In this discussion, Professor Schmidt discusses her keynote lecture at the Open University’s “Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspectives: Publics and Performances”. We turn back to discuss some of the “founding fathers” of the discipline of Religious Studies: Rudolf Otto, R.R. Marrett, and Andrew Lang. These three founding fathers all proposed a non-rational understanding of religion which is relevant today to our considerations of religion in terms of vernacular or “lived” religion.
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Alison Robertson gives an insight to her doctoral research on BDSM as religious practice.
I find it our duty to walk the line that holds us from letting the veracity of a claim dictate our field’s observational models or orientations. A single informant’s truth is anecdote, not evidence.
Essentially, Kripal calls out the religious studies world for not having a sufficient appreciation of the power of imagination and invites scholars and the interested public into a new comparativism that moves away from strict materialism.
With the strength of a research method, there is a corresponding weakness. And these weaknesses turn out to be overcome by the strengths of other, “opposite” kinds of methods.
The RSP collaborated with Society for the Scientific Study of Religion at their 2014 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis to offer and video record an interdisciplinary panel on the study of religion. Each of the papers presented are not only from different fields in the study of religion but also methodologically or theoretically apply an interdisciplinary approach. The authors represent the best in their fields. Some are established scholars with a body of work while others are up-and-coming talent.
“…scholars should be more conscious of the ways in which some experiences are being distinguished (often implicitly), by either the person having the experience, the community in which the experience is happening, or the scholar studying it. Attention should be paid to the ways in which an experience is being marked as the sort of experience that is interesting.”