Adam Possamai

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Adam Possamai
Born1970
Belgium
Scientific career
InstitutionsWestern Sydney University

Adam Possamai is a sociologist and novelist born in Belgium and living in Australia. Possamai is Professor in Sociology and the Deputy Dean (Research and International) in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia.[1] He is the former Director of the Religion and Society Research Centre (RSRC)[2] He is married to Alphia Possamai-Inesedy [3] , and lives in the south-western suburbs of Sydney with his family.

Possamai is the former President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religions.[4] He was the 2002-2007 co-editor of the Australian Religion Studies Review[5] and is the former President of the sociology of religion section (RC22) of the International Sociological Association (2010-2014).[6]

At present Possamai is researching the interrelation between migrants and New Religious Movements, the implications of consumer and popular culture on religion, law and religion, popular religion in late modernity, Muslim indigenous populations and Sydney as a post-secular city.

Education[edit]

Possamai's undergraduate studies in sociology were undertaken at the University of Leuven, Belgium, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons). The topic of his undergraduate thesis was the Theosophical Society. He also obtained a Graduate Diploma of Education from the University of Leuven. He obtained his PhD from LaTrobe University, Victoria, Australia, with a dissertation on New Age spirituality. His dissertation won the Jean Martin Award for the best PhD. in sociology in Australia (1998–1999).[7]

Career[edit]

Possamai began his teaching career as a tutor at LaTrobe University (1995–1998), and then in 1999 received an appointment as lecturer in sociology at the University of Western Sydney. In addition to teaching introductory courses in Sociology, he has also taught courses in the sociology of religion, sociology of migration, sociological theory, sociology of power and deviance, and the philosophy of social sciences. Perles Noires, his first book of fiction, was listed as one of the favourite books by the public libraries in Paris in 2006.[8] He has also recently published the science fiction novel Le XXIe siècle de Dickerson et Ferra.[9]

Publications[edit]

Year Publication
2005 In Search of New Age Spiritualities. (Ashgate).[10]
2005 Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament, (Peter Lang).[11]
2006 Perles Noires. (France: Nuit d'Avril).[12]
2009 Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y. (London: Equinox).[13]
2010 Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach with James M. Henslin and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy [14]. (Pearson Education)[15]
2011 Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology with Jack Barbalet and Bryan S. Turner. (Anthem Press)[16]
2012 Handbook of Hyper-Real Religions. (Brill Publishers)[17]
2012 Le XXIe siècle de Dickerson et Ferra. (Asgard éditions)[18]
2013 Religious Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Making of Religious Identities with Helena Onnudottir and Bryan S. Turner. (Ashgate Publishing)[19]
2013 Legal pluralism and Shari'a law, with Jim T. Richardson and Bryan S. Turner. (Oxford, Routledge).[20]
2015 The Sociology of Shari’a: Case Studies from around the World with James T. Richardson and Bryan S. Turner. (Springer Publishing)[21]
2015 Le Crépuscule de Torquemada. (Riviere Blanche Publisher)[22]
2016 Religion and Non-Religion among Australian Aboriginal Peoples with James L. Cox. (Routledge)[23]
2017 Religions, Nations and Transnationalism in Multiple Modernities with Patrick Michel and Bryan S. Turner. (Palgrave McMillan)[24]
2017 L’histoire extraordinaire de Baudelaire. (Riviere Blanche Publisher)[25]
2018 Sociology of Exorcism in Late Modernity with Giuseppe Giordan. (Palgrave McMillan)[26]
2018 The I-zation of Society, Religion, and Neoliberal Post-Secularism. (Palgrave McMillan)[27]
2018 La réflexion de Borgia (Tome 2 de la série, Les possédés de la Renaissance). (Riviere Blanche Publisher)[28]
Professor Possamai is also the author and co-author of many chapters in edited books, and articles in referenced journals.[29]

Contributions to Academia[edit]

A large portion of Possamai's published work is premised on a neo-Weberian approach to the sociology of religion and popular culture. His contributions to the study of religion and popular culture are being acclaimed as significant works.[30] In exploring the manner in which the internet has become a source of religious inspiration (as well as a forum for religious expression), Possamai has discussed the emergence of what he dubs "hyper-real religions". This is an entirely new theoretical framework for conceptualising consumerism in religion in the context of globalization.[31] He detects a synergy between various stories and icons of popular culture and the role of the individual to create a new religious message. Possamai explores the intersection between late modernity and spirituality, noting the emphasis on the authority of the self replacing external forms of conventional religious authority (such as authority vested in imams, priests and rabbis, or in communally interpreted sacred texts). Hyper-real religions constitute new forms of spirituality where traditional and modern religious ideas are consumed and projected into completely reconstructed forms. Examples cited by Possamai include the Church of All Worlds, the Church of Satan, and Jedi religion (Jediism, see also Jedi census phenomenon). Carole Cusack in her book Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith stated that "Adam Possamai,... to date is the only sociologist of religion (indeed the only scholar) to examine it [Jediism] in any detail prior to this study” (p 124).[32] His work also considers the complex interplay between fundamentalist Christian groups that resist the synergy between popular culture and religion (as in the phenomenon of Harry Potter, fantasy-role playing games), and yet reappropriate aspects of pop culture to promote fundamentalism.[33]

The second area of scholarly innovation is found in Possamai's work on New Age spirituality. On the basis of both field research in alternative spirituality festivals and new theoretical approaches, Possamai has contested the scholarly status quo in the interpretation and classification of New Age spirituality. His field research demonstrates that very few practitioners of what scholars call New Age, actually accept the term. He argues that the term New Age is imprecise and the previous scholarly conceptualisations of New Age are either limited or misleading. In his new schema, New Age spirituality is but one facet of a much wider cultural phenomenon that he has dubbed a perennist spirituality. It follows that by culturally consuming selected practices, myths, and teachings from pre-modern times, and then reframing them for the contemporary scene, seekers aspire to personal transformation and perhaps resolving global woes.

At the heart of this conceptualisation of reality lies a commitment to what Possamai has dubbed "perennism", the notion that a holistic understanding of truth is accessible in esoteric wisdom or gnosis that is unfettered by the dogmas of the world's religions. According to Possamai, the key features of perennism are that in this syncretic spirituality the cosmos is interpreted as a monistic reality, which partakes of a single unifying being, or principle, and all parts of the cosmos are inter-related to this ultimate reality. Those who participate in this spirituality are engaged in self-development to attain their potential, and they pursue spiritual knowledge of both self and ultimate reality.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adam Possamai ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Adam_Possamai
  2. ^ Religion and Society Research Cluster (RSRC) https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/religion_and_society/people/researchers/associate_professor_adam_possamai
  3. ^ Alphia Possamai-Inesedy Staff Profile https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/staff_profiles/WSU/associate_professor_alphia_possamai_inesedy
  4. ^ Australian Association for the Study of Religions "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Australian Religion Studies Review http://www.equinoxjournals.com/ARSR
  6. ^ Sociology of Religion Section (RC22) of the International Sociological Association http://www.isa-sociology.org/rc22.htm
  7. ^ Jean Martin Award https://tasa.org.au/about-tasa/tasa-history/tasa-prizes-and-awards/ Archived 25 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Perles Noires http://livre.fnac.com/a1815977/A-Possamai-Perles-noires?SID=1b664c60-9e67-e985-1695-217d4a7e1ccd&UID=0F3087217-6036-3F91-5986-48630345D86D&Origin=FnacAff&OrderInSession=0&TTL=270220110319
  9. ^ Le XXIe siècle de Dickerson et Ferra https://www.payot.ch/Dynamics/Detail?ean=9782919140541
  10. ^ In Search of New Age Spiritualities https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781315252490
  11. ^ Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Perles Noires http://livre.fnac.com/a1815977/A-Possamai-Perles-noires?SID=1b664c60-9e67-e985-1695-217d4a7e1ccd&UID=0F3087217-6036-3F91-5986-48630345D86D&Origin=FnacAff&OrderInSession=0&TTL=270220110319
  13. ^ Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Alphia Possamai-Inesedy ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alphia_Possamai-Inesedy
  15. ^ Sociology: A Down-to-earth Approach "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Religion and the State: From Deprivatisation to Securitization, and From Pietism to Consumerism https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1wn0r14
  17. ^ Handbook of Hyper-Real Religions http://www.brill.com/handbook-hyper-real-religions
  18. ^ Le XXIe siècle de Dickerson et Ferra https://www.payot.ch/Dynamics/Detail?ean=9782919140541
  19. ^ Religious Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Making of Religious Identities https://www.routledge.com/Religious-Change-and-Indigenous-Peoples-The-Making-of-Religious-Identities/Onnudottir-Possamai/p/book/9781409448679
  20. ^ Legal pluralism and Shari'a law. Routledge. 2014. ISBN 9780415826334.
  21. ^ The Sociology of Shari’a: Case Studies from around the World ISBN 978-3-319-09605-6 https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319096049
  22. ^ Riviere Blanche https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivi%C3%A8re_Blanche_(%C3%A9diteur)
  23. ^ Religion and Non-Religion among Australian Aboriginal Peoples ISBN 9781472443830 https://www.routledge.com/Religion-and-Non-Religion-among-Australian-Aboriginal-Peoples/Cox-Possamai/p/book/9781472443830
  24. ^ Religions, Nations and Transnationalism in Multiple Modernities ISBN 978-1-137-58011-5 https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137592385
  25. ^ Riviere Blanche https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivi%C3%A8re_Blanche_(%C3%A9diteur)
  26. ^ Sociology of Exorcism in Late Modernity ISBN 978-3-319-71773-9 https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319717722
  27. ^ The I-zation of Society, Religion, and Neoliberal Post-Secularism ISBN 978-981-10-5942-1 https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9789811059414
  28. ^ Riviere Blanche https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivi%C3%A8re_Blanche_(%C3%A9diteur)
  29. ^ Selected Publications List Western Sydney University http://www.uws.edu.au/cscms/centre_for_the_study_of_contemporary_muslim_societies/key_people/associate_professor_adam_possamai#4
  30. ^ Review: Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament by Gary Bouma http://www.equinoxjournals.com/ARSR/article/viewArticle/4643
  31. ^ God.com: Preaching the Word in a consumer-driven world "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith - Carol Cusack (2010) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289968682_Invented_religions_imagination_fiction_and_faith
  33. ^ Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ In Search of New Age Spiritualities https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781315252490

External links[edit]