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The Religious Studies Project

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The Religious Studies Project (RSP) is an international collaborative enterprise launched in January 2012, hosted by Christopher R. Cotter (University of Edinburgh, UK) and David G. Robertson (The Open University, UK), and supported by the British Association for the Study of Religions, North American Association for the Study of Religion and International Association for the History of Religions. It features a weekly interview (of around 30 minutes) with leading scholars of Religious Studies and related fields. Our aim is to provide engaging, concise and reliable accounts of the most important concepts, traditions, scholars and methodologies in the fascinating contemporary study of religion, without pushing a religious or nonreligious agenda or resorting to presenting “fact files” about “World Religions”. The Religious Studies Project is produced by The Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750). RSP material is disseminated under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. and can be distributed and utilised freely, provided full citation is given.

The Religious Studies Project (RSP) is an international collaborative enterprise launched in January 2012, hosted by Christopher R. Cotter (University of Edinburgh, UK) and David G. Robertson (The Open University, UK), and supported by the British Association for the Study of Religions, North American Association for the Study of Religion and International Association for the History of Religions. It features a weekly interview (of around 30 minutes) with leading scholars of Religious Studies and related fields. Our aim is to provide engaging, concise and reliable accounts of the most important concepts, traditions, scholars and methodologies in the fascinating contemporary study of religion, without pushing a religious or nonreligious agenda or resorting to presenting “fact files” about “World Religions”. The Religious Studies Project is produced by The Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750). RSP material is disseminated under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. and can be distributed and utilised freely, provided full citation is given.
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United States

Description:

The Religious Studies Project (RSP) is an international collaborative enterprise launched in January 2012, hosted by Christopher R. Cotter (University of Edinburgh, UK) and David G. Robertson (The Open University, UK), and supported by the British Association for the Study of Religions, North American Association for the Study of Religion and International Association for the History of Religions. It features a weekly interview (of around 30 minutes) with leading scholars of Religious Studies and related fields. Our aim is to provide engaging, concise and reliable accounts of the most important concepts, traditions, scholars and methodologies in the fascinating contemporary study of religion, without pushing a religious or nonreligious agenda or resorting to presenting “fact files” about “World Religions”. The Religious Studies Project is produced by The Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750). RSP material is disseminated under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. and can be distributed and utilised freely, provided full citation is given.

Language:

English


Episodes

What we can learn from our Founding Fathers

6/18/2018
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In this discussion, Professor Schmidt discusses her keynote lecture at the Open University's "Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspectives: Publics and Performances". We turn back to discuss some of the "founding fathers" of the discipline of Religious Studies: Rudolf Otto, R.R. Marrett, and Andrew Lang. These three founding fathers all proposed a non-rational understanding of religion which is relevant today to our considerations of religion in terms of vernacular or "lived" religion.

Duration:00:25:09

Spirituality

6/11/2018
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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.

Duration:00:48:50

“Soka Gakkai, Kōmeitō and the religious voices of Japan’s political arena

6/4/2018
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Throughout Japanese history, religion has always coloured and influenced the matters of the state. Religious validation of imperialist aggression and Japan’s war efforts in the first half of the 20th century is just one example of this. Japanese religious institutions entered the post-war period with the ethically problematic baggage of

Duration:00:24:37

Muslim Superheroes

5/28/2018
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A. Dave Lewis joins us again for a discussion of representations of Muslims in superhero comics. We talk about some positive representations, like Kamala Khan, Marvel's new Ms Marvel, and some less-than-positive portrayals, like Frank Millar's Holy Terror! We talk about American comics as a product of the immigrant experience, and how comics made by Muslims play with the conventions of the genre. And we talk about how to use these texts in the classroom, as a powerful tool for exploring...

Duration:00:50:52

Worldviews and Ways of Life

5/21/2018
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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. Through case-studies (including 'secular' worldviews like Alcoholics Anonymous alongside more traditional 'religions'), she explains how worldviews form in response to existential 'Big Questions' - here understood...

Duration:00:45:29

From Static Categories to a River of Theories: “The Myth of Disenchantment”

5/14/2018
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In a freewheeling conversation, Dr. Jason Josephson-Storm and Dan Gorman discuss the intellectual history of religious studies and the myth that magic is dead.

Duration:00:35:51

Situating Religion within Justice

5/7/2018
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In this podcast Professor Joe Bulbulia of Auckland University speaks to Thomas White about situating the study of religion within a broader concept of ‘justice’. Bulbulia calls ‘religion and spirituality those features of nature [in the biocultural sense of the word] that combine to cultivate a sense of justice in people’. Bulbulia argues that common across human societies are conceptions of obligation and responsibility: what is owed to others, and what is owed back in return. These...

Duration:00:44:29

Stereotyping Religion: Critical Approaches to Pervasive Cliches

4/30/2018
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"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'. In this podcast, Chris is joined by Brad Stoddard and Craig Martin, the editors of the recently published Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Cliches (Bloomsbury, 2017) to discuss these cliches, the ideological work that they...

Duration:00:33:43

Why do we believe? Evolution, Primates, and the Human Niche

4/23/2018
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In this wide-ranging interview, Chris and Professor Fuentes discuss the themes of the lecture series, the intersections of research on human evolution, ethnoprimatology, and human nature, with the study of religion more generally, the Planet of the Apes films, and more. Along the way, important distinctions are made between specific "beliefs", "belief systems" and the human "capacity to believe", and we ask some important questions about the future.

Duration:00:37:26

Drone Metal Mysticism

4/16/2018
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In this interview, Owen Coggins joins us to talk about the use of religious (and sacreligious) language and imagary in Drone Metal, a genre which stretches metal to low, slow, repetative extremes. Drawing on the work of Michel de Certeau, he tells David Robertson that the prevalence of language relating to mysticism and "spiritual experience" may be due to the genre's focus on the physicality of the musical experience. Expanding out to discuss other forms of popular music which exhibit these...

Duration:00:37:45

Myth, Solidarity, and Post-Liberalism

4/9/2018
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With the rise of reactionary politics across the globe, it is arguably increasingly important for the academic community to give consideration to the prospects of developing and strengthening solidarity across apparent religious, political and economic differences. In this podcast, Chris speaks to Dr Timothy Stacey (University of Ottawa) about his forthcoming book, Myth and Solidarity in the Modern World: Beyond Religious and Political Division (Routledge, 2018), in which he asks how we can...

Duration:00:42:45

Magic and Modernity

4/2/2018
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This conversation between Richard Irvine, Theodoros Kyriakides and David G. Robertson concerns magical thinking in the modern world. We may think that such ideas are confined to the fringes in the secular, post-Enlightenment world, but this is not necessarily the case. We talk about Weber's rationalisation and James Frazer's evolutionary model of modernity, and how they relate to ideas of belief, and magic.

Duration:00:42:29

Religious change in Japanese Shinto

3/19/2018
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In this week's podcast, Hans Van Eyghen sits down with Professor Michael Pye to discuss the various historical, political, and social factors that have impacted Japanese Shinto.

Duration:00:33:45

The BASR and the Impact of Religious Studies

3/12/2018
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A panel on the public impact and engagement of Religious Studies/Study of Religion/s led by committee members of the British Association for the Study of Religions, including Dr Stephen Gregg (Wolverhampton), Dr Christopher Cotter (Edinburgh), Dr Suzanne Owen (Leeds Trinity), Dr David Robertson (The Open University) and Dr Steven Sutcliffe (Edinburgh).

Duration:00:52:21

‘Good’ Grief? Rituals of World Repairing

3/5/2018
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Toys, Rabbits, and Princess Diana - three things that may not seem at all connected. However, when one starts to question the notion of grief, bereavement, and death in the contemporary West, these three are more connected than appears. In this podcast, Breann Fallon interviews Professor Douglas Ezzy of the University of Tasmania on the power of symbols in creating relationships and world-repairing rituals in the context of grief and death.

Duration:00:25:43

From Non-Religion to Unbelief? A developing field…

2/26/2018
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In this podcast, we check in with the state of the field, discuss developments beyond the Anglophone "West", some of the many exciting projects being worked on under the "Understanding Unbelief" banner, the utility and pitfalls of the terminology of "unbelief", and some of the critical issues surrounding the reification of survey categories.

Duration:00:35:20

Against Invention: A richer history for ‘Hinduism’

2/19/2018
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In this interview Associate Professor Will Sweetman talks to Thomas White about the idea that ‘Hinduism’ and many of the other terms we use to classify religions—including the term religion itself—are modern inventions, emerging out of nineteenth-century inter-cultural contact and European colonialism. Will argues against this critique, and to make his case he draws on historical sources that discuss ‘Hinduism’ both outside of the anglophone experience and long before the nineteenth century....

Duration:00:37:16

God and Mathematics

2/12/2018
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What does math have to do with religion? In his interview with Hans van Eyghen, author Chris Ransford discusses his latest book 'God and the Mathematics of Infinity'. He discusses why mathematics is useful for thinking about religion, covering some of the conclusions he draws in the book.

Duration:00:34:14

Autism, Religion, and Imagination

2/5/2018
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spectrum represent a unique population of study in the cognitive and psychological sciences of religion. Because religious cognition stems from normal social-cognitive capacities, which are altered for individuals on the spectrum, researchers also expect variation in how they think about supernatural agents. In this interview, Ingela Visuri discusses her ongoing research at the nexus between autism and religion.

Duration:00:32:14

African American Spiritual Churches

1/29/2018
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The African American Spiritual Churches are combinatory religious sites, which blend Protestant, Catholic, Spiritualist, Haitian Voodoo, and Benin's traditional Vodun practices. Female leadership and business management has been essential in the history of these churches. Dr. Guillory's upcoming book draws on years of archival research, ethnographic observation, and oral history interviews to tell the story of these churches from 1920 to the present day. Hurricane Katrina looms large in this...

Duration:00:29:35