If everything goes according to plan (or, better: according to my current ideas), I will write my RMA thesis on a case that I stumbled upon at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR): the documentary film Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane (2019). Lane sets out to represent the ideals and considerations of an American organization, the Satanic Temple, that pursues religious freedom, the separation of church and state and social equality in the US. The film’s point of departure is an actual controversy that dates back to August 16, 2018, when members of the Temple temporarily installed a statue of the goat-headed Baphomet (a representation of Satan) before Arkansas State Capitol (the seat of the state government).Lees verder ”Hail Satan?” documentary: Arkansas State Capitol as a religioscape
This is a paper from a few months ago. Writing on the (academic) study of ”Gnosticism” was challenging, especially because I barely knew anything about the field when I started my research. The final effort still contains some flaws that I’m well aware of – specialists will certainly be able to spot them, which is also one of the reasons I ultimately didn’t succeed in publishing the paper. It’s interesting to reread and to see how quickly views can change and evolve – my thought experiments on the subject matter were different from how they are now. Still wanted to publish it though, it might be an interesting trip for those of you who are interested.Lees verder Genesis 2-3, Canonical Interpretation and the Challenge of ”Gnosticism” [Paper]
Kind van de Duivel
A moral response to an ‘offensive’ song
‘’Ik ben een kind van de duivel, mama jij hoeft niet te huilen.
Feesten alsof elke dag hier mijn laatste is
hoop dat je deze draait op mijn begrafenis.’’
When the Dutch rapper Jebroer released his single Kind van de Duivel in 2017, generous airplay of Dutch and Belgian radio stations coincided with considerably high chart positions in the Dutch single top 100 and the Top 40. The lyrics and the clip, however, aroused quite some controversy among confined groups of Christian people, who responded to the song’s glorifying references to death and the devil. Performances by Jebroer in Hardinxveld-Giessendam and Ouddorp were cancelled after protests of local residents.
Lees verder ”Kind van de duivel”: A Moral Response to an ‘offensive’ song
In the course of March and April 2019, I wrote seven essays on topics ranging from a supposedly blasphemous song to the relationship between subjectivity and anthropological fieldwork. Today I publish the first essay, on Robin Hardy’s 1973 cult classic The Wicker Man.Lees verder In Pastures Green He Leadeth Me: The Reconfiguration of Space and Authority in The Wicker Man (1973)
In the first semester of 2018/19 I wrote an extensive paper on the academic study of religion and film. A condensed outline of my argument was presented at a student conference of the UvA and the UU in January 2019. I publish the full paper right here.Lees verder Interdisciplinary Glances: the study of religion and film [Paper]
The following essay was written for the course Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion. Utrecht University & UvA, autumn & winter 2018/2019.Lees verder Religion or ”Religion”: Universality and Particularity in Religious Studies
I recently wrote an academic book review for one of my research master courses. I took a publication of the Canadian Religious Studies scholar Douglas E. Cowan, entitled America’s Dark Theologian: the Religious Imagination of Stephen King.Lees verder Academic Book Review: Stephen King, America’s Dark Theologian [Douglas E. Cowan]
In the autumn of 2018, I attented the yearly conference of the NGG (Nederlands Genootschap voor Godsdienstwetenschap). The overarching theme was ‘Interpreting Rituals’. Keynote lectures and paper sessions shed a light on a broad variety of topics, challenging me and the other research master students on the spot to search for challenging perspectives. The paper that I am sharing serves as a reflection on the conference and one of its pivotal themes. I wrote it in the aftermath of the event, but the case study that I used will be the starting point for another paper on David Bowie and performativity, which I will hopefully produce this spring.Lees verder Essay: Performing Death (NGG Conference Religious Studies, 2018)