The Religious Studies Project – my other life – has been on the go since January and, as such, we have accumulated quite a vast range of material already. I wanted to give you, an easy way to access everything that we have done in the one place, so that you can find material quickly, and easily share this information with friends and colleagues… and so that you can maybe understand why this blog has somewhat gone down the tubes in recent months.
James Cox, Carole Cusack, Armin Geertz, Bettina Schmidt, Donald Wiebe, Graham Harvey, Markus Davidsen, and George Chryssides
Grace Davie, Steven Sutcliffe, Eileen Barker, Linda Woodhead, Timothy Fitzgerald, Lois Lee, Jolyon Mitchell, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, and Russell McCutcheon
- Phenomenology of Religion, James Cox
- Cognitive Approaches to the Study of Religion, Armin Geertz
- Invented Religions, Carole Cusack
- The Relationship between Theology and Religious Studies, Donald Wiebe
- Animism, Graham Harvey
- The Insider/Outsider Problem, George Chryssides
- Youth, Sexuality and Religion, Sarah-Jane Page
- The Changing Nature of Religion, Grace Davie
- Substantive Religion and the Functionalist Sacred, Jay Demerath
- Doing Anthropological Fieldwork, Bettina Schmidt
- Fiction-Based Religion, Markus Davidsen
- Psychological Approaches to the Study of Religion, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi
- The Secularisation Thesis, Linda Woodhead
- Religion after Darwin, Bron Taylor
- Historical Approaches to (Losing) Religion, Callum Brown
- Religion, Violence and the Media, Jolyon Mitchell
- Studying ‘Cults’, Eileen Barker
- Religion and Gender, Lisbeth Mikaelsson
- The Crisis of European Secularism, Tariq Modood
- ‘Religion’ and Mystification, Timothy Fitzgerald
- What does ‘belief’ mean to Americans?, Ariela Keysar
- Marxist Approaches to the Study of Religions, Titus Hjelm
- Vernacular Religion, Marion Bowman
- Quantitative Research, David Voas
- Religion as Vestigial States, Naomi Goldenberg
Christopher Cotter, Ethan Quillen, David Robertson, Liam Sutherland and Jonathan Tuckett, Kevin Whitesides
Katie Aston, Christopher R. Cotter, Matthew Francis, Ethan Gjerset Quillen, David Robertson, Kevin Whitesides
Krittika Bhattacharjee, Maegan C. M. Gilliland, Ethan Gjerset Quillen, Liam Sutherland, Jonathan Tuckett, Elizabeth Ursic, Kevin Whitesides
Katie Aston, Anna Clot i Garrell, Christopher Cotter, Ting Guo, Ethan Quillen, David Robertson and Jonathan Tuckett
- What is Phenomenology?, Jonathan Tuckett
- What we’re learning from the cognitive study of religion, Erika Salomon
- Finding religiosity within a parody, Essi Mäkelä
- The Merits of Hybrid Theology, Gemma Gall
- An Evaluation of Harvey’s Approach to Animism and the Tylorian Legacy, Liam Sutherland
- Insider and Outsider – An Anthropological Perspective, Katie Aston
- Meeting at the crossroads of public and private: sexuality and religion, Jillian Scott
- What to do with Davie’s ‘Vicarious Religion’?, Amarnath Amarasingam
- Circular Academia: Navigating the Dangerous Waters of Term Re-Assignment, Ethan Gjerset Quillen
- Ethnographic Fieldwork: Falling in Love or Keeping your Distance?, Joseph Webster
- Divine Inspiration Revisited, Hanna Lehtinen
- Religion’s common denominators, and a plea for data, Stuart Ritchie
- Secularization – A Look at Individual Level Theories of Religious Change, Bjoern Mastiaux
- The Last Best Hope of Earth? Bron Taylor and the Limits of Dark Green Religion, Dusty Hoesly
- A Response to Callum Brown: Connecting “When” and “Why” in Digital Religion, Tim Hutchings
- Anzac and Awe: Religion, Violence, and the Media in Australia, Zoe Alderton
- What should we do with the study of new religions?, Hanna Lehtinen
- George Ioannides: Double Trouble: Some Reflections on (En)gendering the Study of Religion, George Ioannides
- In Saecula Saeculorum: Reflecting on the Age/Aeon in light of the Cappadocian Fathers, Mario Baghos
- The Spirit of the Matter: a Neo-Tylorian Response to Timothy Fitzgerald, Liam Sutherland
- The Faith-Spangled Banner: Changes in American attitudes and belief in all directions, Lindsey Arielle Askin
- Marx, Spiritualism and Power, David G. M. Wilson
- Vernacular Religion: Because you’ll Find More than the Devil in the Details, Per D. Smith
- Nuancing the Qual-Quan Divide: The Vitality of Research Methods in the Academic Study of Religion, Yasaman S. Munro
- So What Is Religion Anyway? Power, Belief, the Vestigial State, Jason Hartford
- Academic Positions: The Application and Interview, Larry W. Hurtado
- “Getting out there” with your research, Charlotte Mathieson
- Theses on Professionalization, Russell McCutcheon
- Getting into Graduate School, Erika Salomon
- Using Bibliographic Software: Zotero or Mendeley?, Christina Costa
- How an Eerdman’s Book is Born (in Sixteen Easy Steps), Rachel Bomberger
- How to Give an Academic Talk: Changing the Culture of Public Speaking in the Humanities, Paul N. Edwards
- The Academic Résumé: Some Recommendations, Larry W. Hurtado
- Ways to Increase your Academic Visibility, Adrian Andreescu
For the past few months I have been alluding to a secretive project that I have been working on… now it is finally here, and I could use all the support I can get in terms of spreading the word, facebook liking etc etc.
Every Monday, we’ll be putting out a new podcast featuring an interview with a leading international scholar, presenting a key idea in the contemporary socio-scientific study of religion in a concise and accessible way. Our first podcast features Professor Emeritus James Cox (University of Edinburgh) speaking to David about the phenomenology of religion. You can find the podcast and accompanying notes here, or alternatively subscribe on iTunes.
Every Wednesday, we’ll feature a resource to help postgraduate students and aspiring academics. And every Friday, we’ll be publishing a response to the podcast, reflecting on, expanding upon or disagreeing with the Monday podcast. Plus conference reports, opinion, publishing opportunities, book reviews and more when we have them.
Many, many thanks!
Although I have not had a chance to read any yet, I have just downloaded ten articles from the ISSSC stream on Scribd. I don’t much like Scribd, and I cannot comment on the quality of the articles, but they are written by some excellent folk including Frank Pasquale, Barry Kosmin and Ryan Cragun, so if their usual standard is anything to go by I should have something interesting for you in a few weeks…
If you are interested in this sort of thing…
The Institute for Thealogy & Deasophy is pleased to announce the first issue of “Goddess Thealogy, An International Journal for the Study of the Divine Feminine”
It can be found as a pdf file at
Angela Hope and Patricia ‘Iolana
Thealogy: Mapping a Fluid and Expanding Field by Patricia ‘Iolana and Angela Hope
A Few Thoughts on the Breath, the Soul, the Divine Female and the Virgin Mary in Engagement with Luce Irigaray and Clarissa Pinkola Estés by Rasa Lucia Luzyte
Moonlight of the Divine Feminine: Magnifying Western Cultural Shadow with Women Espionage Agents by Diane E. Greig Rickards
Ruminations on Gaia Consciousness and Goddess Reverence
by Merlin Stone
The Politics of Eco-Feminist Goddess Spirituality, a Theology for a Sustainable Future by Rev. Karen Tate
Footsteps on the Path to Experiencing the Feminine Divine: A Phenomenological Account of a Collective Thealogical Journey in Academia by Angela Hope, Patricia ‘Iolana, Paul Reid-Bowen and Melinda Grube
In Memory of Merlin Stone
Requiem for Merlin Stone by Zsuzsanna Budapest
Remembering Merlin Stone by Carol P. Christ
In Search of Merlin Stone by Bobbie Grennier
Face the Goddess: Kali-Ma by James D. Rietveld
From Scotland to the Aegean Sea: Diving Deep in Conversation
with Carol P. Christ by E.C. Erdmann
Artist’s Corner: Max Dashú
Review: Testing the Boundaries, by Christopher Roussel
Not that I have time to read it… this journal sounded so bizarre that I had to share it with you. It’s open access so I’d be interested to hear what is contained therein!
An International Journal on Charms, Charmers and Charming
Issue 1, 2011
General Editor: Mare Kõiva
Guest Editor: Jonathan Roper
To buy this issue, contact the editors. You can see the issue here (PDF) or click on article titles for individual PDF files.
- Secrecy and Ritual Restrictions on Verbal Charms Transmission in Greek Traditional Culture
Pp. 7-24The paper focuses on the ritual restrictions and taboos surrounding verbal charms transmission in Greek traditional culture. These restrictions and taboos which are closely connected with a strategy of secrecy based on the wide-spread belief that revealing the verbal part of charm renders the ritual ineffective, aim at protecting the transmission of verbal part which is considered as the main part of the ritual performance. Moreover, they can cast light on issues as the social status of performer, the owned state of magic, the problem of collecting charms in fieldwork, and even on the way of performance (the verbal part has to be recited in such a way so that it is not heard). Special attention is given to how this strategy of secrecy affects the construction of the verbal part by way permitting transformations, innovations substitutions, omissions, even texts which lack logical coherence without disturbing the efficacy of the rituals themselves.
Key words: Greek traditional culture, performative context, restrictions, secrecy, taboos, transmission, verbal charms
- Practical Texts in Difficult Situations: Bulgarian Medieval Charms as Apocrypha andFachliteratur
Pp. 25-35The objects of this article are medieval Bulgarian charms, written in Old Church Slavonic language and preserved in manuscripts. The article is focused on two issues. Firstly, it deals with the charms as specialized texts, as a specific kind of Fachliteratur, with important practical function in coping daily life challenges and problems. The main purpose of these charms was to meet and solve the crucial quotidian issues, like health problems, provision of good luck and protection against evil forces. Secondly, the article refers to the position of the charms among the canonical Orthodox Christian texts. This position is examined in the context of practicality and of the historical changes in the society. This is also a question of the relations between the content of the charms and the content of the other texts from the same manuscript. In this respect the medieval Bulgarian charms are an interesting phenomenon, as they intermingle among canonical Orthodox Christian books, as service books and books of needs.
Key words: apocrypha, apotropaic magic, daily life, medieval Bulgarian charms, medievalFachliteratur, oral and written transmission of charms, practical magic
- Immateria Medica: Charmers and their Communities in Newfoundland
Pp. 36-47This paper offers a typology of charmers in Newfoundland, Canada. The ability to charm may be transmitted, often cross-sex, or may be ascribed by the community and adopted as a role by an individual who falls into the recognized categories of being a posthumous child, or a woman who marries a man who shares her own family name. Seventh sons and priests are ascribed the widest range of healing competency and are at the apex of a conceptual pyramid of power. Material is drawn from fieldwork conducted in 2010 and a review of holdings on charming contained in MUNFLA, the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive. It is argued that it may be premature to conclude that charmers have lost their healing and social roles in Newfoundland communities and that in the case of wart charming, and blood stopping, the tradition continues.
Key words: Ascribed healing roles, charming, folklore archives and appraisal of sources, Newfoundland, scarcity of verbal charms.
- The Three Good Brothers Charm: Some Historical Points
Pp. 48-78The charm for wounds beginning “Three good brothers were going/walking” has been documented in written and spoken sources in various languages across the European continent from the medieval period. Ferdinand Ohrt’s article in the Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens contained many examples of the formula from Northern European manuscript sources. There remain many more examples to be assembled from English manuscripts and from other cultural traditions This paper (including the Appendices) does not attempt to offer a comprehensive collection of Three Good Brothers charms. Rather, it seeks to understand and interpret selected instances of the charm’s appearance from the evidence of selected manuscript contexts. The phrase ‘Historical Points’ in the title of this paper signals my attempt to elucidate the cultural contexts for the use of this wound charm at specific moments during, before and after its popularity in the manuscript culture of the medieval period.
Key words: Tres boni fratres, Longinus, Neque doluit neque tumuit, encounter charm, Christ as healer.
- Genre and Authority in the Scholarly Construction of Charm and Prayer: A View from the Margins
James A. Kapaló
Pp. 79-101This paper presents a critique and some theoretical reflections on the relationship between the genres of charm and prayer in folklore and religions scholarship. I draw special attention to the construction of the liminal genre of ‘archaic prayer’ in Hungarian scholarship and its relationship to magic and the ‘charm’ genre as elucidated in the work ethnographers Éva Pócs, Zsuzsanna Erdélyi and Irén Lovász amongst others. It is commonly recognised that scholarly distinctions between genres cut across emic categories and insider knowledge structures. Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, this paper critiques the discourse on archaic prayer in relation to the dichotomy between magic and religion and the emic/etic distinction through a focus on power/knowledge relations and the politics of language in the religious field.
Key words: Bourdieu, charms, folklore, folk prayer, genre, folk religion
Successful and Fruitful Model – Lithuanian Charms Collection as a Contribution to the Research of Verbal Magic, pp. 102-103
A New Generation Study on Lithuanian Incantations, pp. 104-106
Charms, Charmers and Charming. International Conference at the Romanian Academy (Bucharest, June, 24–25, 2010), pp. 107-109
NEW JOURNAL: RELIGION AND GENDER (open access)
Religion and Gender
Vol 1, No 1 (2011): Critical Issues in the Study of Religion and Gender
Table of Contents
Openings: A Genealogical Introduction to Religion and Gender (1-17)
Feminist Scholarship and Its Relevance for Political Engagement: The Test
Case of Abortion in the U.S. (18-43)
Vital New Matters: The Speculative Turn in the Study of Religion and Gender
Implications of Queer Theory for the Study of Religion and Gender: Entering
the Third Decade (66-84)
Macho Buddhism: Gender and Sexualities in the Diamond Way (85-103)
Male Headship as Male Agency: An Alternative Understanding of a
‘Patriarchal’ African Pentecostal Discourse on Masculinity (104-124)
Adriaan S. van Klinken
Review of Joseph Gelfer, Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine
Spiritualities and the Problem of Patriarchy , London: Equinox 2009
Review of Björn Krondorfer (ed.), Men and Masculinities in Christianity
and Judaism. A Critical Reader , London: SCM Press 2009 (130-132)
Review of Melissa M. Wilcox, Queer Women and Religious Individualism ,
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press 2009 (133-136)
Review of Hannah Bacon, What’s Right with the Trinity? Conversations in
Feminist Theology , Farnham: Ashgate 2009 (137-140)
Review of K. Aune, S. Sharma & G. Vincett (eds.), Women and Religion in
the West: Challenging Secularization , Aldershot: Ashgate 2008 (141-144)
Hendrika Petronella van den Brandt
Review of M. Osherow, Biblical Women’s Voices in Early Modern Engeland ,
Farnham: Ashgate 2009 (145-146)
Does what it says on the tin :)
Just a quick post to alert you to two excellent resources I have discovered today.
One is the new documentary series from the BBC, entitled The Life of Muhammad. The first episode was just aired this week and it seems to balance informed but accessible scholarship with a respectful but not deferential tone. Thoroughly recommended to anyone who is interested… and indeed those who are not. I just wish everyone could see this sort of programme. Viewers in the UK can click the link and watch it on BBC iPlayer, where it is available until August 1 2011 (duration 60 mins).
The other resource is a website that I have stumbled across and will have to check out in much greater detail over the coming weeks. It is patheos.com, which describes itself as:
the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s beliefs. Patheos is the website of choice for the millions of people looking for credible and balanced information or resources about religion. Patheos brings together the public, academia, and the faith leaders in a single environment, and is the place where people turn on a regular basis for insight into questions, issues, and discussions. Patheos is unlike any other online religious and spiritual site and is designed to serve as a resource for those looking to learn more about different belief systems, as well as participate in productive, moderated discussions on some of today’s most talked about and debated topics.
Whilst I haven’t had much of a chance to look around it, and whilst always being slightly irked at seeing religion being treated as distinct entities and institutions to which a specified number of adherents belong etc (the good old ‘world religions’ paradigm raises its head once more), there seem to be a huge number of resources here, with vast amounts information on certainly all the major religions in the world… and resources for teachers, students, academics, religious leaders, interested laypeople and more…
I hope both of these ‘tips’ prove useful :)
This is just a really quick post to point you all in the direction of the “Faith Guides” provided by The Higher Education Academy: Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies.
Although they are designed to give “information to staff in the higher education sector on how best to support students with a variety of religious beliefs”, each guide starts with a proper academically researched introduction to six major “faiths” represented in Great Britain.
I haven’t read them yet myself, but I shall be printing them when I get home. It may turn out that I disagree with something in there… and if I do I shall let you know. But, for now, I think it is a great idea that they have produced these guides, and that they make them freely available on their website.
I hope you find these interesting/useful.