Dr . Alexander Darius Ornella

Research in religion, sports, CrossFit, popular culture, technology

A Shattered Whole? Imagining Europe in Pieces

In recent socio-political discourses and the right-shift across a number of European countries, the ideas of “borders” are increasingly invoked as harbingers of a new utopia. These borders are both “real borders” (borders of the nation state) that can be physically imposed and made visible through border controls as well as imaginary (who should or Read more about A Shattered Whole? Imagining Europe in Pieces[…]

“Why nature won’t save us from climate change but technology will”: Creating a New Heaven and a New Earth Through Carbon Capture Technologies (DRAFT Feedback)

A draft version of a paper on carbon capture technologies and religion. Feel free to comment and leave feedback here. Abstract Warnings about climate change often come wrapped in apocalyptic language and scenarios, often as a rhetorical strategy to convey the sense of urgency with which action is required. Similarly, technologies that promise to deliver Read more about “Why nature won’t save us from climate change but technology will”: Creating a New Heaven and a New Earth Through Carbon Capture Technologies (DRAFT Feedback)[…]

Losers, Food, and Sex: Clerical Masculinity in the BBC Sitcom REV

Just published: Clerical masculinities, much like their lay/secular counterparts, often appear unchanging because they are the products of naturalization processes. Clerical masculinities, however, are far from stable, for they live and breathe the dynamics of both their socio-religious context and their secular “others”. The BBC sitcom REV (BBC2, UK 2010–2014) is a refreshing take on the everyday Read more about Losers, Food, and Sex: Clerical Masculinity in the BBC Sitcom REV[…]

Sport as Practice of Remembrance

In his paper on graveyard commemoration of sport celebrities, Huggins argues that “memorials say something about the perceived personal identity of the commemorated sporting hero.”[1] As such, the gravestone and the memorial might say more about the patron(s) than the athlete. They emerge from and are expression of discourses about gender, power, class, religion, and fame. Read more about Sport as Practice of Remembrance[…]

“Jesus saves, bro”. 24-28 August 2016 @ York St. John University

On her website, the prominent Christian CrossFit athlete Andrea Ager reflects on wearing a “Jesus saves, bro” t-shirt at a recent competition. She declares: “That day I got to reperesent [sic] for the only brand worth representing“. The ambiguity in the language leaves open if “brand” refers to the apparel or to Jesus or salvation Read more about “Jesus saves, bro”. 24-28 August 2016 @ York St. John University[…]

New Book: Making Humans: Religious, Technological and Aesthetic Perspectives

My new edited volume, Making Humans: Religious, Technological and Aesthetic Perspectives, just came out. This volume explores body-making as human-making practice because the bodies we have or mould ourselves into are always a socio-cultural and religious expression of the kind of human beings we are or want to be. Visit the Publisher website or read the Read more about New Book: Making Humans: Religious, Technological and Aesthetic Perspectives[…]

How to live forever: podcast

Leila Johnston from HackCircus interviewed Eric Olsen, Paul Graham Raven, and myself for her How to live forever podcast on 28 August 2015. The podcast is part of her art project How to life forever funded by Brighton Digital Festival, Arts Council England, and the British Science Foundation. Read more about the podcast and listen to it.

Suffering in, for, and with Christ: Faithful CrossFit Bodies. 30 Sept 2015 @ Université de Strasbourg

CrossFit is a fitness regime that has attracted a number of Christian athletes over the past few years. Some of these athletes bear witness to their faith with and through their bodies. Rich Froning, the four time winner of the annual CrossFit Games, for example, has “Galatians 6:14” (“May I never boast except in the Read more about Suffering in, for, and with Christ: Faithful CrossFit Bodies. 30 Sept 2015 @ Université de Strasbourg[…]

Clothed with Strength: Meaningful Material Practices in the Sport of CrossFit

This blogpost explores the sport of CrossFit as meaningful material practice via the use and display of t-shirts. It offers a unique case study and encourages us to look at the domain of sport with new eyes, one where materials, artefacts and practices are simultaneously part of the mundane world but also transcend the ordinary Read more about Clothed with Strength: Meaningful Material Practices in the Sport of CrossFit[…]