Posts tagged Religion
Posts tagged Religion
The manuscript of _De Doctrina Christiana_ was found in the State Paper Office and attributed to Milton in 1823; it was subsequently published by order of King George IV. Although Bishop Thomas Burgess (and others) rejected or doubted the attribution, but editors eventually came to accept the treatise as canonical. In the 1990’s, Professor William Hunter, distinguished editor of the _Milton Encyclopedia_, seconded by Paul Sellin, inaugurated a new phase of the continuing controversy over the attribution of _De Doctrina Christiana_ to John Milton. Hunter’s objections appear in several articles and in _Visitation Unimplor’d: Milton and the Authorship of De Doctrina Christiana_ (Pittsburgh: Duquesne UP, 1998). Scholars like Barbara Lewalski and Christopher Hill maintained the attribution, but the seeds of doubt had been sown, and categorical exponents of Milton’s authorship have made significant concessions. On the one hand, Gordon Campbell, Thomas Corns, John Hale and Fiona Tweedie, in _Milton and the Manuscript of De Doctrina Christiana_ (Oxford: OUP, 2008), defend the attribution and the editors of the new Oxford edition of _De Doctrina Christiana_ , John Hale and Donald Cullington, assume that the controversy is resolved. On the other hand, some reviewers have not been convinced.
We welcome by partisans (or neutrals) in the controversy over John Milton’s disputed authorship of _De Doctrina Christiana_. Essays expressing various points of view on the attribution controversy (and anything that might illuminate it) will be considered for possible inclusion in a collection on the controversy. Please submit abstracts or essays by October 15, 2013.
Hugh F. Wilson (email@example.com)
Professor, Grambling State University
2014 CLA Annual Convention
Catholic Library Association invites the submission of quality proposals for presentation at the 2014 Annual Conference, April 22-24, 2014, in Pittsburgh, PA. CLA meets in conjunction with National Catholic Educational Association during Easter Week each year.
Those attending CLA are librarians serving patrons of all ages primarily in K-12, academic, theological, parish and public libraries. In addition to general topics for these groups, additional sessions focus on archives, information literacy, technical services and preservation of American Catholic materials. Teachers and administrators registered with NCEA may also attend any CLA session. The 2014 convention theme is Leadership, Direction, Service.
Include a description of the topic or title of the program, name of presenter(s) with complete contact information, brief description of the proposed program, audience level and references for prior presentations, if available. Proposals should be submitted before July 15, 2013, by email or regular mail to:
Catholic Library Association
ATTN: Convention Coordinator
205 W. Monroe St., Suite 314
Chicago, IL 60606-5061
Toll Free: 855-739-1776
CALL FOR PAPERS
University of Warwick
7 November 2013
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Jon Whitman (English, The Hebrew University)
OTHER CONFIRMED SPEAKERS AND CHAIRS: Raymond W. Gibbs Jr. (Psychology, UCSC), Lisa Rosenthal (Art and Design, UIUC), Christiania Whitehead (English and CLS, Warwick)
CONFERENCE WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/X0kavs
The one-day interdisciplinary conference seeks to bring together scholars of different disciplinary backgrounds who share an interest in the history and theory of allegory in order to explore and promote the notion of allegory studies as an emergent nexus of interdisciplinary scholarship.
Since the mid-twentieth century, allegory has increasingly been approached as a subject in its own right, informed by, but transcending particular disciplinary, periodical, or author-focused contexts. This development seems to have reached a critical point over the past two decades, which have seen a steady stream of articles and monographs, as well as such comprehensive reference works as an Encyclopedia of Allegorical Literature (Leeming and Drowne 1996), a Dictionary of Allegorical Meanings (Brumble 1999), a pioneering collaborative overview of allegorical interpretation in the West (Whitman 2000), and, most recently, volumes in the New Critical Idiom (Tambling 2010) and Cambridge Companions (Copeland and Struck 2010) series. A number of recent conferences and seminar panels have approached the subject without disciplinary or periodical restrictions, and the phrase “allegory studies” – although traceable at least to Gordon Teskey’s Allegory and Violence (1996) – has begun to appear in contemporary scholarship on the subject.
By all accounts, then, the current state or research on allegory seems to be marked by the consolidation of a long and extraordinarily productive tradition of scholarship – including contributions from such fields as art history, classics, intellectual history, linguistics and cognitive science, literary studies and literary theory, philosophy, theology, religion studies – into a coherent interdisciplinary formation in its own right. At this propitious moment, papers are invited from scholars of any disciplinary background to discuss the various issues raised by these developments, such as (but not limited to):
- Why allegory studies? What is it about this subject that seems to demand a dedicated interdisciplinary platform in its own right?
- What are the main achievements of allegory studies thus far? What are the most promising avenues of exploration?
- Theory and history in allegory studies – what light does theoretical work throw on the history of allegory, and conversely, how do historically contextualized perspectives bear on the theoretical approaches to the subject?
- What is the relation between the marked rise in allegory scholarship since c. 1950 and the roughly coextensive “revival of allegory” originating in the work of such thinkers as Walter Benjamin and Paul de Man and permeating various corners of the contemporary academic and cultural sphere?
Papers are solicited from scholars of any disciplinary background and career stage – proposals from graduates and junior academics are especially welcome. Applicants are encouraged to engage with the subject of allegory and allegory studies in ways which transcend traditional disciplinary and periodisational boundaries, and priority will be given to abstracts clearly demonstrating the ability to communicate effectively to the interdisciplinary audience the conference aims to attract. It is hoped that the conference will lead to a publication showcasing the wide array of current approaches to the subject and paving the way for further collaboration and research.
500-word abstracts for 20-minute papers, accompanied by a brief biographical note, to be sent to the convenor, Vladimir Brljak (English and CLS, Warwick), at firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 May 2013.(author unknown) via category: religion on May 17, 2013 at 05:48AM
I seek papers for a panel on auteurship in recent Hollywood cinema, especially films that have alternately been called the “New Sincerity” (Collins), “smart” (Sconce), “Mumblecore” (Masunaga), “post-pop” (Mayshark), and “quirky” (MacDowell).
Papers may discuss Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Judd Apatow, Noah Baumbach, Sofia Coppola, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Miranda July, Charlie Kaufman, Richard Linklater, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell, among others. Discussions of Mumblecore and its major figures— Andrew Bujalski, Lena Dunham, Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, Lynn Shelton, Joe Swanberg—are also welcome. I especially encourage papers that consider the ongoing (in)validity of auteur theory in the digital age, how these directors either employ or avoid irony, how they appeal to commercial audiences, and how they demonstrate the influence or revision of earlier auteurs from classic Hollywood, European art cinema, or New Hollywood.
Please submit a proposal of 250 words and a working bibliography to Pete Kunze at email@example.com by June 10.
Accepted presenters must join SAMLA (membership information available here: http://bit.ly/13IFLpl) and register for the conference (before October 1, $70 for students, adjuncts, and retired members; $125 for all others).(author unknown) via category: religion on May 16, 2013 at 05:26PM
It’s the Fruits, not the Roots: A Response to Ralph Hood
By Joshua James, Henderson State University
Published by the Religious Studies Project, on 22 May 2013 in response to the Religious Studies Project Interview with Ralph Hood on Mysticism (20 May 2013)
When I began outlining my response to this interview—which is an intriguing psychological look at mystical experience through the filter of one of the most insightful minds dealing with the subject today—I wanted to remain as objective as possible and remove the influence of my personal experience. I found it nearly impossible. One method for addressing the intersection between lived experience and academia is through reflexivity. In the article, “On Becoming a Qualitative Researcher: the Value of Reflexivity,” by Diane Watt, the author notes the importance of juxtaposing one’s self in relation to their research interest. By the researcher or author stating their worldview (or in some cases bias) the reader has a better understanding of not only the structure of inquiry but also the interpretive frame of the author’s position. In the case of Watt (2007), her experience as a school teacher informed her paradigm of inquiry.
Watt’s argument for reflexivity relaxed my reluctance. Watt kept a journal of her experience and combined her reflexive exploration with quantitative research to construct an academic product with multiple layers of depth in inquiry both in terms her research interests and in self-reflection of perceptions in analysis. Watt found her journal quite helpful: “Through the writing process, I was able to excavate memories of my own classroom practice.” I realized that when I listened to the interview with Ralph Hood, that I had “excavated” memories of my own. Thus I decided that not only would including my first-hand experience be helpful to my argument, it would be ill-advised not to include it, possibly even irresponsible. This paper is written in relation to my own reflexive experience of understanding mysticism and the profound themes posed by Dr. Ralph Hood’s podcast.
When I first read William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience, a text to which Dr. Ralph Hood refers liberally, I strongly connected with an account given by an agnostic man during a lecture entitled “The Reality of the Unseen.” James identifies him only as “a scientific man of my acquaintance.” A portion of the account follows:
Between twenty and thirty I gradually became more agnostic and irreligious, yet I cannot say that I ever lost that ‘indefinite consciousness’ which Herbert Spencer describes so well, of an Absolute Reality behind phenomena…I had ceased my childish prayers to God, and never prayed to It in a formal manner, yet my more recent experience show me to have been in a relation to It which practically was the same thing as prayer…I know now that it was a personal relation I was in to it, because of late years the power of communicating with it has left me, and I am conscious of a perfectly definite loss.
While at the time of the writing, James’ acquaintance was over twenty years older than the age I am now, his early experience virtually mirrors my own.
I’m a skeptic. However, like the man to whom I refer above, I have, rarely, turned to prayer in times of desperation, and I have always had a sense that there was someone else involved with the world; someone to whom I owed thanks for undeserved good fortune, someone who heard my thoughts, someone who compelled me to feel guilty or embarrassed even when no human could possibly have known the mistake I made. I have had, in spite of my agnosticism, an experience that could be classified as a “mystical experience,” the details of which I shall not go into, but I did experience a degree of transcendence in the sense that I lost emotional control and it seemed as if someone else had this control. It occurred during a period of temporary desperation which prompted me to pray to whom I do not know for the first time since my childhood (which was spent in a Pentecostal church).
Hood makes clear in this interview that what he is interested in, with regard to spiritual experience, is the interpretation of an experience rather than the cause of an experience. That is to say that regardless if one’s spiritual experience occurs during prayer, deep self-reflection, or after swallowing a couple hits of blotter acid, the consequences and interpretation of the experience, usually involving a transcendence or “loss of self,” validates the experience. Hood’s approach has no flaws from the standpoint of an observing scientist; but, on the personal level, one may have trouble distinguishing between the cause and the consequence.
I will refer to my own experience to demonstrate my point. I could interpret my experience as evidence, or even proof, for the more fundamentally-minded reader, of the existence of God, and as confirmation of the validity of the scripture. It could have been the reassurance I had been looking for to readopt my faith.
But because I understand, or more appropriately, believe I understand the cause, my interpretation is different. I neither pretend to be an expert in the field of psychology nor do I deny that the human brain is still a mystery to those who are, but I know enough to know that the brain is powerful. And to know that suggestion is powerful. Therefore, given that I was in a state of desperation and asking an invisible, unknowable presence for a mercy of which I felt unworthy, my brain created the experience. My complexly constructed brain used overtly simple logic to rationalize a scenario where something special had happened to me: I asked someone—and I deeply hoped this someone existed—for something and I had received it, therefore that someone must have given it to me. Furthermore, as I previously stated, I felt undeserving of the mercy I received. Because I felt undeserving, it was natural to feel gratitude, and I don’t think I’m being too presumptuous when I suggest that it is the nature of human mentality to focus our gratitude or blame, anger or affection onto a person, or Supreme Being in this instance.
Make no mistake, Hood’s argument is not lost on me, neither do I disagree with it. Hood would likely argue that whether I had chosen to view the experience as faith-affirming or to view it in terms of Freudian reductionism, the experience occurred and I had interpreted it, therefore the experience is validated. The very fact that it happened makes it real, regardless of its roots. I am simply arguing that the roots are sometimes related to the “fruits,” as William James calls them.
Hood’s approach holds so long as we reject the possibility of objective truth. Take, for instance, the example given in the interview regarding psychedelic drugs. Hood argues that the experience should not be dismissed simply because it was caused by synthetic means, that is to say, only the cause is synthetic, the consequence is very much natural and real. On the one hand, if, while on an acid trip, one realizes through a transcendent experience that he or she has become angry and short-tempered recently, and as a result modifies his or her behavior, then the roots of the experience should not nullify the lesson learned. On the other hand, if, while on an acid trip one has, through a transcendent experience, become convinced whole-heartedly of the existence of God, then the validity could be called into question. Hood would argue that if one arrives at this conclusion through mystical experience, it should not be dismissed simply because the cause was hallucinogenic drugs rather than prayer. To his point, if one gained this same certainty through experience caused by other means, I would lend it no more validity; but, it becomes more difficult to distinguish the cause from the consequence.
Despite the rejection of my childhood religion, I have always wanted for the supernatural world of heaven and spirits to exist. The fact I want to believe only adds to my skepticism; I wish there was a heaven, therefore it becomes easier to convince me it is so, and thus I remain wary. If you have ever watched an episode of Ghost Hunters on the Syfy network and seen how disappointed people appear when they discover that their house is not haunted, then you understand what I mean. People would rather be in danger than be wrong, and we would choose almost anything over being alone and insignificant. If we have a heaven, or even a suggestion that there is something after death, say a spiritual experience, then we do not have to fear the loneliness of death. For centuries, the West believed unquestioningly that God created the Earth and all the plants and creatures specifically for us and that it was the center of the entire universe. This arrogant insistence upon being special has been deeply embedded in our collective unconscious for some time. The discoveries made along the road to the present were increasingly more difficult to deal with until we finally became the most dominant animal on one of many billions of rocks in a universe too big for us to even begin to measure. It is no surprise we want to believe. Thus even today any experience of some transcendence must be interpreted as special conversation between the individual and God himself, or whatever entity or realm in which one believes.
For Hood, my cynical interpretation only proves his point: the consequence of the experience is all that matters; the religious among us will interpret it religiously, and the non-religious among us will interpret it non-religiously. A spiritual world exists because people continue to experience it. It is a post-modern and pragmatic philosophy, and it serves him well. Take Hood’s and Paul Williamson’s work with the Lazarus Project for example. The addicts replace the drug experience with a spiritual experience, and if it benefits them, who could question its validity. And of course, if someone manages to reveal the spiritual world to be an objective part of the natural world, it will undoubtedly be discovered through the mythological agnostic approach used by scientists like Ralph Hood who refused to be limited by presumptions.
This 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.
About the Author
Joshua James is in graduate school at Henderson State, Master of Liberal Arts with an emphasis in social science in progress. He received his B.A., major in History from Henderson also, and has worked in the restaurant business for years. Recently he has become passionate about writing and just this semester has taken an interest in journalism, something I never attempted as an undergrad.
 William James. The Varieties of Religious Experience. (New York: Penguin, 1982), 64-5.
One of the primary interests of scholars and researchers from diverse academic disciplines has been in exploration of mysticism. Mysticism has been observed within a variety of traditions and philosophies from Neo-Platonism to Hinduism and Christianity. Mysticism as a field of study is pregnant with possibilities for academic inquiry, both cross-disciplinary and discipline specific. The field of psychology is one of those disciplines which have sought to explore the richness of individual claims of mystical experience. This has been done with theoretical depth and methodological sophistication and is centralized within a variety of tools of empirical inquiry.
The study of mysticism necessitates addressing issues of ontology and epistemology, relating to the methodological processes for studying direct personal experiences. Within the psychological perspective, some of these concerns are mediated through what both Porpora (2006) and Hood, Hill and Spika (2009) describe as methodological agnosticism. While Silver (2011) argues that there is no such thing as true objectivity in research, certainly academics and researchers can strive for a post-positivist paradigm of objectivity where they attempt to remove bias and subjectivity from their research or hermeneutic inquiry.
While there is plenty of hermeneutic and observational potential in the study of Mysticism, more needs to be done in exploration of the experiential and psychological correlates related to personal experiences. Dr. Ralph W. Hood Jr. has extensive experience in the field of psychology of religion and particularly in the study of mysticism and mystical experience. As an early pioneer in the renaissance of the field of psychology of religion, Hood’s work is extensive and prolific exploring a variety of research topics in the social sciences of religion. Moreover, much of his collaborative work extends beyond the field of psychology to include sociology, religious studies, medicine, and a variety of other disciplines in the social scientific study of religion. In this week’s podcast, Chris SIlver is joined by Ralph Hood to discuss in detail his work on mysticism and the benefits and disadvantages of this academic exercise.
You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. And if you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us, or use our Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com link to support us when buying your important books etc.
Ralph W. Hood Jr. is professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is a former editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and former co-editor of the Archive for the Psychology of Religion and The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. He is a past president of division 36 (psychology of religion) of the American Psychological Association and a recipient of its William James, Mentor, and Distinguished Service awards. He has published over 200 articles in the psychology of religion and has authored, co-authored, or edited numerous book chapters and eleven books, all dealing with the psychology of religion.
Date: July 8th (Mon.) ~ 19th (Fri.) 2013
Venue: Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea<br>
Topic: Identity, Re… (author unknown) via H-Net Academic Announcements - Seminar on May 16, 2013 at 11:48AM
PhilosophyFeeds: Phil Updates: CFP on the Virtue of Love http://bit.ly/11O2lm3 (author unknown) via Twitter / PhilosophyFeeds on May 15, 2013 at 06:04PM
The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museums Center… (author unknown) via H-Net Academic Announcements - Seminar on May 14, 2013 at 11:30AM
PhilosophyFeeds: Phil Updates: CFP: Naturalism in German Idealism http://bit.ly/10blc3Q (author unknown) via Twitter / PhilosophyFeeds on May 13, 2013 at 05:10PM
Do you worry about the job market? IHS can help you. Join IHS Academic Placement Officer Amanda Brand as she gives an ov… (author unknown) via H-Net Academic Announcements - Seminar on May 13, 2013 at 03:01PM
Join us as Dr. Josh Hall gives an overview of what it looks like financially to make a career out of higher education to… (author unknown) via H-Net Academic Announcements - Seminar on May 13, 2013 at 02:58PM
The Manchester Methods Summer School will be held at the University of Manchester, UK, from June 17 -21, 2013.
The sc… (author unknown) via H-Net Academic Announcements - Summer Program on May 08, 2013 at 12:19PM
Piet Zwart Institute, Master of Education in Arts:
Call for Applications for European students
Postgraduat… (author unknown) via H-Net Academic Announcements - Seminar on May 07, 2013 at 09:20AM
The School of Education at Mercy College will be offering a new graduate summer course/workshop from July 8-18 on teachi… (author unknown) via H-Net Academic Announcements - Summer Program on May 06, 2013 at 11:18PM