Graham Harvey talks about “Finding Religion Where You Are” at the Open University’s Religious Studies Student Day, September 18th 2018. This talk is a taster of material you can explore in depth in A227, “Exploring Religion”
Stefanie Sinclair talks about Regina Jonas, the first female Rabbi, at the Open University’s Religious Studies Student Day, September 18th 2018. This talk is a taster of material you can explore in depth in A332, “Why is Religion Controversial?”
Another 3 Minute Theory! Suzanne Newcombe discusses Karl Popper’s “Conjectures and Refutations”, and explains what it has to do with functional and substantive definitions of religion.
For Halloween, Prof Graham Harvey, Dr Stephanie Lay and Dr Alison Robertson chat about the past, present and future of the festival and of fear, from zombies to robots…
Courtesy of FASS on YouTube.
We’re back! In bang-on three minutes, Stefanie Sinclair tells us about Benedict Anderson’s theory of Imagined Communities, in which groups gather around ideas and identities even when separated geographically. Originally coined for nationalism studies, the concept has great significance for other fields, including Religious Studies.
What Imagined COmmunities are you part of? Let us know in the comments!
Religious festivals involve a range of social practices. From having an annual drink with acquaintances before Christmas, office parties, spending money on gifts and eating a weeks’ worth of food in a day, and ideally fitting in all that study, juggling demands can be difficult. In this session, we think about what these religious festivals might add, and how restraint during Lent or Ramadan, followed by festivities, are different to things like dry January.
But what does this have to do with studying? Taking ideas of restraint and celebration and applying those to study, Graham Harvey and Paul-Francois Tremlett give you some space to think about potential gains vs time, acknowledging success, and when discipline can be useful in your studies.
From Student Hub Live
Theo Wildcroft and Alison Robertson are current and former PhD candidates in the Religious Studies Department. In 2017 they had their first co-written article published for the new ‘Body and Religion’ journal. The article is titled “Sacrifices at the Altar of Transformation”, and it discusses the many and varied reasons why people might choose to include painful practices as part of their religious activity.
A first peer-reviewed publication is an important milestone in any academic career, and given the subject matter, their choice of celebration was always going to be unusual. In this short film, they reveal their journey, from first conversations, to Lillyink Tattoo studio in Reading, and back to the BASR conference where it all began. Along the way, they speculate on what the study of such practices can tell us about how human beings understand suffering.
Film by David Robertson and Theo Wildcroft. Featuring Steve from Lillyink Reading and Professor Graham Harvey as doctoral supervisor.
Here’s the third and final keynote from our Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective conference, recorded Feb 21st 2018. Philip Williamson (Durham University) gives a timely presentation entitled Remembrance Day: the British Churches and National Commemoration of the War Dead since 1914.
Most historical work on commemoration emphasises the civil creations from 1919 onwards: Armistice day, the two-minutes silence, the Cenotaph, the War Graves Commission and war memorials, and the British Legion. Aside from the burial of the Unknown Warrior, the churches are treated almost as adjuncts. Yet British church leaders had been involved with remembrance since 1914, and from 1919 they created their own religious commemoration of Remembrance day, which in 1946 replaced Armistice day as the official occasion for national commemoration. Against the supposed trends towards secularisation, the churches acquired and retain a leading part in remembrance of the war dead. Yet some tension always existed between the civil and religious commemorations, and what secured the place of the churches in national rituals also brought compromises. This paper will consider how the protestant churches created a new religious commemoration of the war dead; how remembrance contributed to co-operation between leaders of the various British churches; how the character of Remembrance has changed; and how in national commemoration the churches and the state arrived at an alliance of church religion and civil religion.
Jonathan Tuckett of the Religious Studies Project attended our Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspectives conference in February, armed with an iPhone. Drawing from the themes of the conference, he came up with some (difficult) questions to ask the attendees – including our students Theo Wildcroft and Alison Robertson, and Lecturers Marion Bowman, David Robertson, Paul-Francois Tremlett and Suzanne Newcombe.