Another event I’m taking part in. Consider popping along if you’re in London on the 7th of February. Some interesting topics and some very good speakers. Click the “More” thingy to see the full line-up and booking details.

Inform Winter Seminar – Innovation, Violence and Paralysis: How do Minority Religions Cope with Uncertainty?

Saturday, 7 February 2015; 9.30am – 5.00pm
New Academic Building, London School of Economics.

What happens when groups lose control of their own destiny? Whether it leads to violence, as in the case of Aum Shinrikyo’s response to a potential police investigation in 1995, or to non-violent innovations, as found in minority religions following the death of their founders or leaders, uncertainty and insecurity can lead to great change in the mission and even teachings of religious groups. What does it take to bring back certainty? Bringing together past and current members, as well as academics and practitioners this seminar will explore how minority religions and their members work with notions of uncertainty and insecurity.

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Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy

This is something I’m quite excited to be involved with: an experimental online seminar introducing undergraduates to critical theory in the study of religion. It is being organised by the Practicum blog and will take place on February 6th and 13th.

The Practicum Blog invites advanced undergraduates in the academic study of religion to participate in an experimental online seminar. The central aim of this seminar is to expose students to critical theory and to help them integrate critical perspectives into their senior/honors theses (and beyond). As such, all applicants should have a specific research project they hope to develop.

This is an online seminar and will consist of two meetings (roughly two hours each). During these meetings, students are able to interact directly with scholars in various stages of their careers who will provide feedback and suggestions that should help the students create more rigorous and insightful scholarship.

Each student will read the assigned material before the meeting and then listen to a brief lecture (no more than thirty minutes), followed by a roundtable discussion where the scholar helps students integrate critical theory into their research. Students will not only get direct input from scholars versed in critical theory, but student participants are invited to publish what will probably be their first publication, as all undergraduate participants will have the opportunity to write a blog for Practicum where they reflect on the material and its relevance for their current projects.

The schedule consists of:

First meeting: February 6, 2015, from 1:00-3:00 PM (EST)

·         Craig Martin on “Critical Theory and the Academic Study of Religion”

·         Russell McCutcheon on “Classification Matters”

Second meeting: February 13, 2015, from 1:00-3:30 PM (EST)

·         Christopher Cotter and David Robertson on “Classify and Conquer: Rethinking the World Religions Paradigm”

·         John Lardas Modern on “‘Secularity’”

·         Concluding thoughts moderated by the Practicum editors

To apply, please submit the following materials in electronic form to by January 24, 2015.

·         One-page cover letter explaining your interest in the weminar. Include a summary of your interests and describe your senior/honors project. Also, identify your goals for participating in the conference.

·         C.V.

·         Names and contact information for two references.

We will notify applicants of their status by January 29, 2015.

Please direct all questions to

via Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy.