Drawn to the Gods – Religion, Comedy and Animated Television Programs

In this podcast Associate Professor David Feltmate, author of Drawn to the Gods: Religion and Humor in The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy, chats to Breann Fallon about the manner in which these three television shows create a broad commentary on religion for the general public. Feltmate highlights the central place these animate programs have in the proliferation of ideas about the spiritual and the religious, as heavily consumed mediums of popular culture.

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  • What is RSP?

    The Religious Studies Project (RSP) is an international collaborative enterprise producing weekly podcasts with leading scholars on the social-scientific study of religion. Find out more…

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    The removal and assimilation of NRM Children

    A response to Susan Palmer on “Children in New Religious Movements”
    by Patricia ‘Iolana

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    Children in New Religious Movements

    In the complex and sometimes fraught relationship between New Religious Movements and the wider culture and state, why is it that children are so often a focus? children are seen as needing special protection and therefore legitimising dramatic state intervention, but are also seen as of particular importance to the future of these movements, and in some more millennial groups, of the world itself.

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    Christian evangelical organisations in global anti-trafficking networks

    Since the turn of the twenty-first century, there has been a remarkable surge of interest among both academics and policy makers in the effects that religion has on international aid and development. Within this broad field, the work of ‘religious NGOs’ or ‘Faith-Based Organisations’ (FBOs) has garnered considerable attention. This series of podcasts for The Religious Studies Project seeks to explore how the discourses, practices, and institutional forms of both religious actors and purportedly secular NGOs intersect, and how these engagements result in changes in our understanding of both ‘religion’ and ‘development’.

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    “Insider Knowledge”: Seeing the Bigger Picture with New Religious Movements

    A Response to George Chryssides on “Changing Your Story: Assessing Ex-Member Narratives”
    By Aled Thomas

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    Changing Your Story: Assessing Ex-Member Narratives

    Ex-member testimony can be a difficult to deal with. Such testimony tends to receive privileged treatment in anti-cult literature, while some academics are prone to be sceptical, even suggesting ex-member testimony is worthless due to the danger of adaption and fiction. So a question remains, how should religious studies scholars deal with such testimony. Do we treat it as fact, fiction, faction, or something else altogether?

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    Buddhists and the future of democratic space in Myanmar

    A response to Melissa Crouch on “Muslims, NGOs, and the future of democratic space in Myanmar”
    By Paul Fuller

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    Muslims, NGOs, and the future of democratic space in Myanmar

    The critical situation of the Rohingyas has cast a shadow over Myanmar’s process of democratization and drawn attention to some aggressively un-civil sectors of this Buddhist majority country’s Muslim minority population. In this interview with Melissa Crouch, we will talk about her recent research on Myanmar’s Muslim population and about the role played by the international community – and by religious NGOs in particular – in relation to the escalation of violence targeting the Rohingyas.

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    Religion and NGOs: Archive

    http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/tag/ngos-series/

    Religion and NGOs
    Produced by R. Michael Feener

    Series overview:
    Since the turn of the twenty-first century, there has been a remarkable surge of interest among both academics and policy makers in the effects that religion has on international aid and development. Within this broad field, the work of ‘religious NGOs’ or ‘Faith-Based Organisations’

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    Complications and Contradictions in the Usage of ‘Indigenous Religions’

    A Response to David G. Robertson’s Interview of Bjørn Ola Tafjord and Arkotong Longkumer
    Claire S. Scheid

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    Hyper-Real Religion, Digital Capitalism, and the Pygmalion Effect

    In this interview, recorded at the SocRel 2017 conference in Leeds, Professor Adam Possamai discusses the rising popularity of ‘Hyper-Real religion’ – a category encompassing Jediism, Matrixism, and other movements taking influence from popular culture. Situating hyper-real religions within the contemporary context of digital capitalism, Possamai discusses how changes in the market can also affect religion, with particular reference to the ‘pygmalion effect’: the blurring of boundaries between popular culture and everyday life. How do these Hyper-Real religions relate to the hegemony of capitalism? The interview then

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    Tangential Thinking about “Faith-Based Organizations”

    A Response to Erica Bornstein on “Beyond ‘Faith-Based Organizations’: Religion and NGOs in Comparative Perspective”
    By Chika Watanabe

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    Beyond ‘Faith-Based Organizations’: Religion and NGOs in comparative perspective

    In this interview, we talk with Erica Bornstein about her studies of religious giving and social activism in India and Africa, and what the results of her research contribute to our understanding of the complex configurations of ‘Faith-Based Organizations’ across diverse religious contexts.

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    A World-Conscious Sociology of Religion?

    A Response to James Spickard on “Alternative Sociologies of Religion: Through Non-Western Eyes”
    by Jonathan Tuckett

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    Alternative Sociologies of Religion: Through Non-Western Eyes

    In this interview, recorded at the SocRel 2017 Annual Conference, Professor James Spickard talks about his latest project. Starting with a critique of North American sociology’s approach to religion, Spickard emphasises how our concepts of religion are historically grounded, arising from a particular time and place. How can we remedy this, and how can we look at our own concepts more critically and reflexively?

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