Today, we delve back into the connection between Jediism and Anthropology (because why not...) by pointing out a guest blog post on The Geek Anthropologist entitled When Science Fiction meets Religion: The Case of Jediism.
In their post, Maria (Polyhymnia) Menegaki outlines a paper they presented at the AlterNatives: Anthropological Knowledge for Changing World program organized by the University of Ljubljana in 2015.
In this paper, Menegaki explores the growing global movement of the Church of Jediism and their quest to become a recognized religion. In this post, Menegaki questions the process in which religions are defined and likens this movement to those of other New Age movements that came of age in the 20th Century. Menegaki goes on to explore many topics that were likely further fleshed out in their paper, which include: the role of play, the perception of cohesion among followers, the difference between fandom vs. religious observance, and their failure to be recognized beyond an online community (as decided by the UK's Charity Commission in 2016).
Menegaki ends this post stating that the exploration of Jediism can serve anthropologists as a topic of new forms of religiosity and/or as a form of social critique (the latter of which was not discussed in this post).
These are interesting suggestions indeed. To read Menegaki's post follow the quick link to The Geek Anthropologist below.
- AlterNatives: Anthropological Knowledge for Changing World University of Ljubljana (2015)
- The Connection between Anthropology and Jedi Training by AnthroEverywhere! (August 10 2017)
- Jedi is not a religion, Charity Commission rules BBC (December 19, 2016)
- Jedi Training: Developing Habits of Perception in Our Disciplines by Gillian Parrish (August 7, 2017)
- The Geek Anthropologist website
- When Science Fiction meets Religion: The Case of Jediism by Maria (Polyhymnia) Menegaki (May 4, 2017)