Reflexivity

Podcast

Decolonizing Religious Studies and Its Layers of Complicity

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.
Response

A Tacit Case for Autoethnography as a Crucial Research Method for Befuddling Times

"The aims of autoethnography—careful, creative, and responsible deployment of personal narrative as an illuminating force in the study of the cultural and the political—align with those of Onishi’s Straight White American Jesus in his attempt to avoid “reduction and demonization [of evangelicals]” while maintaining “the courage and the audacity to point as critical and unflinching of an eye on what’s happening.”"
Response

Making Space for the Better Book

There is the perception that critical scholarship will not get a fair hearing, and there is a perception that theological or confessional scholarship is incapable of being fair. A number of years ago I attended a keynote lecture during a national religious studies conference at which an esteemed professor declared in exasperated tones; “What Have They Done To My Buddhism?!” The tension in the room, rising during his overtly confessional presentation, reached a silent crescendo at this exclamation. Even I, as a (very) junior scholar of religion, ...
Response

How Meanings are Made and Taken Apart: Reflections on Discursive Analysis

We must be aware of how our participation in certain discussions may shape the world around us. In an interview with the Religious Studies Project, professor Kocku von Stuckrad outlines interesting possibilities for discursive analysis. He describes an approach that “goes beyond terms” and also beyond examining political power structures. The interview brought up many important, broad themes that are discussed in the study of religion. .
Response

In Praise of Polyvocality

Perhaps my greatest argument against ‘non-religion’ has been based on the notion that it stands as a relational umbrella... A few weeks back, I found myself engaged in a one-sided debate with a colleague friend over the use of the term ‘non-religion.’ As it was at the end of a two-day conference, it was one of those casual conversations wherein certain sophisticated aspects of the preceding academic discourse spill over into the informality of a chat over drinks.
Podcast

Narrative and Reflexivity in the Study of Religion: A Roundtable Discussion (Video and Audio!)

The idea for this roundtable was that it would follow on directly from this week's interview on religion and literature, but expand the discussion to cover a variety of points relating to narrative, autobiography and (auto)ethnography in the study of religion. Featuring Dr Wendy Dossett, Prof. Elaine Graham, Dr Dawn Llewellyn, Ethan Quillen, and Dr Alana Vincent.
Podcast

Religion and Literature

How can studying literature help us to study religion? And what the question even mean? In this interview, Alana Vincent, Lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University of Chester, sets out some of the interesting intersections of these two fields.
Response

What is the Study of Religion/s? Self-Presentations of the Discipline on University Web Pages

What is the study of religion\s and how is the nature of the discipline communicated to the public? This article provides a content analysis of the self-presentation of the study of religion\s on the internet by providing a content analysis of a sample of 101 university webpages (departments and programs) from 70 universities from 15 countries. In general, the meta-analysis of the state of the discipline according to its public self-presentation on the university web pages point to a rather limited degree of intellectual coherence. Reflexive statements, i.e. statements that self-critically address the parameters of the study of religion\s on a meta-level, are almost absent in our sample. In light of this analysis, this article suggests some "best practices" for online presentations of the study of religion\s.
Response

It’s the Fruits, not the Roots: A Response to Ralph Hood

"Hood’s approach has no flaws from the standpoint of an observing scientist; but, on the personal level, one may have trouble distinguishing between the cause and the consequence." When I began outlining my response to this interview—which is an intriguing psychological look at mystical experience through the filter of one of the most insightful minds dealing ...