• Brian Bocking: Making the Study of Religions

      Scharbrodt, Oliver; University of Chester (Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions, 2016-06-31)
      Writing an academic biography of Brian Bocking is a formidable task for various reasons: first, there is the anticipation of a witty, self-ironic comment from him mocking the whole exercise itself and his own person at the same time: “Has my obituary already been written?” is the kind of comment one would expect from him. Second, there has always been something intimidating about Brian’s physical and intellectual stature. Third, in a professional context, Brian has always been very discreet about his private life, first and foremost about his own religious convictions. Brian has been part of a generation of Study of Religions scholars who clearly separate their religious beliefs or unbeliefs which they hold in private from their professional engagement in the academic study of religions.
    • The demise of the Beothuk as a past still present

      Owen, Suzanne; University of Chester/Leeds Trinity University (Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions, 2015-04-29)
      This article aims to investigate contemporary cultural representations of the Beothuk Indians in art, literature and museum displays in Newfoundland, Canada, focussing on ways these reimagine the past for the present, offering perspectives on contested histories, such as the circumstances leading to the demise of the Beothuk. Wiped out through the impact of colonialism, the Beothuk are the ‘absent other’ who continue to be remembered and made present through the creative arts, largely at the expense of other indigenous groups on the island. Rather than focussing on the ‘non-absent past’, according to Polish scholar Ewa Domańska, ‘instead we turn to a past that is somehow still present, that will not go away or, rather, that of which we cannot rid ourselves’ (2006, 346). Depictions of the last Beothuk are part of a cultural remembering where guilt and reconciliation are played out through media of the imagination.