Well, I’ve been a busy boy recently…
At the SOCREL (sociology of religion) conference in Chester, I organised a panel on “Conspiracy Theories and Religion”, with papers from myself, Charlotte Ward (quantitative demography), Kevin Whitesides (2012 as conspiracist teleology) and Ethan Quillen (on Donald Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns“). Smaller audience than I’d hoped, and we had some issues with a hyperactive air conditioning system, but was a success in terms of content. I hope to have some audio for you soon.
My chapter on Robert Anton Wilson and Discordianism was published in the Brill Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production. I got a real thrill when it arrived in the post – my first real academic publication.
My review of Jeffery Kripal’s Authors of the Impossible was published in the International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 2/2.
A number of unfortunate freshers got me as their lecturer for the New Religious Movements portion of the Religion 1 course this year, where I taught them about Neopaganism, Wicca and New Age. I added in some material on Invented Religions, which seemed to go down well. I got great pleasure from projecting pictures of Aleister Crowley on the wall of the former Church of Scotland seminary. I imagined all the theologians looking up from their work, sensing a great disturbance in the force…
Over at the Religious Studies Project, I’ve interviewed Bron Taylor on Religion after Darwin, Linda Woodhead on the Secularisation Thesis and Graham Harvey on Animism, and taken part in our roundtable discussion on the Future of Religious Studies. There’s loads of other good interviews and articles on the site too. Chris and I are delighted with the success it’s had so far, but we’re only getting warmed up.
My chapter on prophecy in the conspiracist milieu for the INFORM volume When Prophecy Persists – Prophecy in the New Millennium has just been finalised, and I’m now preparing to go down to London to present it at the one-day seminar they’ve organised at the LSE. This will the first time I’ve been invited to take part in a conference, and also my most high-profile presentation to date. And my second book publication of 2012. Or, as I like to refer to them, Robertson 2012a and Robertson 2012b.
The following weekend I’m off to Nashville, Tennessee, to do some participant ethnography at Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland Festival. More about that soon.
For now, bed. I have two boys who will be waking me all too soon.
- The Religious Studies Project – and a podcast on fiction-based religion (heterodoxology.com)
- Carole Cusack: Invented Religions (davidgrobertson.wordpress.com)