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This paper calls for a return to a basic ethnographic practice of drawing close to those we engage with in fieldwork. In contrast to a traditional anthropological caution against ‘going native', I urge researchers to consider methods of increasing sensitivity to the native position. I identify and discuss skills I have found useful to enhance good scholarship through cultivating the researcher's subjectivity in relation to research participants. The paper builds on my recent ethnography: Religious Lives of Older Laywomen: the Last Active Anglican Generation. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press 2017.
Event Time
16:00 - 17:30
Venue
Cavendish Colloquium, Faraday Building
Military Lives and Transformative Experiences is an interdisciplinary project run by Liz Brewester (Faculty of Health and Medicine) and Sam Clark (Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Religion). It is supported by the MOD's Aged Veterans Fund via the Royal British Legion. The project employs a research assistant, Brigit McWade. We use a combination of qualitative interviews, workshops, and philosophical argument to investigate: (1) the therapeutic benefits of autobiographical storytelling for military veterans; and (2) the applicability of the philosophies of autobiography and of well-being to veterans' lives. We aim both at understanding the nature of martial lives in time, and at interventions to improve the lives of veterans. In this round table, Liz, Sam, and Brigit present and offer for discussion some of our work and thinking so far.
Event Time
16:00 - 17:30
Venue
Fylde Lecture Theatre 3
Ruth Sheldon Dangoor Research Fellow, Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London Ethical neighbours? Jewish encounters in the secular city Abstract: TBC
Event Time
16:00 - 17:30
Venue
Cavendish Colloquium, Faraday Complex
The paper contributes to the debates on the role of religion in contemporary political conflicts by focusing on the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian crisis. It suggests that we need more inclusive and sophisticated conceptualisations of religion beyond its institutional expressions to capture a variety of ways in which its multifaceted manifestations can be significant factors in these conflicts. It also calls for returning to Durkheim's legacy of conceptualising the 'sacred' that, considering the current changes in religion, can no longer be seen as embodied in religious institutions.
Event Time
16:00 - 17:30
Venue
Cavendish Colloquium, Faraday Complex
In this seminar, I will lay out the first chapter of my book-in-progress, Blame Satan: Spiritual Warfare and Contemporary Global Christianity. I will first describe scenes from my research field: Brazil, Nigeria and the United States, the world's three most evangelical countries. I will then explain the significance of contemporary global Christianity, tackling the challenge of defining it and identifying the problems with the terms we use (Pentecostal, evangelical, charismatic, etc.). Next, I will argue that the best way to define the new global Christianity is to put Satan at the center, because it is the focus on spiritual warfare — the omnipresent, ongoing battle between God and the Devil — that is the common thread across churches and countries. Finally, I will address the significance of this argument for understanding the secular, the material, and the transcendent. As I am writing this book for a broad scholarly audience, I encourage non-specialists to attend.
Event Time
16:00 - 17:30
Venue
Bowland North Seminar Room 10
In contemporary study of religion there is a gap between research of religious beliefs, on the one hand, and investigation of religious practices, on the other. The former is investigated in philosophy of religion, while the latter is investigated in religious anthropology, ethnology and other empirical disciplines. The investigations cease to study any link between religious beliefs and religious practices. In this talk I will strive to bridge this gap on an example of doctrinal belief. Doctrinal belief poses a puzzle: on the one hand, philosophy and theology often deem knowing it essential for belonging to religious traditions. On the other hand, empirical facts as theological incorrectness and disinterest of common believers in the content of doctrines show that people often do not understand the content of doctrines and do not care about getting it right. How can we understand the role doctrines play in lived religion? As I will show, in lived religion doctrine is often treated as a sacred artefact (for example, as an icon). It is held without proper understanding of its propositional contents, but with a reverence and a strong adherence to them. Thus, what is considered to belong to the domain of mental states and their propositional content (doctrinal belief), in lived religion is treated similarly to a material object of religious practice.
Event Time
16:00 - 17:30
Venue
Bowland North Seminar Room 10
In the past decade, speculation has become an increasingly widespread concept in disciplines across the sciences, arts and humanities. Its applications are as diverse as designing urban futures, studying geological phenomena and imagining future participatory politics. That speculative methods and practices often place importance on unpredictability would seem to make the approach unattractive to planning and design. However, speculation is increasingly deployed in shaping environments, policies, cultures and products in direct ways. As a consequence, there is growing interest in disparate, but often overlapping, conceptual, theoretical and practical elements of speculative research methods. As this cross-disciplinary pool of research about speculation grows, questions emerge about its potential, as well as its concrete ramifications.
Event Time
TBC
Venue
TBC
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