Religious commodification is an arena that has gained increasing interest among social scientists, especially where religious symbols and artefacts are being appropriated by both adherents and non-adherents in an attempt to capitalize on growing worldwide markets. In what Sophia Rose Arjana calls the “mystical marketplace,” these objects, many of which are distinctly associated with orientalist versions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, are stripped of their original contexts and then reimagined as representatives of a kind of timeless, exotic, spirituality to be consumed by economically dominant Westerners. But this short thought-piece is about those consecrated objects whose marketing and sale is what made them sacred in the first place (like the Tibetan Singing Bowls but drawn from Harry Potter and Star Wars rather than the Tripitaka and the Mahayana Sutras). This is about a growing link between religion and fandom and the “ritual objects” that the latter now produces.
Given the recently instigated social distancing rules in Canberra, this week we bring you a special “online” episode! For the safety of everyone, and especially in line with our own efforts to flatten the curve, we recorded this panel from the comfort of our own homes using the increasingly popular online video conferencing tool: Zoom. … Continue reading Ep #56: Imagined Communities, Freedom, Death and not blaming Capitalism: This month on TFS