Podcasts

Embodied religious practices, child psychology and cognitive neuroscience

embodimentIn this interview, Brock Bahler, visiting assistant professor in Religious studies at the University of Pittsburgh, talks about his research on cognitive neuroscience, child psychology and embodied religious practices. Through the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Descartes, and Levinas on the relationship between the mind and the body, 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. As such, Bahler examines, with a “phenomenological twist”, what rituals do in terms of education, psychology, and subjectivity.

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BDSM as Religious Practice

RqdefaultIn this interview Alison Robertson gives an insight to her doctoral research on BDSM (Bondage, Dominance, and Submission) as religious practice. Throughout her research, Robertson has examined the relationship between BDSM and religiosity, drawing interesting questions on the nature of religion as a category, the role of self-inflicted/positive pain in religious practice.

IMG_20160418_154835This interview considers the methods of approaching a study of BDSM, the dreaded ethical clearance, and interview participants’ responses to the categorization of their experience as ‘religious’. Robertson’s research poses important questions for the wider academy, including what other ‘extreme’ practices could be deemed religious, and the difficulty in identifying differences between ‘religious’ and ‘spiritual’ experiences.

You can download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us. And remember, you can use our Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com, or Amazon.ca links to support us at no additional cost when buying academic texts, whips, handcuffs and more.