A Response to George Chryssides on “Changing Your Story: Assessing Ex-Member Narratives”
By Aled Thomas

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Ex-member testimony can be a difficult to deal with. Such testimony tends to receive privileged treatment in anti-cult literature, while some academics are prone to be sceptical, even suggesting ex-member testimony is worthless due to the danger of adaption and fiction. So a question remains, how should religious studies scholars deal with such testimony. Do we treat it as fact, fiction, faction, or something else altogether?

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A response to Melissa Crouch on “Muslims, NGOs, and the future of democratic space in Myanmar”
By Paul Fuller

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The critical situation of the Rohingyas has cast a shadow over Myanmar’s process of democratization and drawn attention to some aggressively un-civil sectors of this Buddhist majority country’s Muslim minority population. In this interview with Melissa Crouch, we will talk about her recent research on Myanmar’s Muslim population and about the role played by the international community – and by religious NGOs in particular – in relation to the escalation of violence targeting the Rohingyas.

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https://religiousstudiesproject.com/tag/ngos-series/

Religion and NGOs
Produced by R. Michael Feener

Series overview:
Since the turn of the twenty-first century, there has been a remarkable surge of interest among both academics and policy makers in the effects that religion has on international aid and development. Within this broad field, the work of ‘religious NGOs’ or ‘Faith-Based Organisations’

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A Response to David G. Robertson’s Interview of Bjørn Ola Tafjord and Arkotong Longkumer
Claire S. Scheid

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In this interview, recorded at the SocRel 2017 conference in Leeds, Professor Adam Possamai discusses the rising popularity of ‘Hyper-Real religion’ – a category encompassing Jediism, Matrixism, and other movements taking influence from popular culture. Situating hyper-real religions within the contemporary context of digital capitalism, Possamai discusses how changes in the market can also affect religion, with particular reference to the ‘pygmalion effect’: the blurring of boundaries between popular culture and everyday life. How do these Hyper-Real religions relate to the hegemony of capitalism? The interview then

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A Response to Erica Bornstein on “Beyond ‘Faith-Based Organizations’: Religion and NGOs in Comparative Perspective”
By Chika Watanabe

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In this interview, we talk with Erica Bornstein about her studies of religious giving and social activism in India and Africa, and what the results of her research contribute to our understanding of the complex configurations of ‘Faith-Based Organizations’ across diverse religious contexts.

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A Response to James Spickard on “Alternative Sociologies of Religion: Through Non-Western Eyes”
by Jonathan Tuckett

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In this interview, recorded at the SocRel 2017 Annual Conference, Professor James Spickard talks about his latest project. Starting with a critique of North American sociology’s approach to religion, Spickard emphasises how our concepts of religion are historically grounded, arising from a particular time and place. How can we remedy this, and how can we look at our own concepts more critically and reflexively?

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A conference report by Hans Van Eyghen

Visiting your Alma Mater is always accompanied by mixed emotions. On the one hand you see familiar things you missed but on the other hand you’re confronted with downsides you hoped were a thing of the past. My visit to the KULeuven

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A response to “Muslim NGOs and Civil Society in Indonesia: An Interview with Robert Hefner”
By John Thibdeau

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Religion and NGOs

Produced by R. Michael Feener

While the service provision activities of some religious NGOs complement and enhance systems of low state capacity, in others they compete with state services and in still others service delivery by religious NGOs is associated with political parties and forms part of their electoral strategies.

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A Response to Wesley J. Wildman on “Modelling Religion and the Integration of the Sciences and the Humanities in the Bio-cultural Study of Religion”
By Leonardo Ambasciano

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