Professor Adam Possamai

Biography

Adam Possamai is Professor in Sociology at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and Director of Research and Higher Degree Research at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology. He is the past President of the International Sociological Association's Committee 22 on the Sociology of Religion, a former President of the Australian Association for the Study of Religions, and the 2002–2007 co-chief editor of the Australian Religion Studies Review, and a current editor for the Journal of Sociology. He was until 2015 the Director of the Religion and Society Research Centre. His work has been published in English, French, Spanish, Romanian and Slovakian. He has been a visiting Professor at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He is the book series editor of Popular Culture, Religion and Contemporary Society: a Social-Scientific Approach with Springer.

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

2017

Books 

Cox, J. and A. Possamai eds. (2016) Religion and Non-Religion among Australian Aboriginal Peoples, Ashgate, Aldershot.
The Sociology of Shari'a 

Possamai, A., J. Richardson, and B. Turner eds. (2015) The Sociology of Shari'a: Case Studies from Around the World, Springer, Leiden.

Possamai, A., J. Richardson, and B. Turner eds. (2014) Legal Pluralism and Shari'a Law, Routledge. [Re-print of Democracy and Security 7 (4)].
Religious Change and Indigenous Peoples 

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

Sociology - A Down to Earth Approach 

Henslin, J., A. Possamai & A. Possamai-Inesedy (2013) Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach (2nd Edition), Pearsons, Sydney.

Possamai, A. ed. (2012), Handbook of Hyper-Real Religion, Brill, Leiden.
Religion and the State 

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

Sociology - A Down to Earth Approach 

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

Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y 

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

Religion and Popular Culture 

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

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Fiction Books

Le crepuscule de Torquemada 

Possamai, A. (2015) Le crépuscule de Torquemada, Rivière Blanche, France

 Le XXieme Siecle de Dickerson et FerraPossamai, A. (2012), Le XXieme Siecle de Dickerson et Ferra, Asgard.
Perles NoiresPossamai, A. (2005) Perles Noires, (opens in a new window), Nuit d'Avril, France. [Re-edited in a pocket version in 2011 at Editions Lokomodo, France; was listed as one of the 2006 favourites by the public libraries of Paris]

Chapters in Books

Cox, J. and A. Possamai (2016) "Introductory Chapter: 'No Religion' and the Australian Census" in J. Cox and A. Possamai eds. Religion and Non-Religion among Australian Aboriginal People, Ashgate, Aldershot.

Cox, J. and A. Possamai (2016) "Religion, Cultural Hybridity and Chains of Memory" in J. Cox and A. Possamai eds. Religion and Non-Religion among Australian Aboriginal People, Ashgate, Aldershot.

Vladislav, I. and A. Possamai (2016) 'An implicit hyper-real religion: Real-Life Superheroes' in C. Cusack and P. Kosnac eds. Fiction, Invention and Hyper-reality: Contested Contemporary Religions, Aldershot, Ashgate.

Bouma, G., D. Ezzy, A. Halafoff and A. Possamai (2015) 'The Sociology of Religion in Australia' in A. Blasi and J. Giordan, Sociologies of Religion: National Traditions, Leiden, Brill: 377-403.

Possamai, A. (2015) 'The Gracelands of Multiple Modernities' in A. Day & M. Lövheim eds. Modernities, Memory, Mutations: Grace Davie and contemporary religion, Farham, Ashgate: 131-142.

Roose, J. and A. Possamai (2015) "Between Rhetoric and Reality: Shari'a and the Shift towards Neo-Liberal Multiculturalism in Australia" in F. Mansouri (ed.) Cultural, Religious and Political Contestations. The Multicultural Challenge. Springer, Leiden: 91-105.

Turner, B. and A. Possamai (2015) 'Introduction : legal pluralism and Shari'a' in Possamai, A., J. Richardson, and B. Turner eds. The Sociology of Shari'a: Case Studies from Around the World, Springer, Leiden: 1-13.

Possamai, A. B. Turner, J. Roose, S. Dagistanli, and M. Voyce (2014) 'Perception of Shari'a in Sydney and NY Newspapers' in Possamai, A., J. Richardson, and B. Turner eds. The Sociology of Shari'a: Case Studies from Around the World, Springer, Leiden: 253-268

Possamai, A. (2014) 'Shari'a, Legal Pluralism and Multiple Modernities' in Possamai, A., J. Richardson, and B. Turner eds. The Sociology of Shari'a: Case Studies from Around the World, Springer, Leiden: 291-303

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.

Articles in refereed journals

Possamai, A. (2015) 'Popular and Lived Religions' Current Sociology 63 (6): 781-799.

A. Possamai and M. Milani (2015) "Sufism, Spirituality, and Consumerism: the case study of the Nimatullahiya and Naqshbandiya Sufi Orders in Australia" Contemporary Islam 10 (1): 67-85.

Possamai, A., A. Sriprakash, E. Brackenreg and J. McGuire (2014) "Chaplaincies in a 'post-secular' multicultural university" Fieldwork in Religion 9 (2): 147-165.

Possamai, A. and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy (2014) "Cultural framing of risk and religion within Science Fiction narratives" Journal for the Academic Study of Religion 27 (1): 94-113

Cox, J. and A. Possamai (2014) "Religion, "Non-Religion" and Indigenous Peoples on the 2011 Australian National Census" Diskus 16 (2): 31-44

Sriprakash, A., A. Possamai, E. Brackenreg (2014) "Cosmopolitan tensions: religious diversity in an Australian university" The Australian Educational Researcher 41 (3): 227-242.

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), "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.

In the media

Possamai, A. (2014), The misguided moral panic over Slender Man ABC News June 10, 2014 (online)

Kwan, B. (2013), What is 'Muslim-ness' in Australia? SBS World News Australia December 1, 2013 (online)

Unattributed. (2014). Bronies,Whovians and snapewives: Is pop culture creating genuine online religions. Telegraph UK Blogs 6 February 2014 (online)

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)

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 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, 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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