The AHRC Early Modern Worship Network (EMWN) is a current AHRC research network based at Durham University. It aims to be a network for "historians, literary scholars, theologians, musicologists and other early modernists [who] all share an interest in the practice of religion in the early modern world" and in particular for the examination of "religious practice and its meanings in early modern British culture". The EMWN has two mains themes: "collective and public worship; and private and household devotions". Two major EMWN conferences will be held on these topics in Sept 2008 and June 2009. The website also has news of a £20,000 EMWN fund to send academics to selected conferences during 2008 and 2009. The website has full details of the aims, steering group, members, and funding.
'The Bristol Buddhist Death Ritual Project' is the home page of a three-year (2007-2009) research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The award was granted to staff at the Centre for Buddhist Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Bristol University. The work examines from a comparative perspective the death rituals and funerary practices in Southeast Asia (focusing on Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka) and China. This website contains a series of preliminary questions which the researchers used to guide their study; links to relevant websites; and photographs from their fieldwork (with commentaries). The project is led by Paul Williams, Professor of Indian and Tibetan Philosophy. Other researchers include Drs John Kieschnick, Rita Langer and Patrice Ladwig.
A site as wonderful in its detail as it is frustrating in its navigation, Egyptian Royal Tombs of the New Kingdom is a website providing information about and diagrams of major Egyptian burial sites constructed between the 16th and 11th centuries B.C. (Dynasties XVIII-XX). With extensive descriptions, Kelley Ross (of Los Angeles Valley College) takes us through the tombs and various chambers of pyramids and the Valley of the Kings, highlighting their major features and offering brief inventories of their contents, along with scholarly theories from some of the more recent secondary sources. The majority of material is directed towards an undergraduate or general interest user who is specifically interested in the physical construction and setting of Egyptian funerary rituals, both of whom will appreciate the number of diagrams and their level of detail.
The Epic of Pabuji is a website which focuses on the Rajasthani folk hero and folk deity. Pabuji's story is told in all-night recitations by itinerant bards who carry enormous cloth scrolls illustrating the story across the desert with them. John Smith, an expert in oral epics, has researched the story, artwork, and performance of the Pabuji epic at length, and this website complements his 1991 book on the same topic. The website is presented as a long essay on one page, enlivened with photos of the 'par', the illustrated scrolls which also function as portable shrines, and the bards dancing and playing their own accompaniment. A link in the text of this one page leads to a synopsis of the story, and for those comfortable with Rajasthani the text of the epic is available for download.
Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet is a unique full-text ejournal, examining new and old religions and rituals as they are expressed on the Internet. At May 2009 there are three issues online, and these are themed: 'Being Virtually Real? Virtual Worlds from a Cultural Studies Perspective'; 'Special Issue on Theory and Methodology'; and 'Special Issue on Rituals on the Internet'. Articles are available as abstracts, and as full-text PDF files. The journal is published from Germany, but is published in English. Example article titles include: 'Virtual Religion : An Approach to a Religious and Ritual Topography of Second Life'; 'Communicating Spiritual Experience with Video Game Technology'; 'Discovering the Invisible Internet : Methodological Aspects of Searching Religion on the Internet'; and 'Authority in the Virtual Sangat : Sikhism, Ritual and Identity in the Twenty-First Century', among many others. The website has detail of the editor, Editorial Board, and submission guidelines. This will be a journal of interest not only to those in Religious Studies, but also to those in Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Game Studies, and Media Studies.
This is a Web page detailing the context, range, and availability of the dataset 'Medieval Marriage Sermons, 1200-1299', hosted by the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), based at the UK Data Archive University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS). From this Web page you may download PDF and HTML files giving introductory information about the study. The data itself is available to order from the HDS as an RTF or PDF file, though to make use of this dataset you must first register with the HDS: further information is supplied giving instructions. The study offers a sample of model marriage sermons by Franciscans and Dominicans associated with 13th century Paris. The selection includes sermons by: Pierre de Reims; Hugh de Saint Cher; Jean de la Rochelle; Pierre de Saint Benoit; Gerard de Mailly; and Guibert de Tournai. To understand these texts properly it is recommended that they should be used with the supporting material in d'Avray, D. L., 'Medieval Marriage Sermons: Mass Communication in a Culture without Print', Oxford: OUP.
The website "A journey through the Jubilees" is a project promoted by the Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri and the Agenzia Romana per la preparazione del Giubileo and completed by the Consorzio BAICR (Library Archive and Cultural Institute Consortium of Rome). The site provides access to a rich database containing a wealth array of documents and historical information related to the Jubilees celebrated by the Catholic Church from the year 1300 - the first Jubilee proclaimed by the Pontiff Boniface VIII - to the year 1984. Documents of different typology are available: bibliographical; iconographic; archival records originating from several libraries and archives; brief historical accounts of events. Material included is presented in chronological order. In addition, the database can be explored by subject, comprising: art; clergy; custom and social life; health and hygiene; pilgrims; laws and rules. The database presents a hierarchical configuration and resources included are inter-linked to offer a structured pathway for exploration.
The Ministry of Hajj is the authority responsible for implementing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's policy on all matters relating to the Hajj (pilgrimage). It oversees the services provided to performers of Hajj and Umrah (an optional pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of the year); and coordinates with local government authorities and officials of other countries on issues pertaining to the Hajj and Umrah. This official website provides extensive information about the Ministry's work and those that would be of significance to prospective pilgrims (e.g. visa requirements; preparation for Hajj; and the services available). The site would also be of interest to students of Islam and indeed anyone wishing to learn more about the religion. It provides a useful overview of Islam which comprises issues like its history; central tenets; sacred text; religious practices and rituals. On the Hajj itself, other resources include: a photo gallery of major sites along the piligrimage route; maps; audio and visual recordings of the ritual; safety films; and a list of FAQs. This well-presented site contains a search engine, and can be accessed in English and French.
Russian folk religious imagination is the website of a project which aims to produce a multimedia, cross-disciplinary publication on the religious mindset of the Russian ‘folk’. Developed by an impressive list of US and Russian academics (linguists, philologists, historians, folklore and literature experts) and based on archival research and fieldwork, the project aims to make primary source material (images, interviews, performances) collected by Soviet and post-Soviet scholars available in both English and Russian. In addition to a project summary and list of participants, the website provides the following sample materials: a flash illustration of the proposed digital interface; a text (transcribed interview from 1980) of the ‘legend of how the Jews caught Jesus Christ’, with translation, notes and commentary; two images related to the legend; an audio file of the interview with English translation; a video clip of graveside rituals from 2006 with commentaries. The site should be of interest to scholars and students from a variety of disciplines, and of use to teachers of Russian language and culture.