Power

Curanderismo Roundtable

Podcast
What is curanderismo and where is it practiced? How does it connect to the borderlands? Is it a "folk" religion, and what exactly does that mean? Tune in with Andie Alexander, Israel L. Domínguez, Brett Hendrickson, and Jennifer Koshatka Seman for the RSP's first episode on curanderismo!

Semana Santa, Diversifying the Seder, Prayer in High School Football, and… Derry Girls? | Discourse! April 2022

Podcast
In this month’s discourse, Sidney Castillo is joined by Chris Cotter and Sierra Lawson to discuss the contemporary localized manifestations of Easter and Passover celebrations, a current US Supreme Court Case relating to the First Amendment, and the entanglement of Catholicism and national identity in television’s “Derry Girls”.

The Insider/Outsider Problem: An RSP Remix

Podcast
Visit our archives to explore the insider/outsider problem in the study of religion. We explore questions such as "What is an 'insider' or 'outsider'?" and "How do scholars of religion study and engage 'insiders'?" to begin unpacking what all is at stake in this process of group formation.

How Do Words Work?

Response
Following the social media discussions started by our interview with Craig Martin and response from Kevin Schilbrack, Donovan O. Schaefer furthers the conversation by asking us to explore the complexity and materiality of discourse analysis.

Discourse Analysis & Ideology Critique in the Study of Religion

Podcast
In this episode, Dr. Craig Martin joins Savannah Finver to discuss his forthcoming book, Discourse and Ideology: A Critique of the Study of Culture. Dr. Martin shares with us his motivations for writing this book, describes his primary methodologies and the key concepts he introduces in the text, and explains some of his thoughts on the utility of religion as a category of analysis in religious studies scholarship.

The Cycle of Conspiracy Theories

Response
In his response to our interview with Carmen Celestini, Raymond Radford builds on Celestini's discussion of conspiracy theories as "history repeated" in his analysis of social responses to pandemics "then and now."

#ClassificationMatters | Discourse! September 2021 (with video)

Podcast
Kicking off our first episode of Discourse!, RSP co-founder David Robertson, Ting Guo, and Jacob Barrett discuss the effects of classification in vaccination resistance, the Texas abortion ban, and the equation of the hijab with oppression. It's an exciting episode—be sure to tune in!

Power and Diversity in 4th Century Martyr Shrines

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

Scripturalization and the Performance of the Scriptural

Response
Why is the mimetically scriptural presumed to be good, asks Vincent Wimbush in this response to our interview with Richard Newton on "Roots as Scripture and Scriptures as Roots."

Locked In, Locked Down, and Vaccinated? On Agency and Autonomy | Discourse! November 2020

Podcast
This month's Discourse! - with Chris Cotter, Ray Kim, and Theo Wildcroft - kicks off with a festive twist on our now-traditional focus upon Covid-19 to discuss recent relaxations in restrictions in the UK, halal vaccinations, and much more.

Politics, Religion, Decolonisation

Response
How will excluded, "interested" voices return to the academy through decolonization? Find out in this response to our interview with Natalie Avalos by Eleanor Tiplady Higgs.

Decolonizing Religious Studies and Its Layers of Complicity

Podcast
What layers of complicity in colonialism are still embedded in the field of religious studies? How can we learn from decades of decolonial work in Native American and Indigenous Studies? Dr. Natalie Avalos speaks with RSP co-host David McConeghy about the urgency of decolonial scholarship to start the RSP's 10th season.

Editors’ Picks, Summer 2018: The Intersections of Religion and Feminism

Response
In the second of our summer "Editors' Picks", Sammy Bishop flags up an important interview in which Dawn Llewellyn provides a great introduction to how feminism, religion, and the academic study of both, might (or indeed, might not) interact. Llewellyn also does an excellent job of flagging up how future work in these fields could become more productively interdisciplinary.

Stereotyping Religion: Critical Approaches to Pervasive Cliches

Podcast
"Religions are belief systems", "Religions are intrinsically violent", "Religion is Bullshit"... these are just some of the pervasive cliches that we might hear from time to time in the English-speaking world about our central topic of discussion on the RSP, 'religion'.

New Horizons in the Sociology of Religion: Beyond Secularization?

Podcast
In this longer-than-usual episode, Chris and David provide an interlinking narrative between Grace Davie, Joe Webster, Carole Cusack, Jonathan Jong, Paul-Francois Tremlett, Linda Woodhead and Kim Knott, reflecting on current or future developments in the sociology of religion which challenge the ubiquity of the secularization thesis, ...

Religion and Feminism

Podcast
'Religion' and 'Feminism' are two concepts that have a complex relationship in the popular imaginary. But what do academics mean by these two concepts? And how can we study their interrelationship? What can we say about 'religion and feminism', about the academic study of 'religion and feminism', ...

Embodied religious practices, child psychology and cognitive neuroscience

Podcast
Bahler discusses the notion of ritual as a locus of power in terms of structure and agency. His recent book, Childlike Peace in Levinas and Merleau-Ponty. Intersubjectivity as a Dialectical Spiral (Lexington Books, forthcoming) focuses on neuroscience to grasp the topic power relations at the confluence of religion and other social influences on one’s trajectories.

UFOs, Conspiracy Theories… and Religion?

Podcast
Area 51, Ancient Aliens, endemic child abuse at the BBC, and Reptilians,... This interview begins with David's own journey to this research field, before considering some basic questions such as "what is a conspiracy theory?"

Lived Religion: Part 2

Podcast
In Part 2 of this week's interview, Meredith McGuire continues to speak to Martin about the multiple issues of power, normativity and embodiment of religious life that can be observed through her concept of Lived Religion. Meredith McGuire shows how Lived Religion, a concept she has coined,...

Lived Religion: Part 1

Podcast
Dr. Meredith McGuire talks about the multiple issues of power, normativity and embodiment of religious life that can be observed through her concept of Lived Religion. Part 2 on Wednesday! Meredith McGuire shows how Lived Religion, a concept she has coined, is at the core of this distinction and offers a way of understanding religious experiences as creative,

“The Last Word…?” A Response to Bruce Lincoln’s interview on “The Critical Study of Religion”

Response
Can one really engage in a “serious conversation” in which one always has “the last word”? Or is that perhaps a “misrecognized monologue,” to use Lincoln’s terms? And what are the potential political implications of the assertion that scholars “have the last word”?

Concepts and Symbols, What Does It All Mean? Examining Immigrant Buddhists in Toronto

Response
"Concerning this worry surrounding the “dilution” of Buddhism that Barua identifies amongst the Buddhist immigrants in Toronto, some important questions arise for scholars of religion as a whole. Throughout the interview terms like “religion”, “faith”, “theology” are thrown about, ironically often in close proximity to discussions on how Buddhism is tied into not just the immigrants religious lives but also and perhaps most importantly their culture."

Ayahuasca as a Gateway Drug (Toward a Less Stigmatized Academic Discussion of Drugs and Religion)

Response
"The assertion that an experience which takes place while under the influence of a drug should not be construed as having religious import implicitly makes a value-judgment about what true or valid religion can consist of, whereas an examination of how hermeneutic and discursive resources are drawn upon to develop a personal or communal account in which drugs and the experiences they elicit are ‘deemed religious’ (Taves 2009) is likely to provide significantly more analytical purchase."

So What Is Religion Anyway? Power, Belief, the Vestigial State

Response
Prof. Goldenberg’s interview raises as many questions as it answers, in a good way. It seems to square the circle. She puts the topic of “religion” into context by making it disappear — or, to put it less cryptically, she insists that the codes by which we understand religion to be defined, and perhaps “made official”, are in fact no different from any other codes of law.

Marx, Spiritualism and Power

Response
I begin this response to Titus Hjelm’s discussion of the continuing relevance of Marxist approaches to the study of religion by noting his assertion that Marx is underemployed as a source of ideas, partly because he has generally been regarded as critical of religion. A number of additional reasons are also relevant. One difficulty for Marxist scholars has been the extent to which the predictive power of Marxist models was brought into question as the twentieth century unfolded.