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American Academy of Religion
32 minutes | May 16, 2022
Artistic Devotion of Buddhist Women in Late Imperial China
Yuhang Li joins Kristian Petersen to discuss her award-winning book, Becoming Guanyin: Artistic Devotion of Buddhist Women in Late Imperial China (Columbia University Press, 2021).
28 minutes | Apr 4, 2022
The Death of Children in Late Antiquity with Maria E. Doerfler
Maria E. Doerfler joins Kristian Petersen to discuss her award-winning book, "Jephthah’s Daughter, Sarah’s Son: The Death of Children in Late Antiquity"(University of California Press, 2020). Through the book, Doerfler plumbs the fragmentary historical record for evidence of how members of Christian communities in Late Antiquity responded to the deaths of children.
29 minutes | Jan 27, 2022
Aztec Religion and Art of Writing with Isabel Laack
Aztec Religion and Art of Writing with Isabel Laack by American Academy of Religion
19 minutes | Dec 9, 2021
Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism with Kathryn Tanner
Kathryn Tanner joins Kristian Petersen to discuss her award-winning 2020 book, "Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism." Through the book, Tanner suggests Christianity can challenge the culture of finance capitalism that permeates our lives by guiding us to reflect on social inequalities and identity-building—concepts which she argues are at the core of Christian faith and practice. In the interview, she discusses how "Christianity and specific forms of it could gum up the works of capitalism." Tanner's book won AAR's 2020 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the constructive-reflective studies category. She is Frederick Marquand Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School.
60 minutes | Dec 9, 2021
AAR 2021 Presidential Address - Marla Frederick
2021 AAR President Marla Frederick delivers her presidential address to a crowd at the 2021 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX.
26 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
Competing Constructions of Religious Freedom in Allied-Occupied Japan
Despite the Japanese constitution guaranteeing religious freedom since 1889, after World War II, the United States-occupiers deemed that guarantee flawed. In this conversation with, Jolyon Thomas, author of "Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan" shares how the US imposed a new framework of religious freedom onto the Japanese, one that favored some traditions more than others. Thomas's "Faking Liberties" was co-winner of the AAR's 2020 Analytical-Descriptive Studies Award for the Excellence in the Study of Religion. He is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
22 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
State and Religious Rituals of Religion and State among the Buryat People
The fall of the Soviet Union provides the cultural space for a revival of the religious practices of the Buryat, an indigenous people of southern Siberia who live on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal, just north of the Mongolian border. Justine Buck Quijada, author of "Buddhists, Shamans, and Soviets: Rituals of History in Post-Soviet Buryatia" (Oxford University Press, 2019) joins Kristian Petersen to discuss her research into how the Buryat people recontextualize the rise and fall of the Soviet period into Buddhist and shamanic histories. Quijada's book won AAR's 2020 Best First Book in the History of Religions.
23 minutes | May 20, 2021
The Little Ice Age and Devotional Practices in the Transforming Landscape of Northern India
Sugata Ray's 2019 book "Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550-1850" won AAR's Religion and the Arts Book Award in 2020, the award's inaugural year. In this interview with Kristian Petersen, Ray talks about his book and explains how a landscape transformed by the Little Ice Age became part of evolving conceptualizations, rituals, and aesthetics involved in devotional practices of Northern Indian worshippers of Krishna. Sugata Ray is associate professor of South and Southeast Asian art at the University of California, Berkeley.
23 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
A Counternarrative of Buddhism in Modern History with Matthew W. King
Through a case study of Zava Damdin, a monk living on the frontier of Mongolia at the end of the Qing empire (early 20th century), Matthew King invites scholars to consider non-Eurocentric ways of studying religion in modern history. King is associate professor in transnational Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and he is the author of "Ocean of Milk, Ocean of Blood: A Mongolian Monk in the Ruins of the Qing Empire" (Columbia University Press), which won the American Academy of Religion's 2020 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the textual studies category. He is interviewed by Kristian Petersen.
25 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
Caretaking and Childrearing in Modern Jewish Theology with Mara Benjamin
Mara Benjamin, Irene Kaplan Leiwant Professor of Jewish Studies at Mount Holyoke College, experimented with genre in her 2018 book "The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought," blending an academic approach to analyzing the concept of childrearing in Jewish intellectual history and offering her own intervention, informed by personal experience, to this undertheorized area in Jewish intellectual history. In this interview, she talks about realizing her role in expanding this conversation across disciplines and her hope that other scholars feel liberated to construct new ideas in the fields they study. Benjamin's "The Obligated Self" won the AAR's 2019 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the Constructive-Reflective Studies category.
18 minutes | Dec 17, 2020
The Flying House of Loreto and the Growth of Catholicism with Karin Vélez
Karin Vélez explains how the 12th century myth of the flying house of Loreto, which tells the story of the home of the Virgin Mary flew away from the Holy Land and settled on the coastal town of Loreto, Italy, served as narrative grounding for the expansion of Catholicism through varied, voluntary, independent devotional movements across the world. Vélez is assistant professor of pre-1800 global history at Macalester College and the author of "The Miraculous Flying House of Loreto: Spreading Catholicism in the Early Modern World" (Princeton University Press, for which she won AAR's 2019 Award for the Best First Book in the History of Religions.
25 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages with Geraldine Heng
Geraldine Heng discusses the obstacles in conceptualizing race in premodernity and the evidence for racialized thinking in the European medieval period. Heng is professor of English and comparative literature, with a joint appointment in Middle Eastern studies and women’s studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the founder and director of the Global Middle Ages Projects. In this interview, she talks with Kristian Petersen about the research in her book The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2018), which won AAR's 2019 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the category of Historical Studies. For a transcript of this interview, visit https://rsn.aarweb.org/race-middle-ages-geraldine-heng
35 minutes | Jul 30, 2020
"The Fetish Revisited" with J. Lorand Matory
The construction and use of the fetish framework in European social theory is the focus of J. Lorand Matory's book, "The Fetish Revisited: Marx, Freud, and the Gods Black People Make." In this conversation, Matory explains how social theorists based in Enlightenment principles deployed simplistic interpretations of Afro-Atlantic religious traditions as a way to prove to their European audiences the similar "foolishness" of European political, economic, and religious policies. Matory is Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology and the director of the Sacred Arts of the Black Atlantic Project at Duke University. His book, "The Fetish Revisited," (Duke University Press, 2019), won AAR's 2019 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the category of Analytical-Descriptive Studies. Access a transcript of this interview at https://rsn.aarweb.org/fetish-revisited-j-lorand-matory
26 minutes | Jun 18, 2020
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz on the Nepalese Hindu Goddess Svasthani
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz talks about the textual and limited iconographic history of the mysterious Nepalese Hindu goddess Svasthani. Birkenholtz's book documenting her research into the goddess and the puranic texts that develop around her, "Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal" (Oxford University Press, 2018) won the AAR's 2019 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the category of Textual Studies. For a full transcript of this interview, visit https://www.aarweb.org/AARMBR/Resources-/Webinars-and-Podcasts-/Jessica-Vantine-Birkenholtz-on-the-Nepalese-Hindu-Goddess-Svasthani.aspx
89 minutes | Jun 16, 2020
Religious Studies and the 2020 Election: Tips for Sharing Scholarship with the Public
Webinar recording from June 9, 2020. The discussion focused on how scholars of religion can share work related to the study of religion and this election season. Co-presenters were David Campbell, professor at the University of Notre Dame; Iva E. Carruthers, general secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference; Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute; Terrence Johnson, associate professor of religion and politics at Georgetown University; Vincent Lloyd, associate professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University; and Melissa Rogers, visiting professor at Wake Forest University Divinity School. The webinar included a presentation and extended Q&A. This webinar was hosted by the Public Scholars Project, a joint initiative of the Public Understanding of Religion Committee of the American Academy of Religion and the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum. Webinars feature scholars and practitioners who can provide tools, resources and recommendations for presenting in a variety of settings (e.g., social media, news, public events and community gatherings) about a range of topics. The Public Scholars Project created this webinar series to help scholars hone their skills at communicating with a variety of publics. To view the complete webinar schedule for the 2019-20 academic year, including recordings of previous webinars, please visit our webpage: https://www.religiousfreedomcenter.org/resources/psp/
107 minutes | May 28, 2020
AAR 2019 - Making a Match: Finding the Right Publisher for Your Work
This session brings together editors from scholarly and trade presses, both large and small, to share their perspectives on the acquisition and editorial processes that bring a book from its research stage to market. Editors will share how scholarly authors can find their best publishing fit, what acquisition editors are looking for, strategies for pitching a book, and how to identify audience(s). They also discuss how they build strong relationships with authors in order for their books to make the most impact. Vincent Lloyd, Villanova University, Presiding Panelists: - Elisabeth Maselli, Rutgers University Press - Elaine Maisner, University of North Carolina Press - Philip Getz, Palgrave Macmillan - Rebecca Shillabeer, Routledge This session was recorded at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, California, on November 25.
32 minutes | May 21, 2020
AAR 2019 - The Art of Writing AAR Proposals
Have you been struggling to get proposals accepted to the AAR Annual Meeting? Come to this session to get some tips and ideas about how to better frame your research to increase your chances of acceptance. The presenter, Elissa Cutter, has been reviewing proposals as part of the Religion in Europe Unit since 2012. As a current chair of that unit, she now has several years of experience in reviewing proposals and forming sessions. In this session, she will let you know some of the main pitfalls that people fall into in writing their conference proposals and how best to avoid them. Panelist: Elissa Cutter, Georgian Court University This session was recorded at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, California, on November 24.
85 minutes | May 14, 2020
2019 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion Forum: Wade Clark Roof
Wade Clark Roof is the 2019 winner of the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion. Having passed away suddenly on August 24, 2019, he will receive the award posthumously at this year's Marty Award Forum. Roof was Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he founded and directed the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life. Trained as a sociologist of religion, and the author of fourteen books, he was widely known for his scholarship on the cultural, civic, and political effects of religious pluralism in the United States, and in particular on the spiritual lives of the baby boomer generation. Under his leadership, the Capps Center consistently brought together multiple publics—scholars, students, Santa Barbara residents, journalists, scientists, elected officials, and more—for extended conversations about key matters of common concern. The Marty Award recognizes Professor Roof’s many contributions as a public scholar, institution builder, and advocate for religious studies and the humanities. In this year’s Marty Award Forum, E.J. Dionne (University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University, W. Averell Harriman Chair and Senior Fellow of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, and syndicated columnist for the Washington Post) will join Roof's former colleague Kathleen Moore (chair of the Religious Studies department at UCSB and interim director of the Capps Center) and two former students, Julie Ingersoll (University of North Florida) and J. Shawn Landres (Jumpstart Labs) for an extended public discussion of Roof’s life and work. Contributions from the audience will be welcomed as well. Erik Owens, Boston College, Presiding Panelists: - E.J. Dionne, Brookings Institute, Washington Post - Julie J. Ingersoll , University of North Florida - J. Shawn Landres , University of California, Los Angeles - Kathleen Moore, University of California, Santa Barbara This session was recorded at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, California, on November 24.
85 minutes | May 7, 2020
AAR 2019 - The 50th Anniversary of Black Theology and Black Power: Looking Back, Moving Forward
This session celebrates the 50th Anniversary of James Cone’s Black Theology and Black Power, published March 1, 1969. This panel features prominent thinkers who address the significance of Cone’s first book, the relevance of black theology and the legacy of the James Cone. Adam Clark , Xavier University, Presiding Panelists: - Eddie S. Glaude, Princeton University - Gary Dorrien, Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary - Eboni Marshall Turman, Yale University This session was recorded at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, California, on November 24.
58 minutes | Apr 30, 2020
AAR 2019 - Conversation with Kate Bowler & Laurie Patton on Becoming a Public Intellectual
After Kate Bowler’s 2013 book, Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel, became an unexpected public hit, she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer at the age of 35. Kate was faced with the ironic situation of “being an expert on “health wealth and happiness while being ill.” Her 2018 memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason, is a memoir exploring that existential irony, and the ways in the American belief that tragedy is a test of character shaped her own response to illness. Now a speaker in high demand, Kate will engage with AAR President Laurie Patton on her transformation. Their conversation will focus on what it has meant for Kate to become a public intellectual in the midst of being a scholar, teacher, mother, wife, and cancer survivor. In her own “expansion of the public sphere,” Kate has explored questions of divine will and justice in contexts far outside of academe. What has shifted in her understandings of the role of the scholar in the world? How has her own thinking about public life in America changed since she has started writing for and speaking to larger audiences? Do the questions Kate raises about the American prosperity gospel changed public discourse about illness, divine will, and tragedy? Laurie Louise Patton, Middlebury College, Presiding Panelists: Kate Bowler, Duke University This session was recorded at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, California, on November 24.
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