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

    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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    “Communicating Religion”. Annual Conference of the EASR

    A conference report by Hans Van Eyghen

    Visiting your Alma Mater is always accompanied by mixed emotions. On the one hand you see familiar things you missed but on the other hand you’re confronted with downsides you hoped were a thing of the past. My visit to the KULeuven

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    Muslim NGOs and Civil Society in Morocco

    A response to “Muslim NGOs and Civil Society in Indonesia: An Interview with Robert Hefner”
    By John Thibdeau

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    Muslim NGOs and civil society in Indonesia

    Religion and NGOs

    Produced by R. Michael Feener

    While the service provision activities of some religious NGOs complement and enhance systems of low state capacity, in others they compete with state services and in still others service delivery by religious NGOs is associated with political parties and forms part of their electoral strategies.

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    Sitting on the bench: is the cognitive and evolutionary study of religion a team sport?

    A Response to Wesley J. Wildman on “Modelling Religion and the Integration of the Sciences and the Humanities in the Bio-cultural Study of Religion”
    By Leonardo Ambasciano

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    ‘Modelling Religion’ and the Integration of the Sciences and the Humanities in the Bio-cultural Study of Religion

    Following his Albert Moore Memorial Lecture at Otago University, celebrating 50 years of Religious Studies at Otago, Professor Wesley Wildman talks to Thomas White regarding the integration of the sciences and the humanities in his bio-cultural approach to the study of religion.

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