Monday, November 17, 2008
Here's some blurb and endorsements:
"With his Logic of Incarnation, James K. A. Smith has provided a compelling critique of the universalizing tendencies in some strands of postmodern philosophy of religion. A truly postmodern account of religion must take seriously the preference for particularity ﬁrst evidenced in the Christian account of the incarnation of God. Moving beyond the urge to universalize, which characterizes modern thought, Smith argues that it is only by taking seriously particular differences—historical, religious, and doctrinal—that we can be authentically religious and authentically postmodern.
"Smith remains hugely inﬂuential in both academic discourse and church movements. This book is the ﬁrst organized attempt to bring both of these aspects of Smith’s work into conversation with each other and with him. With articles from an internationally respected group of philosophers, theologians, pastors, and laypeople, the entire range of Smith’s considerable inﬂuence is represented here. Discussing questions of embodiment, eschatology, inter-religious dialogue, dogma, and difference, this book opens all the most relevant issues in postmodern religious life to a unique and penetrating critique."
"This volume brilliantly highlights the importance of Smith's logic of incarnation. It amplifies a new and indispensable voice in the postmodern debate." —Richard Kearney, author of The God Who May Be and Strangers, Gods and Monsters
"The Logic of Incarnation offers the reader a helpful overview and critical discussion of James K. A. Smith's engagement with postmodern thought based on Christianity's central mystery: God's becoming human. In critically engaging Deconstruction, the emergent church, and the role of tradition, The Logic of Incarnation introduces the reader to central themes of current thinking on religion that have especially dominated North American discussions, but it also points, particularly in Smith's concluding response to his critics, toward recovering an ancient incarnational thinking whose radical quality—reaching far beyond modernity and postmodernity—lies precisely in recovering the ecclesial and eschatological nature of Christianity."—Jens Zimmermann, author of Recovering Theological Hermeneutics: An Incarnational-Trinitarian Theory of Interpretation
"It is as testament to James K. A. Smith's career that, even at a relatively young age (academically speaking), his work merits an interaction as robust as this book. The Logic of Incarnation will not only introduce many to Smith's important writings, but it will also spur on conversation about these very significant ideas where, indeed, theology, philosophy, and church meet."—Tony Jones, author of The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The day will consist of a Plenary by Prof. Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University), who is the director of the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme, on current and future directions in the study of religion. Then there will be two one-hour sessions, the first run by me and the second focusing on how to access and use census data in the study of religion, by Dr. Serena Hussain (University of Leeds). After lunch, there will be a small number of papers presented by other students (presumably following a call for papers which will go out next year). The day closes with a panel discussion by Linda, me, and Serena.
Pretty excited to be asked to be a part of this. But I'm also glad that it's not until May, when (hope against hope) I may have already submitted by thesis. It also means that I won't have to think about it now and risk getting sidetracked back into Internet methodology stuff when I should be firmly ensconced in philosophy!!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"In recent years, there has been growing awareness across a range of academic disciplines of the value of exploring issues of religion and the sacred in relation to cultures of everyday life. Exploring Religion and the Sacred in a Media Age offers inter-disciplinary perspectives drawing from theology, religious studies, media studies, cultural studies, film studies, sociology and anthropology. Combining theoretical frameworks for the analysis of religion, media and popular culture, with focused international case studies of particular texts, practices, communities and audiences, the authors examine topics such as media rituals, marketing strategies, empirical investigations of audience testimony, and the influence of religion on music, reality television and the internet. Both academically rigorous and of interest to a wider readership, this book offers a wide range of fascinating explorations at the cutting edge of many contemporary debates in sociology, religion and media, including chapters on the way evangelical groups in America have made use of The Da Vinci Code and on the influences of religion on British club culture and electronic dance music."
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
The call for papers makes these suggestions for themes:
- The sociology of Religious Education
- Clandestine knowledge and religious identity
- The legitimation & de-legitimation of religious knowledge
- Guardianship and control of religious knowledge
- The legacy of the sociology of knowledge
- Epistemological challenges facing the sociology of religion
- Resurgent secularism and the 'New Atheism'
Confirmed speakers include Professor Steve Fuller, University of Warwick (the sociology of the intelligent design movement), Professor Elizabeth Cooksey, Ohio State University (the Amish), and Professor David Chalcraft, University of Derby (sociological approaches to Biblical texts). The conference organiser is Dr. Matthew Guest, a Lancaster grad and alternative worship kinda guy - see also his 2006 emerging church article written with Steve Taylor in the International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church. The deadline for abstracts is January 12... Hmm, mulling it over...
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Here's some blurb: "The phenomenon of 'sacred text' has undergone radical deconstruction in recent times, reflecting how religion has broken out of its traditional definitions and practices, and how current literary theories have influenced texts inside the religious domain and beyond. "Reading Spiritualities" presents both commentary and vivid examples of this evolution, engaging with a variety of reading practices that work with traditional texts and those that extend the notion of 'text' itself. The contributors... open up understandings of where and how 'sacred texts' are emerging and being reassessed within contemporary religious and spiritual contexts; and make room for readings where the spiritual resides not only in the textual, but in other unexpected places... [The book] offers a unique and well-focussed 'snapshot' of the textual constructions and representations of the sacred within the contemporary religious climate - accessible to the general reader, as well as more specialist interests of students and researchers working in the crossover fields of religious, theological, cultural and literary studies."
And the table of contents:
- "Introduction," Deborah F. Sawyer and Dawn Llewellyn
- "Getting a/cross god: An Interview with Michèle Roberts," Michèle Roberts, Dawn Llewellyn and Deborah F. Sawyer
- "The Sacred in Caribbean Literature: A Theological Conversation," Michael N. Jagessar
- "Dramatic Improvisation: A Jazz Inspired Approach to Undertaking Theology with the Marginalized," Anthony G. Reddie
- "‘Gendering the Spirit’: Reading Women’s Spiritualities with a Comparative Mirror," Ursula King
- "Our Sacred Texts: Literature, Theology and Feminism," Heather Walton
- "The Desire for Interactivity and the Emerging Texts of the Blogosphere," Katharine Sarah Moody
- "Spiritual Themes and Identities in Chicana Texts: The Virgin of Guadalupe as a Role Model for Womanhood," María Antonia Álvarez
- "Bihishti Zewar: A Text for Respectable Women?" Raana Bokhari
- "Forming Community in the Third Wave: Literary Texts and Women’s Spiritualities," Dawn Llewellyn
- "Solomon’s Narrative: Architecture, Text and the Sacred," Ozayr Saloojee
- "Reading Texts, Watching Texts: Mythopoesis on Neopagan Websites," Maria Beatrice Bittarello
- "Word and Image: Burgess, Zeffirelli, and Jesus the Man of Nazareth," Graham Holderness
- "Do Not Hide Your Face From Me: The Sacred and Profane Body in Art and Modern Literature," David Jasper
My chapter, "The Desire for Interactivity and the Emerging Texts of the Blogosphere," focuses upon the ways in which the UK emerging church milieu (when I wrote the paper I was using the language of "emerging Christian communities") use online texts, particularly blogs, from the perspective of recent literary theory. I've blogged about it before - here - but wanted to draw attention to it again now we've gone to print!