In partnership with the Religious Studies Project (RSP), we are delighted to announce that a recording of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network’s Annual Lecture 2012 with Matthew Engelke is now available. This lecture was recorded on 8 November 2012 at Conway Hall, London on the topic “In spite of Christianity: Humanism and its others in contemporary Britain”
You can access the lecture at the following URL: http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/2013/08/19/engelke/
This comes as part of a continuing relationship between the NSRN and the RSP – they have previously released recordings of their Annual Lecture 2011, with Jonathan Lanman, and the four keynote lectures from the NSRN Biennial Conference, July 2012. These recordings are available here.
The full text of this lecture is available to download here.
Lois Lee talks to the members of the Religious Studies Project team about her views on researching nonreligion, more details and the podcast can be found on the RSP website:
“It is fast becoming a tradition in ‘nonreligion’ research to acknowledge that Colin Campbell’s seminal call in Toward a Sociology of Irreligion (1971) for a widespread sociological analysis’ of ‘nonreligion’ had until very recently been ignored (Bullivant and Lee 2012). Although there has been a steady stream of output on secularisation, and more recently on atheism, these publications rarely dealt with ‘nonreligion’ as it is ‘actually lived, expressed, or experienced […]in the here and now’ (Zuckerman 2010, viii). One scholar who has been leading the way in theorising and empirically populating this emerging field is Lois Lee, the founding director of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network, who joins Chris and Ethan in this podcast, recorded in May 2012 in Edinburgh.
The Religious Studies Project have published a half hour podcast with Professor Tariq Modood on the Crisis of European Secularism, recorded at this year’s SOCREL Conference in Chester:
You can download this interview on iTunes.
Tariq Modood is Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy at the University of Bristol. He is founding Director of the University Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, and co-founding editor of the international journal, Ethnicities. As a regular contributor to the media and policy debates in Britain, he was awarded a MBE for services to social sciences and ethnic relations in 2001 and elected a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2004. He also served on the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, the IPPR Commission on National Security and on the National Equality Panel, which reported to the UK Deputy Prime Minister in 2010.
His recent publications include Multicultural Politics: Racism, Ethnicity and Muslims in Britain (Edinburgh University Press, 2005), Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (Polity, 2007) and Still Not Easy Being British: Struggles for a Multicultural Citizenship (Trentham Books, 2010); and as co-editor, Secularism, Religion and Multicultural Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Is There a Crisis of Secularism in Western Europe?, which expands considerably upon the issues in this interview, is now available at http://www.bris.ac.uk/ethnicity/news/2012/36.html.
NSRN subscribers might also be interested in Linda Woodhead’s podcast on the Secularisation Thesis, and Bjoern Mastiaux’s essay on the same topic.
A slightly shameless plug of my own work, (but also in keeping with a non-religion and religion discourse) just published on the Religious Studies Project Site. The piece was published by the Religious Studies Project, on 24 February 2012 responds to the Religious Studies Project Interview with George Chryssides on The Insider/Outsider Problem (20 February 2012)
Please find details below of the latest podcast from the Religious Studies Project, with Carole M. Cusack discussing invented religions, including New Atheism.
What is an “Invented Religion”? Why should scholars take these religions seriously? What makes these “inventions” different from the revelations in other religions? What happens when an author does not want their story to become a religious text?
You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes.
In this interview with David, Carole M. Cusack (Associate Professor in Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney) answers these questions and more, exploring her notion of “Invented Religions” and introducing the listener to a wide variety of contemporary and unusual forms of religion. Discussion flows through a range of topics – from Discordianism and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to Scientology, Jediism and the New Atheism – and demonstrates how the works of authors such as Thomas Pynchon and Robert A. Heinlein can be transformed by others and take on a life of their own. In her own words, “This is a fiction so good it should be true…”
Carole Cusack trained as a medievalist and her doctorate was published as Conversion Among the Germanic Peoples (Cassell, 1998). Since the late 1990s she has taught in contemporary religious trends, publishing on pilgrimage and tourism, modern Pagan religions, new religious movements, the interface between religion and politics, and religion and popular culture. She is the author of The Essence of Buddhism (Lansdowne, 2001), Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith (Ashgate, 2010), and The Sacred Tree: Ancient and Medieval Manifestations (Cambridge Scholars Publishing), 2011.
View Carole’s page on Academia.edu. Of particular relevance to the topic of this interview is her article
Science Fiction as Scripture: Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land and the Church of All Worlds in Christopher Hartney, Alex Norman, and Carole M. Cusack (eds), Creative Fantasy and the Religious Imagination, special issue of Literature & Aesthetics, Vol. 19, No. 2, SSLA, 2009, pp. 72-91. The full text is available here if you have an Academia.edu account (and if you don’t have an Academia.edu account, and are looking to increase your networking and ability to access the most up-to-date research in your area, we suggest that you get one now!).
If you have institutional access to the International Journal for the Study of New Religions, you may also find the following article of interest: Discordian Magic: Paganism, the Chaos Paradigm and the Power of Parody, International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol. 2, No. 1, May 2011.
What is Phenomenology?
Jonathan Tuckett, University of Stirling
The first response report has been published by the Religious Studies Project, on today, 20 January 2012. This report responds to the Religious Studies Project Interview with James Cox on ”The Phenomenology of Religion” (14 January 2012), published with the launch of the project this week.
About the Author
Jonathan is currently a PhD student at the University of Stirling. He has an MA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MSc in Religious Studies from the University of Edinburgh. His research is on the phenomenological method in the study of religion. Areas of interest include the phenomenology of religion, theory and method in the study of religion, and philosophy of religion
The Religious Studies Project (RSP) website and podcasting project launched today, 16th January 2012. It features a weekly audio interview (of around 30 minutes) with leading scholars of Religious Studies (RS) and related fields, which shall be available through the website, iTunes and other portals. In addition to the podcasts, the website will also feature weekly articles from postgraduate students and other scholars of religion on the themes of the interview that week, in addition to other useful resources and articles relevant to teachers and students of religion in the modern world.
Every Friday, the RSP will publish feature articles on the topic of the week’s interview. The first response, to be published 20 January 2012, is entitled “What is Phenomenology?” has been written by Jonathan Tuckett (University of Stirling)
You can find details of the podcasts and reports at the Report for Religious Studies Project site.
The RSP was founded by David G. Robertson and Christopher R. Cotter, and is presented in association with the British Association for the Study of Religions. For more information on this relationship, see here.