FRIDAY, March 13th, 2009
Faculty of Religious Studies
Birks Building, 3520 University Street
|17:00 - 17:45
|18:00 - 20:00
|20:00 - 21:30
SATURDAY, March 14th, 2009
3650 McTavish Street
|8:30 - 9:00
|9:00 - 11:00
|11:15 - 12:45
|12:45 - 14:00
|14:00 - 15:15
|15:30 - 17:00
*For information on specific panels, please see the programme.
Dr. Steven Engler, Mount Royal College, Calgary
"Brazilian Spirit Possession in the Light of Recent Theory of Ritual"
Goal of the Conference
We have chosen a topic that is relevant to the interdisciplinary study of religion, while providing a reasonably limited guide for discussion. The aim of the conference is a) to give graduate students an opportunity to present research papers in front of a sympathetic audience, b) to share and refine our research with the larger graduate student community, and c) to become better acquainted with our current and future colleagues. We also hope to foster graduate student membership in the new and exciting multidisciplinary organization, The Centre for Research on Religion / Centre de Recherche sur la Religion (CREOR), which aims to create a broad academic platform to coordinate and support research on the identities of the main religions of the world, their differences and their common grounds, and how they contribute to a better understanding of past and present-day culture, ethics and politics. We are interested in contributions from all disciplines, including, but not limited to, philosophy, political science, law, religious studies, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, ritual studies, art history.
Summary of the Problematic
Ritual – loosely defined as deliberate physical action occurring on a regular basis – is a ubiquitous human practice. Covering a wide range of activities, including, but by no means limited to, artistic performance, sacrifice, prostration, and oral recitation, ritual is often the sole vehicle for the transmission of cultural and religious traditions. For example, many religious adherents never engage with the canonical texts of their tradition, but rather acquire their religious faith entirely through ritual practice. However, it is only within the last fifty years that ritual has become a formidable topic of scholarly discourse. Over the course of such discussions a number of perspectives have emerged. Some scholars have argued that ritual is a means of disciplining the body, which ultimately restricts the individual to collective conventions, while others have argued that ritual performance is a strategy to reshape the social world in terms of individual goals and values. Still others focus on the cathartic, redemptive qualities of ritual performance for individual practitioners. Considering such perspectives, how is ritual an expression of individual and collective identity? What are the ideological and pedagogical roles of ritual? What functions do rituals have for individual practitioners and societies? We welcome all papers duly engaging with the academic study of ritual.
Hosted by CREOR and the McGill University Faculty of Religious Studies
The principal goal of the Centre for Research on Religion / Centre de Recherche sur la Religion (CREOR) is to study the world's religions in their constantly changing historical manifestations. The Centre's aim is to create a broad academic platform to coordinate and support research on the identities of the main religions of the world, their differences and their common grounds, and how they contribute to a better understanding of past and present-day culture, ethics and politics.
McGill's Faculty of Religious Studies is composed of a diverse group of scholars specializing in both Western and Eastern religious traditions, as well as the study of religion qua religion.