Registration for the conference will open at 12:00 noon on 22 January 2013 and will include refreshments and lunch on both days. Early registration is free for members of partner institutions and £10 for participants from other institutions or for those who are unaffiliated. Please note that all registrations received after 12 noon, Friday 8 February, will incur a £10 late registration fee.

A limited amount of financial assistance may be available to presenters of papers and/or posters. The assistance may be used towards defraying travel or accommodation expenses, or the early registration fee for participants from non-partner institutions. Application details will be posted in late January 2013 on the conference website.

Optional social events will be held on both evenings of the conference.

For more information and registration, please visit:

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/gradschool/conferences/thrs/


CFP: Sacred Space in Secular Institutions

Please send abstracts to Chris Hewson by 15 December:

chris.hewson [at] manchester.ac.uk

Venue: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building 1.69 (University of Manchester)

Date: Friday 18th January

The role, form and affect of sacred space(s) within ‘secular’ institutions is a theme that is increasingly attractive to scholars within the social sciences. This Socrel study day will consider how different types of organisation – including but not limited to educational establishments, hospitals and hospices, airports, public buildings, shopping centres, etc – ‘make space’ for faith, sacrality and religious practice(s) within their buildings, management structures and public offerings.

The study day will also consider: the key social, cultural and political drivers behind these spaces; precursors and ongoing developments; how such spaces are positioned within contemporary policy debates; and the practical issues practitioners should consider when designing and managing ‘sacred space’ within a secular institution. The day will be centred around three axes:

A reflection upon the wide range of institutions that contain set-aside ‘sacred space’.

A close sociological reading of what ‘happens’ within these spaces on a day-to-day basis, and how this might be conceptualised methodologically. For instance, how are they ‘shared’? How can effective use be measured?

A thoroughgoing assessment of the role and practice(s) of extant religious groups and traditions, within the provision and ongoing usage of these spaces.

We welcome contributions of any length (20 minute papers, 10-15 minute presentations) which address these, and any of the following questions:

What are these spaces for, and how are roles and designations contested?

What is or can be sacred about these spaces?

To what extent are these spaces multi-faith in either description or usage?

Do these spaces demonstrate novelty or continuity with existing forms?

What are the normative factors governing the development of these spaces (e.g. cohesion, diversity, customer focus, etc). Can these factors always be reconciled?

Please send abstracts to Chris Hewson by 15 December: chris.hewson [at] manchester.ac.uk


CFP: MATERIALIZING THE SPIRIT: SPACES, OBJECTS AND ART IN THE CULTURES OF WOMEN RELIGIOUS

The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland Annual Conference will be hosted  by the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, on 5-7 September 2013.

Paper proposals are now invited. Presentations should be 20 minutes in duration, and should address some element of the conference theme, with reference to British and/or Irish contexts.

The devotional and vocational activities of women religious sculpted the physical space of religious houses in unique ways. Patterns of use were etched into the fabric of buildings, guiding structural design and interior decoration. But buildings also shaped practice: whether the formal monastic sites of early or revived enclosed orders or the reused secular buildings of active congregations, women both adapted and adapted to their material surroundings.

A growing body of literature has addressed itself to convent art, exploring nuns as patrons, consumers and manufacturers of material and visual culture. These practices span the history of women’s religious life – from the early Middle Ages to the present day – and suggest a hidden but dynamic tradition of artistic enterprise. This conference explores the creative output of women religious including but not limited to textiles and the decorative arts, illuminated manuscripts and printed books, women’s patronage of painting and architecture, the commercial production of ecclesiastical textiles in the nineteenth-century, production of liturgical and devotional art in recent periods, and the development of unique convent and institutional spaces by and for women religious.

Key aims of the conference will be to highlight the scholarly value of these under-researched and little known spaces and collections and also to raise awareness and discuss the threats that they face as communities decline, buildings close, artefacts and archives are dispersed.

This conference will take a broad and diverse view on what constitutes ‘material culture’, emphasizing the conception, production, and meanings of the many material outputs of convents and monasteries.

Papers are welcomed from a diverse range of disciplines: scholars from social and religious history, art and architecture, theology, anthropology, psychology and beyond are invited to offer fresh and innovative perspectives in order to illuminate ways in which women religious in Britain and Ireland created and were formed by material histories for over a thousand years.

Please send 200-word proposals for 20-minute papers to kate.jordan.09 [at] ucl.ac.uk and ayla.lepine [at] gmail.com by no later than 1 February 2013.


CFP: Material Religion

Venue: Durham University, UK

Date: 9 – 11 April 2013

Dr Marion Bowman (Department of Religious Studies, Open University)

Professor David Morgan (Department of Religion, Duke University)

Professor Veronica Strang (Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University)

This conference will focus on the physical, material dimension of religious life and

practice, one of the major themes of religious research over the last decade. Material

forms express and sustain the human search for holiness, transcendence and identity,

and attention to the physical can lead scholars to unique and valuable insights.

Commitment to religious communities is learned and displayed through relationships

to clothing, food, ritual and decoration, in the home, workplace, street or place of

worship. This event will encourage interdisciplinary discussion of the significance of

material culture in contemporary religion, including the images and architecture of

sacred places and the objects and practices of everyday life.

Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Material religion in everyday life

  • The materiality of gender, class, age and ethnicity

  • Sacred objects: statues, icons, relics, holy books, architecture

  • Sacred objects in museums and galleries

  • Religion, landscape and the environment

  • Religion and the arts

  • Marketing and consuming religion

  • Religion and the body: ritual, experience and emotion

  • Health, sickness, disability, death and bereavement

  • The materiality of religious media and technologies

  • Research methods for the study of material religion

We invite proposals for conference papers (300 words), panels (3-4 papers on a

shared theme, 750 words) and posters (200 words). Alternative formats will also be

considered. Abstracts must be submitted by November 19th 2012 to Tim Hutchings

and Joanne McKenzie at materialreligionconference [at] gmail.com. Bursaries are

available for postgraduate and early career researchers.

SOCREL is the British Sociological Association’s study group on Religion. For more

details about the study group and conference please visit www.socrel.org.uk.


CFP: Nationalism, Identity and Belief Symposium

First joint symposium of Society, Religion and Belief and Identity, Culture and Representation Research Centres University of Derby 25 March 2013

Keynote speaker: Daniel Trilling author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right (London: Verso, 2012), assistant editor The New Statesman, columnist for The Guardian.

The complexities and contradictions of globalized modes of identity have caused a reassessment of what constitutes national identity and how it is experienced. In late modernity there is a tendency for nationalism to be characterised as a reactive and reactionary response to the increasing cultural diversity evident in many Western societies. The British National Party and, latterly, the English Defence League typify this tendency. In continental Europe there are comparable groupings but many continental equivalents have demonstrated a greater capacity for organisation and have enjoyed a modicum of success in terms of parliamentary elections at national and European level: in France, the Front National; the Belgian/Flemish Vlaams Balang; the Danish Danske Folkparti; Jobbik in Hungary, The Golden Dawn in Greece and so on. The fortunes of these parties wax and wane but their social and media presence is constant. This symposium is a call to academics and activists to consider the ongoing appeal of nationalism, its cultural role, its strategies, localities and nature. We seek to explore the lure and repulsion of nationalism to its friends and critics and the many and varied cultural contexts through which it is reproduced.

Papers are invited to be considered for presentation in one of two parallel panels:

Panel One: Nationalism, Identity and Conflict Panel Two: Nationalism, Religion and Belief
Typical themes for the panels will include but are not limited to:
The organisation and activities of nationalist groups

The appeal of nationalism

Nationalism in crisis

Banal nationalism

Rethinking national identity

The cultures of nationalism

Nationalist rhetoric and the world faiths

‘The chosen people’ and globalization

Spiritual nationalisms

Subcultures and nationalist discourse

Considering nationalism as a faith

Please submit a 250 word proposal and a bio-note by 19 December, 2012 to Andrew Wilson (a.f.wilson [at] derby.ac.uk); Jason Lee (j.lee [ay] derby.ac.uk); and Frauke Uhlenbruch (f.uhlenbruch [at] derby.ac.uk)

CONFERENCES


Conference theme: Ireland, America and Transnationalism: studying religions in a globalised world

At The Clinton Centre, University College Dublin, 10th-12th May 2013

We are pleased to invite scholars to take part in the second annual conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR). For information on the society, see:

http://isasr.wordpress.com/. The Conference will take place Fri-Sun May 10th -12th , 2013 at the Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin (UCD), and is open to scholars of all disciplines that approach religions, both past and present, from a non-theological, critical, analytical and cross-cultural perspective.

Proposals for papers may relate to the conference theme ‘Ireland, America and Transnationalism’ or any other aspect of the Society’s work in the history, anthropology, folklore and sociology of religion in Ireland or the Irish diaspora, but also the work of Irish-based researchers on topics in the academic study of religions elsewhere in the world.

Although 19th and 20th century discourses often highlighted national, including Irish, religious uniqueness, this has always been at best a half truth. Megalithic architecture and pre-Christian myths are routinely studied in relation to other west European contexts. Christian conversion and medieval texts, early modern wars of religion and nineteenth-century ultramontanism also locate Ireland in a wider religious world. The conference theme encourages the study of religions in a global and comparative context, with particular reference to North America, the home of the largest Irish diaspora outside these islands.

From Ireland’s ‘spiritual empire’ of Catholic institutions to American enthusiasm for all things Celtic to imported Pentecostalisms, the religious exchange between the two has been intense. Adopting a transnational perspective highlights the networks of wider global relationships within which religions both in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora are enacted.

Please send a 150-200 word abstract for papers to Adrienne Hawley ( Adrienne.hawley[at]ucdconnect.ie ) by the closing date of Friday 22^nd February, 2012. Notification of abstract acceptance will be given by Friday March 15th, 2012.

*_

Proposals for themed panels from ISASR members are welcomed and may be made directly to the conference organisers via Adrienne Hawley (email above). The following panels have already been proposed:_* · Folk Religion in Ireland: Meaning and Context*__* · Children’s Subjectivities and the Experience of Religious Educations · Gender and Religion *_ If you wish to submit an abstract for these panels please indicate this in your abstract submission_*

*

Further information on the ISASR Conference 2013 will be posted at:  http://isasr.wordpress.com/ The conference is hosted by ISASR in collaboration with The Clinton Institute, UCD.


Contemporary religion in historical perspective: engaging outside academia

The Open University, Milton Keynes – 15-16 May 2013

What is the relevance of research on historical and contemporary religion for today? How might such research inform current debates on religion, and the practice and self-understanding of religious groups and practitioners? What might historical perspective bring to research on contemporary religion? This conference will address such issues under the broad theme of ‘contemporary religion and historical perspective’. There will be two parallel streams. The first is ‘engaging with the past to inform the present’ and the relevance of religious history for the contemporary context. The second is ‘the public value of research on contemporary religion’; here papers on cross-cultural identities and new religions and popular spiritualities are particularly welcomed.

The backdrop for this conference is the growing acknowledgement that Religious Studies and other disciplines must engage with the wider society. Public ‘engagement’ takes many forms – from extensive projects to ad hoc engagement and involving diverse activities such as media work, lectures, workshops and online engagement. This conference will include practitioner perspectives on different themes, and reflect also on the ways in which academic research on religion might engage with communities of interest and place and private; interact with public and third sector institutions and organisations; and influence public discourse and the social, cultural and environmental well-being of society.

We invite paper and panel proposals for either stream. Papers could include case studies of previous or ongoing outreach, knowledge exchange or public engagement. Topics discussed might include (but are not limited to):

  • integrating ‘religious history’ and contemporary religious practitioners;
  • the relevance of historical research on religion for contemporary debates on religion; and for present-day religious groups, organisations and institutions;
  • intersections between research on contemporary religion and present-day contemporary understanding and practice of religion;
  • the idea of ‘applied’ or ‘public’ Religious Studies;
  • methodological, theoretical and ethical issues relating to Religious Studies and knowledge exchange;
  • relationships between academic and practitioner, or academic institution(s) and non-academic ‘partner’ and their implications and challenges.

Confirmed speakers include Ronald Hutton (Bristol), Steven Sutcliffe (Edinburgh), David Voas (Essex) and John Wolffe (Open University).

The conference is organised by the Open University’s Religious Studies Department.

Cost: £20 per day + £20 for conference dinner on the evening of 15 May. Lunch and refreshments (except conference dinner) are included in the day cost; but we ask attendees to book/fund their own accommodation (advice on local hotels and B&Bs available on request).

Please send proposals to Dr John Maiden (j.maiden [at] open.ac.uk) by 25 January 2013. To book, please contact Taj Bilkhu (t.bilkhu [at] open.ac.uk) by 23 March 2013.


AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme, University of Kent and Theos present

‘Big Society or Global Village? Religious NGOs, Civil Society and the United Nations’,

Wednesday 28th November, 6.30-8.30pm

Convocation Hall, Church House, Dean’s Yard, London, SW1P 3NZ.

Do religions in a world of globalization have to work with international institutions? What has religion got to do with the UN? How are religious NGOs shaping UN policies? Which religions and which issues? Can national civil society ignore the global realities of UN diplomacy?

Professor Jeremy Carrette (Religious Studies), Professor Hugh Miall (Politics and International Relations) and Dr Sophie Trigeaud (Religious Studies), all of the University of Kent, UK, will present findings of a three-year study on religious NGOs and the United Nations and discuss the role of religion in global civil society.

Chair:

Professor Jeff Haynes, London Metropolitan University

Respondents:

Elizabeth Oldfield , Director of Theos Think Tank

Carrie Pemberton Ford, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking

PROJECTS


The Critical Religion Research Group at the University of Stirling has initiated a new project: an international scholarly association using the name Critical Religion Association.  This is the first email from the new CRA.

We are publishing two blogs today – the first is an explanation in more detail of what this means and what we are intending, the second is an exploration of the breadth of the Critical Religion project by Timothy Fitzgerald.  Do read:

The new Critical Religion Association site:

http://criticalreligion.org/2012/11/09/the-new-critical-religion-association-site/

The breadth of Critical Religion:

http://criticalreligion.org/2012/11/09/the-breadth-of-critical-religion/

In particular, we draw your attention to the possibility for greater involvement from scholars not necessarily based at the University of Stirling (as outlined in the first blog posting above).

We are also expanding our social media coverage – if you are on Facebook, you can now ‘like’ us there, and receive updates and engage there.  We continue to use Twitter, and further forms of engagement will come.


JOBS


Lehigh University – Visiting Assistant Professor, Contemporary

Japanese Literature and Culture

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45834

Brooklyn College – Assistant Professor/Judaism in Late Antiquity and

Rabbinics

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45855

Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages – Post-Doctoral

Fellowship in Buddhist Studies

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45887


The University of Oxford’s Department of Education supports anthropologically focused Master’s and Doctoral research on religion and education:

http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/courses/pgce/subjects/religious-education/

Procedures and information:

http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/courses/d-phil/admission-procedure-for-dphil/

http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/courses/admission-procedure-msc/

November and January applications are encouraged.

Inquiries may be directed to the Higher Degrees Office:

higherdegreesoffice [at] education.ox.ac.uk


School of Health Sciences and Social Work

University of Portsmouth

PhD/MRes fees only bursaries: £3,500 per annum for 3 years (full time) or £1,600 per annum for 6 years (part time)

MRes fees only bursaries: £5,000 per annum for 1 year (full time) or £2,500 per annum for 2 years(part time)

Starting: February 2013 (PhD) or January 2013 (MRes)

Further details:  http://www.findaphd.com/search/ProgrammeDetails.aspx?PGID=1004


Building on her 2009-10 Religion and Society research into Old Hispanic Chant, Emma Hornby (Bristol University) has been awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant for a project called ‘Shaping text, Shaping melody, Shaping experience in and through the Old Hispanic Office’. Lasting for five years, this project will involve Hornby, her collaborator Professor Rebecca Maloy (University of  Colorado at Boulder), two postdoctoral researchers (in musicology and theology) and two PhD students (one musicologist and one composer).

The project team will explore the potential the Old Hispanic office chants had for promoting a particular religious experience within an almost-forgotten liturgy. The musicologists and theologians will bring the many-layered and cross-referential Old Hispanic approach to text choice, musical punctuation and melodic pacing explicitly to the attention of modern composers, encouraging them to explore compositional processes that evoke similar spiritual responses. The composers will act as a communicative channel between the pure scholarship demanded by the Old Hispanic material, and contemporary concert audiences and congregations.

Outputs will include a team-authored book, several peer-reviewed articles, a series of publicly performed compositions, an EU-workshop and an International Festival of new music inspired by the project findings. The Old Hispanic liturgy is one of the musical, intellectual and theological jewels of our European cultural heritage, and this project will give a wide audience a holistic understanding of its richness.

POSITIONS

  1. one postdoctoral research post in theology/liturgical studies (full time, 4 years):

<http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFK858/postdoc-research-assistant/>

  1. one postdoctoral research post in medieval musicology (full time, 4

years):

<http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFK873/postdoc-research-assistant-in-medieval-musicology/>

  1. one fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in medieval musicology:

<http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFJ040/phd-studentship-music-medieval-musicology/>

  1. one fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in music (composition):

<http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFJ039/phd-studentship-music-composition/>

Informal enquiries are welcome, and should be addressed to emma.hornby [at] bris.ac.uk

Read more about Emma Hornby’s original Religion and Society grant here: http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/research_findings/featured_findings/cracking_the_code_of_old_hispanic_chant_brings_it_to_life_for_the_first_time


The publishing house Brill (Leiden) is generously sponsoring an annual research Fellowship at the Warburg Institute’s Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe (CHASE). The Fellowship has been made possible by the “Sheikh Zayed Book Award” which was awarded to Brill Publishers in March 2012 for publishing excellence in Middle East and Islamic Studies.

The Brill Fellowship at CHASE to be held in the academic year 2013-14 will be of two or three months duration and is intended for a postdoctoral researcher. The Fellowship will be awarded for research projects on any aspect of the relations between Europe and the Arab World from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

The closing date for applications is the 30 November 2012. Please visit our website for application details (http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/fellowships/short-term/).

Rudolf Otto

Rudolf Otto was a highly influential figure in the history of Religious Studies, but whether that influence was for good or not is a debatable issue. His ideas about the sui generis nature of the religious experience and of an irreductible numinous or sacred foreshadow the work of scholars such as Eliade, but proved highly divisive for scholars and practitioners alike.

In this interview with Jonathan, Robert Orsi talks us through who Otto was, and why his ideas proved controversial. They then discuss whether scholars should still be paying attention to Otto – do his ideas still matter today?

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us.

Robert Orsi is the first holder of the Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies. Before coming to Northwestern, he taught at Fordham University at Lincoln Center from 1981 to 1988; Indiana University from 1988 to 2001; and Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University from 2001 to 2007, where he was Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2003-2007). In 2002-2003, he was president of the American Academy of Religion. Professor Orsi studies America religious history and contemporary practice; American Catholicism in both historical and ethnographic perspective; and he is widely recognized also for his work on theory and method for the study of religion.

In 2004 Robert Orsi published Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them which received an Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion and was one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2005. More recently he published The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies.

The Sacred

Religion and the Sacred, the Sacred and religion. Two words that seemingly go together like hand in glove but just how accurate is that? When we talk about religion it’s very hard not to talk about the Sacred but when we talk about the Sacred does this mean we have to talk about religion? What does the Sacred even mean? This introduction began with “Sacred” but it may well be more appropriate to write “sacred”. Whether capitalised or not, the sacred is a predominant topic in many forms of discourse and not all these are necessarily religious in nature.

This week we discuss the sacred and all its connotations with Gordon Lynch. The sacred is not, it seems, just a religion-only category and many aspects of modern secular societies are pervaded with such a notion. But if the sacred isn’t a religion only category where does that leave religion? Should there be departments of Religious Studies at all, or should we be replacing them with Sacred Studies? We discuss the potentially far reaching implications that a shift in focus from Religion to the Sacred can have on academia.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on Secular Sacreds and the Sacred Secular.

Gordon Lynch is the Michael Ramsey Professor of Modern Theology at the University of Kent where he teaches on the sacred in modern Western Society. Professor Lynch has published a number of works including an edited volume with Jolyon Mitchell and has recently published two books on the sacred, The Sacred in the Modern World and On the Sacred. If you’d like to know more about Professor Lynch’s work on the sacred you can find out more information on his blog as well as access some of his own learning resources.

 

image of books

Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 2 November 2012

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a image of booksvariety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on our ‘contact’ page.

pdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Courses
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Jobs
  • Grants/Prizes

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


JOURNALS


Theology and Science, vol 10, issue 4 http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rtas20/10/4

Sociology of Religion, advance notice, http://socrel.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/by/section

Bulletin of Asia Institute, 2012 http://www.bulletinasiainstitute.org/

Bulletin has also announced the publication of Ratanbai Katrak Lectures, Oxford 2009: Mary Boyce and the Study of Zoroastrianism

Ars Orientalis Volume 42, a thematic issue based on Objects, Collections, and Cultures, the second biennial symposium of the Historians of Islamic Art Association, held in October 2010, at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler

URL: www.asia.si.edu/research/articles/

Announcement ID: 198239

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198239


COURSES


Applications are now open for the e-learning course, Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Europe: Modern Challenges

Description: Applications are now being accepted for the e-learning course, Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Europe: Modern Challenges. Following two successful years, the course will commence in late February 2013. More than fifty participants from around the world – Australia and New Zealand, China, Japan,….

Contact: eth22 [AT] cam.ac.uk

URL: www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/courses/jcme.asp

Announcement ID: 198262

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198262


CALLS FOR PAPERS


CFP: Religious Revivals in Southeast Asia: Transnational and Comparative Perspectives

Date: 2012-12-15

Description:  We are inviting abstract submissions (max.200 words) for the panel on Religious Revivals in Southeast Asia: Transnational and Comparative Perspectives, to be held at SEA Symposium 2013 at the University of Oxford, UK. As of now, we have enough submission covering Islam. We are looking for

abstracts …

Contact: ermin.sinanovic.ba [at] usna.edu

URL: projectsoutheastasia.com/academic-events/sea-symposium-2013/panels#panel9

Announcement ID: 198174

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198174


Love and Religion in Pop Culture

Location: Illinois

Date: 2012-12-01

Description: The Journal of Popular Romance Studies calls for essays, interviews, and pedagogical materials for a special forum on love and religion in popular culture, anywhere in the world. The forum is guest-edited by Lynn S. Neal (author of Romancing God: Evangelical Women and Inspirational Fiction).

Contact: managing.editor@jprstudies.org

URL: jprstudies.org/submissions/special-issue-call-for-papers/#religion

Announcement ID: 198287

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198287


CFP: Religion, Civil War and Emancipation

Conference: May 20-22, 2013

Location: Virginia

Date: 2012-12-19

Description: Overview of Conference: The 2013 Annual Conference of the Baptist History & Heritage Society, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness: Religion and the Civil War, Emancipation and      Reconciliation in Our Time, will be May 20-22, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia. The conference will be co-sponsored by the Virginia Bapti …

Contact: brucegourley@baptisthistory.org

URL: www.baptisthistory.org/bhhs/conferences/2013-bhhs-annual-conference.html

Announcement ID: 198315

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198315


CFP: Sacred Lands and Spiritual Landscapes: Cosmography of the Pagan Soul

Keynote Speaker:  Ronald Hutton

We welcome papers that explore the following questions:

In today’s post-modern, urbanized world, where everything is a commodity, how and where do Pagans find their sacred places? How should we protect and maintain these sites? In colonized worlds, how do we avoid the appropriation of these lands? If Goddess is immanent in nature, what makes some places more sacred than others? How is our spirituality shaped by the land and our relationship with the land shaped by our spirituality?

Proposals of up to 1000 words are due by January 1, 2013 and may be uploaded at  http://www.cherryhillseminary.org/blog/announcements/call-for-papers/


CFP – 2nd Announcement

The Departments of Folkloristics and Comparative Religion at the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, together with the Donner Institute, are organizing an international interdisciplinary conference to honour the work of Professor Lauri Honko (1932–2002)

THE ROLE OF THEORY IN FOLKLORISTICS AND COMPARATIVE RELIGION

21–23 August 2013

University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

The language of the conference is English.

Timetable:

Call for papers, deadline 31 March 2013

Registration, deadline 31 May 2013

For more detailed information concerning the conference see the attached documents or visit our website:

http://honkoconference.utu.fi/

Also now on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/416180771776969/


CONFERENCES


INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF BENGAL STUDIES, 2013

Date: 2012-12-31

Description:  3rd INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF BENGAL STUDIES 19th – 22nd November, 2013 University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India

Papers are invited for the 3rd International Congress of Bengal Studies scheduled to be held during 19th 22nd November, 2013.

The 3rd Congress will be hosted by the University of Calcutta,

Contact: icbs2013 [at ] gmail.com

URL: bangabidya.wordpress.com

Announcement ID: 198167

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198167


Religion and Development: An Agenda for the 21st Century

Date: 2013-01-31

Description:  HIRENTHA: Journal of the HumanitiesRedeemer’s University (RUN), Ogun State, Nigeria The twin issues of religion and development have had a long history of engagement in the humanities. From the perspectives of history and international relations, language and literature, and theatre arts, there hav …

Contact: hirentha@yahoo.com

Announcement ID: 198111

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198111


Workshop Participants at Vernacular Architecture Forum Conference

Location: Quebec

Date: 2012-11-15

Description: Call for Workshop Participants VAF 2013 Annual Meeting in Gasp, Quebec, Canada Deadline: November 15, 2012.

The Forum Workshop at the 2013 VAF needs your expertise. The Gasp-Perc region currently faces a number of challenges iN preserving and interpreting its cultural sites.

Contact: Tania.Martin [AT] arc.ulaval.ca

URL: www.vafweb.org/conferences/2013/

Announcement ID: 198238

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198238


JOBS


Freie Universitaet Berlin – Postdoctoral Research Associate in

History of European Astroculture

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45713

Kathmandu University – Visiting Lecturer in Buddhist Studies and

Tibetan/Sanskrit

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45697

University of Bristol – Lecturer in East Asian Religions

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45759

University of Southern California – Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching

Fellowship in Japanese Religions

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45735

1640 Chair of Divinity

University of Glasgow

Deadline: 18 November 2012

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFJ410/1640-chair-of-divinity/

Teaching Assistant/Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow – Moral Philosophy

University of Glasgow

Deadline: 22 November 2012

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFJ505/teaching-assistant-postdoctoral-teaching-fellow/

One-year Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship in Japanese Religions for Fall 2013 at the University of Southern California.

H-Net Jobs Guide listing: https://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45735


GRANTS/PRIZES


STANLEY WEINSTEIN DISSERTATION PRIZE

Date: 2012-12-31

Description: The Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University is pleased to announce the third competition for the Stanley  Weinstein Dissertation Prize, honoring Professor Weinsteins

many contributions to the study of East Asian Buddhism in North America. The prize will be awarded once every two years

Contact: nicholas.disantis@yale.edu

Announcement ID: 198253

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198253


The AHRC and the United States’s National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) have launched a joint funding initiative that focuses on collaborative projects that use humanities disciplines to further develop understanding about health, well-being, disability, medical science, technology and/or other aspects of the health sciences.

Applications should address areas relevant to the AHRC’s Science in Culture theme.  Projects must also involve academics in both the UK and the United States.  Awards are for between 1 to 3 years, with funding ranging from $25,000 (£15,000) and $100,000 (£62,000) per annum.  Applications are submitted to the NEH’s Collaborative Research Programme.

Information about the scheme can be found on the AHRC’s website, with specific call guidelines available on the NEH’s website (see p.4 of their guidelines.)

Closing Date: 6 December 2012.


STANLEY WEINSTEIN DISSERTATION PRIZE

Prize Date:    2012-12-31

Date Submitted:     2012-10-25

Announcement ID:     198253

The Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University is pleased to announce the third competition for the Stanley Weinstein Dissertation Prize, honoring Professor Weinstein’s many contributions to the study of East Asian Buddhism in North America. The prize will be awarded once every two years to the best Ph.D. dissertation on East Asian Buddhism written in North America during the two previous years. The dissertation must be based on original research in the primary languages and should significantly advance our understanding of East Asian Buddhism. East Asian Buddhism is understood for this competition to refer to those traditions in East Asia that take Chinese translations of the Buddhist scriptures as their basis (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese). Studies of East Asian Buddhist communities in the West are not eligible for consideration.

The recipient of the award will be invited to give a public lecture at Yale under the auspices of the Council of East Asian Studies. There is an honorarium of $1,000.

Ph.D. programs in Buddhist Studies/Religious Studies in North America are invited to nominate one dissertation that was completed during the academic years 2010-11 and 2011-12.*

The deadline for this nomination is December 31, 2012. The nomination must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation, readers reports for the thesis, and one representative chapter of the thesis. All materials should be sent to Stanley Weinstein Dissertation Prize, Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University, P.O. Box 208206, 34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520-8206.

A three-person committee will select three theses to be read in their entirety by all committee members. The authors of these three theses will be requested to submit the entire theses in PDF format for this final stage of the selection. The result of the competition will be announced by the beginning of the next academic year.

  • Nominations by the authors themselves will not be accepted.

For more information, please contact koichi.shinohara [AT] yale.edu

Wouter Hanegraaff on Western Esotericism

In this interview, recorded at the EASR Annual Conference at Södertörn University, Professor Wouter Hanegraaff tells us about what he dubs “the biggest blank spaces of neglected territories in the study of religion”, namely Western esotericism. He tells how he first came over the German Folklorist Will-Erich Peuckert’s book Pansophie (1936) and discovered a group of renaissance thinkers he had never heard of, but whose work evidently had influenced western culture in a profound way. It soon came to show that scholars in the academy wasn’t eager to go into it or take it seriously. Hanegraaf gives us insight to how this developed from being neglected sources of Western thought to an established field of study. He also goes into the question of definition; challenges and approaches within the study of Western esotericism; how the study of Western esotericism relates to the study of religion as a whole; the (non-)universality of esotericism; and additionally his blog Creative Reading and the accessibility of academic knowledge.

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. And apologies for the background noise at the end of the interview. Wouter Hanegraaff is a professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam. He has written extensively on many topics among them New Age, Gnosticism, Magic and last but not at least Western Esotericisim. He is currently president of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE and member on the editorial board of Aries(Brill), Numen (Brill), Religion Compass and Esoterica. His latest book Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2012) was subject for a panel-discussion at the EASR Annual Conference. Those with a new-founded interest in the subject can also keep an eye out for his forthcoming book Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed (Bloomsbury, 2013). Full CV and list of publications on Prf. Wouter Hanegraaff’s webpage. Additionally, the article by Egil Asprem mentioned during the interview can be bought or accessed here.

This is also the first interview conducted by our new sub-editor, Knut Melvær. Knut is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen (Norway). He is currently researching ‘spirituality’ as a folk-category and cultural domain in Norway 1930–2010. His background and particular interests are in theories of religion, new religious movements, Ainu- and Japanese religion as well as methodologies in religious studies. He is a review-editor of Aura, and currently co-editing a special issue of DIN on the topic of ‘Gods’ (December 2012). Knut has a personal website and also an infrequently updated academia.edu profile.

Non-religion

The two concepts of non-religion and secularity are intended to summarise all positions which are necessarily defined in reference to religion but which are considered to be other than religious. […This encapsulates] a range of perspectives and experiences, including the atheistic, agnostic, religiously indifferent or areligious, as well as some forms or aspects of secularism,  humanism and, indeed, religion itself. (Lee 2009)

It is fast becoming a tradition in ‘nonreligion’ research to acknowledge that Colin Campbell’s seminal call in Toward a Sociology of Irreligion (1971) for a widespread sociological analysis’ of ‘nonreligion’ had until very recently been ignored (Bullivant and Lee 2012). Although there has been a steady stream of output on secularisation, and more recently on atheism, these publications rarely dealt with ‘nonreligion’ as it is ‘actually lived, expressed, or experienced […]in the here and now’ (Zuckerman 2010, viii). One scholar who has been leading the way in theorising and empirically populating this emerging field is Lois Lee, the founding director of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network, who joins Chris and Ethan in this podcast, recorded in May 2012 in Edinburgh.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us.

Dr Lois Lee is Associate Lecturer in Religious Studies and Sociology at the University of Kent. Her work deals with theories of thought and action in differentiated and highly mediated societies, and her empirical research has focused on British nonreligious and secularist cultures. She is recently completed her doctoral thesis at the University of Cambridge and is currently developing the thesis into a monograph, provisionally titled, Separating Sociologies: Religion, Nonreligion and Secularity in Society and Social Research. She was guest co-editor of a special issue of Journal of Contemporary Religion, entitled  ’Nonreligion and Secularity: New Empirical Perspectives’, with Stephen Bullivant (January 2012). She has publications in (or forthcoming in) the Annual Review of Sociology of Religion, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Studies in Ethnicity & Nationalism and Critique and Humanism, and will contribute to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Atheism (2013). Lois is founding director of the NSRN, the co-editor of its website, co-editor of the journal Secularism and Nonreligion (NSRN and ISSSC), and features editor for the LSE-based journal, Studies in Ethnicity & Nationalism (Wiley-Blackwell). She lectures and teaches the study of religion (and nonreligion), sociology of religion, social theory of modernity, introduction to sociology, and qualitative social research methods.

Lee’s basic definition of ‘nonreligion’ is ‘anything which is primarily defined by a relationship of difference to religion’ (Lee 2012, 131), yet related to this relatively simple definition are a host of conceptual, methodological and terminological issues. At an individual level, when they are given discrete options, many otherwise ‘non-religious’ individuals will inevitably self-categorise themselves using ‘religious’ labels (for a variety of different reasons, see Day 2011; Edgell, Gerteis, and Hartmann 2006). However, the labels that individuals utilise are rarely as important as the contexts in which they use them, their motivations for doing so, and the meanings attached to them. When permitted to select multiple (non-)religious identity terms, many welcome the opportunity to articulate multiple identities. Different identities may be enacted in different contexts (Cotter 2011b), and a superficial non-religiosity can mask beliefs and practices sometimes termed ‘spiritual’ by the individual in question. To complicate matters further, people are apt to utilise (non-)religious terminology in situations where their sacred values are (un)consciously called into question, yet for much of the time these sacred values and the associated terminology ‘lie dormant and, as such, invisible’ (Knott 2013).

Institutionally, there are many organisations which can be explicitly labelled as ‘non-religious’, each exhibiting a collection of distinct-yet-interrelated attitudes and emphases (see Pasquale 2010, 66–69; Cimino and Smith 2007, 420–422; Budd 1977, 266), and in which much of what actually happens on the ground is arguably mundane and/or secular. However, the non-religious tend not to join specifically non-religious groups (Bullivant 2008, 364), and it is therefore unclear how representative these groups are likely to be. Other public institutions – such as a museum, a hospital chaplaincy, or a ‘religious’ NGO –  can be similarly ambiguous. ‘Religious’ institutions are utilised by non-religious people for a variety of reasons (Day 2011), and if we attend to the materiality and embodiment of public and private social interactions it becomes clear that a sound, a smell, or the mere presence of another person, can change the sacred, profane or mundane nature of (non-)religious and secular experiences.

The ambiguities described in the previous paragraphs suggest that scholars attempting to engage with non-religion face particular terminological and methodological challenges. Terminologically, it is self-evident that the categories of ‘religion’ and ‘non-religion’ are ‘semantically parasitic categories’ (Fitzgerald 2007, 54). This relationship has led to a situation where the prevalent terminology used to refer to the non-religious in the social science of religion has often been ambiguous, imprecise, and even biased and derogatory (Cragun and Hammer 2011; Cotter 2011b; Pasquale 2007; Lee 2012). Methodologically, there is the attendant risk of constructing non-religion simply through the act of study. By asking questions specifically relating to (non-)religion, studies can exclude the possibility of (non-)religious indifference, whilst religion concurrently ‘serves as a “language” in which many people who may no longer be associated with any religious organisations still choose to express their strongest fears, sorrows, aspirations, joys and wishes’ (Beckford 1999, 25). The researcher must therefore be aware both of the limitations of the narrative interview, and of the different meanings attached to terms in different discourses (Stringer 2013). All of these issues and more are complicated by problems of locating potential research data for all but the most explicit forms of non-religion and by emergent problems in the assessment of religion-equivalent non-religious practices, and, indeed, the appropriateness of doing so (Cotter 2011a; Cotter, Aechtner, and Quack 2012). This interview with Lois Lee addresses these issues and more, and provides a valuable reflexive discussion on what ‘nonreligion’ is, and why we might be interested in studying it from a Religious Studies perspective.

The following quotation from Frank Pasquale serves as a suitable point of conclusion:

The closer people’s worldviews are probed – even among self-described secular or nonreligious individuals – the more difficult it is to neatly place many into the major categories that frame Western discourse on “theism” and “atheism” or “religion” or “irreligion” (2010, 63)

As we are all aware, study of ‘religion’ (and by definition, ‘nonreligion’) generally occurs within a Western, Christianised context which tends to assume a position of normative religiosity, and reify an academically constructed dichotomy between ‘religion’ and ‘nonreligion’. Whilst this interview (and many ongoing studies) focuses on one side of the ‘religion’-’nonreligion’ dichotomy, ultimately it can be seen as an attempt to ‘argue for the currently unfashionable side of [a] polar opposition, […] to unsettle the assumption that any polarity can properly describe a complex reality’ (Silverman 2007, 144).

Listener’s may also be interested in our previous interview with Callum Brown on Historical Approaches to Losing Religion, and with Linda Woodhead on the Secularisation Thesis.

References:

  • Beckford, James A. 1999. “The Politics of Defining Religion in Secular Society: From a Taken for Granted Institution to a Contested Resource.” In The Pragmatics of Defining Religion: Contexts, Concepts and Contests, ed. Jan G. Platvoet and Arie L. Molendijk, 23–40. Leiden: Brill.
  • Budd, Susan. 1977. Varieties of Unbelief: Atheists and Agnostics in English Society 1850-1960. London: Heinemann.
  • Bullivant, Stephen. 2008. “Research Note: Sociology and the Study of Atheism.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 23 (3): 363–368.
  • Bullivant, Stephen, and Lois Lee. 2012. “Interdisciplinary Studies of Non-religion and Secularity: The State of the Union.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 27 (1).
  • Campbell, Colin. 1971. Toward a Sociology of Irreligion. London: Macmillan.
  • Cimino, Richard, and Christopher Smith. 2007. “Secular Humanism and Atheism Beyond Progressive Secularism.” Sociology of Religion 68 (4): 407–424.
  • Cotter, Christopher R. 2011a. Qualitative Methods Workshop (NSRN Methods for Nonreligion and Secularity Series). NSRN  Events Report Series [online]. NSRN. http://www.nsrn.net/events/events-reports.
  • ———. 2011b. “Toward a Typology of ‘Nonreligion’: A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Narratives of Scottish University Students”. Unpublished MSc by Research Dissertation, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.
  • Cotter, Christopher R., Rebecca Aechtner, and Johannes Quack. 2012. Non-Religiosity, Identity, and Ritual Panel Session. Hungarian Culture Foundation, Budapest, Hungary: NSRN. http://nsrn.net/1523-2/.
  • Cragun, R., and J.H. Hammer. 2011. “‘One Person’s Apostate Is Another Person’s Convert’: What Terminology Tells Us About Pro-religious Hegemony in the Sociology of Religion.” Humanity and Society 35: 159–175.
  • Day, Abby. 2011. Believing in Belonging: Belief and Social Identity in the Modern World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Edgell, Penny, Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann. 2006. “Atheists as ‘Other’: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society.” American Sociological Review 71 (2) (April): 211–234.
  • Fitzgerald, Timothy. 2007. Discourse on Civility and Barbarity: A Critical History of Religion and Related Categories. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Knott, Kim. 2013. “The Secular Sacred: In-between or Both/and?” In Social Identities Between the Sacred and the Secular, ed. Abby Day, Giselle Vincett, and Christopher R. Cotter. Surrey: Ashgate.
  • Lee, Lois. 2009. “NSRN Website – About”. Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network. http://www.nsrn.co.uk/About.html. (Accessed March 2011)
  • ———. 2012. “Research Note: Talking About a Revolution: Terminology for the New Field of Non-religion Studies.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 27 (1).
  • Pasquale, Frank L. 2007. “Unbelief and Irreligion, Empirical Study and Neglect Of.” In The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, ed. Tom Flynn, 760–766. Amherst, NY: Prometheus.
  • ———. 2010. “A Portrait of Secular Group Affiliates.” In Atheism and Secularity – Volume 1: Issues, Concepts and Definitions, ed. Phil Zuckerman, 43–87. Santa Barbara: Praeger.
  • Silverman, David. 2007. A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Qualitative Research. Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE.
  • Stringer, Martin D. 2013. “The Sounds of Silence: Searching for the Religious in Everyday Discourse.” In Social Identities Between the Sacred and the Secular, ed. Abby Day, Giselle Vincett, and Christopher R. Cotter. Surrey: Ashgate.
  • Zuckerman, Phil. 2010. “Introduction.” In Atheism and Secularity – Volume 1: Issues, Concepts and Definitions, ed. Phil Zuckerman, vii–xii. Santa Barbara: Praeger.

Editors’ Picks 2: The Phenomenology of Religion

The second of our Editors’ Picks “repodcasts”, and this time Jonathan has chosen our interview with James Cox on the Phenomenology of Religion. It was, incidentally, also our very first podcast, originally broadcast on the 14th of January, 2012. Jonathan also wrote the response to this interview, entitled “What is Phenomenology?“.

Phenomenology is an important methodology in the study of religions, but can be inaccessible to the student. In this interview, James Cox outlines the phenomenology of religion to David in a clear, concise way, avoiding jargon and placing the methodology in the broader context of the history of European philosophy and comparative religion.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes.

A transcription of this interview is also available as a PDF, and has been pasted on the page where the podcast was originally posted, along with some further information. All transcriptions are currently produced by volunteers. If you spot any errors in this transcription, please let us know at editors@religiousstudiesproject.com. If you would be willing to help with these efforts, or know of any sources of funding for the broader transcription project, please get in touch. Thanks for reading.

Podcasts

Christmas Special 2015 – Fourteen to One!

DSCF1523Fourteen contestants. One tetchy quizmaster. Three microphones. Numerous cases of wine. One glamorous assistant. Many bruised egos. A boisterous studio audience. A splash of irreverence. Dozens of questions. Four years of podcasts! A rapidly diminishing reservoir of academic credibility. And far, far too many in-jokes… it can only mean one thing, right? It’s time for the Religious Studies Project Special 2015!

DSCF1602Back in August. as many of you will be aware, the RSP had the pleasure of being well-represented at the XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions at the University of Erfurt, Germany. Having previously recorded fun-filled festive specials at BASR and EASR conferences, we decided that it would be a crying shame if we didn’t manage to continue to collect the full set… and thus was born the audio delight that we present to you now, in celebration of the end of our fourth year “on the air.”

DSCF1480This year we welcome back Jonathan Tuckett as host, with score-keeping assistance from Ethan Quillen, technical wizardry from David Robertson and atmospheric jeers and cheers from our studio audience, to bring you Religious Studies Fourteen-to-One. in this academic royal rumble, fourteen contestants enter, but only one can emerge victorious. Can Carole Cusack keep the coveted RSP Special crown? Listen to find out!

In order of appearance, our fourteen unlucky victims contestants are:

  • DSCF1553Christopher Cotter
  • Kim Knott
  • Eileen Barker
  • Jack Tsonis
  • Carole Cusack
  • Stephen Gregg
  • Kevin Whitesides
  • Teemu Taira
  • Beth Singler
  • William Arfman
  • Moritz Klenk
  • Anders Petersen
  • Markus Davidsen
  • Liam Sutherland

DSCF1445Listeners may also be interested in our previous ‘holiday’ specials – Only 60 Seconds, Nul Point, and MasterBrain – as well the serious interviews we recorded in Erfurt, with Whitney Bauman, Tomoko Masuzawa, Susan J. Palmer, S. Brent Plate, Johannes Quack, and Kocku von Stuckrad.

General, inoffensive and non-specific greetings to all our listeners, and best wishes for 2016! We are, of course, well aware that the RSP year is dictated to a large part by the hegemonic cultural norms in Scotland, and in ‘the West’ more broadly… we hope that you can forgive any uncritical uses of the “C-word” in this podcast! (No, not that one…)

DSCF1536

We’ll be back in January for year five – even bigger and better than ever. Many thanks to everyone who took part in this recording – the contestants, the hosts, Anja Pogacnik for awesome photography and the studio audience. Thanks to the IAHR team in Erfurt for facilitating this recording at incredibly short notice. And, finally, and perhaps most importantly, thanks for listening.

Outtakes and Review of the Year

A very special episode of the podcast this week, to mark the beginning of our annual summer hiatus.

Photo: Podcast Fuel

This week is brought to you by Gordon’s Gin & Tonic (other gins are available)

For the past year, I (David) have kept a file where all the little amusing bits that didn’t make it into the weekly episodes got put. Sometimes, this was because of restraints of time, but more often they were simply too ‘scandalous’. I broadcast them here with that proviso. (I should also mention that they became far fewer when the others began to realise what I was up to…)

But before that, Chris, Louise and I got together to look back at the past year for the RSP. What have we learned? What worked and what didn’t? And we look to the future, and next year’s plans.

We’d love to hear from you, the listeners, about you liked this year, and what you’d like to see more of. Or less of. Episodes like this, for example.

We’ll be back in September. Thanks for listening.

You can also download this podcast, and subscribe to receive it weekly, 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.

Just to give you an idea of what the academic year 2012/13 meant for the RSP, here is a list of all the podcasts we released. Summer listening, perhaps?

You’ll find a lot more – including roundtable discussions and our weekly features essays in our archive.

Sociotheology and Cosmic War

Over the course of the last few decades religious violence has become an increasingly salient topic of public discourse and particularly in its global manifestations. In the social sciences these discourses focus primarily on explanations of violent acts that are driven by the socio-political contexts enveloping them. Mark Juergensmeyer argues that such explanations only tell part of the story, however, since some actions are motivated by a religious vision, like the vision of “cosmic war.” Talking to Per in this podcast Juergensmeyer explains how a “sociotheological approach” is particularly well suited to the task of understanding religious violence by engaging the worldviews of violent actors directly and taking their theological concerns as seriously as their political ideologies.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter. And if you want to support the RSP, you can click through to Amazon.co.uk through our affiliates link, and we will earn referral fees from any transactions during your visit.

Mark Juergensmeyer is a former president of the American Academy of Religion and the current director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbera where he also teaches sociology and religious studies. He is a prolific writer and speaker whose work deals with South Asian religion and politics, religious violence and global religion among other topics. Recent books include Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, and the just released The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence, which contains a chapter outlining, “A Sociotheological Approach to the Study of Religious Violence.”

Biblical Studies and Religious Studies

What is the relationship between Religious Studies and the study of the Christian New Testament? Although RS is often considered to be “studies of thee other religions”, Biblical Studies also offers a way into the broader theoretical and definitional issues in the study of religions. As Dale B. Martin explains to Jack Tsonis, Biblical Studies is non-confessional and provides a useful toolbox for historical and textual analysis. They go on to discuss the possibility or otherwise of RS as politically neutral, and the state of the discipline within the modern academy in the US.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on Is there a Christian Agenda behind Religious Studies departments?

Dale Martin is Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies, Director of Graduate Studies at Yale University, specialising in New Testament and Christian Origins, including attention to social and cultural history of the Greco-Roman world. His books include Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation, Pedagogy of the Bible: an Analysis and Proposal, and New Testament History and Literature, and was an associate editor for the revision and expansion of the Encyclopedia of Religion, published in 2005. He has published several articles on topics related to the ancient family, gender and sexuality in the ancient world, and ideology of modern biblical scholarship, including titles such as: “Contradictions of Masculinity: Ascetic Inseminators and Menstruating Men in Greco-Roman Culture.”

Astrology

If statistics are to be believed, close to 100% of people in the UK know their astrological sun-sign. But what is astrology, exactly? Is it merely a “survival” from the medieval worldview, and what is its relationship to modernity and scientific thought? Most pertinently, does it have something profound to tell us about the nature of popular belief, or vernacular religion? Nicholas Campion tells David why it does in this fascinating interview.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us.

Nicholas Campion is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology and Anthropology, and Director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture. His research interests include the nature of belief, the history and contemporary culture of astrology and astronomy, magic, pagan and New Age beliefs and practices, millenarian and apocalyptic ideas, and the sociology of new religious movements. This calls for a multi-disciplinary approach and, before joining Lampeter University in 2007, he was, in turn, Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religions and Senior Lecturer in History at Bath Spa University. He is a member of the international executive committee of the conferences on the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena (INSAP), is editor of Culture and Cosmos, a Journal of the History of Astrology and Cultural Astronomy and is in the editorial boards of Correlation, the Journal of Research in Astrology and Archaeoastronomy, the Journal of Astronomy in Culture. His most recent publications include Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions (New York University Press, 2012), Astrology and Popular Religion: Prophecy, Cosmology and the New Age Movement (Ashgate 2012), and the two-volume History of Western Astrology (Continuum 2009).

wordle

Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 30 Nov 2012

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a variety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on wordleour ‘contact’ page.

Apdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Publications
  • Reviewers
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Jobs
  • Fellowships

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


JOURNALS


Journal of Media and Religion, no. 4, Oct 2012

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/jmr;jsessionid=225jjd44suwds.alexandra

Contemporary Buddhism, 13, no.2

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcbh20/13/2

Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

http://www.utpjournals.com/Journal-of-Religion-and-Popular-Culture.html

Register for free individual access – http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/122213

The Buddhist College of Singapore has  just launched a new peer-reviewed Chinese & English journal of Buddhist Studies, the Singaporean Journal of Buddhist Studies.      http://www.bcs.edu.sg/index.php/bcs_en/journal/

The first issue is to be published in a year or sO

Contact: chuancheng [AT] bcs.edu.sg

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=199021


PUBLICATIONS


Ashgate Press has offered a 20% discount to our members.

http://www.ashgate.com/SSSR

Use this Discount Code into the little box: SSSR20


Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France

Oxford University Press

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Looking-Mary-Magdalene-Alternative-Pilgrimage/dp/0199898421/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1354262049&sr=8-4


Introduction to Buddhism (second edition)

Peter Harvey – Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Studies

University of Sunderland

http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item6860643/?site_locale=en_GB

It has been updated, refined and expanded throughout, being now 547 pages rather than  the 374 of the first edition.


REVIEWERS


The forthcoming issue of the Open Access Journal of International Relations Research (JIRR) is looking for submissions for its reviews section.

The next issue is themed on the Arab Spring and we have some interesting and challenging submissions for publication from researchers around the world. We would like to invite PhD students in particular to write distinctive and entertaining reviews, of books, television, film, music and other media that speaks to issues in international relations.

Getting a publication record established in peer-revised journals can be difficult and JIRR wants to encourage more reviews from all areas of the IR community.

We have 3 books which we need reviews over the next month. you can keep the book for free;

The Gun: The Story of the AK-47 by C.J. Chivers

Terrorism: A Philosophical Enquiry by Dr Anne Schwenkenbecher

Understanding Al Qaeda: Changing War and Global Politics by Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Though we would warmly welcome submissions from other media.

submissions [AT] journalofinternationalrelationsresearch.com


CALLS FOR PAPERS


CFP: The Pure Land in Buddhist Cultures: History, Image, Praxis, Thought

University of British Columbia | Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2, 2013

Abstracts due: February 1, 2013

Papers due: May 23, 2013

Conference website: http://pureland2013.wordpress.com


CFP: The Center for EU-Russia Studies in Estonia is holding a workshop on Religion, Law, and Policy Making.

Jim Richardson is the keynote speaker. The Call for Papers can be found under NEWS at http://www.sssrweb.org


CFP: The Henry Institute at Calvin College is having their 7th symposium on Religion and Politics, this one honoring Corwin Smidt.

The Call for Papers can be found under NEWS at http://www.sssrweb.org


CFP: Bethel University is hosting a conference on Reconciliation and Sociology.

Korie Edwards is the keynote speaker. http://www.sssrweb.org


CFP: ‘PSALM CULTURE AND THE POLITICS OF TRANSLATION’

Deadline extended to 7 JANUARY 2013

http://psalmculture.com  please submit all proposals and correspondence to

psalmculture [at] gmail.com.


CONFERENCES


What is Early Modern English Catholicism?

Date: 2013-01-15

Description:  What is Early Modern English Catholicism? A conference around the question of what is understood by the term Early Modern English Catholicism will be held at Ushaw College, Durham from 28 June 1 July 2013. The plenary speakers will be Eamon Duffy (Cambridge), Brad Gregory (Notre Dame),

Contact: james.kelly3 [AT] durham.ac.uk

Announcement ID: 198976

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198976


JOBS


University of Nebraska – Omaha – Assistant Professor (Judaic Studies)

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45976

Wilfrid Laurier University – TENURE-TRACK POSITION – Aboriginal Religion & Culture

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45966

Wilfrid Laurier University – TENURE-TRACK POSITION – Christianity in a Global Context

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45967

Wichita State University – Curtis D. Gridley Professor in the History and Philosophy of Science

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45952

Central Connecticut State University – One-year, emergency appointment at the Assistant Professor rank to teach courses in the history of the Middle East

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45982


FELLOWSHIPS


UC Berkeley Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellowship in Buddhist Studies, 2013-2014

With the generous support of the Shinnyo-en Foundation, the Program in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley is pleased to invite applications for a one-year postdoctoral research-teaching fellowship. The term of the appointment is July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, with the possibility of a one-year renewal.

The Fellowship is intended to foster the academic careers of recent Ph.D.’s, providing time to pursue their research along with the opportunity to gain teaching experience. Fellows are expected to teach two courses per year under the auspices of the Group in Buddhist  Studies. (At least one course will be at the undergraduate level.) In addition, Fellows will give a public lecture on their research as part of the Center for Buddhist Studies Colloquium Series, and they are expected to take part in regular Center for Buddhist Studies events and workshops. We particularly welcome applicants whose research and teaching interests complement areas covered by Berkeley’s Buddhist Studies faculty. Fellows will be provided with office space, library privileges and a salary of approximately $50,000 that comes with benefits.

Applicants must have their doctoral degrees in hand by June 30, 2013, and must be no more than six years out of their doctorate. Candidates who do not yet hold a Ph.D. but expect to by June 30, 2013, should supply a letter from their home institution confirming their schedule to completion.

Applicants whose teaching and research interests are primarily in the area of Japanese Buddhism should apply to the Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellowship in Japanese Buddhism, administered through the Center for Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley, rather than to the Shinjo Ito Fellowship in Buddhist Studies.

Applicants should submit the following materials:

Curriculum vitae

Graduate school transcripts

A personal statement of no more than 2000 words outlining previous research (including dissertation), the research the applicant will  undertake during the term of the fellowship, future professional goals, as well as any other information deemed relevant to the application

A writing sample

A two- to four-page statement of teaching interests, along with two brief course proposals (with optional syllabi) of courses they propose to teach for the Group in Buddhist Studies (Note: UC Berkeley courses normally meet a total of three or four hours per week throughout a fourteen-week semester)

Three letters of recommendation

Application Deadline and Notification of Award

All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be postmarked on or before Monday, January 14, 2013. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. Only complete applications will be considered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all documentation is complete and that referees submit their letters of recommendation by the closing date. Awards will be announced in March, 2013.

Send all materials to:

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Buddhist Studies

Group in Buddhist Studies

University of California, Berkeley

3413 Dwinelle Hall, #2230

Berkeley, CA 94720-2230

U.S.A.

For more information about Buddhist Studies at Berkeley, please visit http://buddhiststudies.berkeley.edu. The Shinnyo-en Foundation is the secular, philanthropic arm of the Shinnyo-en Order that supports educational programs. UC Berkeley is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educator. Women, minorities, and international candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

What is the Public Benefit of the Study of Religion?

This year’s BASR annual conference at the University of Winchester included a panel on the ‘Public benefit in the study of religion’. The panel was organised by BASR Hon. Secretary, Bettina Schmidt, and Chair of BSA-SOCREL, Abby Day, representing the two main professional organisations representing the UK’s scholars of religion. The other speakers taking part were Eileen Barker of INFORM, Tim Jensen and Douglas Davies. Given that the Religious Studies Project has a manifesto of disseminating contemporary RS research to the public, we felt that we wanted to talk to scholars about this question. This edited podcast was the result.  

Does the public benefit from the social-scientific study of religion? Should it? How do we demonstrate benefit, measure it, communicate it? What are the practical and theoretical issues surrounding the idea of how the study of religion can operate in the, or perhaps as a, public good? For that matter, what do we mean by ‘public’ or ‘benefit’?

This question relates to our daily practice as researchers when asking for funding or having to present the outcomes of our research. Research Councils ask every applicant to explain the possible impact of a research project and in the coming years we will have to demonstrate as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) the wider impact of our research. But are discussions of this type necessary in order to  understand and perhaps improve the relevance to the public of our research – and discipline – or are we simply looking for justifications to be able to continue research which has little public benefit?

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us.

wordle

Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 23 Nov 2012

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a variety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on our ‘contact’ page. wordle

pdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Publications
  • Training
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Jobs
  • Fellowships/PhD positions

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


JOURNALS


Sociology of Religion, advance notice – http://socrel.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/recent?papetoc

Marian Burchardt – Faith-Based Humanitarianism: Organizational Change and Everyday Meanings in South Africa

The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture is a web-based, peer-reviewed journal committed to the academic exploration, analysis, and interpretation of the interrelations between and interactions of religion and religious expression and popular culture – broadly defined as the products of contemporary mass culture. The journal is based in Canada but is international in scope and open to the exploration of religion and popular culture in a variety of cultures and from a multiplicity of disciplinary perspectives.


Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online  is now on trial via

http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/

Access is on campus or off campus via VPN.

The trial ends on 18 December.


PUBLICATIONS


Digital Religion: Understanding religious practice in new media worlds – Heidi A. Campbell (ed)

Digital Religion offers a critical and systematic survey of the study of religion and new media. It covers religious engagement with a wide range of new media forms and highlights examples of new media engagement in all five of the major world religions. From cell phones and video games to blogs and Second Life, the book:

  • provides a detailed review of major topics
  • includes a series of case studies to illustrate and elucidate the thematic explorations
  • considers the theoretical, ethical and theological issues raised.

http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415676113/


New Brill series – Iberian Religious World

Description:  “Iberian Religious World” is a peer-reviewed series that publishes academic works that analyze the different types of religiosity found in the Iberian World. But what is exactly the Iberian World? The space of the Iberian World is one that changes according to time. If until the end of the fourteen …

Contact: ana.valdez [at] yale.edu

Announcement ID: 198741

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198741


Online search interface to my Digital Bibliography of Chinese Buddhism

The bibliography contains 2,273 entries on Chinese-language Buddhist publications dating from 1860 to the 1950s. Information has been sourced from print bibliographies, online catalogues, and first-hand bibliographic research. Each item page includes research links to related resources such as WorldCat, the MFQ(B) article database, and the DDBC Person Authority. Entries can be searched by keyword and the results filtered by publication date. Although other online bibliographies on this topic exist, I hope my contribution will be significant for the thoroughness of its citations and editing, and its links to other useful digital resources.

http://bib.buddhiststudies.net/


TRAINING

RESEARCH METHODS FOR THE STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGION AN INTENSIVE TRAINING PROGRAMME

Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society, University of Kent

18-22 February 2013

This training programme is available for doctoral students registered at any higher education institution in the UK/EU. It is based on previous training developed by the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society, funded by the AHRC, which led to the development of the Religion Methods website (www.kent.ac.uk/religionmethods), and aims to provide students with a core training in fieldwork approaches to the study of religion.

Topics covered by the training will include:

·         Conceptualising religion for research

·         Key elements and processes of research design

·         The role of theory in social research

·         The politics and ethics of research

·         Sampling

·         Rigour and validity in research

·         Using quantitative data-sets for research on religion

·         Ethnographic approaches in theory and practice

·         Visual methods

·         Developing research interviews

·         Using qualitative data analysis software

·         Researching objects and spaces

·         Producing research proposals

To attend this training programme, students not registered at the University of Kent will be required to pay a £100 registration fee, which would cover attendance at all sessions and the costs of training materials. Delegates would need to make their own arrangements for accommodation, and there is a wide selection of affordable B&B provision in the Canterbury area. For those planning to commute on a daily basis, Canterbury is now less than an hour from London St Pancras on the high speed train link.

Space on the programme is limited and the deadline to register your interest to attend this programme is Thursday 13 December. To register your interest, please email Lois Lee (l.a.lee [at] kent.ac.uk) with a short statement outlining the university at which you are currently registered, the focus and method of your doctoral project and the stage of the project you are currently at.


CALLS FOR PAPERS


CFP: “From New Religions to the Blurry Edges of Spirituality: Where do Cults Fit in the American Religious Landscape?” Panel at the Annual Conference of the French Association for American Studies

Date: 2012-12-15

Description:  Call for Papers for the panel “From New Religions to the Blurry Edges of Spirituality: Where do Cults Fit in the American Religious Landscape?” held at the Annual Conference of the French Association for American Studies, Angers 22nd-26th 2012. French and American journalists adopted a variety of a…

URL: afea.fr/spip.php?article447#atelier%205

Announcement ID: 198772

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198772


CFP: Jews and Muslims in the Czarist Empire and the Soviet Union

Date: 2013-01-31

Description:  In the second half of the 19th century the administrative and intellectual elites of the Russian Empire became increasingly aware of its multiethnic and multireligious character. In the age of national aspirations this trait of the  Russian State was often seen as a potential threat by parts of the  …

Contact: Franziska.Davies [at] lrz,uni-muenchen.de

Announcement ID: 198792

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198792


CONFERENCES


Please join us for papers and round-table discussion about the role of ethics and religion in contemporary Scotland at ‘Elect Affinities:

Robin Jenkins, Ethics, and Religion in the Scottish Novel.’

Friday, 23 November 2012, 11.30am – 4.30pm Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh

This Interdisciplinary workshop is held in association with the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies (Aberdeen) and the Centre for the Novel (Aberdeen).

Papers will be presented by:

Margery Palmer McCulloch (Glasgow)

Ken Keir (Aberdeen)

Corey Gibson (Edinburgh)

J. Linden Bicket (Glasgow)

Timothy C. Baker (Aberdeen)

To view the programme, please see the attached flyer or visit:

http://www.iash.ed.ac.uk/star/media/ElectAffinitiesSymposiumPoster.pdf

To book a place, please contact Linda Tym

(Linda.Tym [at] ed.ac.uk) or Timothy C. Baker (t.c.baker [at] abdn.ac.uk).


‘Daughters of Isis’ study day

Saturday February 16th 2013

Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT.

A series of presentations examining the lives, roles, health and deaths of ancient Egyptian women. Presented by Egyptology Online in association with the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology.

PROGRAMME

9.15        REGISTRATION: tea/coffee

9.45        Welcome and Introduction

10.00     Vanishing Queens: Three Mummy Mysteries

Dr Joyce Tyldesley

10.45     Medical Care for Women in Pharaonic Egypt

Roger Forshaw

11.15     BREAK

11.45     Women and Literacy

Dr Glenn Godenho

12.30     A Little of What you Fancy

Pauline Norris

1.00        LUNCH (please make own arrangements)

2.00        The 2013 Bob Partridge Memorial Lecture

Women’s Religious Roles during the Late Period: The lives and afterlives of Asru and Tasheriankh Dr Campbell Price

3.00        BREAK

3.30        The Mystery of a Wooden Cane found in an OK Female Burial: an

Accessory Staff or a Walking Aid?

Iwona Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin

4.00        What Skeletal Evidence can tell us about Women in Ancient Egypt

Emily Marlow

4.30        Conclusion

http://egyptmanchester.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/event-daughters-of-isis-study-day-saturday-february-16th-2013


SEX: Religious and Theological Perspectives

Location: New Jersey

Date: 2012-12-01

Description:  Sex: Religious and Theological Perspectives Princeton Theological Seminary Graduate Student Conference March 7-8, 2013 Princeton, New Jersey Sexas a concept,

identity, and practice has been the target of sustained controversy in public and academic discussions involving religion, theology, politics, …

Contact: courtney.palmbush [at] ptsem.edu

Announcement ID: 198738

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198738


Challenging Consensus: new perspectives on Religious Nonconformism

1-2 Feb 2013

University of Leipzig

www.uni-leipzig.de/challenging_consensus


JOBS


Assistant/Associate/Full Professor in South or East Asian or African History

Georgetown University

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFK133/assistant-associate-full-professor-in-south-or-east-asian-or-african-history/

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor in Middle East History

Georgetown University

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFK130/assistant-associate-or-full-professor-in-middle-east-history/

University of Calgary – Assistant/Associate Professor, Numata Chair

in Buddhist Studies

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45934

Indiana University – Bloomington – Modern Hebrew Lecturer at Indiana

University-Bloomington

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45906

University of Arizona – Assistant Professor, Japanese Contemporary

Culture

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45932

Ohio State University – Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45924


FELLOWSHIPS


Woolf Institute Visiting Fellowship 2014

Description: The Woolf Institute, which specialises in the study of relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims from multidisciplinary perspective, invites applications for its annual visiting fellowship. The Fellowship, tenable for a two to three month period that overlaps one of the Cambridge terms 2014:  …

Contact: bs411 [AT] cam.ac.uk

URL: www.woolf.cam.ac.uk

Announcement ID: 198823

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198823

Research Fellowships, Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim

Location: California

Date: 2012-12-15

Description: The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History at the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim invites applications for its research fellowships for the AY 2013-2014. The USF Ricci Institute is an internationally renowned research institute and archive that promotes the study  …

Contact: lee [at] usfca.edu

URL: usf.usfca.edu/ricci//

Announcement ID: 198835

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198835

(New) Dissertation Completion Fellowships at the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis

Location: Missouri

Date: 2013-01-06

Description: The John C. Danforth Center at Washington University in St. Louis is pleased to offer one or two fellowships to support completion of a dissertation on religion and politics in the United States. Fellows will spend the 2013-2014 academic year in residence at Washington University in St. Louis.

Contact: rap [at] wustl.edu

URL: rap.wustl.edu/dissertation-completion-fellowship/

Announcement ID: 198682

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198682

wordle

Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 16 Nov 2012

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a variety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on our ‘contact’ page.

A pdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Peer website
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Projects
  • Jobs/Fellowships/PhD positions

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


JOURNALS


Material Religion: Special issue on Popularizing Islam: Muslims and Materiality http://www.bergpublishers.com/BergJournals/MaterialReligion/tabid/517/Default.aspx

Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, http://adanewmedia.org/

The journal Religion and Gender has just published its latest issue at

http://www.religionandgender.org

It is a special issue addressing the theme ‘Religion and Masculinities: Continuities and Change’, guest edited by Björn Krondorfer and Stephen Hunt. The volume further includes one article in the open section, and nine book reviews. We invite you to review the Table of Contents here and then visit our website to review articles and items of interest.


PEER WEBSITE


TAROSA – Teaching Across Religions of South Asia

We are writing to let you know about an initiative we have recently been pursuing with funding support from the HEA, to set up a website aimed at promoting critical engagement with South Asian religious traditions in various teaching and learning contexts. Our aim has been to develop a resource which challenges the world religions optic through which most students (at both secondary and tertiary level) come to learn about South Asian traditions, by focusing instead on practices and ideas which seem to operate across such boundaries. The site is called Teaching Across Religions of South Asia, hence Tarosa, and you can view what we have so far put up at http://tarosaproject.wordpress.com/. As you will see, the main tool we use to promote a different way of looking at the religious traditions of south asia is a series of pedagogical case studies which provide students with the ability to look in depth at examples of practice/ideas, and challenges them to engage critically with the evidence presented therein.

We believe that the success of the website will depend upon us being able to develop a rich and varied archive of case studies, and it is primarily for this reason that we are writing to you now. If you have material from your research or wider knowledge which you would like to develop into a case study to contribute to the site, we would love to hear from you! We would of course fully credit your contribution to the site, and would be most eager to hear from anyone who would like to get further involved in this work. We also would welcome your feedback as peers and practitioners on the way we have set up and developed the site so far.


CALLS FOR PAPERS


CFP: Updated: International Conference “Buddhism & Australia 2013” on 23-25 January 2013

Description:  Buddhism ja Australia is pleased to inform you that the 2nd International Conference Buddhism & Australia will be held on 23-25 January, 2013 in Perth, Western

Australia.Acknowledging the history of Buddhism in the region the main goal of the conference is to research and investigate the buddhavac …

Contact: info [at] buddhismandaustralia.com

URL: www.buddhis.andaustralia.com

Announcement ID: 198653

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198653


CFP: Florida State University Department of Religion Graduate Student Symposium

Location: Florida

Date: 2012-12-01

Description:  Call for Papers: The Florida State University Department of Religion is pleased to announce its 12th Annual Graduate Student Symposium to be held February 22-24, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. Last years symposium was a huge success, allowing over 60 presenters from over 18 universities and departme …

Contact: fsureligionsymposium@gmail.com

URL: religion.fsu.edu

Announcement ID: 198521

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198521


CFP: AFTERLIFE

Eighteenth Annual Postgraduate Religion and Theology Conference Hosted by the University of Bristol

8&9 March 2013

Keynote speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton

This conference brings together postgraduates and early-career academics working on the study of religions from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, creating a space for them to share their work and to further encourage research and collaboration within the University of Bristol (the host institution), and among members of other universities within the South West region and beyond.

The conference has a long history of drawing together postgraduate students and their supervisors from universities in the surrounding area and beyond.

Last year saw us expand to a record number of participating speakers, delegates, and partner institutions. Forty-nine papers, divided in seventeen sessions, were presented by postgraduate students and early career academics, from eighteen universities. Almost one hundred delegates attended at least part of the conference. A session for undergraduate papers was also held, with notable success.

Although we encourage applications that directly address the theme of the conference ‘Afterlife’, in all its interpretations, contributions are welcome from all disciplines and areas related to the study of religions:

theology, history, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, literature, art, music, etc.

Presentations will be grouped in panels, each consisting of three 20-minute papers followed by a 30-minute period for questions and discussion. Panels will be chaired by lecturers from Bristol and other partner universities.

We are also accepting submissions for research posters. Displayed in the conference common room, these will allow further communication of research.

A prize will be awarded to the poster voted best by the conference participants. Guidelines of the preparation of posters and a sample poster presentation can be found on the conference’s website. Please note that an applicant may submit a poster as well as a paper and that both may be accepted, on the condition that they cover different topics.

Please submit abstracts for papers and/or posters through our University’s ‘Stop Shop’ page at:

http://shop.bris.ac.uk/browse/product.asp?catid=521&modid=1&compid=1

The deadline for submitting proposals will be 12:00 noon on Tuesday 15 January 2013.

Kindly note that the organisers are not in a position to assist anyone with visas, and will not consider or accept abstracts from those who require assistance with visas.

Registration for the conference will open at 12:00 noon on 22 January 2013 and will include refreshments and lunch on both days. Early registration is free for members of partner institutions and £10 for participants from other institutions or for those who are unaffiliated. Please note that all registrations received after 12 noon, Friday 8 February, will incur a £10 late registration fee.

A limited amount of financial assistance may be available to presenters of papers and/or posters. The assistance may be used towards defraying travel or accommodation expenses, or the early registration fee for participants from non-partner institutions. Application details will be posted in late January 2013 on the conference website.

Optional social events will be held on both evenings of the conference.

For more information and registration, please visit:

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/gradschool/conferences/thrs/


CFP: Sacred Space in Secular Institutions

Please send abstracts to Chris Hewson by 15 December:

chris.hewson [at] manchester.ac.uk

Venue: Humanities Bridgeford Street Building 1.69 (University of Manchester)

Date: Friday 18th January

The role, form and affect of sacred space(s) within ‘secular’ institutions is a theme that is increasingly attractive to scholars within the social sciences. This Socrel study day will consider how different types of organisation – including but not limited to educational establishments, hospitals and hospices, airports, public buildings, shopping centres, etc – ‘make space’ for faith, sacrality and religious practice(s) within their buildings, management structures and public offerings.

The study day will also consider: the key social, cultural and political drivers behind these spaces; precursors and ongoing developments; how such spaces are positioned within contemporary policy debates; and the practical issues practitioners should consider when designing and managing ‘sacred space’ within a secular institution. The day will be centred around three axes:

A reflection upon the wide range of institutions that contain set-aside ‘sacred space’.

A close sociological reading of what ‘happens’ within these spaces on a day-to-day basis, and how this might be conceptualised methodologically. For instance, how are they ‘shared’? How can effective use be measured?

A thoroughgoing assessment of the role and practice(s) of extant religious groups and traditions, within the provision and ongoing usage of these spaces.

We welcome contributions of any length (20 minute papers, 10-15 minute presentations) which address these, and any of the following questions:

What are these spaces for, and how are roles and designations contested?

What is or can be sacred about these spaces?

To what extent are these spaces multi-faith in either description or usage?

Do these spaces demonstrate novelty or continuity with existing forms?

What are the normative factors governing the development of these spaces (e.g. cohesion, diversity, customer focus, etc). Can these factors always be reconciled?

Please send abstracts to Chris Hewson by 15 December: chris.hewson [at] manchester.ac.uk


CFP: MATERIALIZING THE SPIRIT: SPACES, OBJECTS AND ART IN THE CULTURES OF WOMEN RELIGIOUS

The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland Annual Conference will be hosted  by the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, on 5-7 September 2013.

Paper proposals are now invited. Presentations should be 20 minutes in duration, and should address some element of the conference theme, with reference to British and/or Irish contexts.

The devotional and vocational activities of women religious sculpted the physical space of religious houses in unique ways. Patterns of use were etched into the fabric of buildings, guiding structural design and interior decoration. But buildings also shaped practice: whether the formal monastic sites of early or revived enclosed orders or the reused secular buildings of active congregations, women both adapted and adapted to their material surroundings.

A growing body of literature has addressed itself to convent art, exploring nuns as patrons, consumers and manufacturers of material and visual culture. These practices span the history of women’s religious life – from the early Middle Ages to the present day – and suggest a hidden but dynamic tradition of artistic enterprise. This conference explores the creative output of women religious including but not limited to textiles and the decorative arts, illuminated manuscripts and printed books, women’s patronage of painting and architecture, the commercial production of ecclesiastical textiles in the nineteenth-century, production of liturgical and devotional art in recent periods, and the development of unique convent and institutional spaces by and for women religious.

Key aims of the conference will be to highlight the scholarly value of these under-researched and little known spaces and collections and also to raise awareness and discuss the threats that they face as communities decline, buildings close, artefacts and archives are dispersed.

This conference will take a broad and diverse view on what constitutes ‘material culture’, emphasizing the conception, production, and meanings of the many material outputs of convents and monasteries.

Papers are welcomed from a diverse range of disciplines: scholars from social and religious history, art and architecture, theology, anthropology, psychology and beyond are invited to offer fresh and innovative perspectives in order to illuminate ways in which women religious in Britain and Ireland created and were formed by material histories for over a thousand years.

Please send 200-word proposals for 20-minute papers to kate.jordan.09 [at] ucl.ac.uk and ayla.lepine [at] gmail.com by no later than 1 February 2013.


CFP: Material Religion

Venue: Durham University, UK

Date: 9 – 11 April 2013

Dr Marion Bowman (Department of Religious Studies, Open University)

Professor David Morgan (Department of Religion, Duke University)

Professor Veronica Strang (Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University)

This conference will focus on the physical, material dimension of religious life and

practice, one of the major themes of religious research over the last decade. Material

forms express and sustain the human search for holiness, transcendence and identity,

and attention to the physical can lead scholars to unique and valuable insights.

Commitment to religious communities is learned and displayed through relationships

to clothing, food, ritual and decoration, in the home, workplace, street or place of

worship. This event will encourage interdisciplinary discussion of the significance of

material culture in contemporary religion, including the images and architecture of

sacred places and the objects and practices of everyday life.

Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Material religion in everyday life

  • The materiality of gender, class, age and ethnicity

  • Sacred objects: statues, icons, relics, holy books, architecture

  • Sacred objects in museums and galleries

  • Religion, landscape and the environment

  • Religion and the arts

  • Marketing and consuming religion

  • Religion and the body: ritual, experience and emotion

  • Health, sickness, disability, death and bereavement

  • The materiality of religious media and technologies

  • Research methods for the study of material religion

We invite proposals for conference papers (300 words), panels (3-4 papers on a

shared theme, 750 words) and posters (200 words). Alternative formats will also be

considered. Abstracts must be submitted by November 19th 2012 to Tim Hutchings

and Joanne McKenzie at materialreligionconference [at] gmail.com. Bursaries are

available for postgraduate and early career researchers.

SOCREL is the British Sociological Association’s study group on Religion. For more

details about the study group and conference please visit www.socrel.org.uk.


CFP: Nationalism, Identity and Belief Symposium

First joint symposium of Society, Religion and Belief and Identity, Culture and Representation Research Centres University of Derby 25 March 2013

Keynote speaker: Daniel Trilling author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right (London: Verso, 2012), assistant editor The New Statesman, columnist for The Guardian.

The complexities and contradictions of globalized modes of identity have caused a reassessment of what constitutes national identity and how it is experienced. In late modernity there is a tendency for nationalism to be characterised as a reactive and reactionary response to the increasing cultural diversity evident in many Western societies. The British National Party and, latterly, the English Defence League typify this tendency. In continental Europe there are comparable groupings but many continental equivalents have demonstrated a greater capacity for organisation and have enjoyed a modicum of success in terms of parliamentary elections at national and European level: in France, the Front National; the Belgian/Flemish Vlaams Balang; the Danish Danske Folkparti; Jobbik in Hungary, The Golden Dawn in Greece and so on. The fortunes of these parties wax and wane but their social and media presence is constant. This symposium is a call to academics and activists to consider the ongoing appeal of nationalism, its cultural role, its strategies, localities and nature. We seek to explore the lure and repulsion of nationalism to its friends and critics and the many and varied cultural contexts through which it is reproduced.

Papers are invited to be considered for presentation in one of two parallel panels:

Panel One: Nationalism, Identity and Conflict Panel Two: Nationalism, Religion and Belief
Typical themes for the panels will include but are not limited to:
The organisation and activities of nationalist groups

The appeal of nationalism

Nationalism in crisis

Banal nationalism

Rethinking national identity

The cultures of nationalism

Nationalist rhetoric and the world faiths

‘The chosen people’ and globalization

Spiritual nationalisms

Subcultures and nationalist discourse

Considering nationalism as a faith

Please submit a 250 word proposal and a bio-note by 19 December, 2012 to Andrew Wilson (a.f.wilson [at] derby.ac.uk); Jason Lee (j.lee [ay] derby.ac.uk); and Frauke Uhlenbruch (f.uhlenbruch [at] derby.ac.uk)

CONFERENCES


Conference theme: Ireland, America and Transnationalism: studying religions in a globalised world

At The Clinton Centre, University College Dublin, 10th-12th May 2013

We are pleased to invite scholars to take part in the second annual conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR). For information on the society, see:

http://isasr.wordpress.com/. The Conference will take place Fri-Sun May 10th -12th , 2013 at the Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin (UCD), and is open to scholars of all disciplines that approach religions, both past and present, from a non-theological, critical, analytical and cross-cultural perspective.

Proposals for papers may relate to the conference theme ‘Ireland, America and Transnationalism’ or any other aspect of the Society’s work in the history, anthropology, folklore and sociology of religion in Ireland or the Irish diaspora, but also the work of Irish-based researchers on topics in the academic study of religions elsewhere in the world.

Although 19th and 20th century discourses often highlighted national, including Irish, religious uniqueness, this has always been at best a half truth. Megalithic architecture and pre-Christian myths are routinely studied in relation to other west European contexts. Christian conversion and medieval texts, early modern wars of religion and nineteenth-century ultramontanism also locate Ireland in a wider religious world. The conference theme encourages the study of religions in a global and comparative context, with particular reference to North America, the home of the largest Irish diaspora outside these islands.

From Ireland’s ‘spiritual empire’ of Catholic institutions to American enthusiasm for all things Celtic to imported Pentecostalisms, the religious exchange between the two has been intense. Adopting a transnational perspective highlights the networks of wider global relationships within which religions both in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora are enacted.

Please send a 150-200 word abstract for papers to Adrienne Hawley ( Adrienne.hawley[at]ucdconnect.ie ) by the closing date of Friday 22^nd February, 2012. Notification of abstract acceptance will be given by Friday March 15th, 2012.

*_

Proposals for themed panels from ISASR members are welcomed and may be made directly to the conference organisers via Adrienne Hawley (email above). The following panels have already been proposed:_* · Folk Religion in Ireland: Meaning and Context*__* · Children’s Subjectivities and the Experience of Religious Educations · Gender and Religion *_ If you wish to submit an abstract for these panels please indicate this in your abstract submission_*

*

Further information on the ISASR Conference 2013 will be posted at:  http://isasr.wordpress.com/ The conference is hosted by ISASR in collaboration with The Clinton Institute, UCD.


Contemporary religion in historical perspective: engaging outside academia

The Open University, Milton Keynes – 15-16 May 2013

What is the relevance of research on historical and contemporary religion for today? How might such research inform current debates on religion, and the practice and self-understanding of religious groups and practitioners? What might historical perspective bring to research on contemporary religion? This conference will address such issues under the broad theme of ‘contemporary religion and historical perspective’. There will be two parallel streams. The first is ‘engaging with the past to inform the present’ and the relevance of religious history for the contemporary context. The second is ‘the public value of research on contemporary religion’; here papers on cross-cultural identities and new religions and popular spiritualities are particularly welcomed.

The backdrop for this conference is the growing acknowledgement that Religious Studies and other disciplines must engage with the wider society. Public ‘engagement’ takes many forms – from extensive projects to ad hoc engagement and involving diverse activities such as media work, lectures, workshops and online engagement. This conference will include practitioner perspectives on different themes, and reflect also on the ways in which academic research on religion might engage with communities of interest and place and private; interact with public and third sector institutions and organisations; and influence public discourse and the social, cultural and environmental well-being of society.

We invite paper and panel proposals for either stream. Papers could include case studies of previous or ongoing outreach, knowledge exchange or public engagement. Topics discussed might include (but are not limited to):

  • integrating ‘religious history’ and contemporary religious practitioners;
  • the relevance of historical research on religion for contemporary debates on religion; and for present-day religious groups, organisations and institutions;
  • intersections between research on contemporary religion and present-day contemporary understanding and practice of religion;
  • the idea of ‘applied’ or ‘public’ Religious Studies;
  • methodological, theoretical and ethical issues relating to Religious Studies and knowledge exchange;
  • relationships between academic and practitioner, or academic institution(s) and non-academic ‘partner’ and their implications and challenges.

Confirmed speakers include Ronald Hutton (Bristol), Steven Sutcliffe (Edinburgh), David Voas (Essex) and John Wolffe (Open University).

The conference is organised by the Open University’s Religious Studies Department.

Cost: £20 per day + £20 for conference dinner on the evening of 15 May. Lunch and refreshments (except conference dinner) are included in the day cost; but we ask attendees to book/fund their own accommodation (advice on local hotels and B&Bs available on request).

Please send proposals to Dr John Maiden (j.maiden [at] open.ac.uk) by 25 January 2013. To book, please contact Taj Bilkhu (t.bilkhu [at] open.ac.uk) by 23 March 2013.


AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme, University of Kent and Theos present

‘Big Society or Global Village? Religious NGOs, Civil Society and the United Nations’,

Wednesday 28th November, 6.30-8.30pm

Convocation Hall, Church House, Dean’s Yard, London, SW1P 3NZ.

Do religions in a world of globalization have to work with international institutions? What has religion got to do with the UN? How are religious NGOs shaping UN policies? Which religions and which issues? Can national civil society ignore the global realities of UN diplomacy?

Professor Jeremy Carrette (Religious Studies), Professor Hugh Miall (Politics and International Relations) and Dr Sophie Trigeaud (Religious Studies), all of the University of Kent, UK, will present findings of a three-year study on religious NGOs and the United Nations and discuss the role of religion in global civil society.

Chair:

Professor Jeff Haynes, London Metropolitan University

Respondents:

Elizabeth Oldfield , Director of Theos Think Tank

Carrie Pemberton Ford, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking

PROJECTS


The Critical Religion Research Group at the University of Stirling has initiated a new project: an international scholarly association using the name Critical Religion Association.  This is the first email from the new CRA.

We are publishing two blogs today – the first is an explanation in more detail of what this means and what we are intending, the second is an exploration of the breadth of the Critical Religion project by Timothy Fitzgerald.  Do read:

The new Critical Religion Association site:

http://criticalreligion.org/2012/11/09/the-new-critical-religion-association-site/

The breadth of Critical Religion:

http://criticalreligion.org/2012/11/09/the-breadth-of-critical-religion/

In particular, we draw your attention to the possibility for greater involvement from scholars not necessarily based at the University of Stirling (as outlined in the first blog posting above).

We are also expanding our social media coverage – if you are on Facebook, you can now ‘like’ us there, and receive updates and engage there.  We continue to use Twitter, and further forms of engagement will come.


JOBS


Lehigh University – Visiting Assistant Professor, Contemporary

Japanese Literature and Culture

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45834

Brooklyn College – Assistant Professor/Judaism in Late Antiquity and

Rabbinics

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45855

Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages – Post-Doctoral

Fellowship in Buddhist Studies

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45887


The University of Oxford’s Department of Education supports anthropologically focused Master’s and Doctoral research on religion and education:

http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/courses/pgce/subjects/religious-education/

Procedures and information:

http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/courses/d-phil/admission-procedure-for-dphil/

http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/courses/admission-procedure-msc/

November and January applications are encouraged.

Inquiries may be directed to the Higher Degrees Office:

higherdegreesoffice [at] education.ox.ac.uk


School of Health Sciences and Social Work

University of Portsmouth

PhD/MRes fees only bursaries: £3,500 per annum for 3 years (full time) or £1,600 per annum for 6 years (part time)

MRes fees only bursaries: £5,000 per annum for 1 year (full time) or £2,500 per annum for 2 years(part time)

Starting: February 2013 (PhD) or January 2013 (MRes)

Further details:  http://www.findaphd.com/search/ProgrammeDetails.aspx?PGID=1004


Building on her 2009-10 Religion and Society research into Old Hispanic Chant, Emma Hornby (Bristol University) has been awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant for a project called ‘Shaping text, Shaping melody, Shaping experience in and through the Old Hispanic Office’. Lasting for five years, this project will involve Hornby, her collaborator Professor Rebecca Maloy (University of  Colorado at Boulder), two postdoctoral researchers (in musicology and theology) and two PhD students (one musicologist and one composer).

The project team will explore the potential the Old Hispanic office chants had for promoting a particular religious experience within an almost-forgotten liturgy. The musicologists and theologians will bring the many-layered and cross-referential Old Hispanic approach to text choice, musical punctuation and melodic pacing explicitly to the attention of modern composers, encouraging them to explore compositional processes that evoke similar spiritual responses. The composers will act as a communicative channel between the pure scholarship demanded by the Old Hispanic material, and contemporary concert audiences and congregations.

Outputs will include a team-authored book, several peer-reviewed articles, a series of publicly performed compositions, an EU-workshop and an International Festival of new music inspired by the project findings. The Old Hispanic liturgy is one of the musical, intellectual and theological jewels of our European cultural heritage, and this project will give a wide audience a holistic understanding of its richness.

POSITIONS

  1. one postdoctoral research post in theology/liturgical studies (full time, 4 years):

<http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFK858/postdoc-research-assistant/>

  1. one postdoctoral research post in medieval musicology (full time, 4

years):

<http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFK873/postdoc-research-assistant-in-medieval-musicology/>

  1. one fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in medieval musicology:

<http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFJ040/phd-studentship-music-medieval-musicology/>

  1. one fully funded 4-year PhD studentship in music (composition):

<http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFJ039/phd-studentship-music-composition/>

Informal enquiries are welcome, and should be addressed to emma.hornby [at] bris.ac.uk

Read more about Emma Hornby’s original Religion and Society grant here: http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/research_findings/featured_findings/cracking_the_code_of_old_hispanic_chant_brings_it_to_life_for_the_first_time


The publishing house Brill (Leiden) is generously sponsoring an annual research Fellowship at the Warburg Institute’s Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe (CHASE). The Fellowship has been made possible by the “Sheikh Zayed Book Award” which was awarded to Brill Publishers in March 2012 for publishing excellence in Middle East and Islamic Studies.

The Brill Fellowship at CHASE to be held in the academic year 2013-14 will be of two or three months duration and is intended for a postdoctoral researcher. The Fellowship will be awarded for research projects on any aspect of the relations between Europe and the Arab World from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

The closing date for applications is the 30 November 2012. Please visit our website for application details (http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/fellowships/short-term/).

Rudolf Otto

Rudolf Otto was a highly influential figure in the history of Religious Studies, but whether that influence was for good or not is a debatable issue. His ideas about the sui generis nature of the religious experience and of an irreductible numinous or sacred foreshadow the work of scholars such as Eliade, but proved highly divisive for scholars and practitioners alike.

In this interview with Jonathan, Robert Orsi talks us through who Otto was, and why his ideas proved controversial. They then discuss whether scholars should still be paying attention to Otto – do his ideas still matter today?

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us.

Robert Orsi is the first holder of the Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies. Before coming to Northwestern, he taught at Fordham University at Lincoln Center from 1981 to 1988; Indiana University from 1988 to 2001; and Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University from 2001 to 2007, where he was Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (2003-2007). In 2002-2003, he was president of the American Academy of Religion. Professor Orsi studies America religious history and contemporary practice; American Catholicism in both historical and ethnographic perspective; and he is widely recognized also for his work on theory and method for the study of religion.

In 2004 Robert Orsi published Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them which received an Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion and was one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2005. More recently he published The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies.

The Sacred

Religion and the Sacred, the Sacred and religion. Two words that seemingly go together like hand in glove but just how accurate is that? When we talk about religion it’s very hard not to talk about the Sacred but when we talk about the Sacred does this mean we have to talk about religion? What does the Sacred even mean? This introduction began with “Sacred” but it may well be more appropriate to write “sacred”. Whether capitalised or not, the sacred is a predominant topic in many forms of discourse and not all these are necessarily religious in nature.

This week we discuss the sacred and all its connotations with Gordon Lynch. The sacred is not, it seems, just a religion-only category and many aspects of modern secular societies are pervaded with such a notion. But if the sacred isn’t a religion only category where does that leave religion? Should there be departments of Religious Studies at all, or should we be replacing them with Sacred Studies? We discuss the potentially far reaching implications that a shift in focus from Religion to the Sacred can have on academia.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on Secular Sacreds and the Sacred Secular.

Gordon Lynch is the Michael Ramsey Professor of Modern Theology at the University of Kent where he teaches on the sacred in modern Western Society. Professor Lynch has published a number of works including an edited volume with Jolyon Mitchell and has recently published two books on the sacred, The Sacred in the Modern World and On the Sacred. If you’d like to know more about Professor Lynch’s work on the sacred you can find out more information on his blog as well as access some of his own learning resources.

 

image of books

Religious Studies Opportunities Digest – 2 November 2012

We are not responsible for any content contained herein, but have simply copied and pasted from a image of booksvariety of sources. If you have any content for future digests, please contact us via the various options on our ‘contact’ page.

pdf summary document can now be download. This can be printed and circulated to colleagues or put up on a notice board.

In this issue:

  • Journals
  • Courses
  • Call for Papers
  • Conferences
  • Jobs
  • Grants/Prizes

And don’t forget, you can always get involved with the Religious Studies Project by writing one of our features essays or resources pages. Contact the editors for more information.


JOURNALS


Theology and Science, vol 10, issue 4 http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rtas20/10/4

Sociology of Religion, advance notice, http://socrel.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/by/section

Bulletin of Asia Institute, 2012 http://www.bulletinasiainstitute.org/

Bulletin has also announced the publication of Ratanbai Katrak Lectures, Oxford 2009: Mary Boyce and the Study of Zoroastrianism

Ars Orientalis Volume 42, a thematic issue based on Objects, Collections, and Cultures, the second biennial symposium of the Historians of Islamic Art Association, held in October 2010, at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler

URL: www.asia.si.edu/research/articles/

Announcement ID: 198239

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198239


COURSES


Applications are now open for the e-learning course, Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Europe: Modern Challenges

Description: Applications are now being accepted for the e-learning course, Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Europe: Modern Challenges. Following two successful years, the course will commence in late February 2013. More than fifty participants from around the world – Australia and New Zealand, China, Japan,….

Contact: eth22 [AT] cam.ac.uk

URL: www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/courses/jcme.asp

Announcement ID: 198262

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198262


CALLS FOR PAPERS


CFP: Religious Revivals in Southeast Asia: Transnational and Comparative Perspectives

Date: 2012-12-15

Description:  We are inviting abstract submissions (max.200 words) for the panel on Religious Revivals in Southeast Asia: Transnational and Comparative Perspectives, to be held at SEA Symposium 2013 at the University of Oxford, UK. As of now, we have enough submission covering Islam. We are looking for

abstracts …

Contact: ermin.sinanovic.ba [at] usna.edu

URL: projectsoutheastasia.com/academic-events/sea-symposium-2013/panels#panel9

Announcement ID: 198174

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198174


Love and Religion in Pop Culture

Location: Illinois

Date: 2012-12-01

Description: The Journal of Popular Romance Studies calls for essays, interviews, and pedagogical materials for a special forum on love and religion in popular culture, anywhere in the world. The forum is guest-edited by Lynn S. Neal (author of Romancing God: Evangelical Women and Inspirational Fiction).

Contact: managing.editor@jprstudies.org

URL: jprstudies.org/submissions/special-issue-call-for-papers/#religion

Announcement ID: 198287

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198287


CFP: Religion, Civil War and Emancipation

Conference: May 20-22, 2013

Location: Virginia

Date: 2012-12-19

Description: Overview of Conference: The 2013 Annual Conference of the Baptist History & Heritage Society, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness: Religion and the Civil War, Emancipation and      Reconciliation in Our Time, will be May 20-22, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia. The conference will be co-sponsored by the Virginia Bapti …

Contact: brucegourley@baptisthistory.org

URL: www.baptisthistory.org/bhhs/conferences/2013-bhhs-annual-conference.html

Announcement ID: 198315

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198315


CFP: Sacred Lands and Spiritual Landscapes: Cosmography of the Pagan Soul

Keynote Speaker:  Ronald Hutton

We welcome papers that explore the following questions:

In today’s post-modern, urbanized world, where everything is a commodity, how and where do Pagans find their sacred places? How should we protect and maintain these sites? In colonized worlds, how do we avoid the appropriation of these lands? If Goddess is immanent in nature, what makes some places more sacred than others? How is our spirituality shaped by the land and our relationship with the land shaped by our spirituality?

Proposals of up to 1000 words are due by January 1, 2013 and may be uploaded at  http://www.cherryhillseminary.org/blog/announcements/call-for-papers/


CFP – 2nd Announcement

The Departments of Folkloristics and Comparative Religion at the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, together with the Donner Institute, are organizing an international interdisciplinary conference to honour the work of Professor Lauri Honko (1932–2002)

THE ROLE OF THEORY IN FOLKLORISTICS AND COMPARATIVE RELIGION

21–23 August 2013

University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

The language of the conference is English.

Timetable:

Call for papers, deadline 31 March 2013

Registration, deadline 31 May 2013

For more detailed information concerning the conference see the attached documents or visit our website:

http://honkoconference.utu.fi/

Also now on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/416180771776969/


CONFERENCES


INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF BENGAL STUDIES, 2013

Date: 2012-12-31

Description:  3rd INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF BENGAL STUDIES 19th – 22nd November, 2013 University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India

Papers are invited for the 3rd International Congress of Bengal Studies scheduled to be held during 19th 22nd November, 2013.

The 3rd Congress will be hosted by the University of Calcutta,

Contact: icbs2013 [at ] gmail.com

URL: bangabidya.wordpress.com

Announcement ID: 198167

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198167


Religion and Development: An Agenda for the 21st Century

Date: 2013-01-31

Description:  HIRENTHA: Journal of the HumanitiesRedeemer’s University (RUN), Ogun State, Nigeria The twin issues of religion and development have had a long history of engagement in the humanities. From the perspectives of history and international relations, language and literature, and theatre arts, there hav …

Contact: hirentha@yahoo.com

Announcement ID: 198111

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198111


Workshop Participants at Vernacular Architecture Forum Conference

Location: Quebec

Date: 2012-11-15

Description: Call for Workshop Participants VAF 2013 Annual Meeting in Gasp, Quebec, Canada Deadline: November 15, 2012.

The Forum Workshop at the 2013 VAF needs your expertise. The Gasp-Perc region currently faces a number of challenges iN preserving and interpreting its cultural sites.

Contact: Tania.Martin [AT] arc.ulaval.ca

URL: www.vafweb.org/conferences/2013/

Announcement ID: 198238

 http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198238


JOBS


Freie Universitaet Berlin – Postdoctoral Research Associate in

History of European Astroculture

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45713

Kathmandu University – Visiting Lecturer in Buddhist Studies and

Tibetan/Sanskrit

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45697

University of Bristol – Lecturer in East Asian Religions

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45759

University of Southern California – Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching

Fellowship in Japanese Religions

http://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45735

1640 Chair of Divinity

University of Glasgow

Deadline: 18 November 2012

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFJ410/1640-chair-of-divinity/

Teaching Assistant/Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow – Moral Philosophy

University of Glasgow

Deadline: 22 November 2012

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AFJ505/teaching-assistant-postdoctoral-teaching-fellow/

One-year Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship in Japanese Religions for Fall 2013 at the University of Southern California.

H-Net Jobs Guide listing: https://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=45735


GRANTS/PRIZES


STANLEY WEINSTEIN DISSERTATION PRIZE

Date: 2012-12-31

Description: The Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University is pleased to announce the third competition for the Stanley  Weinstein Dissertation Prize, honoring Professor Weinsteins

many contributions to the study of East Asian Buddhism in North America. The prize will be awarded once every two years

Contact: nicholas.disantis@yale.edu

Announcement ID: 198253

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=198253


The AHRC and the United States’s National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) have launched a joint funding initiative that focuses on collaborative projects that use humanities disciplines to further develop understanding about health, well-being, disability, medical science, technology and/or other aspects of the health sciences.

Applications should address areas relevant to the AHRC’s Science in Culture theme.  Projects must also involve academics in both the UK and the United States.  Awards are for between 1 to 3 years, with funding ranging from $25,000 (£15,000) and $100,000 (£62,000) per annum.  Applications are submitted to the NEH’s Collaborative Research Programme.

Information about the scheme can be found on the AHRC’s website, with specific call guidelines available on the NEH’s website (see p.4 of their guidelines.)

Closing Date: 6 December 2012.


STANLEY WEINSTEIN DISSERTATION PRIZE

Prize Date:    2012-12-31

Date Submitted:     2012-10-25

Announcement ID:     198253

The Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University is pleased to announce the third competition for the Stanley Weinstein Dissertation Prize, honoring Professor Weinstein’s many contributions to the study of East Asian Buddhism in North America. The prize will be awarded once every two years to the best Ph.D. dissertation on East Asian Buddhism written in North America during the two previous years. The dissertation must be based on original research in the primary languages and should significantly advance our understanding of East Asian Buddhism. East Asian Buddhism is understood for this competition to refer to those traditions in East Asia that take Chinese translations of the Buddhist scriptures as their basis (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese). Studies of East Asian Buddhist communities in the West are not eligible for consideration.

The recipient of the award will be invited to give a public lecture at Yale under the auspices of the Council of East Asian Studies. There is an honorarium of $1,000.

Ph.D. programs in Buddhist Studies/Religious Studies in North America are invited to nominate one dissertation that was completed during the academic years 2010-11 and 2011-12.*

The deadline for this nomination is December 31, 2012. The nomination must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation, readers reports for the thesis, and one representative chapter of the thesis. All materials should be sent to Stanley Weinstein Dissertation Prize, Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University, P.O. Box 208206, 34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520-8206.

A three-person committee will select three theses to be read in their entirety by all committee members. The authors of these three theses will be requested to submit the entire theses in PDF format for this final stage of the selection. The result of the competition will be announced by the beginning of the next academic year.

  • Nominations by the authors themselves will not be accepted.

For more information, please contact koichi.shinohara [AT] yale.edu

Wouter Hanegraaff on Western Esotericism

In this interview, recorded at the EASR Annual Conference at Södertörn University, Professor Wouter Hanegraaff tells us about what he dubs “the biggest blank spaces of neglected territories in the study of religion”, namely Western esotericism. He tells how he first came over the German Folklorist Will-Erich Peuckert’s book Pansophie (1936) and discovered a group of renaissance thinkers he had never heard of, but whose work evidently had influenced western culture in a profound way. It soon came to show that scholars in the academy wasn’t eager to go into it or take it seriously. Hanegraaf gives us insight to how this developed from being neglected sources of Western thought to an established field of study. He also goes into the question of definition; challenges and approaches within the study of Western esotericism; how the study of Western esotericism relates to the study of religion as a whole; the (non-)universality of esotericism; and additionally his blog Creative Reading and the accessibility of academic knowledge.

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. And apologies for the background noise at the end of the interview. Wouter Hanegraaff is a professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam. He has written extensively on many topics among them New Age, Gnosticism, Magic and last but not at least Western Esotericisim. He is currently president of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE and member on the editorial board of Aries(Brill), Numen (Brill), Religion Compass and Esoterica. His latest book Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2012) was subject for a panel-discussion at the EASR Annual Conference. Those with a new-founded interest in the subject can also keep an eye out for his forthcoming book Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed (Bloomsbury, 2013). Full CV and list of publications on Prf. Wouter Hanegraaff’s webpage. Additionally, the article by Egil Asprem mentioned during the interview can be bought or accessed here.

This is also the first interview conducted by our new sub-editor, Knut Melvær. Knut is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen (Norway). He is currently researching ‘spirituality’ as a folk-category and cultural domain in Norway 1930–2010. His background and particular interests are in theories of religion, new religious movements, Ainu- and Japanese religion as well as methodologies in religious studies. He is a review-editor of Aura, and currently co-editing a special issue of DIN on the topic of ‘Gods’ (December 2012). Knut has a personal website and also an infrequently updated academia.edu profile.

Non-religion

The two concepts of non-religion and secularity are intended to summarise all positions which are necessarily defined in reference to religion but which are considered to be other than religious. […This encapsulates] a range of perspectives and experiences, including the atheistic, agnostic, religiously indifferent or areligious, as well as some forms or aspects of secularism,  humanism and, indeed, religion itself. (Lee 2009)

It is fast becoming a tradition in ‘nonreligion’ research to acknowledge that Colin Campbell’s seminal call in Toward a Sociology of Irreligion (1971) for a widespread sociological analysis’ of ‘nonreligion’ had until very recently been ignored (Bullivant and Lee 2012). Although there has been a steady stream of output on secularisation, and more recently on atheism, these publications rarely dealt with ‘nonreligion’ as it is ‘actually lived, expressed, or experienced […]in the here and now’ (Zuckerman 2010, viii). One scholar who has been leading the way in theorising and empirically populating this emerging field is Lois Lee, the founding director of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network, who joins Chris and Ethan in this podcast, recorded in May 2012 in Edinburgh.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us.

Dr Lois Lee is Associate Lecturer in Religious Studies and Sociology at the University of Kent. Her work deals with theories of thought and action in differentiated and highly mediated societies, and her empirical research has focused on British nonreligious and secularist cultures. She is recently completed her doctoral thesis at the University of Cambridge and is currently developing the thesis into a monograph, provisionally titled, Separating Sociologies: Religion, Nonreligion and Secularity in Society and Social Research. She was guest co-editor of a special issue of Journal of Contemporary Religion, entitled  ’Nonreligion and Secularity: New Empirical Perspectives’, with Stephen Bullivant (January 2012). She has publications in (or forthcoming in) the Annual Review of Sociology of Religion, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Studies in Ethnicity & Nationalism and Critique and Humanism, and will contribute to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Atheism (2013). Lois is founding director of the NSRN, the co-editor of its website, co-editor of the journal Secularism and Nonreligion (NSRN and ISSSC), and features editor for the LSE-based journal, Studies in Ethnicity & Nationalism (Wiley-Blackwell). She lectures and teaches the study of religion (and nonreligion), sociology of religion, social theory of modernity, introduction to sociology, and qualitative social research methods.

Lee’s basic definition of ‘nonreligion’ is ‘anything which is primarily defined by a relationship of difference to religion’ (Lee 2012, 131), yet related to this relatively simple definition are a host of conceptual, methodological and terminological issues. At an individual level, when they are given discrete options, many otherwise ‘non-religious’ individuals will inevitably self-categorise themselves using ‘religious’ labels (for a variety of different reasons, see Day 2011; Edgell, Gerteis, and Hartmann 2006). However, the labels that individuals utilise are rarely as important as the contexts in which they use them, their motivations for doing so, and the meanings attached to them. When permitted to select multiple (non-)religious identity terms, many welcome the opportunity to articulate multiple identities. Different identities may be enacted in different contexts (Cotter 2011b), and a superficial non-religiosity can mask beliefs and practices sometimes termed ‘spiritual’ by the individual in question. To complicate matters further, people are apt to utilise (non-)religious terminology in situations where their sacred values are (un)consciously called into question, yet for much of the time these sacred values and the associated terminology ‘lie dormant and, as such, invisible’ (Knott 2013).

Institutionally, there are many organisations which can be explicitly labelled as ‘non-religious’, each exhibiting a collection of distinct-yet-interrelated attitudes and emphases (see Pasquale 2010, 66–69; Cimino and Smith 2007, 420–422; Budd 1977, 266), and in which much of what actually happens on the ground is arguably mundane and/or secular. However, the non-religious tend not to join specifically non-religious groups (Bullivant 2008, 364), and it is therefore unclear how representative these groups are likely to be. Other public institutions – such as a museum, a hospital chaplaincy, or a ‘religious’ NGO –  can be similarly ambiguous. ‘Religious’ institutions are utilised by non-religious people for a variety of reasons (Day 2011), and if we attend to the materiality and embodiment of public and private social interactions it becomes clear that a sound, a smell, or the mere presence of another person, can change the sacred, profane or mundane nature of (non-)religious and secular experiences.

The ambiguities described in the previous paragraphs suggest that scholars attempting to engage with non-religion face particular terminological and methodological challenges. Terminologically, it is self-evident that the categories of ‘religion’ and ‘non-religion’ are ‘semantically parasitic categories’ (Fitzgerald 2007, 54). This relationship has led to a situation where the prevalent terminology used to refer to the non-religious in the social science of religion has often been ambiguous, imprecise, and even biased and derogatory (Cragun and Hammer 2011; Cotter 2011b; Pasquale 2007; Lee 2012). Methodologically, there is the attendant risk of constructing non-religion simply through the act of study. By asking questions specifically relating to (non-)religion, studies can exclude the possibility of (non-)religious indifference, whilst religion concurrently ‘serves as a “language” in which many people who may no longer be associated with any religious organisations still choose to express their strongest fears, sorrows, aspirations, joys and wishes’ (Beckford 1999, 25). The researcher must therefore be aware both of the limitations of the narrative interview, and of the different meanings attached to terms in different discourses (Stringer 2013). All of these issues and more are complicated by problems of locating potential research data for all but the most explicit forms of non-religion and by emergent problems in the assessment of religion-equivalent non-religious practices, and, indeed, the appropriateness of doing so (Cotter 2011a; Cotter, Aechtner, and Quack 2012). This interview with Lois Lee addresses these issues and more, and provides a valuable reflexive discussion on what ‘nonreligion’ is, and why we might be interested in studying it from a Religious Studies perspective.

The following quotation from Frank Pasquale serves as a suitable point of conclusion:

The closer people’s worldviews are probed – even among self-described secular or nonreligious individuals – the more difficult it is to neatly place many into the major categories that frame Western discourse on “theism” and “atheism” or “religion” or “irreligion” (2010, 63)

As we are all aware, study of ‘religion’ (and by definition, ‘nonreligion’) generally occurs within a Western, Christianised context which tends to assume a position of normative religiosity, and reify an academically constructed dichotomy between ‘religion’ and ‘nonreligion’. Whilst this interview (and many ongoing studies) focuses on one side of the ‘religion’-’nonreligion’ dichotomy, ultimately it can be seen as an attempt to ‘argue for the currently unfashionable side of [a] polar opposition, […] to unsettle the assumption that any polarity can properly describe a complex reality’ (Silverman 2007, 144).

Listener’s may also be interested in our previous interview with Callum Brown on Historical Approaches to Losing Religion, and with Linda Woodhead on the Secularisation Thesis.

References:

  • Beckford, James A. 1999. “The Politics of Defining Religion in Secular Society: From a Taken for Granted Institution to a Contested Resource.” In The Pragmatics of Defining Religion: Contexts, Concepts and Contests, ed. Jan G. Platvoet and Arie L. Molendijk, 23–40. Leiden: Brill.
  • Budd, Susan. 1977. Varieties of Unbelief: Atheists and Agnostics in English Society 1850-1960. London: Heinemann.
  • Bullivant, Stephen. 2008. “Research Note: Sociology and the Study of Atheism.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 23 (3): 363–368.
  • Bullivant, Stephen, and Lois Lee. 2012. “Interdisciplinary Studies of Non-religion and Secularity: The State of the Union.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 27 (1).
  • Campbell, Colin. 1971. Toward a Sociology of Irreligion. London: Macmillan.
  • Cimino, Richard, and Christopher Smith. 2007. “Secular Humanism and Atheism Beyond Progressive Secularism.” Sociology of Religion 68 (4): 407–424.
  • Cotter, Christopher R. 2011a. Qualitative Methods Workshop (NSRN Methods for Nonreligion and Secularity Series). NSRN  Events Report Series [online]. NSRN. http://www.nsrn.net/events/events-reports.
  • ———. 2011b. “Toward a Typology of ‘Nonreligion’: A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Narratives of Scottish University Students”. Unpublished MSc by Research Dissertation, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.
  • Cotter, Christopher R., Rebecca Aechtner, and Johannes Quack. 2012. Non-Religiosity, Identity, and Ritual Panel Session. Hungarian Culture Foundation, Budapest, Hungary: NSRN. http://nsrn.net/1523-2/.
  • Cragun, R., and J.H. Hammer. 2011. “‘One Person’s Apostate Is Another Person’s Convert’: What Terminology Tells Us About Pro-religious Hegemony in the Sociology of Religion.” Humanity and Society 35: 159–175.
  • Day, Abby. 2011. Believing in Belonging: Belief and Social Identity in the Modern World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Edgell, Penny, Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann. 2006. “Atheists as ‘Other’: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society.” American Sociological Review 71 (2) (April): 211–234.
  • Fitzgerald, Timothy. 2007. Discourse on Civility and Barbarity: A Critical History of Religion and Related Categories. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Knott, Kim. 2013. “The Secular Sacred: In-between or Both/and?” In Social Identities Between the Sacred and the Secular, ed. Abby Day, Giselle Vincett, and Christopher R. Cotter. Surrey: Ashgate.
  • Lee, Lois. 2009. “NSRN Website – About”. Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network. http://www.nsrn.co.uk/About.html. (Accessed March 2011)
  • ———. 2012. “Research Note: Talking About a Revolution: Terminology for the New Field of Non-religion Studies.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 27 (1).
  • Pasquale, Frank L. 2007. “Unbelief and Irreligion, Empirical Study and Neglect Of.” In The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, ed. Tom Flynn, 760–766. Amherst, NY: Prometheus.
  • ———. 2010. “A Portrait of Secular Group Affiliates.” In Atheism and Secularity – Volume 1: Issues, Concepts and Definitions, ed. Phil Zuckerman, 43–87. Santa Barbara: Praeger.
  • Silverman, David. 2007. A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Qualitative Research. Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE.
  • Stringer, Martin D. 2013. “The Sounds of Silence: Searching for the Religious in Everyday Discourse.” In Social Identities Between the Sacred and the Secular, ed. Abby Day, Giselle Vincett, and Christopher R. Cotter. Surrey: Ashgate.
  • Zuckerman, Phil. 2010. “Introduction.” In Atheism and Secularity – Volume 1: Issues, Concepts and Definitions, ed. Phil Zuckerman, vii–xii. Santa Barbara: Praeger.

Editors’ Picks 2: The Phenomenology of Religion

The second of our Editors’ Picks “repodcasts”, and this time Jonathan has chosen our interview with James Cox on the Phenomenology of Religion. It was, incidentally, also our very first podcast, originally broadcast on the 14th of January, 2012. Jonathan also wrote the response to this interview, entitled “What is Phenomenology?“.

Phenomenology is an important methodology in the study of religions, but can be inaccessible to the student. In this interview, James Cox outlines the phenomenology of religion to David in a clear, concise way, avoiding jargon and placing the methodology in the broader context of the history of European philosophy and comparative religion.

You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes.

A transcription of this interview is also available as a PDF, and has been pasted on the page where the podcast was originally posted, along with some further information. All transcriptions are currently produced by volunteers. If you spot any errors in this transcription, please let us know at editors@religiousstudiesproject.com. If you would be willing to help with these efforts, or know of any sources of funding for the broader transcription project, please get in touch. Thanks for reading.