The Brand New Religious Studies Project

Finally, Chris Cotter – who I introduced here – has put me out of my misery and revealed his top secret new project, which sounds really exciting.

I’ll hand over to Chris at this point to furnish us with more details:

The Religious Studies Project  (RSP) is a website and podcasting project launched in January 2012, founded by David G. Robertson and Christopher R. Cotter, and presented in association with the British Association for the Study of Religions.  It features a weekly audio interview (of around 30 minutes) with leading scholars of Religious Studies (RS) and related fields, which is available through the website, iTunes and other portals. In addition to the podcasts, the website also features weekly articles from postgraduate students and other scholars of religion on the themes of the interview that week, in addition to other useful resources and articles relevant to teachers and students of religion in the modern world.

The RSP has been launched to help disseminate contemporary issues in RS to a wider audience and provide a resource for undergraduate students of RS, their teachers, and interested members of the public. It aims to provide engaging, concise and reliable accounts of the most important concepts, traditions, scholars and methodologies in the contemporary study of religion, without pushing a religious or nonreligious agenda or resorting to presenting “fact files” about “World Religions”.

Have you ever wondered how you can use a brain scanner to study religion? Or what an anthropologist does? Is Jedism a religion? What exactly is the secularisation thesis? These are just a few questions we address in the first few episodes. Our first podcast features Professor Emeritus James Cox (University of Edinburgh) speaking to David about the phenomenology of religion. You can find the podcast and accompanying notes here, or alternatively subscribe on iTunes.

In the meantime, please have a look around the site, follow us on Twitter, “Like” us on Facebook, rate us on iTunes, tell all your friends about us… and let us know what you think!

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2 Responses to “The Brand New Religious Studies Project”

  1. Simian Says:

    I must admit to be rather underwhelmed by Prof. Cox. The discussion took 25minutes to disclose what could surely have been said in 2minutes. I think this will be of interest to 1st yr theology undergrads but not sure how useful it will be for the rest of us.
    But I did pick up on another talk mentioned on one of the tweets, at Philosophy Bites, and which I found interesting, by Alain de Botton (yes, I know he’s considered a bit of a lightweight, but he usually has something interesting to say…) The talk is billed as follows:
    Some atheists despise religion and ridicule it as absurd. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Alain de Botton, author of Religion for Atheists, takes a more pragmatic line, arguing that atheists can learn a great deal from religion. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.
    The talk is at:
    http://philosophybites.libsyn.com/webpage/alain-de-botton-on-atheism-2-0

  2. Chris Says:

    Thanks for listening anyways, and it is good to get some negative as well as positive feedback. Not to push you to keep listening, but I would suggest that you give the next two or three a shot… we have some big names coming up – Armin Geertz (Aarhus), Carole Cusack (Sydney) and Donal Wiebe (Toronto) – and the topics are quite diverse, and not quite so methodological. The idea is that obviously not everyone will be interested in every single episode, but hopefully we can keep topics varied enough to cater to most interests :)

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