REDO offers a new course on Ritual, Pilgrimage and Environmentalism

The REDO project is proud to offer a new course at The Faculty of Theology. The course is led by Sarah Pike and Marion Grau and will focus on rituals, pilgrimage and the environment.

Professor Sarah Pike

In the REDO project, researchers examine rituals in various areas, and interrogate whether ritual practices can influence societal change.

The project has a particular focus on the environment, and two of the REDO researchers will come to Oslo this spring to teach a course that combines perspectives on rituals and environment with ethnographic and theological perspectives on pilgrimages.

In March and April, students at undergraduate and graduate level at the University of Oslo can gain insight into the REDO research, and learn to combine perspectives from theology, anthropology and religious studies in the course Ritual, Pilgrimage and Environmentalism. Environment and climate change are more relevant topics than ever, and will be included as important themes in the teaching.

Sarah Pike will bring insights from her own research to the course. She is professor of comparative religion at California State University in Chico, where she is head of the Humanities Center.

Pike has written extensively on neo-paganism, new age religion and rituals. Her studies involve contemporary rituals at Burning Man festival, social movements and youth and religion.

Her current research interests concern environmentalism, rituals and youth culture. Pike’s REDO project addresses radical environmentalism in the US, and through field studies within the radical environmental group Earth First! and animal rights activists, she investigates what it is that can make "normal" American youth risk punishment and stigmatization for the sake of the environment and animal rights. Protest Rituals and rites of passage is part of her focus.


Associate professor Marion Grau will teach the course Ritual, Pilgrimage and Environmentalism

Marion Grau is associate professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She is a theologian, with research interests within gender and postcolonial theory, constructive theology and ecology.

Recent years Grau has been focusing on pilgrimage, and in her REDO project she is doing an ethnographic study of pilgrimages to Nidaros in Norway.

Sarah Pike is the main teacher of the course and Marion Grau will give two lectures. The topics of the lectures are ritual theory, historical and contemporary pilgrimage practices - and eco-philosophy and anthropological perspectives on nature.

On the reading list you can find pilgrimage studies from different religions and ritual theorists like Victor Turner and Ronald Grimes. Catherine Keller’s Aasta Hansteen Lecture from 2014 is also to be found among the readings, along with other theorists occupied with understandings of nature, like Karen Barad and Bruno Latour.

The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students at the Faculty of Theology, and other undergraduates and single subject students with relevant backgrounds.

Find information about registration.

The course starts March 2.

Published Jan. 27, 2015 3:09 PM