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Lectures by Dr Jessica Frazier

Key thinkers in the study of religion Part 7

23 Nov 2007
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Writing essays in exams

7 May 2008
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Hindu understandings of God 1: Ideas of God in Hinduism

29 Jan 2009

We find the idea of God in different religions and it is theologically interesting that semantic analogues of the category appear across the boundaries of traditions. This series of lectures explores Hindu ideas of God and raises questions about the meaning of God in human traditions and the idea of comparative theology.

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Religious experience in psychology, anthropology and sociology Lecture 2: Psychology of religion and the cartography of belief

27 Feb 2009

Psychologists of religion from Jung to Freud, and Boyer and Laing, have produced speculative models of religious subjectivity, according to which the human mind appears variously as an ocean of symbols, a volcanic core wracked by powerful forces, a computational machine, or a shell through transcendence may occasionally break. Just as science posits its own models, so psychologists of religion use metaphors of spatial relations and fluid dynamics to provide a mapping of the self. We examine this mechanistic model, and also look at the way in which thinkers such as Jung and Boyer incorporate un-mappable territories as a crucial concession to the claims of religion itself.

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Religious experience in psychology, anthropology and sociology Lecture 2: Psychology of religion and the cartography of belief

27 Feb 2009

Psychologists of religion from Jung to Freud, and Boyer and Laing, have produced speculative models of religious subjectivity, according to which the human mind appears variously as an ocean of symbols, a volcanic core wracked by powerful forces, a computational machine, or a shell through transcendence may occasionally break. Just as science posits its own models, so psychologists of religion use metaphors of spatial relations and fluid dynamics to provide a mapping of the self. We examine this mechanistic model, and also look at the way in which thinkers such as Jung and Boyer incorporate un-mappable territories as a crucial concession to the claims of religion itself.

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Religious experience in psychology, anthropology and sociology Lecture 1: Anthropology of religion and the religious imagination

13 Feb 2009

Many of the canonical names in anthropology have been criticised for their literary style and their tendency towards evocative narrative. Here we argue that this is not a methodological weakness, but the autonomous development of a conception of understanding in terms of imaginative empathy and inter-subjectivity, which parallels hermeneutic philosophy. Religious experiences are literally recreated in the reader, forming an intimate bond between the scholar and his or her subject.

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Religious experience in psychology, anthropology and sociology Lecture 1: Anthropology of religion and the religious imagination

13 Feb 2009

Many of the canonical names in anthropology have been criticised for their literary style and their tendency towards evocative narrative. Here we argue that this is not a methodological weakness, but the autonomous development of a conception of understanding in terms of imaginative empathy and inter-subjectivity, which parallels hermeneutic philosophy. Religious experiences are literally recreated in the reader, forming an intimate bond between the scholar and his or her subject.

Related: 1

Religious experience in psychology, anthropology and sociology Lecture 3: Sociology of religion and the force of the individual

6 Mar 2009

The necessity of analysing religious influences on society has meant that key sociologists from Marx to Durkheim and Weber insisted on the significance of mood, motivation, and individual agency as the heart of any idea of society change. Religious feeling is thus one of the cornerstones enabling their theorisation of social dynamics. Here we look at sociological models for studying subjectivity as an autonomous ‘centre’ of dynamism and force, the beating heart of grand-scale movements of history.

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Religious experience in psychology, anthropology and sociology Lecture 3: Sociology of religion and the force of the individual

6 Mar 2009

The necessity of analysing religious influences on society has meant that key sociologists from Marx to Durkheim and Weber insisted on the significance of mood, motivation, and individual agency as the heart of any idea of society change. Religious feeling is thus one of the cornerstones enabling their theorisation of social dynamics. Here we look at sociological models for studying subjectivity as an autonomous ‘centre’ of dynamism and force, the beating heart of grand-scale movements of history.

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Writing essays and dissertations

30 Apr 2008
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Hinduism in contemporary Indian cinema: Popular travesty or new theology?

6 May 2008
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Key thinkers in the study of religion Part 6

16 Nov 2007
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Key thinkers in the study of religion Part 8

30 Nov 2007
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Key thinkers in the study of religion Part 4

2 Nov 2007
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Key thinkers in the study of religion Part 5

9 Nov 2007
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Key thinkers in the study of religion Part 2

19 Oct 2007
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Key thinkers in the study of religion Part 3

26 Oct 2007
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Key thinkers in the study of religion Part 1

12 Oct 2007
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Action movies and American ideals: The growth of Buddhism in Hollywood

Religion and film seminars
23 Jan 2006

Jessica Frazier, Divinity Faculty, Cambridge, and OCHS

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Action movies and American ideals: The growth of Buddhism in Hollywood

Religion and film seminars
23 Jan 2006

Jessica Frazier, Divinity Faculty, Cambridge, and OCHS

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Conclusions: Mapping the mind in India and the West

OCHS consciousness seminar
8 Mar 2005
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Conclusions: Mapping the mind in India and the West

OCHS consciousness seminar
8 Mar 2005
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Indian and Western approaches to the mystery of consciousness

OCHS consciousness seminar
18 Jan 2005
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Indian and Western approaches to the mystery of consciousness

OCHS consciousness seminar
18 Jan 2005
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Continental philosophy and Hindu devotion: Towards a metaphysics of passion

3 Jun 2004
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Continental philosophy and Hindu devotion: Towards a metaphysics of passion

3 Jun 2004
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Transforming Traditions 1: The Dramatic God: New Approaches to the Metaphysics of Divinity in the Aesthetic Vedanta of Rupa Gosvami

Transforming Traditions Series
30 Jan 2012
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Hindu Theology Seminar 2

16 May 2013

Hindu Theology is an emerging field of academic inquiry. These two seminars seek to examine the boundaries and possibilities for such inquiry. According to the classical Christian definition, theology is ‘faith seeking understanding.’ Is this an adequate understanding of theology from a Hindu perspective? Is there a Hindu Theology or simply a proliferation of multiple theologies? Is faith seeking understanding simply apologetics or can the understanding come from an external discipline (such as philosophy, psychology, sociology, or neurology)? Is there a place for Hindu theology as an ‘insider’ discourse in the publically funded university? If disciplines are defined by their method and object, what is the object of Hindu theology? If God is unknowable can there be an inquiry into her? Or is the object of theology ‘revelation’ in which case Theology is concerned with history and culture? Is Hindu Theology a development in the English language of the ‘discourse’ (vāda) tradition of Sanskrit commentary or is it something different? These questions and others will be explored during these two seminars. Active participation is expected.

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Hindu Approaches to the Divine – Four Theories

Hinduism and Theory: Key Critical Themes Series
31 Jan 2014

Drawing on Clifford Geertz's understanding of religion as a 'worldview', the seminar series explore key themes in Hinduism and looks at the way in which crucial conceptual 'translations' are needed to understand Hindu culture properly from without, and asks whether it is possible to derive critical and hermeneutic 'theory' in religious studies from Indic material. One of the goals will be to challenge the hegemony of Western-derived 'theories' of religion, culture, and human nature.

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Hindu Views of the Self and its Goals – Four Theories

Hinduism and Theory: Key Critical Themes Series
14 Feb 2014

Drawing on Clifford Geertz's understanding of religion as a 'worldview', the seminar series explore key themes in Hinduism and looks at the way in which crucial conceptual 'translations' are needed to understand Hindu culture properly from without, and asks whether it is possible to derive critical and hermeneutic 'theory' in religious studies from Indic material. One of the goals will be to challenge the hegemony of Western-derived 'theories' of religion, culture, and human nature.

Related: 0

Hindu Ritual and Practice – Four Theories

Hinduism and Theory: Key Critical Themes Series
28 Feb 2014

Drawing on Clifford Geertz's understanding of religion as a 'worldview', the seminar series explore key themes in Hinduism and looks at the way in which crucial conceptual 'translations' are needed to understand Hindu culture properly from without, and asks whether it is possible to derive critical and hermeneutic 'theory' in religious studies from Indic material. One of the goals will be to challenge the hegemony of Western-derived 'theories' of religion, culture, and human nature.

Related: 0

Hindu Arts and Literatures – Four Theories

Hinduism and Theory: Key Critical Themes Series
4 Mar 2014

Drawing on Clifford Geertz's understanding of religion as a 'worldview', the seminar series explore key themes in Hinduism and looks at the way in which crucial conceptual 'translations' are needed to understand Hindu culture properly from without, and asks whether it is possible to derive critical and hermeneutic 'theory' in religious studies from Indic material. One of the goals will be to challenge the hegemony of Western-derived 'theories' of religion, culture, and human nature.

Related: 0

Session 1: Gadamer's Biography: Beyond Theism and Atheism

Gadamer and Religion
16 May 2014

Gadamer appears to be an unusually secular figure among the phenomenologists of his day; unlike those who began as theologians, his study of classical culture taught him to study religion dispassionately, while embracing religious arts as a channel for his own concerns. Influenced by “Swabian piety”, Bultmannn’s ‘demythologisation’, the spirituality and humanism of the classical world, 'free-thinkers' such as Goethe, Rilke, and Stefan George, and creative re-thinkers of the Christian tradition such as Scheler and Heidegger, Gadamer affirmed both the cultural contingency of faith, and its confessional power.

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Session 2: Gadamer's Hermeneutics: Bias, Understanding, and Expanding Horizons

Gadamer and Religion
23 May 2014

Gadamer saw culture, religion, and art as 'living texts' that integrate our life experience into a meaningful worldview that allows us to think, act, and create. But no worldview is ever static or finished; in 'understanding' we use bias (that of ourselves and others) as the raw material from which a new worldview is created. In this respect Gadamer shares much with Aristotelian and later Vitalist thinkers. But Gadamer also affirms that texts can act poetically as 'angels', as he puts it in his studies of Rilke and Paul Celan, gesturing toward the transcendence of that which cannot be encompassed in human thought.

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Session 3: Gadamer's Metaphysics: Vitalism, Spirit, and Immanence

Gadamer and Religion
30 May 2014

Amid theologies of Being and secular philosophies, Gadamer explored a middle ground of non-theistic perspectives, reclaiming a philosophy of immanent 'spirit'. in his work on Plato and Hegel, he was often in dialogue with the classical Greek and later German traditions of ‘pantheist’ or ‘immanentist’ thought found in Spinoza, Lessing, Schleiermacher, Dilthey, and others. In many respects, Gadamer appears as one of the twentieth century's first philosophers of immanence.

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Session 4: Gadamer's Globalism: Culture, Difference and Pluralism

Gadamer and Religion
6 Jun 2014

In the later years of his career, at a retreat exploring religion on the Island of Capri with Derrida and other post-Heideggerian thinkers, Gadamer who insisted that attention to non-Western religions was essential for any steps forward. He encouraged cross--cultural scholars to see themselves as creatively opening up ever-expanding horizons of understanding within their own tradition, and gradually building a new global horizon. Seen in this light, the rich cultural plurality of modern globalism affords us the opportunity to continue a history-long process of growth.

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