Prof Simon Coleman | Lecture 1 - ‘Trivial Religion?: From Liminal to Lateral’
‘Trivial Religion?: From Liminal to Lateral’

[Wednesday 1 May, from 5:15 to 6:45 pm, Harris Lecture Theatre, Oriel College,
to be followed by reception in the Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College]

Two perspectives have dominated social scientific work on religion and ritual. One highlights transcendence, intensity, the spectacular. The other emphasizes immanence, banality, the everyday. I argue that studying pilgrimage suggests the generative possibilities of adopting another point of view: an exploration of initially glancing ritual encounters that may have wider consequences than first appears. Such an approach examines mutually constitutive articulations between backgrounds and foregrounds, ‘looser’ and ‘tighter’ behaviours, adjacencies and immediacies, in tracing how even apparently uncommitted people move through and respond to religious environments. In reflecting on these themes I introduce a key distinction between ‘lateral’ and liminal engagements with ritual practices.
Date: 1 May 2024, 17:15 (Wednesday, 2nd week, Trinity 2024)
Venue: Oriel College, Oriel Square OX1 4EW
Venue Details: Harris Lecture Theatre, Oriel College
Speakers: Prof Simon Coleman (University of Toronto), Prof Simon Coleman (University of Toronto)
Organising department: Faculty of Theology and Religion
Part of: Wilde Lectures in Natural and Comparative Religion - Religion Refracted and in Motion: On Pilgrimage in Present Times
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Public
Editors: Claire MacLeod, Tara Van Dijk