Location of "Religionswissenschaft" in Marburg University
The subject area Religionswissenschaft (study of religions) is a section of the Institut fόr Vergleichende Kulturforschung: Religionswissenschaft und Vφlkerkunde in the Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften und Philosophie (Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy) of the University of Marburg. (There is a similar, but formally distinct subject area in the Faculty of Theology.) A detailed explanation of these institutional arrangements is still available in English, see: http://web.uni-marburg.de/fb03/ivk/religionswissenschaft/index_html , but this site is now hard to find due to the complete reorganisation of the university's web presence some while ago. I hope to recreate this information in future for English readers.
Some Institutional Connections
International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR)
I have been privileged to serve as General Secretary (1985-1995) and as President (1995-2000) of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR). At the 18th World Congress of the IAHR (Durban 2000), my term of office as president came to end and I was elected to an honorary life membership of the association. Further information about the IAHR may be found at: http://www.iahr.dk/
European Association for the History of Religions (EASR)
The EASR is a regional association affiliated to the IAHR (see above). Having played a certain role in its founding, I served on the committee as Internet Officer between 2000 and 2007. In 2008 I was privileged to be made an honorary life member. During my time as Internet Officer I devised and moderated six European based information and discussion lists, namely: Candide, Dolmen, Most, Synkron, Tonantzin, Yggdrasill. These e-lists are now moderated by the new Internet Officer, Dr. Katja Triplett, to whom any technical enquiries should now be addressed. The EASR holds an annual conference, except in those years when the IAHR holds its quinquennial conference at a non-European location. Full information about the e-lists and about the EASR in general may be found at: http://www.easr.eu
Marburg Journal of Religion
Marburg Journal of Religion is thought to be the oldest internet journal devoted to the study of religions, having been founded in 1996. It is international and multi-lingual. For more information see the site of the journal itself:
What happens next?
Up until late 2004 I was very busy (in fact overworked) carrying out my duties in teaching and research - and administration - at the University of Marburg, in the state of Hessen in Germany. For some historical reason Hessen is often called "Hesse" in English; this might get a few hits on to my page by people looking for that (or him)! In Germany professors are civil servants in the state in which their university is located. Whereas many civil servants have rather clearcut hours, professors are at the job practically all the time, and unfortunately not only dreaming about their research. However, I really enjoyed this work at Marburg, almost all of the time. When I didn't enjoy it, I treated it as sport. At the same time I was trying to finish several writing projects, but really the endless minor duties and professional requests made this difficult. Now that I am retired from active service in Marburg I have just a few residual privileges and functions there, and so I am still trying to finish these writing projects. Currently I have the privilege of a visiting professorship at Ōtani University in Kyōto, which provides a great environment for research. My regular teaching duties are now finished in Kyōto as well, and my formal relationship with Ōtani University will come to an end in spring 2009. Somehow things continue. In autumn 2009 I am due to give ten lectures relating to Buddhist Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London University) under the Numata visiting professor programme. I hope this will enable me to gather up my favourite topics in this field. People sometimes ask where we (my wife Christine and I) are going to live in future. Well, all I can say at the moment is that that is a FAQ (frequently asked question). I am very grateful for our wonderful private life but that is not the topic of this homepage.
Some years ago I launched a simple anti-weapons campaign. It doesn't cost anything. It's FREE. All you have to do is to be against weapons, as set out below, and pass the pledge on to a friend. Eventually everybody will be friends and there will be no more wars. Sounds too good to be true? Too naive? Just read on, and give yourself a free humanity test! Can you agree to the following?
I am against:
1) the production of weapons
2) the sale of weapons
3) the distribution of weapons
4) the use of weapons
I will pass this idea on to a friend, as a challenge.
Remember (but perhaps you are too young!) that two hundred years ago people had to argue against slavery (though there are still many slaves). Now it's time to argue against weapons! You may be surprised that many people produce all kinds of arguments for producing, selling, distributing and using weapons. But such arguments are inhumane, destructive, and ultimately silly. The production, sale, distribution and use of weapons always end in tears and suffering - very often great suffering. This is a serious campaign. All you have to do is: pass it on! Don't be afraid. I'm sorry that you may find that some of your friends come up with objections, usually beginning with "But ". If so, turn the questions round and ask whether that means they are in favour of the production, sale, distribution and use of weapons. Are they really in favour of that? Or are they against that? Perhaps they are in favour of slavery too!
Some time in the future - deo volente - I am thinking of publishing a more extended site containing profound political analyses, poetry, pictures etc.. But perhaps it won't happen. After all, somebody driving at 220 kmh might crash right into the back of my car when I start driving again. In Germany people don't usually carry guns, but most people believe in "freie Fahrt fόr freie Bόrger" (beware of inaccurate translations!). Or I might just fall off a bicycle in Kyōto, become ill, change course, etc..
Gardening is good - getting the soil between one's fingers.
Also good, but very very rare indeed, is getting salty sand between one's toes.
Do you have any personal religion, Michael Pye? Yes but that is not the subject of this homepage. In the meantime my standard advice on spiritual matters is "Believe as little as possible (but do not misunderstand this advice)".
WATCH THIS SPACE !
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