Nearly Numinous is podcast born out of the M.A. program at the School of Religion at Queen’s University. The hosts, Steph, Jacqueline, and Rachel met through their studies and decided to use their knowledge and their desire to know more to create a podcast. Nearly Numinous seeks to blend the academic study of religion with real world experiences of religion, community, the supernatural, and spirituality. Tune in to hear discussions about religious history, deep dives into pop culture (such as Star Trek or sports fandoms), and spooky discussions on vampires and other supernatural mythology. We’ll be interviewing academics, various practitioners, and more!
Get to know your hosts!
Jacqueline Giesbrecht is a Cultural Studies PhD student at Queen’s and is originally from southern Manitoba. She holds a Master’s in Religious Studies (Queen’s) and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Biblical and Theological Studies (CMU, Winnipeg). Jacqueline’s current research interests surround cultures of disability in faith communities; her recent Master’s research essay looked at historical and contemporary Christian theologies of sacred space and disability and how these conceptualizations have led to the exclusion of people with disabilities from faith communities. In the past, Jacqueline has also researched in areas of folklore, myth development and group formation – specifically having to do with Celtic Christianity in Ireland – though these interests presently lie in the realm of leisure. Jacqueline loves the X-Files, anything vampire-related, and hopes to one day visit Iceland and the British Isles on a trip specifically focused on fairy lore. Jacqueline’s pandemic hobby is spending time with her beloved cat Daphne and trying to persuade her that going on walks is fun. Daphne remains skeptical.
Steph Nijhuis recently received her MA in Religious Studies at Queen’s University. She grew up in Southeast Ontario, but moved around to Florida and England before returning to Ontario for University. Her research has been in ancient Greek and Roman religion and how it affected the development of early Christianity. Much of her research interests, and personal interests, surround music and the arts and their importance in fostering community (both religious and non-religious).
Steph spends her free time outside, usually hanging off a mountain (almost always attached to a rope). She loves hiking, climbing, camping, and snowboarding. Her cat, Ruby, is even more skeptical of the outdoors than Jacqueline’s cat. They’re making it work.
Rachel Devenish recently received a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from Queen’s University, and also holds a dual undergraduate degree in Psychology and Religious Studies. Their recent research and MA thesis is centred around ecospirituality, ecofeminism, and modernization. Rachel is also interested in texts and media involving apocalyptic themes, both for academic and entertainment purposes. During free time, Rachel does film photography and baking. Rachel doesn’t have a cat, but does have a bird who refuses to be harness trained in order to visit the outside world.