1,172 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Religion about their New Books
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    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.2 • 13 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Religion about their New Books
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    Ian Whicher, "The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga" (SUNY Press, 1998)

    Ian Whicher, "The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga" (SUNY Press, 1998)

    Join Raj Balkaran as he discusses yoga philosophy with Ian Whicher. We begin with a discussion on how he began his journey towards yoga philosophy before probing his assertion that the Yoga-Sūtras do not advocate abandonment of the world, but rather support a stance that enables one to live more fully in the world without being enslaved by worldly identification.
    The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga (SUNY Press, 1998) centers on the thought of Patanjali, the great exponent of the authoritative and Classical Yoga school of Hinduism and the reputed author of the Yoga-Sutras. In this textual, historical, and interpretive study, Whicher offers a plausible and innovative reading of the "intention" of the Yoga-Sutras, namely that Yoga does not advocate the abandonment or condemnation of the world, but rather supports a stance that enables one to live more fully in the world without being enslaved by worldly identification. Challenging and correcting misperceptions about Yoga drawn by traditional and modern interpretations of the Yoga-Sutras, the author argues for a fresh vision of the spiritual potential present in this seminal text, thereby contributing to our understanding of the meaning and practical relevance of Yoga and its reception today.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 48 min
    W. David O. Taylor, "Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts" (Eerdmans, 2019)

    W. David O. Taylor, "Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts" (Eerdmans, 2019)

    Churches have long sought the arts as a vehicle to communicate divine transcendence and to form worshipers. In Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts (Eerdmans, 2019), W. David O. Taylor brings much needed clarity into conversations around the role of arts in Christian liturgy. 
    After framing the way our theological positions and ecclesiastical traditions carry with them a set of presuppositions and implications about the arts and worship, Taylor then devotes a chapter each to the "singular powers" of various artistic disciplines: musical arts, visual arts, poetic arts, kinetic arts, and more. Throughout, readers gain much needed precision and nuance that can guide them through a wide array of conversations about the arts across the Christian tradition. David Taylor is Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, and you can follow him on Twitter (@wdavidotaylor), Instagram (@davidtaylor_theologian), or visit his website. 
    Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 41 min
    Mark A. Waddell, "Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Mark A. Waddell, "Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Today on New Books in History, Mark A. Waddell, Associate professor of History, Philosophy & Sociology of Science in the Department of History at Michigan State University in beautiful East Lansing Michigan, talks about his recent book, Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe  (Cambridge University Press, 2021). 
    From the recovery of ancient ritual magic at the height of the Renaissance to the ignominious demise of alchemy at the dawn of the Enlightenment, Mark A. Waddell explores the rich and complex ways that premodern people made sense of their world. He describes a time when witches flew through the dark of night to feast on the flesh of unbaptized infants, magicians conversed with angels or struck pacts with demons, and astrologers cast the horoscopes of royalty. Ground-breaking discoveries changed the way that people understood the universe while, in laboratories and coffee houses, philosophers discussed how to reconcile the scientific method with the veneration of God. This engaging, illustrated new study introduces readers to the vibrant history behind the emergence of the modern world.
    Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Monique M. Ingalls, "Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community" (Oxford UP, 2018)

    Monique M. Ingalls, "Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community" (Oxford UP, 2018)

    The choices that churches make about their musical style do more than simply change the sounds one hears in their gatherings, but actually form certain kinds of community. So Monique M. Ingalls, Associate Professor of Music at Baylor University, argues in her book Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community (Oxford UP, 2018). 
    Ingalls draws upon her original ethnographic research across five different forms of musical congregating among North American Evangelicals to analyze musical congregations at the concert, the conference, the local church, public events, and online spaces. Her study presents a new paradigm for congregational studies that is capable of taking a much more fluid approach to what constitutes a congregation. This study has wide-ranging implications for how to study religious mobilization and posturing beyond the strict, traditional institutional borders. Monique is also co-founder of the Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives Conference. 
    Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 46 min
    Richard C. Jankowsky, "Ambient Sufism: Ritual Niches and the Social Work of Musical Form" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

    Richard C. Jankowsky, "Ambient Sufism: Ritual Niches and the Social Work of Musical Form" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

    Ambient Sufism: Ritual Niches and the Social Work of Musical Form (University of Chicago Press, 2021) by Richard C. Jankowsky (an Associate Professor of music at Tufts University) is a rich ethnographic study of the sonic and ritual landscapes of complex religious communities in Tunisia. Using theoretical approaches of ethnomusicology that attends to questions and patterns of form, texture, and intensification of the soundscapes, along with the consideration of the uses of various instruments, such as during trance, Stambeli, and dhikr, the study illuminates the role of women, racial, and religious minorities in shaping the ritual musical landscape of the region. The book includes case studies on women's and men's Sufi orders, Jewish and Black Tunisian healing practices, and popular music across diverse socio-economic classes as a prism to consider the social work of ritual music. Jankowsky concludes with a critical discussion of the popularization of Sufi ritual music in mass-mediated staged spectacles and the ambiguous roles of these concerts. Conceptually, then, "ambient Sufism" illuminates diverse and adjacent ritual practices that serve as a musical, social, and devotional-therapeutic niche which exists within a broader ecology of practices that orbit the life and legacies of saints, especially Sufis. This book will be of interest to those who think and write on ethnomusicology, anthropology, Islamic and religious studies, and North African studies, while its accompanying website will be a great resource for those who teach on this topic.
    Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca. You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Elizabeth L. Jemison, "Christian Citizens: Reading the Bible in Black and White in the Post-Emancipation South" (UNC Press, 2020)

    Elizabeth L. Jemison, "Christian Citizens: Reading the Bible in Black and White in the Post-Emancipation South" (UNC Press, 2020)

    Elizabeth L. Jemison, who teaches American religious history at Clemson University, South Carolina, has written an outstanding new book, Christian Citizens: Reading the Bible in Black and White in the Post-Emancipation South (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Focusing on the Lower Mississippi River Valley, and working from the 1860s to 1900, Jemison explains how white and African-American protestants developed strikingly different accounts of Christian citizenship. Paying attention to the variety of perspective within and between the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopalian denominations, and to the perspectives of men and women, Jemison asks troubling questions about white violence and the religious character of the segregated society to which the white protestant counter-revolution eventually led.
    Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 35 min

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