Fieldwork in Religion https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR <p>The journal publishes articles, review essays and book reviews relevant to the theoretical engagement with and practical undertaking of fieldwork in religion. Submissions are welcome from any disciplinary perspective, theoretical paradigm or methodological approach. <a href="https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/about">Read more about the journal.</a></p> en-US <p>© Equinox Publishing Ltd.</p> <p>For information regarding our Open Access policy, <a title="Open access policy." href="Full%20details of our conditions related to copyright can be found by clicking here.">click here</a>.</p> carole.cusack@sydney.edu.au (Carole Cusack and Rachelle Scott) aparkin@equinoxpub.com (Ailsa Parkin) Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 3.2.1.1 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Editors' Introduction https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17574 Carole M. Cusack, Rachelle Scott Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17574 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Lost Saints https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17575 <p>Mushrooms containing psilocybin have been used in Indigenous healing ceremonies in Mesoamerica since at least the sixteenth century. However, the sacramental use of mushrooms was only discovered by Westerners in the early to mid-twentieth century. Most notably, the meeting between amateur mycologist Robert Gordon Wasson and Mazatec curandera María Sabina in 1955 resulted in the widespread popularization of ingesting “magic mushrooms” in the West. To Sabina and the Mazatec people, psilocybin mushrooms were sacred and only to be used for healing. However, Western “hippies” viewed mushrooms as psychedelic drugs which they consumed with little regard for cultural sensitivities, rendering the mushrooms desacralized. This article argues that the desacralization of psilocybin mushrooms constitutes a form of spiritual abuse that has had far-reaching and long-lasting consequences at individual, local and global levels. Further, acknowledging and understanding the desacralization of psilocybin mushrooms as spiritual abuse has important implications for restorative justice and the understanding of psilocybin as a sacred medicine.</p> Anna Lutkajtis Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17575 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Exploring the Use of Machine Learning to Automate the Qualitative Coding of Church-related Tweets https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17576 <p>This article builds on previous research around the exploration of the content of church-related tweets. It does so by exploring whether the qualitative thematic coding of such tweets can, in part, be automated by the use of machine learning. It compares three supervised machine learning algorithms to understand how useful each algorithm is at a classification task, based on a dataset of human-coded church-related tweets. The study finds that one such algorithm, Naïve-Bayes, performs better than the other algorithms considered, returning Precision, Recall and F-measure values which each exceed an acceptable threshold of 70%. This has far-reaching consequences at a time where the high volume of social media data, in this case, Twitter data, means that the resource-intensity of manual coding approaches can act as a barrier to understanding how the online community interacts with, and talks about, church. The findings presented in this article offer a way forward for scholars of digital theology to better understand the content of online church discourse.</p> Anthony-Paul Cooper, Emmanuel Awuni Kolog, Erkki Sutinen Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17576 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Walter Day https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17577 <p>This article examines the life of Walter Day, a key figure in the history of competitive video gaming and whose involvement in this industry has been connected to his own spiritual beliefs and directions. Here, the influence of Day, the former owner of Twin Galaxies and creator of the first International Scoreboard, will be presented by examining the history of his life. A pivotal religious experience of Day, while under the influence of LSD in the 1960s, will be shown to have directly informed his decision to join the Eastern influenced new religious movement of Transcendental Meditation under the stewardship of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi which gave him the tools and direction that would be essential for his video gaming career. The training that the Maharishi would provide to Day will be explored and shown to have informed his understanding of religious experiences, or flow states, and how this could manifest with a player of a classic video game at an arcade. This understanding will be shown to have interested Day enough not only to endeavour to be the first video game pilgrim, but for him to continue a lifelong pilgrimage of recording and sharing oral history of players who reach their full potential.</p> Benjamin Jozef Banasik Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17577 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Navigating through Space Butterflies https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17578 <p>This article seeks to query the typical way research in novel fields are expressed in academic writing. The high structured presentation assumes a high structured field, which is often conceived of as necessary for new sites to assert their academic validity. However, many times, as is the situation for the case study presented here, what is considered new and novel is simply a new medium through which already properly understood concepts thrive. This misunderstanding often leaves scholars in new fields defending their field site more than analysing it, and a higher scrutiny is placed on these locations. This article hopes to demonstrate just one example of this, the fan convention, and demonstrate how this field site is not as new as typically considered, and arguing, therefore, for a more open representation of the improvised and fluid conception of research on contemporary religion.</p> Vivian Asimos Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17578 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Psychogeography https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17579 <p>The way that humanity both inhabits and views its surroundings directly influences individual and collective thoughts and emotions. Yet in a society that is constantly over-stimulated, taking in the surroundings becomes secondary to consumerism, and the distractions inherent within the spectacle. The spectacle, according to Guy Debord and the European revolutionary organization Situationist International (SI), diverted the populace from the reality that surrounds it, and the SI deemed themselves the correct ones to re-envision reality. Fifty years after the 1968 Paris riots, the Situationists no longer exist, but new groups have risen from their ashes to explore and view the world in new ways, groups such as those involved in Urban Exploration (UrbEx). UrbEx involves small, often self-guided groups that investigate the ghosts of modernity, and the detritus of capital that remains in the wake of the spectacle. Utilizing the Situationist International's concept of the dérive, the ideas that fuel urban exploration, and conspiracist ideologies, this article explores the urban world viewed through psychogeography: those who seek the new sacred in a gnostic quest to gain a greater insight into what lurks in the shadows of the myth of modernity.</p> Raymond Radford Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17579 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Nita, Maria. 2016. <i>Praying and Campaigning with Environmental Christians: Green Religion and the Environmental Movement</i> https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17580 <p>Nita, Maria. 2016.<em>&nbsp;Praying and Campaigning with Environmental Christians: Green Religion and the Environmental Movement</em>. London: Palgrave Macmillan. xi + 261 pp. ISBN: 978-1-137-60034-9 £99.99 (hbk); 978-1-349-95608-1 £99.99 (pbk); 978-1-137-60035-6 £79.50 (e-book).</p> Jeremy H. Kidwell Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17580 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Garbin, David and Anna Strhan (eds) 2017. <i>Religion and the Global City</i> https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17581 <p>Garbin, David and Anna Strhan (eds) 2017.&nbsp;<em>Religion and the Global City</em>. London: Bloomsbury Academic. 270 pp. ISBN: 978-14742-7242-1 £90.00 (hbk); 978-13500-9463-5 £28.99 (pbk); 978- 14742-7244-5 £31.30 (e-book).</p> Taylor E. Hartson Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17581 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Tamimi Arab, Pooyan. 2017. <i>Amplifying Islam in the European Soundscape: Religious Pluralism and Secularism in the Netherlands</i> https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17582 <p>Tamimi Arab, Pooyan. 2017.&nbsp;<em>Amplifying Islam in the European Soundscape: Religious Pluralism and Secularism in the Netherlands</em>. London: Bloomsbury Academic. x + 216 pp. ISBN: 978- 14742-9143-9 £90.00 (hbk); 978-13500-8118-5 £28.99 (pbk).</p> Elena G. van Stee Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17582 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Martin, Luther H. and Donald Wiebe (eds) 2017. <i>Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-five Years</i> https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17583 <p>Martin, Luther H. and Donald Wiebe (eds) 2017.&nbsp;<em>Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-five Years</em>. xi + 260 pp. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN: 978-1 350-03246-0 £85.00 (hbk); 978-13501-0592-8 £28.99 (pbk); 978-13500-3247-7 £31.30 (e book).</p> Liam M. Sutherland Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/FIR/article/view/17583 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000