Professor Adam Possamai

Biography

Adam Possamai grew up in Belgium where he studied to become a sociologist and a high school teacher. After some exposure to North Africa, he came to La Trobe University to do his PhD where he started to teach an introductory sociology unit. Since the completion of his PhD, which won a national award in 1999, he has worked at the University of Western Sydney and taught many sociology units. His specialities are the sociology of religion, sociological theory and the study of popular culture, and has published widely on these research themes. He is currently the Co-Director of the Religion and Society Research Centre, Associate Professor in Sociology, and the President for the Sociology of Religion Research Committee from the International Sociological Association.

He is the author of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach with James Henslin and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy (Pearsons, 2010), Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y (Equinox, 2009), Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament (Peter Lang, 2007), In Search of New Age Spiritualities (Ashgate, 2005) and two works of fiction, Perles Noires (Nuit d'Avril, France, 2005) and . His work has been published in English, French, Spanish, Romanian and Slovakian.

Qualifications

BSocSc(Hons); GDipEd (Leuven); PhD (LaTrobe)

Areas of Expertise

Sociology of Religion, Sociological Theory; Study of Popular Culture

Awards / Honours

The 1999 Jean Martin Award 

Selected Publications

BooksBook cover sociology a down to earth approach

Onnudottir, H., Possamai, A. and Turner, B. (2013), Religious Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Making of Religious Identities, Ashgate, London.

Possamai, A. ed. (2012), Handbook of Hyper-Real Religion, Brill, Leiden.
 
Possamai, A. (2012), Le XXieme Siecle de Dickerson et Ferra, Asgard.

Barbalet, J., Possamai, A. and Turner, B. eds. (2011), Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology, Anthem Press, New York.

Henslin, J., Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2010), Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, (opens in a new window) Pearsons, Sydney.

Possamai, A. (2009), Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y, (opens in a new window) Equinox, London.

Possamai, A. (2007), Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament, (opens in a new window) P.I.E.-Peter Lang, Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien [Second Printing].

Possamai, A. (2006), Perles Noires, (opens in a new window) Nuit d'Avril, France [Second Printing].

Possamai, A. (2005), In Search of New Age Spiritualities (opens in a new window), Ashgate, UK.

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Chapters in Books

Hussain, J., and Possamai, A. (2013), "Australia: the down-under approach and reaction to shari'a: an impasse in post-secularism?" in  Maurits S. Berger (eds.) Applying Shari'a in the West: Fact, Fears and the Future of Islamic Rules on Family Relations in the West, Leiden University Press, Leiden, pp 65-78.

Nixon, A., and Possamai, A. (2013), "Techno-shamanism and the economy of ecstasy as a religious experience" in D. Weston, and A. Bennet, Pop Pagan: Paganism and Popular Music, U.K., pp 145-161.

Onnudottir, H, Possamai, A. and Turner, B. (2012), “Islam and Indigenous Populations in Australia and New Zealand” in F. Mansouri and V. Marotta (eds.) Muslims, Multiculturalism and the Challenges of Representations and Belonging, MUP, Melbourne.

Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2012), “Battlefield Earth and Scientology: a cultural/religious industry à la Frankfurt School?” in Carole M. Cusack and Alex Norman (eds.), Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production, Leiden, Brill: 583-600.

Possamai, A. (2011), “Yoda goes to Glastonbury: An Introduction to Hyper-real Religions” in Possamai, A. ed. Handbook of Hyper-Real Religions, Brill, Leiden: 1-22.

Sriprakash, A. and Possamai, A. (2011), “Hindu normativity, consumer mobilisation and  ‘development’ in India” in J. Barbalet, A. Possamai and B. Turner eds, Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology, Anthem Press, New York.

Possamai, A. (2011), “Gramsci, Jediism, the Standardisation of Popular Religion and the State” in J. Barbalet, A. Possamai and B. Turner eds, Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology, Anthem Press, New York.

Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2011), 'Religion como una isla de seguridad o como un agente contra los peligros de la sociedad de riesgo' in Educacion e investigacion ambientales y sustentabilidad, Raul Calixto Flores, Mayra Garcia-Ruiz, Daniel Gutierrez Martinez, Mexico, pp 53-69. 

Possamai, A. (2010), ‘Hiperrealidad Religiosa Y Cultura De La Participación En Australia’ in Daniel Guttierez (eds.), Religiosidades Y Creencias Contemporáneas: Diversidades de lo simbólico en el mundo actual, Mexico: 309-336.

Possamai, A. and Lee, M. (2010), ‘Religion and Spirituality in Science Fiction Narratives: A Case of Multiple Modernities?’ in S. Aupers and D. Houtman eds. Religions of Modernity. Relocating the Sacred to the Self and Digital, (opens in a new window) Brill, Leiden: 205-218.

Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2009), ‘Scientology Down Under’ in J. Lewis (eds.), Scientology, (opens in a new window) Oxford University Press: 345-364.

Possamai, A. (2008), ‘Australia ‘Shy’ De-secularisation Process’ in A. Imtoual and B. Spaler (eds.), Religion, Spirituality & Social Science, Policy Press, UK: 23-35.

Possamai, A. (2007), ‘Les Spiritualités Alternatives De La Phase Du Capitalisme Tardif: Logique Culturelle, Colonisation Du Monde Vécu Et Agir Communicationnel’ in Geoffroy, Martin, Vaillancourt, Jean-Guy et Michel Gardaz (dirs.), La mondialisation du phénomène religieux (Approches empiriques et phénoménologique), MédiasPaul, Montréal: 137-158.

Possamai, A. (2007), ‘Producing and Consuming New Age Spirituality: The Cultic Milieu and the Network Paradigm’ in D. Kemp and J. Lewis (eds.) A Network of Seekers: Understanding the New Age, (opens in a new window) Brill, Netherlands: 151-165.

Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2007), 'Risk Society, Sustainable Development and Religion', in Roberto Blancarte Pimentel and Vassilis Saroglou (eds.) Religion, Culture and Sustainable Development in Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), (opens in a new window) Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK.

Possamai, A. (2006), ‘Superheroes and the Development of Latent Abilities: A Hyper-Real Re-enchantment?’ in K. McPhillips and L. Hume (eds.) Popular Spiritualities: The Politics of Contemporary Enchantment, (opens in a new window) Ashgate, UK: 53-62.

Possamai, A. (2005), ‘New Age V AustrálII: Spoloĉenské A Duchovné Aspekty’ [New Age in Australia: Social and Spiritual Aspects] in Michaela Moravèiková (eds.) New Age, Ūstav pre vzt’ahy tátu a cirkvi, Bratislava: 450-496.

Possamai, A. (2004), ‘Diversity in Alternative Spiritualities: Keeping New Age at Bay’ in J. Lewis (eds.) The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of the New Age, (opens in a new window) Prometheus Books, New York, 425-438.

Possamai, A. (2004), ‘Nature Religions’ in P. Hughes (eds.) Australia's Religious Communities: A Multimedia Exploration (Second Edition), Christian Research Association, Melbourne.

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Articles in refereed journals

Possamai, A., Turner, B., Roose, J., Dagistanli, S. and Voyce, M. (2013), "Defining the conversation about Shari’a: representations in Australian newspapers", Current Sociology, vol 61, no 5-6, pp 626-645.

Milani, M., and Possamai, A. (2013), "The Nimatullahiya and Naqshbandiya Sufi orders on the Internet: the cyber-construction of tradition and the McDonaldisation of spirituality", Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, vol 26, no 1, pp 51-75.

Onnudottir, H., Possamai, A., Turner, B. and Kennedy, M. (2013), "Australian Aboriginal Muslims in prison", Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol 34, no 3, pp 280-294.

Possamai, A. (2012), "Conclusion: the future of hyper-real religions?" in A. Possamai, Handbook of Hyper-Real Religions, Brill, Leiden, pp 423-427.

Possamai, A. and Turner, B. (2012 forthcoming), “Authority and Liquid Religion in Cyber-space: the new territories of religious communication” International Social Science Journal.

Possamai, A. (2012), “Political Culture, the Nation of Islam, the Nuwaubian Nation and the Muslim Brotherhood: A Review Article” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review.

Barbalet, J., Possamai, A. and Turner, B. (2011), "Public Religions and the State: A Comparative Perspective", in J. Barbalet, A. Possamai and B. Turner, (eds.), Religion and the State: a comparative sociology, Anthem Press, London and New York, pp 278-282.

Possamai, A., Turner, B. and Barbalet, J. (2011), "Introduction: States, Consumption and Managing Religions", in J. Barbalet, A. Possamai and B. Turner, (eds.), Religion and the State: a comparative sociology, Anthem Press, pp 1-22.

Voyce, M., and Possamai, A. (2011), "Legal pluralism, family personal laws, and the rejection of Shari'a in Australia: A case of multiple or "clashing" modernities?", Democracy and Security, vol 7, no 4, pp 338-353.

Possamai, A. and Lee, M. (2011), “Hyper-Real Religions: Fear, Anxiety and Late-Modern Religious Innovation” Journal of Sociology.

Onnudottir, H., Possamai, A. and Turner, B. (2010), "Islam: A New Religious Vehicle for Aboriginal Self-Empowerment in Australia?" International Journal for the Study of New Religions (opens in a new window) (1): 49-74.

Stevenson, D.,  Dunn, K., Possamai, A., and Piracha, A. (2010), “Religious Belief across ‘Post-secular’ Sydney: the multiple trends in (de)secularisation” Australian Geographer (opens in a new window) 41 (3): 323-350.

Possamai, A. and Brackenreg, E. (2009), “Religious and Spiritual Diversity in a Multi-Campus Suburban University: What Type of Need for Chaplaincy?” (opens in a new window) Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 31 (4): 355-366.

Possamai, A. (2007), ‘‘Secularisation’ and ‘Religion’ as Zombie Categories?’ (opens in a new window) The Australian Religion Studies Review 20 (2): 233-242.

Possamai, A. and Possamai-Inesedy, A. (2007), ‘The Baha’i faith and Caodaism: Migration, Change and De-secularisation(s) in Australia’ (opens in a new window) Journal of sociology 43 (3): 301-318.

Possamai, A., Bellamy, J. and Castle, K. (2007), ‘The Diffusion of New Age Beliefs and Practices among Australian Church Attenders’ (opens in a new window) Fieldwork in Religion 2 (1), 9-26.

Possamai, A. (2006), ‘AASR Presidential Address. Ways and Means for the Third Millennium: National Associations for the Study of Religions’ (opens in a new window) Australian Religion Studies Review 19 (1): 3-17.

Possamai, A. (2004), 'AASR Presidential Address 2004: Intellectuals of the Other in Religion: Fear and Fascination' Australian Religion Studies Review 17 (2): 10-19.

Possamai, A. and Lee, M. (2004), ‘New Religious Movements and the Fear of Crime’ (opens in a new window) The Journal of Contemporary Religion 19 (3): 337-352.

Possamai, A. (2003), ‘Alternative Spiritualities and the Logic of Late Capitalism’ (opens in a new window) Culture and Religion 4 (1): 31-45.

Possamai, A. (2003), ‘The Social Construction of Comic Books as a (Non) Recognised Form of Art in Australia’ Form/Work 6: 109-121.

Possamai, A. (2003), ‘Alternative Spiritualities, New Religious Movements and Jediism in Australia’ Australian Religion Studies Review 16 (2): 69-8

Possamai, A. (2002), ‘Secrecy and Consumer Culture: An Exploration of Esotericism in Contemporary Western Society Using the Work of Simmel and Baudrillard’ Australian Religion Studies Review 15 (1): 44-56.

Possamai, A. (2002), ‘Cultural Consumption of History and Popular Culture in Alternative Spiritualities’ (opens in a new window) Journal of Consumer Culture (2) 2: 197-218.

Possamai, A. (2001), ‘Not the New Age: Perennism and Spiritual Knowledges’ Australian Religion Studies Review 14 (1), 82-96.

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In the media

Adam Possamai speaks with Trevor Chappell about what is behind the current vampire craze (opens in a new window) on his program Overnights (opens in a new window) (ABC Local Radio) December 29, 2010

Adam Possamai talks religion with John Safran on triple j's Sunday Night Safran (opens in a new window) November 28, 2010

Howden, S. and Wood, A. (2010), 'Dark arts take root in online church' (opens in a new window) Sydney Morning Herald September 26, 2010 (online)

Edwards, H. (2007), ‘Skater boys’ gospel hour’ (opens in a new window) Sydney Morning Herald August 19, 2007 (online)

Price, S. (2006), ‘Net now a fisher of men as faithful tune in for ‘godcasts’’ (opens in a new window) Sydney Morning Herald January 8, 2006 (online)

Morris, L. (2006), ‘Devil in the detail: Vatican exorcises Harry Potter’ (opens in a new window) Sydney Morning Herald September 6, 2006 (online)

Kohn, R. (Presenter) (2006), 'Virgins, Vampires and Superheroes' (opens in a new window) The Spirit of Things, ABC Radio National August 20, 2006

Morris, L. (2005), 'They’re all god movies, in mysterious ways' (opens in a new window) Sydney Morning Herald May 19, 2005 (online)

Professional Activities

Involvement in Professional Associations
2010- 2014 President of the Executive Board of RC22 (Research Committee for the Sociology of Religion) (opens in a new window) International Sociological Association

2010 Programme Co-Coordinator for the Research Committee for the Sociology of Religion (opens in a new window) at the XVII World Congress of Sociology, Sweden.

2006 Programme Coordinator for the Research Committee for the Sociology of Religion at the XVI World Congress of Sociology, (opens in a new window) South Africa

2003-2005 President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religions (opens in a new window)

2002-2007 Co-editor of the Australian Religion Studies Review (opens in a new window)

Member of Editorial Boards

Australian Religion Studies Review (opens in a new window) since 2007

Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, published by Brill, since 2008

Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion series since 2007

International Journal for the Study of Religions (opens in a new window) since 2009

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