Matching Items (10)

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The Alien Play: A Full-Length Play on Mental Illness, Spirituality, and Extra-Terrestrials

Description

The Alien Play, as posted here, is a placeholder name for this working draft of a full-length stage play that functions as part-science-fiction adventure, part-spiritual-parable. As the process of playwriting is a complex array of research, outlining, drafting, revising and

The Alien Play, as posted here, is a placeholder name for this working draft of a full-length stage play that functions as part-science-fiction adventure, part-spiritual-parable. As the process of playwriting is a complex array of research, outlining, drafting, revising and editing, the play is preceded by a craft essay detailing the playwright's inspiration, research, and narrative design. In order to complete this project, the playwright conducted research in the field of religious studies, focusing specifically on the phenomena of paranormal experiences through the lenses of psychology, sociology, and philosophy, asking questions such as: How and why do new religions arise? In what ways (narrative, content, structure, etc.) do these new religions reflect the spiritualist mythologies or religious institutions of the past? What do these similarities or differences say about the social, economic, or political atmospheres that give rise to such movements?

More specifically, this play works within the cross-section of religion/spirituality, mental illness, and UFO and other extra-terrestrial related anomalies to ask such questions as: What does it mean to be Human? What does it mean to be "alien" or Other? How do we internally and externally construct a binary between Humanness and Otherness, between Self and Other? How do we construct reality? In what ways does this anthropomorphize our conceptions of the Human or the Other? In what ways, specifically, may this affect our understanding or manifestation of mental illness, in ourself and others?

The play you see here is a final draft for the thesis, but is still in development elsewhere. Here is a brief log line (i.e. a short description of the general plot and conflict of a script) for the piece: Four sisters from a broken home must deal with the sudden discovery of their late father's communication with an extra-terrestrial race bearing a message of Love-and-Peace. When they, too, begin to communicate with the E.T.'s, they must juggle issues of mental illness, memory, and trauma all while outrunning a shadow government that will stop at nothing to uncover their secret.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-12

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Enchanting the Secular: Religion, Science, and Industry

Description

In my Honors Thesis, I endeavor to complicate and to respond to conventional debates over historical periodization and the problem of what it means to be "modern." I understand the modern as a conceptual product of discourses surrounding religion, science,

In my Honors Thesis, I endeavor to complicate and to respond to conventional debates over historical periodization and the problem of what it means to be "modern." I understand the modern as a conceptual product of discourses surrounding religion, science, and industry. Specifically, the modern era has been defined as one in which the forms of rationalization associated with quantitative and experimental scientific methods and large-scale, technologically sophisticated industrial production have surpassed the "irrational" superstitions associated with religion. Critical responses to this definition have largely had the goal of supplanting it with another way of conceiving of the historical discontinuity between the "modern" and the "non-modern." In three essays, I aim to complicate the terms (religion, science, and industry) in which these debates have been conducted and to relate them to one another both historically and conceptually. As opposed to the goal of re-defining the modern, my goal in these essays is to complicate the existing definitions and to reveal and challenge the ideological motives of historical periodization. I illuminate the connections of the modern conception of "religion" to a colonial system of power, between scientific development and changes in economic and religious thinking, and between contemporary technological and industrial projects to an "enchanted" view of the world. In tracing these connections, I am indebted to conventional discourses of modernization, Max Weber's theory of "disenchantment," and recent scholarship on the use of materialist methods in the study of history. In these essays, I move beyond the critical project of "re-imagining" the modern, and illuminate some of the ideological commitments of that project that I consider untenable. In addition to a more sophisticated historical understanding of the meaning of religion, science, and industry, what I aim to achieve in my thesis is a better framing of some of the largest problems faced by contemporary humanity, including the looming risks of ecological, economic, and geopolitical collapse. In this framing, I situate these risks in the context of their connection to strategies of historical periodization, and argue that managing them will require a radically new view of religion, science, industry, and the roles that they play in producing historical discontinuity.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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"Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible" Exhibit and Public Programs

Description

Poster announcement for the exhibit and public programs sponsored by the American Library Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and ASU Libraries. November 14-December 16, 2011.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011-11-14

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Xianyou (Transcendent Journeys): The Pursuit, Inquiry into and Experience of Dao in the Quanzhen School of Daoism

Description

The following paper is a translation of National Zhengzhi University Professor Li Fengmao’s original Chinese article. This translation was completed with the express approval of Professor Li, and under the direction of Professor Stephen R. Bokenkamp.
Quanzhen Daoism (“The

The following paper is a translation of National Zhengzhi University Professor Li Fengmao’s original Chinese article. This translation was completed with the express approval of Professor Li, and under the direction of Professor Stephen R. Bokenkamp.
Quanzhen Daoism (“The Way of Complete Perfection”) is a sect of Daoism founded by master Wang Chongyang (王重陽 1113-1170) in the twelfth century AD. The tradition is, in essence, the systemization and formalization of traditional Daoist practices through the implementation of Confucian and Buddhist infrastructure. Synthesizing Confucian practices of study and copying of classics, proper human relationships, and master-student succession, and Buddhist chujia (出家 “to leave the household”) and large public monastic systems, Quanzhen Daoism established systematic mechanisms which facilitated the zealous advancement of practitioners.
The Quanzhen sect formalized the Daoist tradition of “famous mountains and enlightened teachers” and integrated the respective practices of residing in a monastery and participating in fangdao (訪道) as required components of personal cultivation, constituting “monastery residence” and “travel” experiences. These two components complemented each other and eventually came to form the integral experiences of Quanzhen cultivation. The establishment of a uniform “household system,” inter-monastery exchange system, “Pure Rules,” “Collection of Orthodox Chants,” “percept transmission system,” and “name assignment system” streamlined the acclimation process for both entering the household of religion and participating in required ceremonies during travel.
Ultimately, the systemized infrastructure established by Quanzhen Daoism allowed for the formation of a complete ordered society outside of the secular world. This Quanzhen world, in turn, provided the framework for large-scale, practical implementation of Daoist techniques, the most ideologically significant of which are participation in arduous travel and actualization of “an irregular accordance with the Dao.”

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

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The Effect of Priming Biblical Benevolence on Prosocial Behavior Rabia Memon

Description

Religion and the belief in supernatural agents have been assumed to play an important role in encouraging prosocial behavior. However, different studies conducted have shown a complex relation between religion and prosociality. For example, Darley & Batson (1973) found that

Religion and the belief in supernatural agents have been assumed to play an important role in encouraging prosocial behavior. However, different studies conducted have shown a complex relation between religion and prosociality. For example, Darley & Batson (1973) found that religious people do not always help strangers. In the present study, Christian participants were primed with benevolent commandments attributed to either the Bible or past historical figures or secular, non-benevolent quotes (control). I then measured their willingness to help pick up envelopes dropped by either a Muslim (wearing a hijab) or non-Muslim confederate woman. The results show that subjects primed with Bible or presidential quotes about benevolence were more likely to be helpful to the Muslim confederate than those in the control group. Differences between the Bible and presidential condition were not significant. I conclude that an authority, whether it be a president or God, promoting benevolence can increase prosocial behaviors toward out-group members.

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Agent

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Date Created
2012-12

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The impact of religious studies courses: measuring change in undergraduate attitudes

Description

In the current context of fiscal austerity as well as neo-colonial criticisms, the discipline of religious studies has been challenged to critically assess its teaching methods as well as articulate its relevance in the modern university setting. Responding to these

In the current context of fiscal austerity as well as neo-colonial criticisms, the discipline of religious studies has been challenged to critically assess its teaching methods as well as articulate its relevance in the modern university setting. Responding to these needs, this dissertation explores the educational outcomes on undergraduate students as a result of religious studies curriculum. This research employs a robust quantitative methodology designed to assess the impact of the courses while controlling for a number of covariates. Based on data collected from pre- and post-course surveys of a combined 1,116 students enrolled at Arizona State University (ASU) and two area community colleges, the research examines student change across five outcomes: attributional complexity, multi-religious awareness, commitment to social justice, individual religiosity, and the first to be developed, neo-colonial measures. The sample was taken in the Fall of 2009 from courses including Religions of the World, introductory Islamic studies courses, and a control group consisting of engineering and political science students. The findings were mixed. From the "virtues of the humanities" standpoint, select within group changes showed a statistically significant positive shift, but when compared across groups and the control group, there were no statistically significant findings after controlling for key variables. The students' pre-course survey score was the best predictor of their post-course survey score. In response to the neo-colonial critiques, the non-findings suggest the critiques have been overstated in terms of their impact pedagogically or in the classroom.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

The Multiplicity of Souls: Soul Concepts of the Eastern Woodland and Plains Indians of North America

Description

The potential for accurately reconstructing prehistoric Woodland and Plains Indian societies' notions of human soul-like essences using symbolically rich mortuary remains and art can be improved when analogous, comparative ethnohistorical information is collected systematically and with sensitivity to tribal and

The potential for accurately reconstructing prehistoric Woodland and Plains Indian societies' notions of human soul-like essences using symbolically rich mortuary remains and art can be improved when analogous, comparative ethnohistorical information is collected systematically and with sensitivity to tribal and regional variations. Literature on 49 historic Woodland-Plains tribes produced 643 cases informing on nine selected subjects: number and locations of souls in an individual, number of souls that leave the body in life and death, where and when they exit, and their functions and qualities in life and death. Ideas varied considerably but patterned in their frequencies and geographic distributions.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-12

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Human Nature, Improvement, and Destiny: A Comparison of Protestant Pietism and Transhumanism

Description

Transhumanist concepts and themes increasingly occupy a prominent place in contemporary visions of the future, particularly with regard to technology. A growing number of scholars, including some self-described transhumanists, see transhumanism as functioning like a religion for secular people, in

Transhumanist concepts and themes increasingly occupy a prominent place in contemporary visions of the future, particularly with regard to technology. A growing number of scholars, including some self-described transhumanists, see transhumanism as functioning like a religion for secular people, in that it fulfills many of the same desires and impulses without reference to any supernatural forces. For this reason there is a growing discussion of transhumanism in comparison with major religious traditions, but one which has heretofore been underappreciated is Protestant pietism. Pietism grew out of a need among Protestants after the Reformation to realize a better Christian community and better prepare individual believers for the afterlife. It had a significant influence over the European Enlightenment, of which transhumanists claim to be the successors. In its understanding of human improvement, human nature, and ultimate human destiny in death and the end-point of history, pietism has multiple interesting points of comparison with transhumanism. Both ideologies begin by improving individual human beings as the primary means to the end of eliminating suffering, especially death and disease, and building the ideal human community. Transhumanism accomplishes its goals for humanity through the use of advanced technologies which enable human beings to transcend their natural limitations. Pietism focuses, as its name suggests, on moral and spiritual improvement according to practical guidelines that lead a Christian believer to take an active role in his or her own sanctification. This essay concludes that pietism reveals certain key limitations in transhumanism as a comprehensive life philosophy, especially in its ability to organize society according to its system of values.

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Created

Date Created
2016-12

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Tł̨ich̨o Dene foodways: hunters, animals, and ancestors

Description

Tłįchǫ, an indigenous Dene nation of subarctic Canada, maintain subsistence lifestyles based on what they consider traditional foods. Caribou are the primary Tłįchǫ food animal and their reliance on caribou culminates in a complex relationship of give and take. Tłįchǫ

Tłįchǫ, an indigenous Dene nation of subarctic Canada, maintain subsistence lifestyles based on what they consider traditional foods. Caribou are the primary Tłįchǫ food animal and their reliance on caribou culminates in a complex relationship of give and take. Tłįchǫ demonstrate reciprocity for the caribou to give their flesh to hunters. Caribou populations in Canada’s Northwest Territories have rapidly declined and the government of Canada’s Northwest Territories implemented hunting restrictions in 2010 to protect caribou herds from extinction. Some Tłįchǫ, however, maintain that caribou are in hiding, not decline, and that caribou have chosen to remain inaccessible to humans due to human disrespect toward them. Many Tłįchǫ have responded to hunting restrictions and the lack of caribou by calling for respectful hunting practices to demonstrate to caribou that they are needed and thus resulting in the animal continuing to give itself.

I examine Tłįchǫ responses to contemporary caribou scarcity through three stages of Dene foodways: getting food, sharing food, and returning food and caribou remains back to the land. Analysis of Dene foodways stages reveals complex social relationships between hunters, animals, and other beings in the environment such as ancestors and the land that aids their exchange. Food is integral to many studies of indigenous religions and environmental relations yet the effects of dependence on the environment for food on social dynamics that include human and other beings have not been adequately addressed. Foodways as a component to theories of indigenous environmental relationships explain Tłįchǫ attitudes toward caribou. I draw from my ethnographic research, wherein I lived with Tłįchǫ families, studied the Tłįchǫ language, and participated in Tłįchǫ foodways such as hunting, fishing, and sharing food, to explicate Tłįchǫ foodways in relation to their worldviews and relationships with beings in the environment. I demonstrate how foodways, as an analytical category, offers a glimpse into Dene perceptions of non-human entities as something with which humans relate, while I simultaneously demonstrate the limits of environmental relations. My attention to foodways reveals the necessity of sustenance as a primary motivation for indigenous relationships to other beings, culminating in complex social dynamics.

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Date Created
2015

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Polygamy, Prop 8, and the peculiar people: sexuality in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Description

This dissertation addresses the issue of sexuality in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormon Church, on both the institutional and individual levels. It traces the ways that the LDS Church's early persecution

This dissertation addresses the issue of sexuality in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormon Church, on both the institutional and individual levels. It traces the ways that the LDS Church's early persecution over polygamy, and the enduring effects of this history - both within and outside the Church - have helped to shape contemporary Mormon policies and public actions related to sexuality and marriage. Despite its relative success in achieving assimilation with the larger American society, the LDS Church continues to be associated with the practice of polygamy, creating a need for the Church to prove its adherence to traditional marriage and sexual norms. This work analyzes Mormon involvement in recent political campaigns against same-sex marriage, especially the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California. This political participation has provided LDS leaders with significant opportunities to reshape their Church's public image, to improve relationships between Mormons and other conservative Christian communities, and to position the Church in a particular way in the American religious landscape. The dissertation also examines official LDS policies related to homosexuality and homosexual persons, and individual accounts of gay and lesbian Mormons and former Mormons (and those that do not identify as gay but experience same-sex attraction), found in personal blogs, Youtube videos, and published volumes. Elements of Mormon theology related to marriage, gender, premortality, and revelation, combined with aspects of LDS Church history, structure, and culture, make the experiences of these individuals unique among those of gays and lesbian in conservative Christian communities.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014