Todaythings

May. 9th, 2012 12:01 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Eggplant)
I got a slow start, not waking until about 1:30 this afternoon, but I didn't really even get to sleep until about 7:30 this morning, so I suppose that's fair enough. Today's post brought [livejournal.com profile] man_of_snows's chapbook, Slow Depth, which I expect him to sign when I see him again.

Dishes and laundry got done, though not much else in a physical sense. I spent a few hours today working on a response to Teo's What is the Point of Your Religion blog post that I'd mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I've posted it over on my Searching for Imbas blog. I got it together and posted just before I headed out to the AFK for the weekly steampunk social. One other person showed up and we had a lovely conversation.

Upon getting home, I finished up dealing with the laundry and stuffed it in drawers. Tomorrow I'm going to attempt to get down into Everett and talk to one of the clerks about the tax exemption. I'm not sure I have everything I need, but I can at least ask, and possibly get missing documentation together if I need to. The county office should have tax records, at least, and I ought to be able to obtain copies of them there somewhere.

Achy parts are aching and I ought to attempt to sleep tonight, though I will probably end up spending some time playing Plants v Zombies again. There has been zero effect on the speed of the intertubes through the wireless router, so I sent a note to that effect in the response email that Cisco sent me yesterday. I have no idea what good it will do, but I may end up digging around under the desk and plugging the cablemodem in there, rather than across the room, then wiring in ethernet and also having the router available for visitors at the lower speed. Regardless, I'm extremely disappointed with the Linksys router and it's lack of anything vaguely approaching an appropriate speed. Yeah, first world problems. I'm glad these are the most serious things I have to worry about right now. Things have been much much worse in the past.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (ow. Robertson Davies)
So I went to the VA early and talked to the supervisor about the whole travel thing. It turns out that the co-pay is probably the one thing in the system where being rated at 100% doesn't actually benefit you. The co-pay is taken out if you get above $X per month, and I'm above that cutoff. Okay, I can handle that. Would have been nice, but so it goes.

Group today was actually pretty good and I had a good time, but the wait down at the travel office was kind of fucked, it was raining when I got out, and I was just too tired to face human beings by the time I was done, so I came back home straightaway. I fixed myself some dinner and something booz0rz-like and tried to relax but, as Patrick promised, I hurt like hell today. I actually tried to go lie down for a while around 9:30 or so and that helped my shoulder, but I couldn't feel sleepy. I played some Plants v Zombies and read for a while and now I'm back up again. Had a wee bit of chocolate pudding as a snack and will probably head back for bed shortly.

I bought tickets for myself and [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor for Metropolis. I don't think she's seen it before, and this is probably the best possible introduction to the movie I can imagine. I'm very excited about taking her to see it. (I just hope she likes it...)

Teo Bishop posted a blog today asking "What is the point of your religion". It's a thoughtful post and has generated some interesting discussion in the comments. I know I want to talk about this at some point, but today wasn't a good day to focus on it. If I have time and brain bandwidth tomorrow, I might do a response post over on Searching for Imbas. I'm just hoping I'll have enough momentum to actually write it, rather than getting bogged down in my physical stuff and losing the thread. I'm keeping the tab open on the browser until I deal with it, though.

It seems that one of my Vancouver friends is going to be down in the area for the better part of May. Among other things, he'll be teaching a class on herbalism, and wants to talk to me about Airmed, whom he's been working with for a while now. He says he'll be splitting his time between Olympia, Bellingham, and Seattle, and I told him that he could stay here for a few days if he'd like, which would give us ample opportunity to talk. He's one of the poets who is also included in the Mandragora anthology, and I'd suggested he submit his work to them, so we might both have a physical copy to squee over when he gets here.

I know I have some comments to reply to from yesterday, but I'm still too achy to focus much on that right now. I'll get to everything tomorrow at some point.

In news on Circle of Stones, I've got one of the review blurbs back, and two outstanding. I've forwarded the first one to my editor and publisher and told them I was waiting on a couple more. They should arrive soon, I think. I haven't yet seen the cover, aside from the graphics base, but I should be seeing a draft of it soon. And tomorrow I need to do the check of the edited galley proof, as I'll have more time than I did today. Last night I barely slept (turned out the lights around 3:30am, woke at 8am, after having not slept much), so I'm feeling extra rocky today and hoping to get at least a little rest tonight.

On that note, back to bed to try to actually rest. I wish there was something I could actually take that would make a dent in this pain. Have taken tylenol, and also took some of the valerian and feverfew I often use for migraines. It's helped slightly, but not anywhere near enough. That was a few hours ago, so I'll try a tramadol before I get in bed and see if that will do anything for it.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Join the Illuminati!)
The wind was up today and the power got knocked out for maybe half an hour. It wasn't gone long, but it was slightly disconcerting. Given that my wireless is currently battery operated, this meant I could remain online even through the outage - not a thing I could do when I had a cable modem and a wireless router. It's the one advantage to the system I currently use.

I got first draft sample cover art for the Circle of Stones reprint today. The idea is okay, but the execution leaves rather a bit to be desired, as one might expect from a first draft. Comments were sent back and forth between myself, Taylor, and Storm, and we'll have Andy do another draft and see how that goes. I was kind of "yeah, it's okay. meh." It didn't grab me, but it didn't give me a visceral Oh Fuck No the way the first draft cover for the ogam book did, so I figure we're headed in the right direction.

I had fun at the Irish class today, wherein songs were sung and key phrases like "I don't understand" and "maybe" were practiced. ;)

After Irish class, [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I went over to Caffe Vita for the queer Pagan meetup, where I caught up with folks I haven't seen in quite some time. Greg, Black Cat, Craigula, Jimbo, and Jay were all there. Also in attendance (though I didn't really get a chance to talk to her) was Nancy, whom I hadn't seen since around the time I was dating my third husband, so that's probably been nearly since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I introduced [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor around to everyone I knew and we chatted and I squeed about Ireland and Europe and upcoming publications and all that.

Once the group started to break up, half a dozen of us went up the street to a little bar and snacks place, which was okay if a bit hipster for my tastes. We hung out and talked for probably another hour before I had to get on the road to get home to Everett.

In the past few days I'd been hearing about yet another eyerolling kerfuffle in the online CR community, where some folks are apparently claiming anyone who isn't Reading Books and Being A Scholar ZOMG isn't really practicing CR, which is patent bullshit as far as I'm concerned. The whole idea behind this was that eventually people wouldn't have to be scholars and build it all themselves. Eventually there would come a time when there would be rituals and communities and people could just come and participate and be a part of the CR movement, no matter what their level of "academic" involvement. I think that it was put pretty well on the Mo Thearmann blog, though she did say one thing that I would take at least slight issue with:

You can't attend a gathering and then shut CR off for the remainder of the year. Also, if you are CR on Monday, Ásatrú on Tuesday, Wiccan on Wednesday, Hellenic on Thursday ad nauseam, then you are not fully CR because you are setting aside the CR worldview to practice— or dabble, really— in others.

I'm someone who practices multiple traditions. My primary spiritual identity is as a fili within a CR tradition, but I am also a Shinto practitioner, a mystes and luperca in the Ekklesía Antínoou, and a number of other things that I don't mysteriously stop being when I am practicing a CR path. Nor do I suddenly stop being a member of the Shinto shrine or lose my affiliation with Antinous and his community when I am teaching or doing ritual within the CR community. I understand why "dabbling" would be problematic, but I also know that many people operating in a genuinely polytheist paradigm are capable of working within a number of traditions at the same time. How long does one have to practice something for it to no longer be "dabbling"? Whose criteria do we use? What determines how many spiritual practices a person can have and still legitimately be considered a member of the CR movement?

I've already been declared a heretic by some, I know. That said, I'm writing books and publishing essays and teaching at festivals, and people associate my name with the CR movement. I don't accept the idea that I might somehow not be legitimate because I also choose to worship other deities and practice other paths along with my primary practice. My life is broader, richer, and more complex than that. I take all of it seriously, even if I would never consider myself, for instance, an expert on Shinto. I don't have to be in order to be a shrine member and to go to the seasonal festivals.

Anyway, that's my rant for the evening. Let's not dismiss people just because we may not practice in the same way they do. Yes, there are boundaries. No, CR is not an exclusive path that people must practice while forsaking all others. No, you do not have to have a degree in Celtic Studies to practice a CR spirituality.

Thank you and good night.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Dishes: done
Laundry: done
M picked up: done
[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor picked up: done
Packing: done (except meds & stuff like that, which I have to do tomorrow anyway)

Went down to Seattle today for the schmooze and we had a really intense discussion about religion, sacrifice, building relationships with land/deity/ancestors, offerings, and meaning in ritual. Arlen is going to be going back to Kandahar for a year around the end of May and requested a warrior sending out ritual. Rather than doing the overnight vigil, we'll probably compress it down into a four-hour rite composed of most of the same things from the original sending out rite.

Given that my year is going to be so filled with writing and travel, I've handed off responsibility for the schmooze's money box to someone else, and returned the key to the gear box to [livejournal.com profile] anthea7 so that I don't have to worry about anyone not having access while I'm away. I've been needing to back away from more administrative responsibility for a while because of both being busy and dealing with anxiety issues. These actions were a couple of good steps toward that release of responsibility. I'm certainly still going to be hanging out with people and coming to the schmooze, but I think I need to step back from admin meetings and more of the ritual writing, given that I've been doing the majority of it over the years we've been together.

Tomorrow morning we're getting up about 8am with an eye to being on the road by about 10am. I'm projecting arrival for lunch with [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab around 2pm, if traffic cooperates. I'll have to stuff the remains of the packing into the car in the morning. I've only got a couple of bags, one of which is mostly the books I'm taking down with me.

I heard back from the tent rental people on the Isle of Man. The smallest tents they have are way way too big for what I need, and I don't need that kind of expense. For what they're asking, I might as well rent a hotel room, and I'd really rather not spend that much. I've decided that I can take along my backpacking half-dome tent (which would actually fit into my carry-on if that sort of thing is permitted) and buy a cheap air mattress and sleeping bag when I get to Ireland. That would be less of an expense than renting the tent and things. I just have to look into TSA regulations and such about carrying camping gear, specifically tents, on planes and whether I can do it as carryon in my bag or whether I'll need to check the tent through.

The campsite folks said I can just check in and pay when I get there, rather than making arrangements in advance, which is apparently how they usually handle people from the UK, given that they're much more local. This was a weight off my mind.

My tentative schedule for PantheaCon:

Friday 3:30 - The World on a String ([livejournal.com profile] ogam and prayer beads)
Friday 11:00 - CR Rituals: A Look at the Nuts and Bolts (ME)

Saturday 3:30 - Sisters of Seshat Moon Ritual (ME)
Saturday 9:00 - Pagans, Culture War, and the Modern Crisis (Gus diZerega)

Sunday 7:00 - Brigid and Sarasvati: Goddesses of Poetry and Inspiration (ME)
Sunday 9:00 - Queer Celtic Mythology

Monday 1:30 - Echtrai, Immrama, Aisling ([livejournal.com profile] finnchuill)

Everything but the stuff I'm actually in is subject to being shuffled off somewhere else or being snagged into Faerie.

I'll see a lot of you this weekend!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Erynn SteamIcon)
I went over to visit Charles today with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor, after a kind of crunchy, restless night. I slept more than the night previous, but it was still kind of iffy for me. They talked about Irish language stuff and plans for [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor to teach Irish classes in Seattle later this year or early next. I'll keep you posted about upcoming Irish classes.

I did some mending on costume bits for Steamcon tomorrow, and shortened the suspenders I've been using so that they'll fit much better now. They were nearly too long to actually hold up my pants, which was a problem. Now they will fit like normal suspenders ought to.

Ten people were arrested tonight at a Sukkot tent at Occupy Seattle. The medical/supplies tent was not molested, but I find it disturbing that a tent set up specifically for Jewish religious observances was torn down and people arrested. There are over 100 protesters back in Westlake right now, so the occupation continues apace.

Food items for snacking and eating in the room (we will have a fridge and microwave for [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor's convenience regarding her food issues) will be packed. I don't have too much else but two days worth of light costuming and the iPad and cords to carry along. I'll have my phone with me in case anyone needs to text, and I'll have my portable wifi along, but I don't know how often I'll actually be getting online. I will check in at least once a day, though.

Warm fuzzies to everyone. For those of you heading to the con, see you tomorrow!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy typewriter keyboard)
Call for Chapters

Title: Chronic Illness and Spirituality: Diverse Disciplinary, Religious, and Cultural Perspectives

Edited by: Darla Schumm, Michael Stoltzfus, and Rebecca Green

Deadline for abstract submissions: January 30, 2012

Email: dschumm@hollins.edu & mjstoltz@valdosta.edu

The editors of Chronic Illness and Spirituality: Diverse Disciplinary, Religious, and Cultural Perspectives invite contributions for an interreligious, multicultural, and interdisciplinary collection of chapters that critically examines how the spiritual traditions of the world represent and respond to chronic illness. We welcome a wide variety of methodological, theoretical, and practical approaches including ethnography, historical, cultural, or textual analysis, personal narrative, and theological/philosophical investigation.

Where appropriate, contributors are encouraged to incorporate into their analysis literary and theoretical perspectives from a wide variety of both spiritual/religious traditions as well as from academic and practice disciplines such as sociology, nursing, medicine, disability studies, and feminist studies. Our aim is to produce a comparative work which gives voice to scholars and practitioners from many of the world’s rich and varied spiritual traditions and reflects multi-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives on the intersection of religion and chronic illness. We hope that our manuscript will appeal to a broad audience including people living with chronic illness, students and scholars from many disciplines, healthcare professionals, and religious practitioners from diverse spiritual and cultural traditions.

Abstracts not to exceed 600 words are due by January 30, 2012 and should be sent to dschumm@hollins.edu and mjstoltz@valdosta.edu.

Please submit your work in APA format.

Please note that acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee inclusion in the collection; editors will review and make final decisions upon receipt of the completed chapters and in collaboration with the publisher.

First drafts of chapters will be due on or before June 30, 2012. Any questions may be directed to Darla Schumm and Michael Stoltzfus at the addresses listed above.


Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Representation and response to chronic illness in particular religious/spiritual traditions including: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism, Baha’i, Sikh, Jain, or others
• Indigenous and/or native religions/spiritualities and chronic illness
• Celtic, Druid, and/or Wiccan religions/spiritualities and chronic illness
• Chronic illness and inter-religious comparison, contrast, or dialogue
• Chronic illness and cross-cultural comparison, contrast, or dialogue
• Chronic illness and spirituality in contrast/dialogue with health care
• Exploring the similarities and differences between chronic illnesses like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or others and chronic disabilities like blindness, deafness, paralysis or others and reflecting on their potential spiritual or cultural ramifications
• The meaning of physical, moral, and spiritual cultivation, healing, renewal, and vitality when an illness is persistent and cure is unlikely
• Religious and/or sacred texts and chronic illness
• Chronic illness, spiritual insight/practice, and changing self-identity
• Reflections on the themes of invisibility and unpredictability (often affiliated with chronic illness) in relationship to religious/spiritual understanding and practice
• Critical perspectives on religion/spirituality, society, and chronic illness
• Holistic components of well-being that focus upon the relationships between mind, body, spirituality, and environment
• Exploring the relationship between spiritual practice and the ability to cope with chronic illness
• Illness narratives as they relate to autobiographical religious/spiritual transformations
• Challenging traditional approaches to hope, sin, suffering, gratitude, love or other core religious/spiritual themes from the perspective of living with chronic illness
• Religion, stigma, marginalization, ethics, and chronic illness
• Chronic illness as bodily betrayal and subsequent efforts to find harmony between body, self, and world
• Chronic illness as it relates to personal, social, and spiritual meaning or identity formation
• Other relevant topics, themes, issues
erynn: Gaelic merman image (erynn999 merman)
I spent the majority of today working on two things -- the Queering the Flame essay, and sorting and shelving my catalogued Celtic books as I browsed through them looking for source quotes for the essay. The essay itself has gone from 8 to 10 pages in the last couple of days, so I'm pleased with my current progress, though occasionally frustrated by my efforts to find particular sources and quotes. I spent the better part of an hour poking through a box of photocopied papers looking for Patrick Ford's The Well of Nechtan and "La Gloire Lumineuse". I was ultimately successful (I knew I had a copy somewhere), but I also found that it is available on Googlebooks as one of the in-the-clear sections of Myth in Indo-European Antiquity. The entire book isn't available, but the fact that this whole section was is very useful.

One of the things I hit upon today regarding the tradition of perpetual flames in Ireland is an idea that actually supports a Christian origin of Brigid's flame. This is that traditionally all the flames in Ireland were extinguished and had to be re-lit from the Bealtinne fires atop the hills. If this tradition is true, there would be no Pagan perpetual flames in Ireland. The idea of a flame's perpetuity may well come from Patrick's lighting of a flame on the hill of Tara before the druidic flame was lit, and the prophecy that if the flame were not extinguished that very night, it would always burn and would eventually mark the fall of Paganism, as related in Muirchú's Life of Patrick. The salient quote is this:

The wise men answered: "'O king, live forever!' This fire, which we see lit this night before the fire of your own house, must be quenched this night. Indeed, if it is not put out tonight, it will never be extinguished! You should know that it will keep rising up and supplant all the fires of our own religion. The one who lit it, and the kingdom he is bringing upon us this night, will overcome us all—both you and us—by leading away everyone in your kingdom. All the kingdoms will fall down before it, and it will fill the whole country and it 'shall reign forever and ever.'"


Were the perpetual flames at Christian monasteries actually symbolic statements of Christian triumphalism? I think it's possible. I think it should be explicitly stated that it doesn't matter if the origin of Brigid's flame is Christian or Pagan, what really matters is the practice as it is used today in Pagan spiritual communities, and the intents and benefits of those practices.

I'm still working through [livejournal.com profile] mael_brigde and [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht's notes as I mess with the article. I have to keep going back and to make sure I haven't missed anything significant. I haven't looked at the article as a whole since I've added a couple of pages, but I'll probably do that tomorrow, after I've finished up working on it for the night. It's still not anywhere near finished, but it's fleshing out nicely at this point, which always feels good. It's hard to stay focused, but I think I've managed to do so reasonably well today, despite the several-hours' interruption for shelving books and digging through photocopies. Of course, now the library floor is covered with paper, and that'll need to be dealt with tomorrow at some point. I really need to develop a better filing system than "pile shit up." It's nice, at least, to have my space to myself again so that I have room for stuff like this and don't feel guilty about invading someone else's space when I have to keep going back and forth into the library for things.

Today was overcast, but significantly warmer outside than it looked. It rained for a while, though it didn't pour down buckets like it did the other day. When I was out walking the DoDC+3, I happened upon a little green and brown Pacific Tree Frog in the grass of the dog walking area, which is the tiny species of peepers that sing outside at night. I was kind of tickled to see it. According to wikipedia, they're the only species out here that sings like that, so I know I've identified the culprits. It was really quite cute. They're apparently capable of changing their color to a limited extent to match their environment, which is pretty cool. I hadn't known frogs could do that.

I'm feeling very crampy tonight, and my right hip is giving me fits. I hope that I'll be doing better tomorrow, but I suspect not. With any luck, I'll be through the worst of the crampybits by Monday, when I'm supposed to go talk to the guy who's interviewing steampunks. I sent him an email asking where he'd like to meet, but haven't heard back yet.

In the mail today, I got a cd and a final first edition copy of Nazza, a little volume of poetry by the young poet from Vancouver who came down to visit a couple of months ago. It has a blurb from me on the back, and one from a guy who wrote a book about Greenpeace. I haven't had a chance to listen to the cd yet, but am looking forward to it.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Genius Signal)
CALL FOR PAPERS: Demons in the Academy? Renouncing Rejected Knowledge, Again.

Hosted by Phoenix Rising Academy
Coordinators: Sasha Chaitow and Amy Hale
Date: TBA (either 18th or 19th November, 2011)
Venue: San Fransisco, California, in connection with the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. (precise venue TBA)

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: July 15th 2011

CALL FOR PAPERS

Demons in the Academy?
Renouncing Rejected Knowledge, Again.

Many scholars of Western Esotericism support that its validation as a field within mainstream academia lies in the application of empiricism as the primary research method. Yet this perspective disregards a defining constituent of the object of study, namely, the symbolic perception which might also be termed imaginal epistemology. Pejoratively termed “religionism,” carrying connotations of inadequate scholarship, this formative element of esoteric thought has become the new pariah of the academic study of the field broadly termed Western Esotericism in its current form.

The concept of symbolic perception and interpretation is rooted in Western intellectual history, and its significance has been highlighted by a number of respected scholars who have proposed integrative models and approaches that combine scholarly rigour with imaginative and sympathetic engagement. Other scholars have called for channels of dialogue and mutual understanding to be developed between scholars and practitioners in order to better understand the application and potentials of such epistemologies. However, this perspective is frequently repudiated, and scholars calling for more interdisciplinary approaches often find themselves marginalised, meeting with varying degrees of censure among their peers.

This approach is taking the field in a reductionist direction, with disquieting implications. More alarming still is the near- demonisation of such areas of inquiry in influential scholarly circles. Such interdictions have no place in centres of intellectual inquiry, and to support them with claims of “academic legitimacy” is to perpetuate the very reductionist and rationalist thinking that led to the separation of the sciences from the humanities and consigned the study of esoteric and initiatory philosophy to the backwaters of cultural and intellectual inquiry for the last three hundred years.

Even the most etic of approaches is not immune to subjectivity, and this begs the question of its adequacy for a subject whose very texts and images are directed towards inner, transformative work. Integrated approaches have been long established in many other areas of the humanities and social sciences, from art and performance, to ethnographic and behavioural perspectives. Thus the proscription of all but the most critical and rational methodologies necessarily fails to do justice to such a topic of study.

Phoenix Rising Academy wishes to explore the transdisciplinary options that may lead to more balanced and integrative approaches, while drawing attention to the very real dangers that we perceive in the insistence on objective and disinterested empiricism as the sole acceptable method for the study of these topics. To this end we invite interested parties to submit a proposal, or to join us for the discussion session at our symposium in connection with the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) in San Francisco, California, November 19-22, 2011.

Symposium Format

Five 15-20 minute keynote presentations [1.5 hrs]
Two video-link presentations [30 mins]
Up to eight five-minute statements [1 hr]
Panel discussion [30 mins]

Discussion tracks

Legitimate ways of knowing: the place of experiential knowledge and/or symbolic perception as a form of research.
What can we learn from each other? Bridging the practitioner-scholar divide
The esoteric polemic and rejected knowledge: a valid concern or a baseless claim?
Why are history and discourse analysis not enough?
Paradigms for integration and applied transdisciplinary methodology
Guidelines for proposal submission

Two keynote spots remain open, as do all the ‘statement’ segments. Precise timing will be kept, and speakers exceeding their allotted time will be asked to stop, regardless of whether they have completed their talk or not. Please help us to avoid this by ensuring that you do not exceed the allotted time.

Keynote lectures should not exceed an absolute maximum of 17 minutes.
Statements should not exceed an absolute maximum of 6 minutes.
Statements should consist of a clearly framed thesis and an outline of supporting detail relevant to the symposium topic.
Audience members will be invited to prepare one written statement or question during the symposium. These will be handed to the symposium coordinators during the intermission, and a selection will be read out during the discussion session.

With your submission please include the following:

1. Presenter information (name, mailing and e-mail addresses, phone number)
2. Type of presentation (keynote or statement)
3. Title and affiliation (institution or organization)
4. Proposal or abstract (in English, not to exceed 250 words, in PDF, or Word, or Office)
5. Biographical data (in English, not to exceed 200 words)
6. Selected track, or four keywords

Please email all submissions to phoenix@phoenixrising.org.gr by July 15th 2011, marking “PRA Symposium” in the subject line. All submissions will be reviewed promptly and you will be notified of the academic board’s decision within a maximum of one week after the deadline.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Sarasvati)
I spent several hours today filling out the questionnaire for the polytheism survey that someone was doing. I'd posted the call for participants a month or so ago. The questions didn't seem problematically biased (to me, anyway) as some studies are, and tended to focus more on experience, though there was one question about "faith," which you might expect from a questionnaire on something religious or spiritual. I managed to answer most of the questions in some depth and had a pretty good time thinking about the whole thing as I did so. It's nice to have something interesting to consider, particularly on a topic so near and dear to my heart.

I talked about things like how Sarasvati, as a river goddess, taught how people can approach worshipping these entities when one lives far from where the physical river resides -- the river Sarasvati disappeared centuries ago, and her many other aspects came to the fore during that process. Now she's worshipped globally by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, as well as by western Pagans without a connection to her culture of origin. I think that's a pretty powerful statement of how religion and deity changes with time and the shifting of geography and circumstance. If she were only the spiritual manifestation of the physical river, she would not have been able to make that transition or to travel to distant continents.

Certainly when we think about deities like Bóann and Sinann, who are strongly associated with particular rivers in Ireland, we can see how this is important information and a useful model. There are many ways to approach these issues, and I think one of the most useful ones for those of us who dwell on continents far from the origins of the deities we follow is to look at what they do that is not solely specifically linked to particular features of land and water. Understanding that we can access those places in Otherworld realms is also important and powerful. We are neither the first people who have had to deal with these things, nor will we be the last.

Among the other moments of my day was a quiet making of peanut sauce. It's not the best peanut sauce ever, but it's pretty tasty, and at the moment it sits atop a mound of rice, long beans, and chinese broccoli. It is, therefore, the best peanut sauce in the house!

Last night I was feeling ill again, though I think it was just the tomato sauce with the sardines, which I had two days in a row. I'm going to have to lay off them in the evening, I think. Acidic stuff is still a problem for me.

The check from the contractors arrived today! I emailed to let them know, and the secretary was astonished by the swiftness of the local postal service. She thanked me for my patience regarding the situation. If I'm up to getting out of the house tomorrow, I'll wander down to the Safeway and deposit the check in my account. There are moments when money gods do actually get to be useful. Today's email also brought notice that my new Brigid statue had been shipped, so it should arrive fairly soon. I'll be redoing the Brigid altar when it arrives. It's well past time I did so.

When I finish up the renovations, I'll probably post a picture.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
Attention Polytheists

Wendi Wilkerson, a polytheistic Pagan with a Ph.D. in Folklore from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is currently undertaking scholarly academic research on polytheism and faith. She is seeking interviews for thoughtful input about the nature of faith for a polytheist drawing on personal experiences. Dr. Wilkerson is specifically interested in discussing those moments that reified your faith and brought it home that this was all real, true, and right.

The point of this project is to increase awareness of, and respect for, polytheism as a faith tradition and as a religious practice, and to promote good-faith scholarly inquiry into contemporary polytheism as a legitimate religious tradition. Dr. Wilkerson also hopse to encourage polytheists who may otherwise not feel comfortable discussing their faith experiences to connect with each other and share their stories.

The interviews conducted for this project may be published. If you want to share your story but are uncomfortable having your real name associated with this project, you are free to use a pseudonym.

If you are interested in contributing to this project, please email Wendi Wilkerson at wendiwilkerson-AT-gmail-DOT-com.

Passed along from the ReconInterfaith email list.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
CONFERENCES: Worlds of Sacrifice-- Exploring the Past and Present of Gifts for the Gods

From <http://www.iema.buffalo.edu/conference/>
[Go there for many links including abstracts]
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Worlds of Sacrifice: Exploring the Past and Present of Gifts for the Gods

16-17 April 2011
9am-5:30pm
380 Millard Fillmore Academic Center Ellicott Complex
North Campus University at Buffalo, SUNY
Buffalo, NY 14261

Venue: Anthropology Department (380 MFAC), Ellicott Complex, North Campus
Registration in the Totem Pole Room (2nd Floor) and Presentations in Room 355 (3rd Floor)
*Please note that the Totem Pole Room is reachable via the stairwell, and not the elevator. [Erynn's note: So, the conference is not accessible? Doesn't this violate the ADA?]

Conference Organizer: Dr. Carrie Murray

Sacrifice is central for many societies—past and present—in cultural, religious, political, and economic terms. The parts, processes, and meanings transform over time and space. Sacrificial practices embody a contradiction of sorts, creating both loss and gain in real and metaphorical terms. Practicing sacrifice is a means of simultaneously with the supernatural and members of a society. The beliefs and performances relate powerfully within each cultural context. Important parameters of social hierarchy determine what is sacrificed, how it is enacted, and by whom it is performed. By investigating the dynamics of how sacrifice is conducted, and the changing views in scholarship related to sacrifice, we can attempt to better understand people of the past and present. The interdisciplinary nature of this conference will bring together scholars from anthropology, archaeology, classics, and religious studies, whose work encompasses the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe. Sacrifice as performance will be discussed by exploring the essential components involved in these practices through material culture, iconography, literary sources, and ethnographic observation. The diverse forms of evidence, cultural contexts, and approaches will allow participants to create new insights on the interpretation of sacrifice within social context.

Conference Schedule Outline
SATURDAY
08:30-09:00 Registration
09:00-09:30 Welcome Presentations
09:30-10:00 Introduction—Carrie A. Murray

Session 1
10:00-10:30 1 Philips Stevens, Jr. (University at Buffalo, SUNY) The Anthropology of Sacrifice
10:30-11:00 2 Åsa Bergren (Lund University) A View from a Fen— A Critical Perspective on the Concept of Sacrifice in Archaeology

11:00-11:30 Break

11:30-12:00 3 Christoph Huth (Universität Freiburg) Gifts from the gods – A new look at some weapons and vessels from the metal ages

12:00-12:30 4 Samantha Hurn (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David) Post-domestic Sacrifice: Exploring the present and future of gifts for the gods

12:30-1:00 Discussant—Jan Bremmer (Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Cologne)


1:00-2:00 Lunch


Session 2
2:00-2:30 1 Andrea Zeeb-Lanz (Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz, Speyer) Human sacrifices as crisis management? The case of the early Neolithic site of Herxheim, Palatinate, Germany
2:30-3:00 2 Andrew Reynolds (University College London) Anglo-Saxon non-funerary weapon depositions: a consideration of purpose and meaning

3:00-3:30 Break

3:30-4:00 3 Enriquetta Pons Brun (Museu Catalunya, Girona, Spain) The Slaughtering of Dog as a Prestigious Animal in the Protohistoric Site of Mas Castellar de Pontós (Empordà – Spain)

4:00-4:30 4 Thomas G. Palaima (University of Texas, Austin) The Pervasiveness of Sacrifice in Protohistoric and Historic Greek Society and the Use of Sacrifice in Reinforcing Social Ideology

4:30-5:00 Discussant—Vance Watrous (University at Buffalo, SUNY)


7:00-10:00 Welcome Reception in the Totem Pole Room

SUNDAY
9:30-10:00 5 Guinevere Granite (University at Buffalo, SUNY) Understanding the Burial Placement and Reason for Death of Northern European Bog Bodies

Session 3
10:00-10:30 1 Roger Woodard (University at Buffalo, SUNY) Sacrificing the Sign: The Alphabet as an Offering in Ancient Israel
10:30-11:00 2 Michael Gagarin (University of Texas, Austin) Ancient Greek Laws on Sacrifice

11:00-11:30 Break

11:30-12:00 3 S. Mark Heim (Andover Newton Theological School) In What Way Is Christ’s Death a Sacrifice? Theories of Sacrifice and Theologies of the Cross

12:00-12:30 Discussant— Barbara Kowalzig (New York University)


12:30-1:30 Lunch


Session 4
1:30-2:00 1 Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner (University of Toronto) Every Good and Pure Thing: Sacrifice in the Egyptian context
2:00-2:30 2 Jeffrey Schwarz (University of Pittsburgh) The mythology of Carthaginian child sacrifice: A physical anthropological perspective

2:30-3:00 3 Philip Kiernan (University at Buffalo, SUNY) Staging Roman Sacrifice

3:00-3:30 Break

3:30-4:00 4 Nancy de Grummond (Florida State University) Etruscan Human Sacrifice: The state of research

4:00-4:30 5 Tyler Jo Smith (University of Virginia) The Art of Ancient Greek Sacrifice: HIERA KALA Revisited

4:30-5:00 Discussant— Alan Shapiro (Johns Hopkins University)


5:15-5:45 General Discussion lead by the Discussants

Closing and Thanks


7:00-10:00 Conference Dinner at Anderson Gallery
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Sarasvati)
Today I went to a couple of presentations. First up was the Paganism and New Media panel. [livejournal.com profile] mythworker did a presentation on this last year; this was, I think, more sophisticated and covered a broader territory, as well as bringing in new approaches. The panelists included Thorn Coyle, Star from Patheos.com, a board member from Cherry Hill Seminary, and one of the tech people from Llewellyn, with [livejournal.com profile] mythworker as the moderator. One of the issues addressed this year was e-publishing, which hadn't really been brought up last year at all that I recall. I noted the issues I'd had with Circle of Stones being in and out of print, and how the print edition goes for ridiculous prices online, while I'm now selling a PDF of the book for the original cover price, yet folks still want hardcopy -- they buy the PDF, but I can completely understand the desire for paper copy.

The second panel I went to today was the presentation "Are Hindus Pagans/Are Pagans Hindus," offered by four Hindu practitioners from a national Hindu association. I thought it was an extremely positive and interesting presentation. Topics addressed included the history of Hinduism in America, spiritual similarities between Hinduism and Paganism (pluralism was the watchword of the panel), common cause between Hindus and the Pagan community regarding American culture and western culture generally, in terms of coerced conversions, activism, political involvement, and civil and human rights, and an examination of how we can work together. Issues of potential cultural appropriation were also addressed; this was seen as a problem if it was a commercial appropriation, but when Pagans approach Hindu deities as sincerely interested parties for spiritual purposes, the panel's attitude was that the deities are big enough to be just fine with being approached by non-Hindus.

There was a good deal to think about in the presentations and I was impressed with the speakers. They seemed very interested in working together with the Pagan communities to strengthen all our positions in resisting oppression by the monotheist majority when it seeks to marginalize or actively destroy our communities. It has not been unusual for poor Hindus in India to be bribed into conversion -- "we'll send your children to a good college, we'll give you medical care, we'll feed you if you convert." Yet this conversion is then taken to an extreme, where the new converts, who are really only going into it to try to make life a little better for their families, are coerced into desecrating not just their own altars at home, but the altars of their families or even their local temples. This sort of thing is completely disgusting, but it's not at all unusual behavior for evangelical Christian missionaries in Asia, India, and Africa. It's not at all unlike what has happened to the Native peoples in North America, where cultures were destroyed, children stolen from their homes, and entire groups of people slaughtered.

I think there's a lot of really good work to be done between the Pagan and Hindu communities in the future. I was absolutely delighted to see a strong Hindu presence here this year and hope that they'll continue coming to meet with us at PCon and under other circumstances, creating strong ties between all our communities as we all struggle for our rights as spiritual and religious minorities in a mostly-monotheist society. We need to dismantle the privilege that Christianity has in the United States; its status should be one of many, not the dominant force in American society. We cannot be equal when one religion is more equal than all the others. It's a continuation of the same aggressive, disrespectful force that allows military chaplains to believe they're simply exercising their freedom of speech when they attempt to force deathbed conversions on non-Christians and atheists. To quote from the Christian Post article, "Birch informed the audience that he would oblige to help them with their faith but would not withhold himself from helping a dying soldier or a soldier with no faith get right with God."

After the panels, I headed up to spend some time with the Sisterhood of Avalon folks, talking with them about some potential ideas for pilgrimage themes and places. It turns out that one of the gals I was talking to is an old friend of [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm from Atlanta, and she wandered in while I was talking. One of the ideas I was suggesting was a Sequana pilgrimage, dealing with that Goddess and the shrines and artifacts at the source of the Seine river; since [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm had gone to the Seine a couple of years ago to find information about Sequana and had already been to many of the sites, I thought she would have some excellent suggestions for this, and I think both of them are going to talk this over. They're also talking about proposing a Pagan pilgrimage panel for next year's con, which I think would be a fantastic idea.

Eventually, I had to go get ready for the 11pm Bakkhoi Antinoou ritual drama. I got dressed up in the most bling anyone is ever likely to see me in for a very long time, with my brocade silk jacket, one of my shiny silk scarves in iridescent colors, sparkly bracelets, and lots of green silk. It was pretty spiffy, if I may say so myself. The play involved the death of Antinous, and the Otherworld happenings surrounding his deification. We had a ton of fun, and I think the audience did as well. Tomorrow morning at 11am we have the "Antinous is Not Just for Pretty Boys" panel, consisting of several of the mystai of the Ekklesía. It'll include me, [livejournal.com profile] ogam, [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht, and [livejournal.com profile] tristissima talking about the various ways we deal with Antinous, and what the whole thing means to us, considering the general impression of Antinoan cultus is that it's supposedly only for young pretty gay guys. None of us actually fit that particular model, of course. A lot of people ask what Antinous would have to do with them, given that they're not gay men, but most of them would never ask what Brigid would have to do with them if they're not women who are poets, smiths, and healers. I think it's a paradigm issue, really.

And now, to try to get some sleep. It's nearly 3am and I have to be up and about at some ungodsly hour tomorrow.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I got this lemming from [livejournal.com profile] heuradys:

Go to Wikipedia and hit random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
Go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
Go to flickr and click on explore the last seven days. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Post it with this text in the caption


silly meme project

Please keep in mind that I have zero graphics talent at all and I had to download a graphics program to do this about fifteen minutes ago. I was very amused that the "band name" is a Sherlock Holmes adventure, and the other was a quote about poetry. Fitting, somehow.

Aside from this, I called the credit union to see if I could fix the fubar at the watch shop last week. They said it would be easiest just to call the shop and have them charge the amount again, so I did. My watch repair is now happily paid for.

Fantastic news on the writy front -- got email from the editor for the disability and world religions project. From the email:

Dear Contributors:

I am delighted to inform you that we have been offered a contract for the book with Palgrave Macmillan! Both Palgrave and Syracuse University Press (SUP) expressed interest in the project, and for a variety of reasons we decided to submit it to Palgrave for review. We submitted the manuscript in late October and received two positive reviews from their outside reviewers. Last week the editor contacted us and offered the contract.

As you might imagine, the manuscript was very long and Palgrave has asked us to divide the manuscript into two volumes. Our contract is for both of the volumes. We have divided the original manuscript into two books. I am attaching a document to this message with the new titles of each book and a table of contents for each volume.

We plan to have full and complete manuscripts submitted to Palgrave by April 1 and the books should be released sometime next October (2011). This publication schedule will allow Palgrave to have the books at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (AAR/SBL) annual meetings in November.

We are very excited about the books and we are thrilled that Palgrave is publishing them! Thank you all for your contributions. Please let me know if you have any questions. I will keep you posted as we progress through the process. As part of our contract, each of you will receive one complimentary copy of the book in which your chapter(s) appears.


My essay is in the first section of the first volume:

Section One
Religion, Narrative Identity and Disability

Chapter 1 God’s Will? How Two Young Latina Catholic Women Negotiate a Hidden Disability Identity
Aimee Burke Valeras

Chapter 2 Performance of Muslim Daily Prayer by Physically Disabled Practitioners
Arseli Dokumaci

Chapter 3 Whatever the Sacrifice: Illness and Authority in the Baha’i Faith
Priscilla Gilman

Chapter 4 Since Feathers Have Grown on My Body: Madness, Art, and Healing in Celtic Reconstructionist Spirituality
Erynn Rowan Laurie


My eyes ache.

I will probably be at the AFK tomorrow night for whomever shows up for the Everett Air Kraken Hunters Guild. Thursday it's down to Seattle for the queer Pagan meetup and to haul [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht back up to Everett from there.

I need to sit my ass down and crank out the Imbolc ritual and find a crafts shop where I can get supplies for Brigid's crosses. Michael's will probably do, I suspect.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Illya "Missed it by this much")
Some charmingly cowardly anonymous Christian posted a comment to my post about Dan Savage with a list of biblical verses about God hating things. Said Christian ended its comment with:

"Do a word search of hate and synonyms and all forms of the word; the Bible is clear: God hates the vast majority of people.

Those are not billions of Martians in hell, dummy!"

Given that there are no Martians (aside from [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab, of course) and that I'm not exactly given to believe in hell, this is a completely nonsensical statement. But really, why would I want to be a part of a religion where hate is the main focus? This sort of thing isn't exactly going to be a compelling argument for anyone to actually want to join, is it?

Oh, wait, maybe it is. If you're a bigot and an asshole.

This is why the "delete comment" option exists.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus Oh Noes!)
I called the vet today to try to arrange for boarding for the DoDC+3 and, unfortunately, they have no more spaces at $25 a night. The best they can do is $65 a night, and I'm not paying nearly three times what I'd planned to go down to the Lovecraft film festival. My next door neighbor has said I can ask her to look after him, but she did last weekend, and that was only for one night. I wouldn't feel right asking her two weekends in a row.

I'm feeling grumpy about it but am ultimately all right with the whole thing. This does mean I can go to the performance of the Rite of Mercury this weekend instead, which I had been contemplating doing. It's not every day you get to attend a public performance of Aleister Crowely's occult theatre. It's Friday night at 7:00pm at the Broadway Performance Hall at Seattle Central Community College. Tickets, according to the Seattle Weekly, are $18 through Brown Paper Tickets. There is also a Saturday show, which I may go to instead, as friends will be there that night. Eleusyve Productions has already done Crowley's Rites of Luna and Rites of Venus in years past. This is the centennial year of the Rite of Mercury's first performance in London.

Nattering about research, gender, and the flame. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I was going to go out to Aki Matsuri today, but pain woke me up at 7:30 this morning and I realized that getting out of the house before noon was going to be unlikely at best. I turned off the alarm and then texted [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht about 11am when I woke again, to let him know I wasn't going to be able to make it. It was just one of those crunchy days where nothing quite wants to work right, so it was just as well that I didn't try to drive out to Bellevue to haul a shrine around.

An hour or so I got an email notifying me that Queen of the Great Below: A Devotional in Honor of Ereshkigal will be going to press through Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the next week or so. This devotional volume has a series of gatekeeper poems in it that I wrote a couple of years ago, so that's another I can add to the stack of "books with stuff by Erynn in them." I was really proud of those poems and am honored and delighted that they were chosen for inclusion.

Today I also started poking through the books for notes and references for my Queering the Flame essay for the Queer Magic anthology. The first book I picked up to add to the already-existing stack had a brief reference in it to another perennial flame, this one on Inishmurray, where the flame was kept by monks. It was, in fact, essentially a sacred public hearth, which weakens the argument that Brigid's flame had to be kept only by women because of its nature as a sacred public hearth. Apparently, there were at least four such flames in Ireland, this one and Brigid's inclusive. The references so far have been short, but there's apparently a book about Inishmurray out there, titled Inishmurray, Land of Gale, Stone and Fire (1998) that talks about the Church of the Fire, though I'm not sure how in depth the discussion is.

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited by this. It's looking like I also need very much to pick up a copy of Lisa Bitel's Landscape With Two Saints, which also discusses this somewhat, in the midst of a much deeper discussion of Brigid herself. So much to do, so much to do.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Religion Press Release Services [info@religionnews.ccsend.com]; on behalf of; Religion Press Release Services [info@religionnews.com]Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Contact: Amy Schiska 573-355-5201 ext. 3#
Schiska@RNA.org

Study Islam, Religion and Politics, War, Immigration-on us!

Journalists, editors eligible for $5,000 scholarships for college religioncourses

(Columbia, Mo.)

RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS invites journalists, regardless of beat, to apply to its Lilly Scholarships in Religion program. The scholarships give full-time journalists up to $5,000 to take college religion and spirituality courses. With religion in the headlines more than ever, now is the perfect time to dig deeper into today's hottest religion stories. More than 200 people have already taken advantage of RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS' Lilly Scholarships in Religion Program for Journalists. Some of the timely topics reporters have studied include: Islamic Movements, God & Politics, Early Christianity and Western Culture, Religious Tradition and Scientific Inquiry, Buddhism and Science, Violence and Liberation, Religion and Medicine.

"This class [Foundations of Christian Moral Life] was extremely useful to mywork as a journalist. I have covered almost every issue we discussed," said Melissa Evans of The Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.).

The scholarships can be used at any accredited college, university, seminary or similar institution. Journalists can take any course they choose as long as it is in the field of religion. Scholarships cover tuition, books, registration fees, parking and other costs. Online and travel courses are also included (as long as travel costs are a part of the curriculum).

All full-time journalists—including reporters, editors, designers, copyeditors, editorial writers, news directors, researchers and producers—are eligible, regardless of whether or not they cover religion.

The next scholarship application deadline is Oct. 1, 2010. Scholarships must be used within three academic quarters of their award date. Only full-time journalists working in the general circulation news media are eligible.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
In the wake of the news about military personnel being faced with a choice between attending an evangelical Christian concert or being forced to do a punishment detail involving cleaning the barracks (and it was punishment, make no mistake -- refusing to participate would have led to actual disciplinary action), I posted a short essay about my own Navy experiences over 30 years ago. It's nothing new. I was faced with exactly the same choice in boot camp: go to church or scrub latrines.

The aggressive Christianity of the US military needs to be utterly eviscerated. They should not be legally permitted to force their religion on anyone. The fact that they can punish people who have no wish to be "evangelized" only serves to make it worse.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I didn't go anywhere today, thankfully. Still doing the tired thing.

I'll have to go down tomorrow and talk to my credit union to see what I can do about the current situation. It's all of my own making -- I overdid things when Jamie was here so that we could do stuff together, and there was a kerfuffle that left me hanging that had to do with a check coming out that shouldn't have. Stuff happens, you know?

It's looking like nothing will move on the mortgage until the 23rd, I think. There's a bit of paper that has to be signed by someone who's on vacation. After that gets done, it's sometime between 1-3 days and then I sign the papers myself. That'll be a relief and, if things go through quick enough, I don't have to pay the mortgage at all next month, which means everything will be just ducky.

One of the things my brother and I talked about while he was here was living in Europe. He's been doing it for most of the past 20 years or so, and I've been looking for ways to get out of the US since at least 1985. It turns out that, as a legal resident of the EU, he can sponsor me into Italy. If I lived there for a couple of years, long enough to become a resident myself (this has nothing to do with citizenship, mind), I could then move anywhere in the EU I wanted to without any substantial difficulty.

I'm giving this bit a lot of thought. It wouldn't be soon -- maybe five years down the road or so, because I need to let the incipient mortgage get paid down enough that selling the condo would be worth it -- but I can go over for a visit to see if I like Italy enough to give it a shot. Yeah, I know that moving like that is trading one set of problems for another, but with the increasing fragmentation of US society and the growing stridency of the Christian extremists, I can't help but wonder if somewhere more secular wouldn't be a safer choice. I know that the Seattle area is really mellow as this sort of thing goes, and I do love it here, but Seattle doesn't make national policy decisions for the entire country, and there are a lot of places in the US that I wouldn't even want to drive through, much less live in. I'm not adventure!awesome like [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands or [livejournal.com profile] miss_adventure. I'm just a quiet, creaky alterna-geek who hasn't been liking what she sees in her country for a very long time now.

There is much to consider.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
AUSTRALIAN RELIGION STUDIES REVIEW - CALL FOR PAPERS:

Special Issue 24 (2) Religion and Celebrity

Traditional religions proposed models of the perfected life for their adherents; medieval Christians sought to emulate the saints and martyrs, tales of the compassionate bodhisattvas enthralled Mahayana Buddhists and the wandering holy teachers of the Hindu tradition exemplified renunciation and holiness for Hindus.

The prominence of celebrities in contemporary Western culture is undeniable and it may be argued that celebrities function in Western consumer society as icons to be worshipped, role models to be emulated, and, most importantly, as exemplars of the perfected life (through their wealth, beauty, larger than life profile, and the fact that their existence is

Submission deadline is September 2010. Early submissions are welcome. Please contact Carole Cusack (ccusack@mail.usyd.edu.au) for further details.


http://www.equinoxjournals.com/ojs/index.php/ARSR/announcement/view/20

ABOUT the Australian Religion Studies Review:
Australian Religion Studies Review is the leading peer-reviewed journal of the Pacific region dealing with all aspects of the academic study of religion. Now in its twentieth year, the journal is committed to presenting cutting edge research from the Pacific region and elsewhere from both established and new scholars. As well as articles it publishes book and film reviews, conference reports, and the annual lecture delivered to members of its partner organisation, the Australian Association for the Study of Religion. Every second issue is thematic and calls for papers for upcoming issues can be found below under “Announcements”.

Guidelines for Contributors
http://equinoxjournals.com/ojs/equinoxdownloads/authors/arsrguide.pdf

Submissions
http://www.equinoxjournals.com/ojs/index.php/ARSR/about/submissions

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