The Religious Studies Department looks forward to hearing more about Lindsay Carroll's research when she returns from Nepal in the fall! For the time being, check out her incredible research endeavors with 'animal sacrifice' and 'violence.'
My current research in Nepal involves the study of animal sacrifice in Kathmandu and its surrounding towns and villages. I am interested in studying the ways in which scholars have used the word “violent” to describe animal sacrifice. Would Hindus in Nepal agree with the description of sacrifice as “violent,” and if so, to what degree? My research involves interviews with Nepalese Hindus who have participated in or observed animal sacrifice, and it also involves observations of my own.
During my stay in Nepal, I had the opportunity to observe the practice of animal sacrifice at the Daksinkali Temple located just to the south of Kathmandu. It was an incredible experience, and I found that doing ethnographic-style research comes with rich rewards. My research has given me a shift of perspective, a deeper appreciation for my topic of study and all those who I’ve spoken to, and perhaps most importantly, it has allowed me to glimpse life through the eyes of another. None of this is without its challenges, however; and language barriers, unfamiliarity with cultural norms, and even perhaps a bit of homesickness have made this endeavor difficult at times.
Nevertheless, I can say in all honesty that my classes and instructors at UNCC gave me a solid foundation upon which to move forward to begin my research abroad. In the religious studies graduate program at UNCC I gained the skills to be able to approach the study of another’s religion with sensitivity, openness, and non-bias. I learned to problem-solve, to question theories and opinions, to think critically, and to assess my own skills and potential for contributing to the larger field of religion in academia. It certainly hasn’t been an easy journey, but as I approach the end of my studies at UNCC, I am immensely grateful for this experience. The program has enriched my life and has led me to places I’d never be had I not chosen to delve into the study of religion at UNCC.