Category Writing

Vote Beth: A Nice Change from Richard Dawkins

There was a really good piece on Inform that appeared in the Daily Telegraph the other day, written by Damien Thompson (@holysmoke).  It mentions their 25th Anniversary conference at which I will be giving a paper: “No Leader, No Followers: The Internet and the End of Charisma?” (plug, plug, plug) So far it has received around […]

Its a Nice Day for a Scientology Wedding

Scientology is in the mainstream news again with the announcement that a woman who wants to marry in a Scientology chapel has won a Supreme Court battle to have it recognized as a ‘place of meeting for religious worship’.  Five judges have over-ruled a 1970 ruling that prioritized veneration of a God in deciding what […]

Sex (Got Your Attention) with ‘Mystery Relatives’

A story has just broken about research into our ancestors and where our DNA comes from.  This explains the science and the methodology far better than I can.  But what particularly interests me is that this idea of a mystery ancestor providing us with a portion of our DNA may be seen as overlapping with longstanding […]

The Return of the “Curious Cult”

One of my (many) interests when it comes to the study of contemporary religion is how these new groups are perceived by wider society.  I’ve just recently taught my first class on changes in attitudes to what are now generally called ‘New Religious Movements’ (NRMs) in Academia, or Cults in the wider popular vernacular. The […]

Digital Methods Workshop, 25/10/2013 (Dullest Title Ever….)

Today I attended a workshop on Digital Methods Development: Researching Social Movements in Online Environments at CRASSH. I’m going to reproduce my very limited notes here and try and expand on them before it all goes out of my head (in about ten minutes): IC as a movement? Is in discourse. The session was on […]

Popular or Scholar?

I’ve been thinking a little about writing style lately, as a paper I presented at the BASR conference has been getting some attention and I’m working it into a publishable piece.  My supervisor hasnt read the expanded version yet, but he read the conference paper (as rough as it was) and his position is that […]

#Ilovehashtags

In a moment of serendipitous coincidence I had just decided to write something about hashtags and Twitter when my cousin posted this video on Facebook of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake showing us how dumb we sound when we use hashtags. To some extent I agree with my good friends J and J, using too […]