Study of Religions - Journal Articles
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- ItemCreating a community of praxis: integrating global citizenship and development education across campus at University College Cork(UCL Press, 2022-12-13) Cotter, Gertrude; Bonenfant, Yvon; Butler, Jenny; Caulfield, Marian; Doyle Prestwich, Barbara; Griffin, Rosarii; Khabbar, Sanaa; Mishra, Nita; Hally, Ruth; Murphy, Margaret; Murphy, Orla; O'Sullivan, Maeve; Phelan, Martha; Reidy, Darren; Schneider, Julia C.; Isaloo, Amin Sharifi; Turner, Brian; Usher, Ruth; Williamson Sinalo, Caroline; Irish AidThe Praxis Project, established at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland, in 2018, seeks to assess possible models of best practice with regard to the integration of global citizenship and development education (GCDE) into a cross-disciplinary, cross-campus, interwoven set of subject area pedagogies, policies and practices. This study – the first part of an eventual three-part framework – asserts that the themes, theories, values, skills, approaches and methodologies relevant to transformative pedagogical work are best underpinned by ongoing staff dialogue in order to build communities of support around such systemic pedagogical change. This article is based on a collaborative study with the first cohort of UCC staff (2020–1), which demonstrates many ways in which staff and students realised that smaller actions and carefully directed attention to specific issues opened doors to transformative thinking and action in surprising ways. From this viewpoint, the striking need emerged for taking a strategic approach to how GCDE is, and should be, integrated into learning across subject areas.
- ItemPilgrimage and spirit possession: Reconnecting senses, discourse and subjectivity on Mt Kiso Ontake(University College Cork, 2021) Padoan, Tatsuma; Cawley, Kevin N.While the anthropology of pilgrimage shifted its major paradigm from a focus on sacred sites to one on movement, investigation of sensory bodies, as moving sites for an encounter with spirits and deities, has rarely been undertaken. On the other side the anthropology of senses, although providing a contribution to an understanding of the role of perception in social life, has frequently privileged embodied experience over language and discourse. It might be argued that such an exclusion of discourse from senses has involuntarily reiterated a Modern Divide between language and body, traceable back to a Protestant ideology of separation between interiority and exteriority, belief and ritual. In this paper I will explore the role of language, body and senses in pilgrimage, trying to look beyond such a Western epistemological divide. In so doing, I will focus on a contemporary pilgrimage in Japan, on Mt Kiso Ontake (3067m), where pilgrims visit spirits’ abodes (reijinhi) in order to hear ancestors’ voices coming from the possessed body of a medium (nakaza). Through an ethnographic and semiotic analysis of somatic and oracular interactions between ancestors and pilgrims, I will show how, by opening the individual body of the medium, an intersensory, collective body of human and nonhuman members of the group is constructed. We will thus follow the body-voice of the medium by considering it as a “moving shrine” where, through language, sounds, screams and gestures occurring during the séances (oza), an aesthesic contagion is actualised among pilgrims, and new subjectivities are produced, shattering supposed divisions between sense and senses, discourse and affect.
- ItemRecalcitrant interactions: Semiotic reflections on fieldwork among mountain ascetics(Centro de Pesquisas Sóciossemióticas - CPS, 2021-12-22) Padoan, TatsumaThis article explores issues related to ethnographic research, such as “otherness” as a form of relation, the researcher’s position, and the difference between anthropological and native knowledge, leading to the production of ethnographic data that can undermine previously established models. In order to approach these issues, I will refer to the notion of “recalcitrant subjects”, coined by I. Stengers, and based on the idea that we should turn our attention to objects of analysis that are capable of raising new questions, forcing the researchers to reorganise their instruments and theoretical perspectives. Using the interaction regimes formulated by E. Landowski, I will analyse from a semiotic perspective my own field research, conducted within the mountain ascetic group Tsukasak? in Katsuragi, central Japan. The article shows how, far from being based on forms of communality and undifferentiated reciprocity, ethnography and sociality always involve heterogeneous actors and can only emerge from interactions that are inherently recalcitrant.
- ItemIntroduction: Visual Ethics after Communism(National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest, 2021-11) Crowley, David; Nicolescu, Gabriela; Kapalό, James A.; European Research CouncilThis special issue problematizes the often-uncritical use of images in publications and displays about communism. It poses a number of questions for anthropologists, historians, museologists and others: when does an image or a museum display present itself as problematic and for whom? Under what circumstances is it ethically justifiable to exhibit or publish such images or, conversely, to put images aside, leaving them undisplayed? When do arguments based on “the public good” outweigh the right to personal privacy, individual integrity and cultural patrimony of source communities?
- ItemDal simbolo al rito (passando per il tartan)(Meltemi Press srl, 2021) Padoan, TatsumaIn this article I investigate the relation between symbols and ritual, by contrasting Hobsbawm and Ranger's classical "fabrication" argument in The Invention of Tradition, with Roy Wagner's perspective on "creativity" in The Invention of Culture. In order to do so, I explore different "isotopies" or trails of meaning produced by the tartan kilt, from an "object of value" defining Scottish identity, to a Freemasonry symbol, widely used in ritual and video arts. By discussing Umberto Eco's notion of "symbolic mode" as a textual practice producing new lateral meanings, between tradition and revolution, I will thus advance the argument that ritual too might follow the same dynamics, in a continuous oscillation between continuity and discontinuity, institutional and charismatic power.