In this podcast, we check in with the state of the field, discuss developments beyond the Anglophone “West”, some of the many exciting projects being worked on under the “Understanding Unbelief” banner, the utility and pitfalls of the terminology of “unbelief”, and some of the critical issues surrounding the reification of survey categories.
By studying only video games, we impede ourselves and the progress which can be made; there are many aspects of video games which are affecting other elements of popular culture.
If content can explain the tendency to hold supernatural beliefs, but cultural learning is required to create religions, then we can make specific predictions about how these things should vary around the world.
“These kinds of situations can create a confluence of undisclosed interest, a phenomenon that can call into question even further the accuracy of media investigation and reporting.”
The Insider/Outsider problem, relating to where scholars position themselves relating to the subject matter (whatever that may be), is one of the most perennial problems in the academic study of religion. Does one have to be a member of a community for your testimony about that community to be valid? Or does your membership of the community invalidate your objectivity? Does an academic training permanently exclude you from insider status regardless of your personal ‘beliefs’ or sense of belonging? These questions and many more form part of the theoretical backdrop for this interview with Dr Chryssides.