Month: April 2016

RB016 POSTCOLONIALISM and Religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary:   Postcolonialism and religion: in what ways are history and the contemporary world relevant not only to the topic of religion, but also to how we analyse and understand religions and cultures?   LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB016_Postcolonialism_and_religion.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS Episode notes For some postcolonialism is merely a buzz word — perhaps like intersectionality — that is heard frequently but little understood. For others it is quite simply a methodology, a way of looking to approach a series of questions about a topic. Or as a description of the composition and power relations...

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RB015 The problem of BELIEF in the study of Religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: In this episode, my aim is to encourage you to stop using the word ‘belief’ when you think about (and talk about) religion. It is not a useful word, and for most of the time it does the opposite of what we want the word to do — that is, it obscures our attempts to understand, rather than adding any clarity or precision. LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB015_Problem_with_Belief.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS Episode notes My former colleague, Mary Keller argued back in 2002 that: ‘If I say that I am not religious but that my...

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RB014 AGENCY and Religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary:   Agency is a concept often used to understand how people participate in (and sometimes resist) religious contexts and structures. That is, how do people who are in a subordinate position and who are marginalised from the main areas of power, how do they live with (and perhaps overcome) their powerless-ness? LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB014_Agency_and_Religion.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS Episode notes The idea of the agent (the person with agency) recognises the person, not just the victim. This is a person that acts on their own choices, on their own values and beliefs, and...

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RB013 INTERSECTIONALITY and Religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: This episode introduces the concept of intersectionality, a way to understand complex issues and identities deriving in particular from the work of Kimberlee Crenshaw. An intersectional approach recognises that the ‘single’ categories that we rely on for much of our analysis (race, gender, class, etc) do not and cannot exist on their own. There is no race, it exists within its intersections with other differences — such as class, gender, sexualities, religion, and so on. Every time we ‘see race’ we see it within such intersections, intersecting with other categories / aspects of cultural life. LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB013_Intersectionality_and_Religion.mp3Podcast:...

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RB012 Race, Ethnicity and Religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: Is race a matter of identity (what people think of differences) or is it a biological given? How is it that the idea of race-as-a-given works to structure and enforce differences (and power relations) within a particular society?   LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB012_Race_Ethnicity_and_Religion.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS Episode notes How much is ‘race’ something that is given to us by biology (and genetic inheritance)? In what ways do our assumptions about race overlap with how we understand gender differences? And is there a better way of understanding these? Even more so than with gender,...

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RB011 Gender, Sexuality and Religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: Gender matters to our understanding of culture and religion. How we understand gender, gender differences, and the understandings and practices of gender has a profound impact on how we talk about (and understand) religion. Gender is a means of understanding the concept of culture. All aspects of culture are gendered — both in terms of how differences between genders are perceived, but also how they are lived out. Gender is a place for power relations (remember that power is everywhere) — not only clear cut male control of women (such as patriarchy), but also the means by why...

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RB010 Religion, Power and Ideology (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: An understanding of power, in its many forms, is an important part of the study of religion and culture. In this podcast on ‘Religion, Power and Ideology’ I give an outline of Michel Foucault’s understanding of the concept of power. In particular, ‘power is everywhere because it comes from everywhere’. One instance of power and religion is the idea of an ideology – religion as a means by which power relations (and inequalities based on such power relations) are naturalised and legitimated. Religion is not the only form of ideology, but I raise the important question to ask...

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RB009 Power, Gender and Race (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: Religion does not just exist within the context of culture. What we think of as religion always also exists within contexts of power, gender, race, ethnicity, and other areas of identity and difference. Or to put this another way: power, gender, and race are basic (and universal) aspects of human behaviour. To understand what humans do, we have to understand the contexts of power, gender, and race, etc in which that human action is located. Whenever we do something, it can be understood and analysed (if we wish) in relation to power, gender, and race. And likewise so...

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RB008 Religion and culture (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: Building on the discussion in the last two episodes, I introduce here the idea of subculture to explore through examples the linkages between such cultures of resistance, the cultural products that come from them, and religious ideas and practices. LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB008_Religion_and_Culture.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS Episode notes When talking about culture in religion, so far I have focused on the first of these — how cultural systems may be the bases of religious differences, within what we consider the ‘same’ religion. But we also often see a strong interplay between religions (religious...

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RB007 Culture in religion – there is no gap (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary:   When we reverse the discussion, and explore how we can understand the many ways in which we can explore culture within religion, again the gap between the two disappears. Thus, culture is the medium through which religion is done, and cultural differences often are the means by which religions differ. This can be highlighted by the ways in which we talk about differences within what we consider the ‘same’ religion (e.g., the differences within Christianity or within Islam). People live and express different forms of these religions through their culture differences.   LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB007_Culture_in_Religion.mp3Podcast: Play in...

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RB006 Mind the gap: religion in culture? (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: Continuing the discussion of religion and culture, in this episode we explore what is seen as the gap between the two. Looking at specific examples of religion in culture – in both ‘high’ and popular culture – we examine how religion is often the basis of the language of experience, a form of culture that we live by. LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB006_Religion_in_Culture.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS Episode notes In this episode, I am going to question whether or not there is a gap between religion and culture. As I have said before, religion is...

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RB005 Culture and religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: Religion is a cultural practice. And culture is bound up with religious ideas, identities and religion practice. Religion can be understood as a form of culture, and the study of religion is a form of cultural studies. And what we gain from this is the shift of our point of reference to the practical, the everyday, that is what people do. LISTEN NOW http://media.blubrry.com/malorynye/p/traffic.libsyn.com/malorynye/RB005_Culture_and_Religion.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS Episode notes If the study of religion is going to be meaningful and helpful, then we need to take off the gloves and get down...

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RB004 Relevance of religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary: In order to understand the contemporary world we need to take religion seriously. Although some may think of religion as an ancient (or medieval) relic of bygone times, religions are very often important elements of the contemporary world. We need to recognise that religion and religions have an impact in many different ways. Thus we can ask questions about the changing roles of religion in contemporary societies. For example, is there a process of ‘secularisation’, of the decline of religion, going on, and if so, is there any way of knowing where this will go? Is religion part...

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RB003 Talking about religion (Religion Bites Podcast)

Summary If it is difficult to define religion, what about if we try to avoid doing so? Can we talk about religion without a definition? Trying to find a definition is almost like stepping through a quagmire, it is messy and difficult, and unhelpful in many ways. The aim of this discussion is to encourage you to think about the difficulties of thinking and talking about religion. Whether we are ‘for’ or ‘against’ religion, whether we have a particular religious faith or not, it is important for us to start from a point of recognising complexity. There are no...

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