This is a blog recording the announcements that are sent out on the CASCA listserv.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CASCA2014: CFP - Unsettling practices: the ambiguities of religion and technology

I am organizing a panel for the upcoming CASCA conference to be held
at York University in Toronto, ON, Canada April 30-May 3rd, 2014.

If you are interested in joining please submit a 150 abstract and
title to me by Thursday February 13th, 2014.

Best regards,
Laurie Baker
York University

Panel Abstract:

Proposed title: Unsettling practices: the ambiguities of religion and

This panel engages the uncertain, and often precarious, relationship
between religious practice and technology. Emerging from a renewed
attention to the material world of things, we seek to engage the
excesses, ambiguities and risks that unsettle religious practices.
This incitement and attention follows from the technologization of
religious practice and how it is met by an anthropological attention
to meaning: what can the use of technology mean for the present and
future of religious practice? In response to religious meaning-making,
Engelke and Tomlinson use failure to point to the limits of meaning
"as a process and potential fraught with uncertainty and contestation"
(2006:2, see also Keane 1997). In light of this argument, the papers
in this panel address the lingering precariousness and broader
processes that practitioners negotiate as they engage with the worlds
of material things amidst the promise and threat of uncertain futures.

Potential questions:

How do technological things, in the context of religious practice,
provoke uncertainty? How do things ashew attempts to render them
stable and certain?

How is the conflux of religious certainties and uncertainties
negotiated amidst changing social circumstances?

How can ambiguity, and the promise that loose threads (broadly
defined) can never be neatly tied, provoke new ways of understanding
the complexities of religious practice?

How have uncertainties been framed and/or mitigated by religious
practitioners in and through their uses of technology?

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