Posts tagged religion
Posts tagged religion
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In this issue:
Call for papers
Fourth issue of the Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies http://bit.ly/13rAJxj
Sociology of Religion, Advance Access http://bit.ly/11tZhuz
Journal of Religion in Japan (aims and scope, editorial board etc.) can be found here:http://bit.ly/13rAJxk
Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 4:1
SPECIAL ISSUE: New Scholarship on Contemporary Religion from Australia and New Zealand
Journal of Religion and Violence
I would like to announce the publication of a new academic periodical, the Journal of Religion and Violence (ISSN: 2159-6808). The JRV is an interdisciplinary journal devoted to the study of religion and violence. In addition to publishing analyses of contemporary and historical religious groups involved in violent incidents, the Journal of Religion and Violence publishes articles and book reviews on theorists of religious such as René Girard, sacrifice, terrorism, inter- and intra-religious violence, war and religion, peace and religion, and religiously-legitimated violence against women. Academic researchers with interests in these areas are encouraged to submit articles and book reviews.
For more information, consult our website:
CALLS FOR PAPERS
Open access publishing in social sciences and humanities
Description: We are a small, independent publisher that was founded in 2012, with the aim of bringing open access benefits to scholars in the social sciences and arts & humanities. We publish two journals, Social Sciences Directory and Humanities Directory, in which we wish to publish multi-disciplinary content …
Contact: dan.scott [at] socialsciencesdirectory.com
Announcement ID: 203737
CFP: Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences
Description: The Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences is calling for papers for its October issue. JAPSS is a peer-reviewed academic journal published both in print and online and indexed by EBSCOhost. JAPSS has a high impact factor and is published five times per year. …
Contact: journalalternative [at] hotmail.com
Announcement ID: 203717
CFP: Sorceresses & Witches: Enchanting Women on and off the Renaissance Stage
Description: This panel seeks papers that explore the intersection between theatric and non-theatric representations of the early modern female witch. Exegeses of witch-characters or “witch-plays”; examinations of witchcraft debates; contemporary accounts regarding witch-encounters; analyses of contemporaneous w …
Contact: dsaliba1 [at] binghamton.edu
Announcement ID: 203739
The editors of “Online – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet” (http://bit.ly/15SkgJB) are pleased to announce the relaunch of the journal. It will come up with a new design as well as improved navigation and search functions. By establishing a peer-review system, we will renew our mission of publishing articles of a high academic standard from a multitude of disciplines.
We herewith invite researchers of all disciplines to hand in articles on their research dealing with religions on the internet. We are currently planning to publish 2 issues a year, one of which will be a special issue addressing a certain topic. The next issue to be published in December 2013 will broach the issues of “Religion in Digital Games” (for further information see enclosed Call for Papers).
The journal is always keen to collect high quality scholarship on issues relating to religions on the Internet and welcomes submissions pertaining to all aspects of theses matters anytime to be published in a future issue!
Submissions and queries should be send to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 Hawaii University International Conferences
On Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
January 4-6, 2014
Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Drive
Honolulu, HI 96814
Call for Papers/ Proposal /Abstracts/Submissions
Submission Deadline: July 31, 2013
CFP: Prisons of Stone, Word, and Flesh: Medieval and Early Modern Captivity
A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium at Brown University
February 21, 2014
We invite submissions for a one-day interdisciplinary symposium to take place at Brown University on February 21, 2014, hosted by the Cogut Center for the Humanities and sponsored by the Department of French Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Medieval Studies Program, and the Department of History. Our theme will be “Prisons of Stone, Word, and Flesh: Medieval and Early Modern Captivity.” Professor Adam Kosto (History, Columbia University), author of Hostages in the Middle Ages (Oxford University Press, 2012), will serve as the keynote speaker.
If, following the thought of Michel Foucault and others, the prison is an essentially modern invention, how can we best conceptualize captivity in the time beforehand? Historical records of the medieval and early modern period (roughly 400-1800 AD) offer countless examples of human bondage, including the capture and detention of prisoners of war and the voluntary submission of hostages, as well as evolving forms of punitive incarceration. During the same time, art and literature are replete with depictions of imprisonment, often employed as a master metaphor for concepts like erotic love or mankind’s enslavement to the Devil and the body. Being held against their will even seems to have been something of a rite of passage for numerous medieval and early modern authors (such as Marco Polo, François Villon, Charles d’Orléans, Thomas Malory, and Cervantes) who found in various forms of captivity the time and inspiration necessary to create some of the most enduring works of western literature.
Submissions are sought from graduate students, faculty members, and other scholars in fields including—but not limited to—history, literature, languages, philosophy, religious studies, art and architectural history, and music. Particularly welcome are submissions which offer new methodological or theoretical approaches to issues of medieval and early modern captivity, or which examine the relationship of captivity to cultural production and/or intercultural exchange. Papers should be no more than twenty minutes in length and should be in English. Please send a 250-word abstract, along with brief contact information, to John Moreau, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in French Studies and Comparative Literature, at John_Moreau@Brown.edu. The submission deadline is November 1, 2013.
History of Women Religious Conference
Description: CONFERENCE REMINDER History of Women Religious Conference being held at St Catherine University from June 23-26, 2013. Scholars from the US, Canada, Australia and Europe will be presenting their latest work. Scheduled keynote speaker Sr. Florence Deacon, osf, current president of the LCWR.
Contact: emcgahan [at] nbnet.nb.ca
Announcement ID: 203742
Visualizing Asia in the Modern World: A Conference on Image-Driven Scholarship
Description: 4th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON VISUALIZING ASIA IN THE MODERN WORLD: A CONFERENCE ON IMAGE-DRIVEN SCHOLARSHIP will be held at Yale University on May 10 & 11, 2013. The conference is jointly sponsored by the Visualizing Cultures project at M.I.T. and the Yale Center for East Asian Studies.
Contact: jessica.chin [at] yale.edu
Announcement ID: 203623
NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS AND COUNSELLING
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building,
London School of Economics, Saturday 18 May 2013
Registration is now open for the one day conference Risk and Rapture: Apocalyptic Ideology in Late Modernity to be held at the University of Chester, Wednesday 11th September 2013.
SECURE ONLINE REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE AT http://bit.ly/13rALVS
Please note that to ensure ‘early bird’ rate of £50 please book before 10th June.
Accommodation is available on campus at £44.35 + VAT (inc breakfast and evening meal). To book please contact email@example.com.
Please use the dedicated email address for any enquiries at Riskraptureconf@chester.ac.uk
For those making travel arrangements the day is provisionally scheduled to run from 09:30-17:00hrs, though there may be minor alterations to this. Final programme schedule to be published in due course.
The University of Melbourne – Lecturer in Chinese Studies
University of Pennsylvania – Full-Time Lecturer in Pre-Modern Chinese
Humboldt University, Berlin – Postdoctoral position Jewish Studies /
Medieval Jewish History
Georgia State University – Visiting Instructor/Lecturer
University of Southampton – Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 20th Century
Business History/Middle Eastern History
Program Officer: Religion and the Public Sphere – SSRC http://bit.ly/13rAMci
University of Chester: Lecturer in Religious Studies
Buddhist Peace Fellowship
New York, NY (May 10, 2013) – The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation/ACLS Program in Buddhist Studies, a new initiative supporting research and teaching in Buddhist studies funded by a $1.9
million grant from the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. Working with the Foundation, ACLS will offer an articulated set of fellowship and grant competitions that will expand the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society,
strengthen international networks of Buddhist studies, and increase the visibility of innovative currents in those studies. ACLS will organize competitions for Dissertation Fellowships, Postdoctoral Fellowships, Collaborative Research Grants, and Visiting Professorships.
These are global competitions. There are no restrictions as to the location of work proposed or the citizenship of applicants.
The application deadline for the dissertation, postdoctoral, and collaborative competitions is November 5, 2013. The deadline for the visiting professorship competition is January 15, 2014.
More information on the program may be found here:
Call For Papers: The Films of Robert Rodriguez
POST SCRIPT: Essays in Film and the Humanities invites submissions for a special issue on the Films of Robert Rodriguez.
The issue will be guest edited by Professor Christopher González (Texas A&M University-Commerce).
Texas-based director Robert Rodriguez is arguably one of the most important Latino filmmaker of his time; his enterprising approach has now taken him into other forms of visual media, such as his El Ray television network and his latest “Project Green Screen” venture with the cell phone giant, BlackBerry. This special issue seeks to continue the exploration of this significant filmmaker first begun by Charles Ramírez Berg in his Latino Images in Film, and continued most recently by Frederick Luis Aldama’s Robert Rodriguez and the Cinema of Possibilities, to be published later this year. Submissions are open to a variety of theoretical approaches.
Post Script encourages original manuscripts of no more than 7,000 words in this area from scholars and academics as well as filmmakers. Essays will be subject to peer review. The guest editor invites submissions on the following topics or related topics:
• The impact of Rodriguez’s first feature film, El Mariachi, made for only $7,000
• Films such as The Faculty, where Rodriguez served as director only
• Directorial collaborations, such as Sin City, where he worked alongside Frank Miller
• Larger filmic canvases like the Spy Kids and Machete franchises, and the Mexico Trilogy
• Shorter films such as “Bedhead,” “The Black Mamba,” and “The Misbehavers”
• The “Ten Minute Film School” tutorials Rodriguez regularly features on his films’ DVDs
• Rodriguez’s filmmaking partnership with Quentin Tarantino, from cameos in Desperado, and Planet Terror, to more substantive collaborations in From Dusk Till Dawn and Grindhouse
• An exploration of Rodriguez’s filmmaking philosophy and technique, the speed at which he shoots; the economy of his productions; etc.
• The formal elements of Rodriguez’s films, including visual, sound, dialogue, and so on
• The politics of films like Machete, Planet Terror, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico
• Rodriguez’s penchant for using many of the same actors across his films; or example, Danny Trejo’s rise as voiceless villain in Desperado to brown superhero in Machete
• Rodriguez’s oft-criticized representation of women.
• An exploration of how Rodriguez’s films often engage in a Chuck Jones- or Tex Avery-style cartoon sensibility
• The adaptation of Frank Miller’s Sin City
• Rodriguez’s subversive use of stereotypes and cultural clichés
• Substantive interviews
• Book reviews (up to 1,000 words)
Please note that Post Script does not reprint previously published material.
Submit manuscripts via a virus-free attachment, with author identification on a separate page and not in the headers, by e-mail to guest editor Christopher González at the address below by November 1, 2013. Manuscripts must be in English and must conform to the MLA Style Manual, 3rd edition.
Professor Christopher González
Department of Literature and Languages
Texas A&M University-Commerce
For questions about Post Script not related to this special issue, contact the general editor:
Professor Gerald Duchovnay Gerald.Duchovnay@tamuc.edu
2013 SAMLA CONFERENCE, NOV 8-10, ATLANTA
SPECIAL SESSION: “(Con)Textual Networks and the Globalized Caribbean”
We often think of globalization as a contemporary phenomenon, characterized by the way high-speed technologies have changed everything from market dynamics to social relations. Many scholars, however, see the current phase of globalization as part of an historical process beginning as early as the sixteenth century. The Caribbean has, indeed, been a transnational site from the time of its original European colonization, soon followed by the importation of coerced labor from Africa, South Asia, and China. Today, the region remains populated by a wide variety of ethnic groups, highly trafficked by tourists from around the world, and economically tied to foreign currencies and markets. Additionally, high rates of migration from the Caribbean to North America and Europe have created an immense Caribbean diaspora that retains cultural and economic ties to the region, facilitated in part by new technologies and alliances.
Images of the Caribbean have thus been documented, constructed, and circulated globally from the rise of print culture to the dawn of the digital age. This panel seeks proposals engaging any aspect of the conference theme, “Cultures, Contexts, Images, Texts: Making Meaning in Print, Digital, and Networked Worlds,” in relation to literature and/or other media from any part of the Anglophone Caribbean.
Some possible topics include:
Please submit an abstract of 200-300 words and a brief bio (not CV) of <100 words, in Word or PDF, to Kristine A. Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org). DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 10, 2013.(author unknown) via category: religion on May 15, 2013 at 02:39PM
Check the website, apollonejournal.org, for submission details on publication, or for an application to work with us
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Apollon invites undergraduate students to get published in, review submissions for, or help edit a the third issue of our peer-reviewed eJournal, Apollon. By publishing superior examples of undergraduate academic work, Apollon highlights the importance of undergraduate research in the humanities. Apollon welcomes submissions that feature image, text, sound, and a variety of presentation platforms in the process of showcasing the many species of undergraduate research.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Apollon, an undergraduate humanities eJournal, is a peer-reviewed publication for undergraduate humanities majors. Apollon features undergraduate research developed in humanities courses, and thus emphasizes faculty-student collaborations beyond the classroom. We invite interested students to join us by contributing leadership or original work to Apollon. Our student team participates at all levels of this ongoing project (design, review, and publication) to offer their peers a real outlet for intellectual work in the humanities. For more information you can go to the program website, www.apollonejournal.org, talk to your professors, or contact the Faculty Director, Jason Cohen, at (859) 985-3765 or email@example.com.
This panel invites participants from any college or university where there is an interest in building a B.A. in English or establishing a new programmatic track within the discipline. Participants need not be at any particular point in the process, and we hope to incorporate a diverse array of experiences and viewpoints. In other words, participants may only be thinking about the possibility of creating a program or they might be on the other side of the process. This panel will also consider what types of programs should/need to be created to meet the changing needs of students in the 21st century. We hope that this session will produce a vibrant dialogue that will serve as a bridge to future cooperation.
Because of the collaborative nature of this panel, we would like to create a roundtable atmosphere in which the audience plays an active role. Participants will each provide an informal 5-10 minute talk about their experiences and the advice they have about the process and then the rest of the session will be dedicated to having an open dialogue.
Instead of traditional proposals, those interested should send a brief 250 word description of their experiences and what they would like to gain from participating in the panel. Accepted descriptions will be shared with all participants to help generate a productive discussion. In order to be considered, these descriptions should be sent to SOrtolano@Edison.edu by June 20th.
Featured Speaker: Dr. Kristie Fleckenstein, Professor of English at Florida State University; co-collaborator in the creation and administration of FSU’s undergraduate program in Editing, Writing, and Media(author unknown) via category: religion on May 14, 2013 at 09:05PM
October 4-5, 2013
The Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Student Association at The Ohio State University is currently accepting abstracts for the second year of its graduate student conference, Translatio. Prospective papers will be considered on any topic that would be of interest to an audience working in the fields of Medieval or Renaissance studies. We are planning to organize a panel of professors that will discuss issues of periodization in our fields, as has been explored recently by James Simpson in Cultural Reform and Revolution, who explains that the means by which we develop “periods” are as important as the periods themselves—and thus ultimately questions the periods. Abstracts that intersect with this theme are greatly encouraged, but our aim is to make this conference open to any graduate student in Medieval and Renaissance studies, so do not hesitate to submit an abstract on any topic or from any discipline. We also encourage papers that expand the discussion beyond western scholarship.To submit an abstract or request further information, contact MRGSA via email at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 15, 2013.(author unknown) via category: religion on May 13, 2013 at 01:18PM
DEADLINE EXTENDED: Abstracts due 6/1/13.
The tenuous relationship between the past, present, and future complicates the practice of creating as well as translating time in imaginary works. Grammatically, tense marks more than temporality; it also highlights degrees of being that remain unreachable or forever distant. At the 2013 SCLA conference we will examine what it means to stage the past and direct the future in our literary and artistic texts. Whether anachronistic, politicized, or asynchronous, tense marks the uneasy space where recollection and projection meet.
Keynote Speaker: Wai Chee Dimock (William Lampson Professor at Yale University, and author of Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time).
We welcome 250 word paper proposals or 500 word panel proposals sent to Prof. Heather Hayton (email@example.com) by June 1, 2013. Graduate students who wish to be considered for an SCLA Travel Scholarship should indicate this in their cover letter and include a short vita (2 pages maximum). We will also hold 2 undergraduate sessions and welcome undergraduate proposals (please specify).
See website for full conference cfp: http://bit.ly/ZB5yB9(author unknown) via category: religion on May 10, 2013 at 11:30AM
Pamphleteers, clergymen, and political officials demonized recusant Catholics in Renaissance England, but early modern English culture is inextricable from the influences of the medieval Catholicism from which it emerged. This SAMLA session will look at the ways that Catholic culture, broadly interpreted, influences English literary and artistic endeavors between 1534 - 1660.
We are accepting papers that show the subtle ways that visual and textual representations incorporate evidence of a continuing Catholic culture in an officially Protestant England. How is English Catholicism and Anti-Catholicism complicated by artistic forms? Under what circumstances is Catholic influence viewed favorably? How do writers and artists nuance our understanding of the numerous religious conflicts in the period?
By June 14, 2013, please send abstracts of 250-300 words to Christina Romanelli, University of North Carolina Greensboro, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAMLA 85 will take place November 8-10 at Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta, GA(author unknown) via category: religion on May 09, 2013 at 12:25PM
The idea of intersectionality in the field of feminist and gender studies has increasingly been used to facilitate deeper understandings of contemporary gendered identity and experience. Intersectionality in this usage seeks to speak to the coinciding of gender with other biological, social and cultural categories of personal identity and/or oppression, but also to the intersections which can be observed between gender and other apparently “gender-neutral” areas and experiences.
The Sibéal Irish Postgraduate Feminist & Gender Studies Network will hold their annual conference in Queen’s University Belfast on 22nd and 23rd November. The conference invites engagement with the intersections of gender as they can be detected in a range of locations, spaces and manners. The conference seeks to stimulate a wide and inter-disciplinary approach to the theorisation and everyday practice of gender identity. To that end, paper, panel and performance proposals are sought on, but not limited to:
Practice-based and theoretical perspectives on gender, sexuality and LGBTQI concerns as they relate to:
• The Arts, Literature and Performance
• Law, Politics and Development
• Health and Bodies
• Community and Activism
• Conflict and Nationality
• Economy, Poverty and Welfare
We highly encourage postgraduate students at the MA and PhD level from any area or discipline with an interest in feminist or gender studies to submit proposals.
Abstracts or proposals of no more than 250 words should be submitted to email@example.com
All selected papers should be twenty minutes long.
Deadline for submission is 16th August 2013.
A number of travel bursaries and a best paper prize will be available to conference presenters, further information on these will be made available after the close of the call for papers. Further information on the conference can be found at www.intersectinggender.wordpress.com(author unknown) via category: religion on May 09, 2013 at 05:26AM
Belief […] can be used as a concept to bridge […] frameworks, to allow scholars to understand and appreciate the framework within which religious actors presume to act without using it themselves (or necessarily having to adopt it).
A Brief Re-Examination of the Concept of Belief in the Study of Religion
By Liam T. Sutherland
Published by the Religious Studies Project, on 15 May 2013 in response to the Religious Studies Project Interview with Martin Stringer on Situational Belief (13 May 2013)
The work of Professor Martin Stringer is a breath of fresh air for all those who reject both the simplistic belief-centred approach to religion and its attendant backlash. It makes belief an important part of the way that religions are researched and analysed, but not in a fashion recognisable to many.
The traditional belief-centred approach drags with it a raft of assumptions that have proved consistently absent in the field, most notably that religious communities are centred on a coherent body of beliefs which mediates membership and divides them sharply from outsiders. Religious beliefs are often described in ways so philosophical and abstract that they would appear to in no way relate to the everyday lives of practitioners, who may have never encountered such supposedly integral doctrines. This approach has been overturned by examinations of ritual, visual religion, ethnicity, kinship, power etc. Other assumptions have been overturned, such as the notion that adherents engage exclusively in practices sanctioned by their tradition. Stringer found in his own fieldwork in the North of England that professing Christians would seek the advice of astrologers and claim to believe in reincarnation.
The inaccuracy of such assumptions has led to a rejection of ‘belief’ as a problematic concept. However, many of these assumptions cannot be countered without re-examining the concept of belief. Arguably this is because they reflect a misrepresentation of the workings of belief, not the applicability of the concept itself. The rejection of belief is based on equally untenable assumptions, usually simple, negative or inverted versions of those mentioned above. ‘Belief’ is often described by its critics in the words of Clifford Geertz, as though it always entailed some kind of ‘abstract Baconian deduction’, always hermetically sealed, intellectual, elite systems which are removed from everyday life. Attempting to remove belief from accounts of religion is a hollow, unsatisfying and deliberately blinkered means of avoiding its pitfalls – as Geertz added it is like staging Hamlet without the prince.
Stringer has shown that people use belief in extra-empirical beings as coping mechanisms and to anticipate and deal with problems. People may seek the structure, resources and cultural resonance of a Christian church, the ability to predict and respond to future problems offered by an astrologer, and the comfort of being able to chat with dead relatives who can listen and respond. All of these examples depend on a variety of factors, one of which is surely that they are considered to reflect belief in powerful, efficacious and therefore useful realities.
This approach to belief highlights the fact that while religion may have ritual, visual and ideological functions, it is never devoid of interpretations of the cosmos. The fact that some religions are orthopraxic, emphasising the necessity of correct practice not correct belief, does not mean that such religions are devoid of belief. As Segal has argued, religion could not perform any kind of ideological or psychological function if it was not a somewhat independent factor: that is, if many did not believe in the claims being made. A deity may need to be ritually appealed to or appeased but may not be concerned with the mental state of practitioners. This fact does not mean that no one considers the deity to be a real being that requires appeasement. While there may be evidence for other motivations for the performance – cultural heritage, to legitimate the traditional power structure etc. – a practitioner’s statement is surely the best evidence we have. As Horton pointed out, it would be incredibly patronising and unsound for scholars to assume that they have the ‘correct’ interpretation of believers’ statements.
Another crucial contribution that Stringer has made in the rehabilitation of the concept of belief is his notion of ‘situational beliefs’, which serves to explain the apparent ‘contradictory’ nature of many popular religious practices in the modern west. The fact that people may appear to practice many traditions simultaneously, or engage in practices prohibited by their (orthodox) tradition, cannot necessarily be taken as clear evidence that they do not believe in the belief statements they are making. Stringer contends that beliefs are most powerful and consciously thought about in specific situations in which they are relevant, such as a ritual-communal setting like a Church service or in the context of problems or obstacles in the person’s life. While the cognitive dimensions and interpretation which attend religious practices should not be downplayed, not all believers will insist on indivisible, coherent bodies of doctrines, but rather adopt piecemeal and patchwork systems. This may be derided by its critics as a ‘pick and mix’ approach but Stringer’s evidence contributes to the evidence that it is the norm not the exception throughout the world.
However, the concept of belief itself must be examined more closely if it is to be of any value as a scholarly tool. Beliefs must be differentiable in some way from thoughts, and could generally be defined as thoughts which are considered to respond to reality with varying degrees of conviction and held over a notable length of time. The thorny question of where the division lies between belief and knowledge was broached by the interviewer, David Robertson. Stringer places the divide along the lines of how much a statement could possibly be verified, i.e. if I put my cup down it is on the table (knowledge), or whether all leopards are Christian (belief).
According to traditional epistemology, however, all knowledge contains belief. One can claim knowledge if one believes a proposition, has sound reasons to justify this, and the proposition happens to in fact be true Belief is thus a constituent part of the process of gaining knowledge, all knowledge contains belief but not all beliefs count as knowledge. Beliefs themselves can be sub-divided according to how they are justified, whether the belief is empirical and rational and thus accessible to all, or based on experiential or cultural justifications.
One of the interesting questions to come out of Stringer’s research is: how incoherent are the beliefs of the practitioners under study? It is certainly the case that they may not match the traditional expected forms of practice, but while Stringer’s model of situational belief is highly useful, it does not necessarily mean that human beings do not retain a drive for coherence. Stewart Guthrie argued that the worldwide tendency of anthropomorphism, which lies at the heart of many religions, is based on a tendency to seek coherent patterns.
Are the forms of religion in evidence here not so different from the traditional orthodoxies, which no longer have the power or legitimacy to maintain their hegemony, that we find it difficult to recognise them? Practitioners don’t feel a need to accept traditions as whole packages, as Stringer mentioned, and may not even be aware of doctrines that they are contradicting. Furthermore, their God may no longer be a jealous one. That is not to argue that Stringer did not find very palpable evidence of contradictions and a loose attitude to creating a unitary, coherent worldview, even for the individual.
Another traditional view of belief challenged by Stringer is the idea that religious beliefs are always deeply held, of ‘ultimate concern’ to use Paul Tillich’s phrase. This arguably reflects Stringer’s link to the Tylorian tradition, which describes religious belief as a pragmatic means of interpreting the cosmos and indeed to coping with it. This means that believers may not develop an intense ‘faith’ in or sacred aura around these beliefs but, instead, may be willing to adopt new beliefs and abandon old ones, according to how well they appear to offer a valid interpretive mechanism. As Fitzgerald has astutely pointed out, belief in deities or spirits may be considerably less important or sacred than values such as hierarchy, purity or democracy.
One of the main concepts employed by scholars in place of ‘belief’ is ‘experience.’ Experience is an extremely useful focus but it can be used problematically much like belief and does not perform the same role. It would certainly be implausible to deny that religious practitioners have real experiences: social, psychological and sensory but the problem is of course that experiences can never be separated out of their frameworks of interpretation. Religious believers frequently claim to have experiences of the love of God and the power of crystals, not just the warmth of their congregation or the pageantry of a festival.
By using the notion of ‘experience’ scholars can conveniently ignore the inherent tension between the naturalistic-cultural and theological frameworks of interpretation. Scholars should not ignore this tension but face it head on: religious people claim to know or experience metaphysical realities because they have interpreted experiences found among specific groups and inculcated by rituals etc. in a particular way. Scholars of religion study only these human beings and do not interpret these experiences in the same way, but cannot simply dismiss them because they lie outside the scientific framework. Belief here can be used as a concept to bridge these frameworks, to allow scholars to understand and appreciate the framework within which religious actors presume to act without using it themselves (or necessarily having to adopt it). Many would not claim to believe in metaphysical realities, but to know them or experience them, but that does not mean that it is useful for scholars to adopt these turns of phrase. They must ‘re-describe’ religious claims in a manner which does not endorse their position.
Experience here takes on the same character as the concept of ‘faith’ that Stringer critiqued, which is used to keep scholars at arm’s length. Adding the concept of belief to the analysis makes it more precise and rich by clarifying how subjects understand and interpret their experiences, how they separate perceived reality from perceived illusion and modelling the cognitive framework within which actors presume to act. Certainly if social networks can inculcate common behaviour and even common experiences, they can inculcate frameworks of interpretation which are genuinely held to correspond to reality. The point is that religious believers claim to believe in more than the emotive content of rituals, to believe in ontological realities. Social scientists may be methodologically agnostic to the existence of such phenomena, but they should not leave belief in them out of analysis, because concern with human beings means concern with the cognitive worlds they inhabit.
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:
Liam Sutherland is a native of Edinburgh who has studied Religious Studies twice at Edinburgh University and is about to go back for third time in September of this year. His undergraduate work focused on Indigenous Religions, taking contemporary Indigenous Australian spirituality as his dissertation topic. His Masters by research concerned the legacy and influence of Sir E.B. Tylor on contemporary theoretical debates in the study of religion and his upcoming PhD will focus on religion and Scottish National identity. He has previously written An Evaluation of Harvey’s Approach to Animism and the Tylorian Legacy,and The Spirit of the Matter: a Neo-Tylorian Response to Timothy Fitzgerald for the Religious Studies project, and participated in roundtable recordings on What is the Future of Religious Studies? and Should Religious Studies be Multidisciplinary?
 This approach may well be criticised by many but mostly due to the seemingly arbitrary third factor: that a proposition happens to be true!
 I would not argue that Stringer is attempting to revive the position of the early anthropologist Lucien Lévy-Bruhl who argued that many cultures could not recognise contradictions because they thought only in a ‘mystical’ and ‘pre-logical’ framework. Stringer’s account of religion is far too embedded in ordinary life for that. It is possible to speculate that religious people much like non-religious people do not think about the totality of their cognitive cosmos at any one time, rather the aspects that concern them at any one time.
Proposals of 250 words in English or French accompanied by a short biography to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 March 2013.
David and Martin Stringer (and Eileen Barker) in the Great Hall of Durham Castle!
“Belief” is a critical category in the study of religion. Indeed, for some scholars, it is the very essence of religion; as Clifford Geertz wrote, “To know, one must first believe.” Others, however, see the emphasis on belief as part of the Protestant bias in the development of the discipline, and have proposed various ways of avoiding talking about it at all. In this interview recorded at the recent SOCREL conference in Durham, Martin Stringer explains his model of situational belief to David, and explains how it not only better represent how beliefs actually function for individuals, but also challenges preconceived notions of what “religion” “is” in several ways.
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Professor Martin Stringer is Professor of Liturgical and Congregational Studies and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham. He trained as a social anthropologist, and his research has focused on Christian groups in the UK and diversity among inner-city communities. His theoretical approach is to use anthropological methods of ethnography in detailed and extended studies of real life situations, where he believes religion can be most fruitfully understood.
His recent publications include Rethinking the Origins of the Eucharist (SCM, 2011) and A Sociological History of the Christian Worship (Cambridge University Press, 2005). However, of particular relevance to this interview is Contemporary Western Ethnography of the Definition of Religion (Continuum, 2008). Also of interest is his paper ‘Towards a Situational Theory of Belief’ (Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, Vol XXVII, No 3, Michaelmas 1996, pp217-234).David Robertson via The Religious Studies Project on May 13, 2013 at 04:00AM
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In this issue:
Call for papers
H-Buddhism, Buddhism Bibliography (Zotero). 6,800 items, maintained by 91 members
Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Cultural Studies
Journal of Hindu Studies http://bit.ly/16ls1XJ
Sociology of Religion, advance access http://bit.ly/11tZhuz
Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture – New Book Reviews http://jrmdc.com/
CALLS FOR PAPERS
CfP: Edited volume “Women from the Parsonage: Pastors Daughters as Writers, Salonnires, Translators, and Educators”
Description: CFP: Women from the Parsonage: Pastors Daughters as Writers, Salonnires, Translators, and Educators Many prominent writers and thinkers, especially from the second half of the seventeenth into the nineteenth century, were the sons of pastors. The advantages of their upbringing and especially the edu …
Contact: cindy.renker [at] utdallas.edu
Announcement ID: 203421
CFP for Ways of Knowing: Graduate Conference on Religion at Harvard Divinity School (Oct 25-6, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts). Deadline July 1, 2013 Location: Massachusetts
Description: CFP for Ways of Knowing: Graduate Conference on Religion at Harvard Divinity School (Oct 25-6, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts). Deadline July 1, 2013. The Science, Religion, and Culture Program at Harvard Divinity School announces the second annual graduate student conference on religion. In our i …
Contact: gradreligionconference [at] hds.harvard.edu
Announcement ID: 203423
Call for Book Chapter Proposals: Negotiating Ethics
Location: Nova Scotia
Description: Ensuring that sociological research complies with ethical standards requires considerable thought and attention. Not only does the researcher need to ensure safety to all participants in the process, they must also place themselves within that same continuum of harm and risk to ensure their own safe …
Contact: alan.brown [at] msvu.ca
Announcement ID: 203406
Sacred Topography and Cultural Tranfers in the Himalayas
Organized by Klaus-Dieter Mathes, University of Vienna
Time: May 24, 3 pm until May 25, 4 pm
Venue: Dept. of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies
1090 Vienna, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.7
Seminar Room 1
For further info see: http://bit.ly/11XmQYd
Wheaton College – Postdoctoral Fellowship, Asian History
Nanyang Technological University – Assistant Professor in Southeast Asian History
Northwestern University – Associate or Full Professor, Islam in African Societies
J. F. Oberlin University – Ass’t./Assoc. Professor, Premodern Japanese Literature
German Historical Institute – Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in History
Pennsylvania State University – Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies
University of Maryland – College Park – Position in Yiddish Culture
The Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions at SOAS invites applications for one PhD bursary for new dissertation projects on Japanese Religions.
The value of the bursary is £4000, which covers the fees for the first year of MPhil/PhD study at SOAS (UK/EU fees). If the successful candidate receives a grant to cover fees from another funding body the bursary may be used towards maintenance.
Deadline for applications: 3 June 2013
Start of bursary: Fall semester 2013
Applications are invited from outstanding students of Japanese religions, regardless of nationality.
For further details on the application process and procedures, please visit our website: http://bit.ly/11XmRezlouise via The Religious Studies Project on May 10, 2013 at 03:15AM
“Constructions of Autonomy in Early Modern and Modern Contexts”
We are soliciting proposals for conference papers on theological and philosophical discourses about the individual, rational, and/or autonomous subject in early modern and modern contexts, spanning from the Reformation to the post-Enlightenment period. Claims about autonomous subjectivity and its emergence in this period often appear in discussions of religious modes of subjectivity. Are claims to autonomy compatible with religious subjectivity? To what extent does autonomous subjectivity entail the ability of subjects to construct their own commitments–epistemological, moral, religious–and how have conceptions of autonomy themselves been constructed? In short, we invite proposals that explore the relationship between autonomy and religious subjectivity. Panels will examine discourses and constructions of autonomy in their historical formations in the early modern and modern periods, while also allowing for consideration of how such discourses have functioned more broadly within the study of religion. We are especially concerned with the European context–given its pervasive influence in these discussions–but also welcome contributions from scholars working on similar issues of autonomy and religious subjectivity in non-European contexts and in non-Christian traditions.
Salaam Cinema: Representations and Interpretations
Celebrating 100 Years of Bombay Cinema
Edited by Vikrant Kishore, Amit Sarwal and Parichay Patra
On 3 May 1913, Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke) presented to India its first silent film, Raja Harishchandra. Phalke proved that film-making can be a lucrative business in India – expected to grow to US$ 3 billion by 2014. A century later, from its transition from silent to sound, the term ‘Bollywood’, though incorrectly, is used to refer to the whole of Indian Cinema. Indian cinema, with aesthetics of its own, is a veritable storehouse of material that can be read in as many ways as possible. As a genre that has grown and developed over a period of 100 years, it is coloured by history, politics, socio-economic conditions, culture, sensibilities, dreams, fantasies, hopes and expectations of Indian people. It is a globalized cultural industry, cinema of attractions and the most fascinating film industry of the world packaged with romance, melodrama, action, costumes, songs and dance extravaganzas.
Success of the Festival of Indian Films, the search for Bollywood’s Star on SBS ONE, the Australian Film Festival, the Australian Prime Minister’s visit to India, and Oz Fest 2012 (the biggest Australian cultural festival ever staged in India) has also demonstrated that the two great nations are coming closer in terms of understanding each other beyond clichés of curry and cricket or economics of export and marketing. It is through Indian Cinema and the journeys of our filmmakers and their representations that new adventures in cultural engagement are being charted out between the two countries.
We invite you to celebrate 100 years of Bombay Cinema and share views on the key representation, transformative moments; changing faces and phases; re-evaluate Australian-Indian film connections; and find ways to engage and build meaningful collaborative film projects between the two countries.
Please submit your papers to Parichay Patra (email@example.com) by 30th July 2013.
About the Editors
Vikrant Kishore is an alumnus of prestigious institutes like RMIT University—Melbourne, AJK Mass Communication Research Centre – Jamia Millia Islamia and St. Stephens College—Delhi University, India, Dr. Vikrant Kishore is an Academician, Filmmaker, Journalist, and a Photographer. Currently based in Newcastle, Dr Kishore is working at the University of Newcastle as a Lecturer-Communication and Media Production and Course Coordinator (Music Video) in the Bachelor of Communication. Dr. Kishore completed his doctorate in “Bollywood Cinema and Dance” from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in 2011. After the completion of his PhD. he worked as a researcher on ”Australian Research Council” funded project on “Mapping Lifestyle Television in Asia” at RMIT University, Melbourne under the leadership of Dr. Tania Lewis. Dr. Kishore has more than 25 documentaries, and corporate films to his credit and his area of expertise are Bollywood Films, the folk and tribal culture of Eastern India, as well as the issues of caste politics in India. His documentaries on Chhau Dance have been screened in various international film festivals.
Amit Sarwal is Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia and also the Founding Convenor of Australia-India Interdisciplinary Research Network (AIIRN). He has taught as Assistant Professor in the Department of English at SGND Khalsa College and Rajdhani College, University of Delhi, India. He was an Honorary Visiting Scholar (2006-2007) at Monash University as an Endeavour Asia Award winner. His areas of interest include South Asian Diaspora Literature, Australian Literature and Popular Fiction on which he has organised and presented in many conferences and published in various journals and books. He has co-edited a number of books on Australian studies, prominent being: Creative Nation: Australian Cinema and Cultural Studies Reader (2009); Wanderings in India: Australian Perceptions (2012); and Enriched Relations: Public Diplomacy in Australia-Indian Relations (2013).
Parichay Patra is a doctoral candidate in the department of Film and Television Studies, Monash University, Melbourne. Patra studied English literature and Film Studies at Jadavpur University, India. He has published in reputed film journals like the Journal of the Moving Image and in a number of edited volumes. Patra has presented papers in various conferences / seminars / symposia in India, Taiwan and Australia. His area of interest is the history of the Indian New Wave cinema of the 1970s. He is currently working on an article on Ritwik Ghatak’s Subarnarekha (1962) for a collection of essays to be published by Orient Blackswan.(author unknown) via category: religion on May 07, 2013 at 11:47PM