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Darshan as Mode and Critique of Perception: Hinduism's Liberatory Model of Visuality

Francis J. Sanzaro III
3rd Year, PhD Religion and Philosophy
Syracuse University

Darshan—as an aid to Hindu liberation—should not be relegated to a religious system, more specifically, to the Hindu, devotional mode of seeing. Rather, using contemporary theorists, this paper argues that darshan provides us with a conceptual model of how ordinary vision, and, more broadly speaking, consciousness, is attained, and conversely, how it may be overcome.

Pentacostalism in the Modern World

Adam Stewart
1st Year, PhD Religious Studies
University of Waterloo

Some scholars claim that in the new century Pentecostalism will adapt to modernity thereby continuing its growth across many cultures and societies. By comparing the appeal of Pentecostalism in its original manifestation during the early nineteenth century in America with the appeal of its most vibrant contemporary expression in Latin America, one can ask whether Pentecostalism has widened its appeal to include a Postindustrial audience. It is concluded that Pentecostalism will not adapt to modernity, because it remains a movement against modernity. Pentecostalism’s appeal lies in its ability to provide a theodicy utilized by those who oppose the infringement of modern ideology upon their own ways of life, namely the working poor and conservative traditionalists.

Sister Insider/Outsider: On the Use of Feminist Theology in Religious Studies

Kathleen Jones
4th Year, PhD Religious Studies
University of Calgary

Religious studies as an academic pursuit is heir to the ideal of objectivity traditionally pursued in the social sciences.  Consequently, some scholars dismiss theology from religious studies on the grounds that it is not appropriately distant from its subject matter.  On the basis of this distinction the vast array of theological material available to religious studies scholars has been discounted as unusable, despite providing much needed insight into religious beliefs and behaviors.  In this paper, I argue that theological material as a whole should not be discounted as a source of religious studies scholarship and critique and conclude that it is necessary to reconsider the place of theological texts within religious studies discourse.  This reconsideration is necessary because critical theologies can use methods and include analysis that conform to the critical academic standards of religious studies.