Rel04
Moral highground? Magic, witchcraft and spiritual encounters

Convenors:
Violeta Schubert (University of Melbourne)
Stream:
Religiosities
Location:
Old Quad-G17 (Cussonia Court Room 1)
Start time:
4 December, 2015 at 11:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel calls for a repositioning of the lens on magic, witchcraft and other expressions of spirituality. Typically viewed as the stuff of 'others', the panel will explore encounters and experiences of spiritualties and what they speak to about limits of disciplinary pedagogies and practices.

Long abstract:

This panel calls for a repositioning of the lens on our perceptions of the 'real'. Magic, witchcraft and other expressions of spirituality are typically viewed as either remnants of a 'primitive' past, or, an expression of moral angst, uncertainty and ineffectual positionality within modernity. In either case, it is the stuff of others. And yet, not only are occult practices and spiritual beliefs on the rise among those we come 'in contact' with, but also among, and within, us. Is it time for us then to reconfigure our relationship with the rationality thesis? Has it not put boundaries to our innovation of thought? Is there a comfortable medium between being 'There' and being 'Out there'? What encounters and experiences of spiritualties and beliefs do we share and why? Can knowledge come from 'knowing' that there is something beyond that which we confine to the 'real'? A summary of the panel thematics are: - Epistemologies and the limits of conceptual and theoretical imaginary - Sensibilities and sense-making: what we disclose and hide about beliefs and practices - The morality of practice and representation of magic, witchcraft and spiritual expressions - 'Cosmopolitan' meets 'Primitive' - the portability and transportability of beliefs and practices and the stuff of the occult as cultural capital - Political economy of spiritualism and occult practices - Technologies of power- e.g., fear, control and agency of the oppressed, racism, 'whiteness' - Embodied & disembodied spiritualities