http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/issue/feed Journal for the Academic Study of Religion 2020-01-27T14:22:43+00:00 Ibrahim Abraham Ibrahim.Abraham@anu.edu.au Open Journal Systems <p>This journal is the leading peer-reviewed journal of the Pacific region dealing with all aspects of the academic study of religion and is affiliated with the Australian Association for the Study of Religion.</p> http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16460 Editorial Introduction 2020-01-27T14:22:33+00:00 Douglas Ezzy Douglas.Ezzy@utas.edu.au Carole M. Cusack carole.cusack@sydney.edu.au 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16473 Matthew Bowman, <i>Christian: The Politics of a Word in America</i> 2020-01-27T14:22:40+00:00 Alex Deagon alex.deagon@qut.edu.au <p>Matthew Bowman,<em> Christian: The Politics of a Word in America</em>.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018, pp. 320, ISBN:9780674737631 (hbk), £23.95.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16474 Hsun Chang and Benjamin Penny (eds), <i>Religion in Taiwan and China:Locality and Transmission.</i> 2020-01-27T14:22:41+00:00 Sarah Veeck sarah.veeck@gmail.com <p>Hsun Chang and Benjamin Penny (eds),<em> Religion in Taiwan and China: Locality and Transmission</em>. Taipei: Institute of Ethnology, AcademiaSinica, 2017, pp. 436, ISBN: 9-107-80098-605-1 (pbk).</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16475 Carole M. Cusack, John W. Morehead and Venetia Laura Delano Robertson (eds), <i>The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom: Essays on the Intersectionof Religion and Pop Culture</i> 2020-01-27T14:22:42+00:00 Liz Wong lwon5995@gmail.com <p>Carole M. Cusack, John W. Morehead and Venetia Laura Delano Robertson (eds), <em>The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom: Essays on the Intersectionof Religion and Pop Culture</em>. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company,Inc., 2019, pp. vi + 203, ISBN: 978-1-4766-7083-6. US$39.95.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16476 Massimo Introvigne, <i>The Plymouth Brethren</i> 2020-01-27T14:22:42+00:00 Carole M. Cusack carole.cusack@sydney.edu.au <p>Massimo Introvigne, <em>The Plymouth Brethren</em>. New York: Oxford UniversityPress, 2019, pp. x + 141, ISBN: 978-0-19084-242-0 (hbk).</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16477 Luigi Berzano, <i>The Fourth Secularisation: Autonomy of Individual Lifestyles</i> 2020-01-27T14:22:43+00:00 Carole M. Cusack carole.cusack@sydney.edu.au <p>Luigi Berzano, <em>The Fourth Secularisation: Autonomy of Individual Lifestyles</em>. London and New York: Routledge, 2019, pp. vii + 81, ISBN:978-0-367-26068-2 (hbk). £36.00.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16461 Tales from a Life in the Sociology of Religion 2020-01-27T14:22:33+00:00 Gary Bouma gary.bouma@monash.edu <p>From structural functionalism and social realism to a vastly different sociology and social context, keeping up with changes within the profession and in the object of study, society, has been a challenge. A burning desire to use what is known to build a better society and enhance the lives of all, but especially those less fortunate and trapped in structures of poverty, discrimination or abuse, has provided an ongoing motivation to discover what is and to work to make real what might be. In pursuing social justice, which is always a pursuit, I have found both sociology and theology, critically and tentatively received, to be very helpful. An allergy to the doctrinaire developed very early persists to the present as diversity continues to delight and enliven.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16463 Religion and Politics over a Career 2020-01-27T14:22:34+00:00 Marion Maddox marion.maddox@mq.edu.au <p>A career-long focus on the intersections between religion and politicsgrew out of family, personal and academic interests. These influencesand academic explorations led to questioning the common assumptionthat religion and politics should-or even can-be 'kept separate'. On theother hand, the ways in which religion and politics intersect and interact,and their various configurations, provide fertile ground for analysis,and have important consequences for our national life. These intersectionsand interactions take distinctive forms in Australia, meaning thatwe need local research that, while informed by international models, isfirmly grounded in our own situation.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16464 Sisyphus and I 2020-01-27T14:22:35+00:00 Will Sweetman will.sweetman@otago.ac.nz <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>My work as a scholar of religion began in a Department of Religious Studieswhich had been the first in the United Kingdom not to be connectedto Theology. I now teach in a Religion programme which has recentlysevered its institutional connection to Theology. However, for many ofthe intervening years in my three decades in the discipline I worked incontexts which combined theology with religious studies. My researchbegan with reflection on the historical origin of the academic study ofreligion. This article reflects on the relationship between theology andreligious studies as I have experienced it, and argues that it is crucial tomaintain the distinction and to communicate it clearly to those outsideof our discipline.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16465 Anthropology and Religion Studies 2020-01-27T14:22:35+00:00 Lynne Hume l.hume@uq.edu.au <p>This article is a reflexive account of the author's entry into the field of religionstudies through the discipline of anthropology. It is a frank accountof how the personal and the academic can intertwine, outlining how fieldwork,using an anthropological and experiential lens, can influence notonly the life of the researcher, but the content, theory and methodologyin publications. While earlier tertiary studies in religion centred aroundschools of divinity and/or theology, religion has moved beyond the strictboundaries of interpretations of texts and discussions of religion fromwithin a particular set of beliefs. The combination of the two major disciplines,(cultural) anthropology and religion, in a tertiary level curriculumare particularly pertinent to understanding the important links betweenculture and religious practices. The significant influences of other scholarsacross and beyond both disciplines are highlighted, along with theauthor's major publications.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16466 Reflections on an Academic Pursuit of Religion 2020-01-27T14:22:36+00:00 Milad Milani m.milani@westernsydney.edu.au <p>The study of religion is a contested field of investigation that has for thepast two decades challenged my thinking on the subject. 'An unofficialphilosopher of religion who received his academic training from a historian'sums up my story as an accidental scholar of religion. On the whole,I see my work as a series of successive leaps, unbound by any one particularproject. As a mid-career academic, I am in the process of yet anotherleap, as it were. The one thing that anchors what I do is the simultaneoushistorical and philosophical pursuit of what religion is.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16467 A Sociologist among the Spirits 2020-01-27T14:22:37+00:00 Andrew Singleton andrew.singleton@deakin.edu.au <p>This article is an academic autobiography of Andrew Singleton, an Australiansociologist of religion whose work focuses on applied, mixed-methodsstudies of youth religion, religious belief and new religious movements.It starts with a sociology of religion class, describes graduate researchthat utilised qualitative methods, and post-doctoral work in quantitativemethods, and then concludes by discussing recent mixed-methodsprojects. The career arc of an academic is shaped by the legacy of earlierscholars in the field, key mentors, opportunities for research support andcollaborators. The article emphasises the role and importance of these factorsin forming an individual's professional profile and the kind of scholarshipthey produce.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16468 Histories of Religious Identity and the Irish 2020-01-27T14:22:38+00:00 Dianne Hall dianne.hall@vu.edu.au <p>Researching medieval women necessitates the study of religion-bothreligious practice and religious identity. While sources may be limited forindividual faith and religious practice, there remains ample evidence forthe importance of religious identity shaping the lives of medieval religiouswomen. While finding religious women in the sources from medieval Irelandwas an important early project in my career, my later research intohow gender formed understanding and memory of religious violence hasprovided more nuanced analysis of the role of religion in the lives of Irishpeople in the past. The reach of Irish religious history has proved to belong and the conflicts over religious identity from Ireland continued toinform how Irish migrants and their children understood their new homesin Australia.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16469 Studying Religion in the Land of the Long White Cloud 2020-01-27T14:22:38+00:00 Geoffrey Troughton geoff.troughton@vuw.ac.nz <p>This article considers a career in religious studies, shaped by specialistinterests in New Zealand religious history and modern Christianity. Itexplores formative influences, and a pathway through history and theologyto religious studies as an unanticipated destination. The articleexpounds and contextualises research in the field of New Zealand religioushistory alongside consideration of challenges and opportunities forreligious studies in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Land of the Long WhiteCloud.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16470 A Personal and Scholarly Reflection on Sociology of Religion, Peacebuilding and Spaciousness 2020-01-27T14:22:39+00:00 Anna Halafoff anna.halafoff@deakin.edu.au <p>This invited paper is a personal and scholarly reflection on how I, AnnaHalafoff, became a sociologist of religion in Australia and also presents anoverview of my and my colleagues' contributions to this field. I begin withproviding some background about my upbringing in a Russian household,and my education at Methodist Ladies College and Wesley College, in Melbourne,Australia. I then recount my formative early adult years of exploringspirituality, nature and activism in Northern New South Wales andQueensland and how it led me to enrol in a Master of Letters at the Universityof New England, focusing on religion and peacebuilding. The nextsection discusses our work at Monash and Deakin Universities researchingreligious diversity, countering violent extremism and worldviews education,including our international collaborations. Finally, I describe my currentinterests in Buddhism in Australia and my continued commitment toapplied research that makes a positive difference to society.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://journal.equinoxpub.com/JASR/article/view/16471 An Italian-born Belgo-Australian Sociologist of Religion 2020-01-27T14:22:40+00:00 Adam Possamai A.Possamai@westernsydney.edu.au <p>This autobiography addresses how my life experience across citizenshipsand religions has had a profound impact on my Weberian perspective onthe sociology of religion. It also informs how my various mentors acrosscontinents have influenced my work over the years. This was thanks to thepeople I studied with at the Catholic University of Leuven and La TrobeUniversity, and those I worked with at Western Sydney University andwhile leading the Australian Association for the Study of Religions andthe International Sociological Association's (ISA) Research Committee 22on the Sociology of Religion. This article concludes by showing how myworks as a fiction writer and as a research mentor and university administratorhave been intertwined with my sociology of religion.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd.