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Religions, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2013), Pages 186-312

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Asian American Evangelicals in Multiracial Church Ministry
Religions 2013, 4(2), 190-208; doi:10.3390/rel4020190
Received: 7 February 2013 / Revised: 3 April 2013 / Accepted: 8 April 2013 / Published: 15 April 2013
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Abstract
Since the 1990s, evangelical efforts to create multiracial churches (MRCs) have grown exponentially. This article analyzes the experiences of Asian American evangelical ministers leading MRCs. Through interviews we explore how Asian American evangelicals came to be involved in MRC-ministry and how they [...] Read more.
Since the 1990s, evangelical efforts to create multiracial churches (MRCs) have grown exponentially. This article analyzes the experiences of Asian American evangelical ministers leading MRCs. Through interviews we explore how Asian American evangelicals came to be involved in MRC-ministry and how they approach issues of racial diversity in this context. We compare the racial attitudes of Asian American evangelical ministers leading MRCs with those of White and Black evangelicals delineated in Emerson and Smith’s Divide by Faith. Rather than conform to the colorblind approach of many White evangelicals, the majority of our respondents utilize structural explanations for social inequality and promote a colorconscious approach to diversity. We conclude that Asian American evangelicals utilize a unique framework for MRC-ministry, what we call a ‘racialized multiculturalism,’ that has much to offer American evangelicalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progressive Evangelicalism)
Open AccessArticle Charismatic Reactions to Individuals and Ideas: Looks, Language and Lincoln
Religions 2013, 4(2), 209-215; doi:10.3390/rel4020209
Received: 8 February 2013 / Revised: 5 April 2013 / Accepted: 10 April 2013 / Published: 15 April 2013
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Abstract
This paper explores the application of Freud’s theories of leadership and group psychology to the case of Abraham Lincoln. It argues that followers’ needs for charismatic leaders propel them to construct heroic and charismatic cognitive representations of leaders who give the impression [...] Read more.
This paper explores the application of Freud’s theories of leadership and group psychology to the case of Abraham Lincoln. It argues that followers’ needs for charismatic leaders propel them to construct heroic and charismatic cognitive representations of leaders who give the impression of power and who represent the ideal qualities of the group. Both leaders and their ideas can create an emotional connection with followers. During his lifetime, Americans developed charismatic and heroic interpretations of Abraham Lincoln’s appearance. They also responded positively to Lincoln’s use of biblical rhythms and phrases in his speeches and writings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Charisma, Medieval and Modern) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Charisma and Moral Reasoning
Religions 2013, 4(2), 216-229; doi:10.3390/rel4020216
Received: 8 March 2013 / Revised: 15 April 2013 / Accepted: 17 April 2013 / Published: 17 April 2013
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Abstract
Charisma is morally problematic insofar as it replaces followers’ capacity to engage in genuine moral reasoning. When followers defer to charismatic leaders and act in ways that are morally wrong they are not only blameworthy for wrongdoing but for failing in their [...] Read more.
Charisma is morally problematic insofar as it replaces followers’ capacity to engage in genuine moral reasoning. When followers defer to charismatic leaders and act in ways that are morally wrong they are not only blameworthy for wrongdoing but for failing in their deliberative obligations. Even when followers defer to charismatic leaders and do the right thing, their action is less praiseworthy to the extent that it was the result of charisma rather than moral deliberation. Therefore, effective charismatic leadership reliably undermines the praiseworthiness and amplifies the blameworthiness of follower’s actions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Tropes of Fear: the Impact of Globalization on Batek Religious Landscapes
Religions 2013, 4(2), 240-266; doi:10.3390/rel4020240
Received: 13 March 2013 / Revised: 7 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 22 April 2013
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Abstract
The Batek are a forest and forest-fringe dwelling population numbering around 1,500 located in Peninsular Malaysia. Most Batek groups were mobile forest-dwelling foragers and collectors until the recent past. The Batek imbue the forest with religious significance that they inscribe onto the [...] Read more.
The Batek are a forest and forest-fringe dwelling population numbering around 1,500 located in Peninsular Malaysia. Most Batek groups were mobile forest-dwelling foragers and collectors until the recent past. The Batek imbue the forest with religious significance that they inscribe onto the landscape through movement, everyday activities, storytelling, trancing and shamanic journeying. However, as processes of globalization transform Malaysian landscapes, many Batek groups have been deterritorialized and relocated to the forest fringes where they are often pressured into converting to world religions, particularly Islam. Batek religious beliefs and practices have been re-shaped by their increasing encounters with global flows of ideologies, technologies, objects, capital and people, as landscapes are opened up to development. This article analyzes the ways these encounters are incorporated into the fabric of the Batek’s religious world and how new objects and ideas have been figuratively and literally assimilated into their taboo systems and cosmology. Particular attention is paid to the impacts of globalization as expressed through tropes of fear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Catholic and Charismatic: A Study in Personality Theory within Catholic Congregations
Religions 2013, 4(2), 267-282; doi:10.3390/rel4020267
Received: 16 February 2013 / Revised: 19 April 2013 / Accepted: 22 April 2013 / Published: 26 April 2013
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Abstract
This study set out to conceptualise and measure Charismatic orientation (openness to charismatic experience) and traditional Catholic orientation (Catholic identity) among a sample of 670 Catholic churchgoers in order to test whether attachment to Catholic Charismatic Renewal strengthened or weakened the sense [...] Read more.
This study set out to conceptualise and measure Charismatic orientation (openness to charismatic experience) and traditional Catholic orientation (Catholic identity) among a sample of 670 Catholic churchgoers in order to test whether attachment to Catholic Charismatic Renewal strengthened or weakened the sense of traditional Catholic identity among churchgoing Catholics. This research question was set within the broader consideration of the location of Charismatic orientation and Catholic orientation within Eysenck’s three dimensional model of personality. The data revealed a strong positive association between Charismatic experience and Catholic identity. Higher scores on the index of Charismatic orientation were associated with higher extraversion scores, with higher neuroticism scores, and with higher levels of mass attendance and personal prayer. Higher scores on the index of Catholic orientation were associated with being female, being older, higher neuroticism scores, and higher levels of mass attendance and personal prayer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Work on Catholicism)
Open AccessArticle Bare Rocks and Fallen Angels: Environmental Change, Climate Perceptions and Ritual Practice in the Peruvian Andes
Religions 2013, 4(2), 290-305; doi:10.3390/rel4020290
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 23 May 2013 / Published: 28 May 2013
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Abstract
One of the many dimensions of globalization is climate change that in recent years has caused much concern in the developed world. The aim of this article is to explore how people living on the margins of the global world conceive climate [...] Read more.
One of the many dimensions of globalization is climate change that in recent years has caused much concern in the developed world. The aim of this article is to explore how people living on the margins of the global world conceive climate change. Drawing on ethnographic field data from the 1980s and today it examines how the ritual practice and the religious belief of a rural community in the Peruvian Andes has changed during the last 27 years and how the villagers perceive this change. It argues that the villagers traditionally conceive the environment as co-habited by humans and non-humans but that recent environmental change in the Andes has caused a shift in this world-view. Today, many villagers have adopted the global vocabulary on climate change and are concerned with their own impact in the environment. However, the villagers reject the idea that it is human activities in other parts of the world that cause environmental problems in their community and claim that these must be addressed locally. It suggests that even though the villagers’ reluctance to subscribe to the global discourse of climate change makes them look like the companions of climate skeptics in the developed world, their reasons are very different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle On Dealing with Destructive Emotions through the “Path of Self-Liberation”
Religions 2013, 4(2), 306-312; doi:10.3390/rel4020306
Received: 15 April 2013 / Revised: 17 June 2013 / Accepted: 18 June 2013 / Published: 20 June 2013
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Abstract
In the majority of Buddhist systems and traditions, destructive emotions—hatred, craving and delusion—are considered as the main obstacle to enlightenment and dealt with as such through various methods of counteracting and neutralizing. In the supreme teaching of Dzogchen, however, they are but [...] Read more.
In the majority of Buddhist systems and traditions, destructive emotions—hatred, craving and delusion—are considered as the main obstacle to enlightenment and dealt with as such through various methods of counteracting and neutralizing. In the supreme teaching of Dzogchen, however, they are but one of the infinite aspects of the primordially self-perfected dimension of the true nature of mind. Thus they are allowed to show their utterly harmless essence—non-ego, beyond-good-and-evil, empty and luminous—through the path of self-liberation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dzogchen)

Review

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Open AccessReview Chögyal Namkhai Norbu — The Master Who Revealed Dzogchen to the Western World
Religions 2013, 4(2), 230-239; doi:10.3390/rel4020230
Received: 1 February 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 12 April 2013 / Published: 18 April 2013
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Abstract
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is one of the last great masters of Dzogchen to have been born and fully educated in Tibet, before the Chinese takeover. He was soon recognized as a great reincarnated lama. This short biography is divided in two parts: [...] Read more.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is one of the last great masters of Dzogchen to have been born and fully educated in Tibet, before the Chinese takeover. He was soon recognized as a great reincarnated lama. This short biography is divided in two parts: the first retraces his steps from his birth in the Tibetan region of Kham until his flight from Tibet to Sikkim, reporting also teachings and initiations he received from his Masters. The second part starts when he arrived in Italy in 1960, invited by Professor Giuseppe Tucci, the greatest Italian Orientalist of his time, to work at the IsMeO, now the Italian Institute for Africa and the Orient (IsIAO). In the 70s Chögyal Namkhai Norbu began to teach Dzogchen to his first students. Interest soon became widespread and having received invitations from all continents, he began to travel and teach throughout the world, founding the worldwide Dzogchen Community, whose main objective is to preserve and develop an understanding of Dzogchen, as well as preserving Tibet's extraordinary cultural patrimony. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dzogchen)

Other

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Open AccessEssay Crashing, Chaos, Culture and Connection
Religions 2013, 4(2), 186-189; doi:10.3390/rel4020186
Received: 21 January 2013 / Revised: 20 March 2013 / Accepted: 21 March 2013 / Published: 25 March 2013
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Abstract
This essay considers the experience of a seasoned disaster responder who encountered a personal disaster while traveling in Thailand. The resulting injury and helplessness led to new insights about mortality, vulnerability, culture and the significance of social trust—echoing lessons gained from professional [...] Read more.
This essay considers the experience of a seasoned disaster responder who encountered a personal disaster while traveling in Thailand. The resulting injury and helplessness led to new insights about mortality, vulnerability, culture and the significance of social trust—echoing lessons gained from professional experiences, but giving them new meaning and resonance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Open AccessComment Like a Caterpillar Losing its Cocoon: Rediscovery of Self in Marisa Labozzetta’s Thieves Never Steal in the Rain
Religions 2013, 4(2), 283-287; doi:10.3390/rel4020283
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 19 April 2013 / Published: 26 April 2013
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Abstract
We ward off loss as best we can, but rarely are we so lucky. We attach significance to our rituals and collected items. This theme of warding off loss and searching for ways to cope with it is woven through the linked [...] Read more.
We ward off loss as best we can, but rarely are we so lucky. We attach significance to our rituals and collected items. This theme of warding off loss and searching for ways to cope with it is woven through the linked stories of Marisa Labozzetta’s Thieves Never Steal in the Rain, especially in the stories about Joanna and Barbara. Barbara’s ritualistic collecting links her directly to the past. Through these objects, the past and present become fluid for Barbara, and she believes that they can even affect her future. Because of this, she gathers objects in an attempt to preserve her luckiness as she has been since she was a child. This idea of actively working against or shielding oneself and loved ones from loss is also apparent in Labozetta’s stories that feature Joanna. Joanna’s daughter, Jill, died in a terrible accident, and Joanna blames herself because she thinks she should have been able to prevent Jill’s death. Joanna also emphasizes the importance of things in a way that is similar to Barbara’s. When she thinks she has lost her artistic eye, Joanna reclaims the things from her childhood desk. Unfortunately, and despite their best efforts, neither Joanna nor Barbara is able to stave off loss forever: Barbara’s house burns down and Jill cannot be resurrected. However, Barbara feels liberated after her house burns, and Joanna rediscovers her artistic eye. Perhaps what we need to remember, and what the stories in Marisa Labozzetta’s Thieves Never Steal in the Rain remind us, is that we can’t prevent loss and somehow we have to cope with it. In coping with the loss, we can rediscover our best selves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Open AccessCreative Lady Saints
Religions 2013, 4(2), 288-289; doi:10.3390/rel4020288
Received: 4 February 2013 / Revised: 25 April 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 8 May 2013
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Abstract A meditation on the death of the author’s Sicilian grandmother that explores how a child copes with loss by transforming the grandmother’s vast collection of plastic and porcelain female saints into imaginary friends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)

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