Secularism

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!

Obeah and Experiments with Power

Podcast
What happens when we reframing spiritual practices as an "experiment with power"? This week, J. Brent Crosson joins Ray Kim to discuss how we can challenge conventional understandings of religion and law in modern nation-states. Be sure to tune in!

Does Critical Islam Make the Familiar Strange?

Response
In this response to our episode with Khurram Hussain, Matt Sheedy situates Hussain's work and outlines the usefulness of Hussain’s ‘critical humanist approach’. Sheedy then furthers the conversation by posing some questions about the implications of this approach and how it might translate to other disciplines.

Religious Symbols, Secularism, and Culture Wars

Podcast
In this episode, Matt Sheedy joins RSP co-editor Andie Alexander to discuss his recent book Owning the Secular: Religious Symbols, Culture Wars, Western Fragility and unpack common assumptions about secularism and religion in the public sphere.

The New Satanic Panic and the Return of Blasphemy | Discourse! April 2021

Podcast
Join this month's host Dan Gorman and guests Maxinne Connolly-Panagopoulos and Sidney Castillo to find out what connects Lil' Nas X, Alabama's yoga ban and Polish black metal. As politics moves rightwards across Europe and the US, are we entering a period of pushback from conservative religious institutions against minority religions and secularism?

Race, Religious Freedom & Empire in Post-War Japan

Podcast
Jolyon Thomas talks American Empire, Racialization, and Religion in Post-War Japan with Brett Esaki at the 2019 AAR Conference in San Diego, CA.

Empty Signs in an Automatic Signalling System

Podcast
In this week's episode, Timothy Fitzgerald speaks with David G. Robertson about why the history of the category “religion” should make us reconsider many other modern categories like politics, liberal, secular. Can these interrelated terms ever escape their origins in centuries of colonial epistemé?

Narrating Secularism in the Continental Philosophy of Religion: Onishi and the Enduring Consequences of the Secularization Thesis

Response
If one identifies the secularization thesis as the status quo against which contemporary scholars of religion are to rebel, then even the most critical and generative analysis will leave secularism in a default position of hostility against religion.

The Sacrality of the Secular and Philosophy of Religion

Podcast
In this week's podcast, we speak with Bradley Onishi about the ways in which philosophy of religion has thought "with" religion rather than for or against religion. "It's possible," he says, "to hold an enchanted secularity" if we think about religions themselves as tools for questioning our basic assumptions about the world.

Atheism, New Religious Movements, and Cultural Tension

Podcast
Extensive research has been conducted in exploration of the American religious landscape; however, only recently has social science research started to explore nonbelief in any detail. Research on nonbelief has been limited as most research focuses on the popularity of the religious “nones” or the complexities of alternative faith expressions such as spirituality. Through two studies, one qualitative and one quantitative, Dr. Christopher F. Silver's research explored how nonbelievers’ self-identify.

The Study of Religion and National Identity in Estonia

Podcast
Chris and Atko Remmel discuss Estonia, a context in which notions and debates on religion, atheism, and indifference are interrelated in complex ways with the history of nationalism, and two foreign religious-secular regimes: German Lutheran and Soviet Atheism.

Editors’ Picks, Summer 2018: The Co-Dependency of Religion and the Secular

Response
In our fifth editors' pick, Marek Sullivan writes "Few questions are as meta-reflexive as the question ‘Is secularism a world religion?’ It’s now established that secularism and religion are co-constitutive terms: the history of the category ‘religion' is inseparable from the history of secularisation.

Spirituality

Podcast
To discuss 'spirituality', we are joined by Boaz Huss and Steven Sutcliffe. We discuss the genealogy of 'spirituality', and its contemporary significance, with particular reference to the New Age movement. The second half focuses on how spirituality may trouble the religion / secular distinction, and its implications for the critical study of religion.

Worldviews and Ways of Life

Podcast
Ann Taves joins us to discuss her work arguing that we should study religions under the broader rubric of "worldviews" and "ways of life". This ambitious interdisciplinary project aims to place a micro-level analysis of individual worldviews into a broader evolutionary perspective.

No, Secularism is not a World Religion

Response
Once we acknowledge that the invention of religion as a universal category and its subsequent critique by the forces of secularism took place under a certain Western provenance, why would we continue expanding the scope and reach of the world religion paradigm?

How to solve a problem like World Religions? An interdisciplinary approach.

Response
Challenging this simplistic conception of religion and its consequences lies at the core of the Critical Religion movement. Schaefer's interview is an invitation to explore how we can do that most effectively. How do we translate critical insights that have significant real world implications into ideas that can easily be transmitted to students and the wider public?

Is Secularism a World Religion?

Podcast
Discussion starts with the entanglement of the concepts 'religion' and 'secularism', a brief discussion of the problems associated with the World Religions Paradigm, and then moves to the pedagogical merits and challenges of teaching 'secularism/s' within a World Religions model. We hope you enjoy this experiment!

Evangelicalism and Civic Space

Podcast
In this podcast, Anna Strhan talks to Katie Aston about her research among evangelical Christians, exploring their search for coherence in the contemporary city. How do the members of conservative Anglican congregations negotiate their place in a secular multicultural society, ...

Permutations of Secularism

Podcast
In this interview, we first focus on the origins of the term “secularism,” the proliferation of its meanings, and the uses to which it is put in Anglo-American contexts. Then we discuss the uses of the terms secularism and the secular today, particularly using a specific case study from Joe’s research on American nonbeliever organizations.

Descriptions of Religion as Explanations of Religion

Podcast
This week's podcast features Kathryn Lofton and John Modern on the entanglement of description and explanation, the importance of self-reflexivity, and answering the "so what?" question In this week's podcast, Kathryn Lofton and John Modern join Adam Miller for a conversation that hovers around the relationship...

Minority Religions and the Law

Podcast
Surely we have moved past the idea of sinister cults brainwashing innocent victims? When it comes to the law, not so, Susan Palmer tells David G. Robertson.cult" and "sect" uncritically. Nevertheless, outside of academia, the language of "cults" continues to be used,...

Surveying the Sacred and Secular

Response
With a good representative sample, we can learn about how religion shapes the way people answer new questions, rather than what they believe about the issues alone. The RSP’s interview with Darren Sherkat arrives at a time when research on religion has caught a bit of the media spotlight. Both The Atlantic and Religion Dispatches recently touched on issues with surveys in their reviews of Robert Wuthnow’s new book, Inventing American Religion. In this book, ...

The Invention of the Secular Academy

Podcast
The Religious Studies Project, as an academic endeavour studying religion, is of course devoutly secular. In fact, we tend to take the connection between secularity and the academy completely for granted. But was this always the case? If not, how did it become so? And what does secular mean in this context?

Is Religion Special? A Critical Look at Religion, Wellbeing and Prosociality

Podcast
Is religion good for your health and wellbeing? Does religion promote prosociality? While positive stereotypes prevail in these domains, studies also typically answer these questions in the affirmative and as such, it is easy to think that there must be something special, sui generis, ...

The Invention of Religion in Japan

Podcast
In this interview, Jason Josephson discusses the Japanese appropriation of the modern category of "religion." He first describes how Shinto is typically represented in EuroAmerican religious studies courses. He then describes the various actors and processes (both European and native)...

Pilgrimage as Tension

Response
The reasons people might go on what they call ‘a pilgrimage’ are complex. Amusement may be as important as communion, escape from everyday life as important as prayer. But, and this is an important point that does not come up in the interview, they may not be the reasons a person may give when asked by fieldworking scholars. That we now understand that people undertake pilgrimages for more than pious reasons has been one of the most significant advances in ‘pilgrimage studies’ to date.

Pilgrimage in Japan and Beyond: Part 2

Podcast
Professor Ian Reader discusses his publication ‘Pilgrimage in the Marketplace’, which explores the very ‘worldly’ conditions of development, popularisation, and ultimately, survival of pilgrimage centres in connection to the dynamics of the marketplace through which the ‘sacred’ as a category can be sustained.

Pilgrimage in Japan and Beyond: Part 1

Podcast
Professor Ian Reader discusses his publication ‘Pilgrimage in the Marketplace’, which explores the very ‘worldly’ conditions of development, popularisation, and ultimately, survival of pilgrimage centres in connection to the dynamics of the marketplace through which the ‘sacred’ as a category can be sustained.

Understanding the Secular

Podcast
Making their own contributions to the discourse, Shook and Zuckerman briefly discuss the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Secularism they are co-editing, the growing field of secular studies, what it might mean to ’be secular‘, different secularisms, and offer up two different views of the relationship between categories such as ’religion‘ and ’secular‘.

The Postsecular

Podcast
Discussion focuses upon the history of the 'postsecular', potential definitions, disciplinary and geographical differences, and ultimately suggests that ‘postsecularity’ is effectively dressing up ‘secularity’ in obfuscating clothing.In his 2011 Presidential Address to the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in Milwaukee,

Geographies of Religion and the Secular in Ireland

Podcast
In this broad-ranging interview, O’Mahony eruditely demonstrates what geography can bring to the academic study of ‘religion’ and presents Ireland as a fascinating context within which to examine processes of boundary-making between the contested constructs of ‘religion’ and the ‘secular’.

Sources of Meaning and Meaning in Life – An interview with Tatjana Schnell

Podcast
Recently, scholars have placed the concept of ‘meaning making’ as an important area of focus within psychology of religion. Some people find meaning in religious or spiritual experience and beliefs while others find meaning on more secular mediums in life. However, if humans are truly on a “search for meaning”, as Frankl has argued, what might be some of the sources of such meaning?

Habermas, Religion and the Post-Secular

Podcast
Habermas mostly ignored religion, contending that it was not rational enough to be included in public debate. But over the past decade, he has begun to reexamine religion in light of its persistence in the modern world, calling this a turn toward post-secular society. He argues that religion deserves a place in public debate, ...

Five Lectures on Atheism, Nonreligion, and Secularity, from the NSRN

Podcast
In partnership with the NSRN (Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network), it is our pleasure to bring you the audio recordings of five very important lectures from Grace Davie, Humeira Iqtidar, Callum Brown, Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, and Jonathan Lanman.

Non-religion

Podcast
What is 'nonreligion'? Is it atheism? Is it secularism? Is it football? Today, Dr. Lois Lee, a leading scholar of nonreligion and the founding director of the NSRN, joins Chris and Ethan to discuss this emerging field of 'nonreligion' and critical methods for studying the 'nonreligious'. Tune in to learn more!

Tariq Modood on the Crisis of European Secularism

Podcast
Secularism - the separation of religion and state - has been a central narrative in the European political sphere since the Enlightenment. But with renewed calls in some countries to affirm a Christian identity, and problems in accommodating some Muslim communities, is Western secularism under threat?

Historical Approaches to (Losing) Religion

Podcast
How can we use historical approaches in the study of religion? More specifically, can we use historical approaches to understand why people are losing it? Professor Callum Brown tells us why historical approaches have much to tell us about religious change. How can we use historical approaches in the study of religion?