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Religions, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2013), Pages 313-442

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Open AccessArticle Relating with God Contributes to Variance in Happiness, over that from Personality and Age
Religions 2013, 4(3), 313-324; doi:10.3390/rel4030313
Received: 9 May 2013 / Revised: 20 June 2013 / Accepted: 21 June 2013 / Published: 24 June 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A previous study on university students reported that personal, communal, and environmental spiritual well-being contributed to happiness over and above personality but that relating with God did not. In this study, happiness was assessed using a modified Oxford Happiness Inventory. Personality scores [...] Read more.
A previous study on university students reported that personal, communal, and environmental spiritual well-being contributed to happiness over and above personality but that relating with God did not. In this study, happiness was assessed using a modified Oxford Happiness Inventory. Personality scores were obtained using forms of Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire. Four domains of spiritual well-being were determined using Fisher’s Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire. Relationship with God was reflected by the Transcendental domain of spiritual well-being in this instrument. Studies with 466 university students from Australia, Northern Ireland, and England, 494 people attending churches in Ballarat, and 1002 secondary school students in Victoria showed that relating with God accounts for variance on happiness, over and above personality, and age. Full article
Open AccessArticle You Can’t Beat Relating with God for Spiritual Well-Being: Comparing a Generic Version with the Original Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire Called SHALOM
Religions 2013, 4(3), 325-335; doi:10.3390/rel4030325
Received: 15 May 2013 / Revised: 27 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 2 July 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (55 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Spiritual Health And Life-Orientation Measure (SHALOM) is a 20-item instrument that assesses the quality of relationships of the respondent with self, others, the environment and/or a Transcendent Other. In the Transcendental domain, four of the five items had the words ‘God, [...] Read more.
The Spiritual Health And Life-Orientation Measure (SHALOM) is a 20-item instrument that assesses the quality of relationships of the respondent with self, others, the environment and/or a Transcendent Other. In the Transcendental domain, four of the five items had the words ‘God, ‘Divine’ and ‘Creator’ replaced by the word ‘Transcendent’ to make the survey more generic by removing any implied reference to any god or religion. Invitations to complete a web survey were sent to people who had published papers in spirituality, or belonged to associations for spirituality or religious studies, as well as the Australian Atheist Forum. 409 respondents from 14 geographic regions, completed the survey. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the modified, generic form of SHALOM showed acceptable model fit, comprising four clearly delineated domains of spiritual well-being. The paper analyses the results derived from using the modified, generic version and, in comparison with results of applications of the original survey instrument, concludes with discussion of the comparative utility of each of the versions of SHALOM. Further studies with more people are warranted, but, from evidence presented here, it looks like you can’t beat relating with God for spiritual well-being. Full article
Open AccessArticle Faith in the Ghosts of Literature. Poetic Hauntology in Derrida, Blanchot and Morrison’s Beloved
Religions 2013, 4(3), 336-350; doi:10.3390/rel4030336
Received: 15 May 2013 / Revised: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 4 July 2013
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Abstract
Literature, this paper argues, is a privileged language that can give form to those specters of existence that resist the traditional ontological boundaries of being and non-being, alive and dead. This I describe as the “hauntology” of literature. Literature, unlike our everyday, [...] Read more.
Literature, this paper argues, is a privileged language that can give form to those specters of existence that resist the traditional ontological boundaries of being and non-being, alive and dead. This I describe as the “hauntology” of literature. Literature, unlike our everyday, referential language, is not obliged to refer to a determinable reality, or to sustain meaning. It can therefore be viewed as a negation of the world of things and sensible phenomena. Yet it gives us access to vivid and sensory rich worlds. The status of this literary world, then, is strangely in-between; its ontology is not present and fixed, but rather quivering or ghostlike. The “I” that speaks in a literary text never coincides with the “I” of the writing subject, rather they haunt each other. This theoretical understanding is based on texts by Jacques Derrida and Maurice Blanchot. The paper also draws an analogy between this spectral dynamic of literature and an understanding of religious faith or belief. Belief relates to that which cannot be ontologically fixed or verified, be it God, angels, or spirits. Literature, because it releases and sustains this ontological quivering, can transmit the ineffable, the repressed and transcendent. With this starting point, I turn to Toni Morrison’s book Beloved (1987) and to Beloved’s strange, spectral monologue. By giving literary voice to the dead, Morrison releases literature’s hauntology to express the horror that history books cannot convey, and that our memory struggles to contain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Open AccessArticle Only (Dis-)Connect: Pentecostal Global Networking as Revelation and Concealment
Religions 2013, 4(3), 367-390; doi:10.3390/rel4030367
Received: 17 April 2013 / Revised: 10 July 2013 / Accepted: 2 August 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Contemporary forms of Pentecostalism, such as that of the Faith Movement, are often represented as inherently global, constituting a religion ‘made to travel’ and to missionize across the world. I argue that while much attention has been paid to proselytization as a [...] Read more.
Contemporary forms of Pentecostalism, such as that of the Faith Movement, are often represented as inherently global, constituting a religion ‘made to travel’ and to missionize across the world. I argue that while much attention has been paid to proselytization as a catalyst in encouraging transnational activities among such Christians, more analysis is needed of how Pentecostalists represent each other in the construction of global imaginaries. The imagined and enacted networks that result assert connections between like-minded believers but also valorize the power of distance in the creation of landscapes of religious agency whose power is illustrated through such tropes as ‘number’, ‘mobility’, ‘presence’ and ‘conquest’. I juxtapose two Prosperity-oriented movements, that of the Swedish Word of Life and the Nigerian Redeemed Christian Church of God, to indicate further how Christians who appear to be conjoined via common forms of worship appear, from another perspective, to be inhabiting and moving across disjunct global landscapes and cartographies as they engage in very different forms of mobility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Migrants in Chains: On the Enslavement of Muslims in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe
Religions 2013, 4(3), 391-411; doi:10.3390/rel4030391
Received: 24 July 2013 / Revised: 28 August 2013 / Accepted: 28 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
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Abstract
Between the Renaissance and the French Revolution, hundreds of thousands of Muslim men and women from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean were forcibly transported to Western Europe. Those who were not ransomed or who did not return to their [...] Read more.
Between the Renaissance and the French Revolution, hundreds of thousands of Muslim men and women from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean were forcibly transported to Western Europe. Those who were not ransomed or who did not return to their homelands as part of prisoner exchanges, languished for decades and, many, for the remainder of their lives, in chattel slavery. This essay considers the enslavement process overall and the conceptual frameworks necessary to bring this poorly known chapter in European social history into focus. Emphasizing the case of the Muslim galley slaves of the Catholic ports of France, Italy and Malta, it argues that without appreciating this phenomenon as a form of migration, as well as part of a larger history of global slavery, it not possible to understand the specificity of confessionalized enslavement within the early modern Mediterranean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam, Immigration, and Identity) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Mirror: Advice on Presence and Awareness (dran pa dang shes bzhin gyi gdams pa me long ma)
Religions 2013, 4(3), 412-422; doi:10.3390/rel4030412
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 26 August 2013 / Accepted: 6 September 2013 / Published: 9 September 2013
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Abstract
“The Mirror: Advice on the Presence of Awareness” (dran pa dang shes bzhin gyi gdams pa me long ma) is a short text that describes the essence of the Dzogchen teaching (rdzogs chen, total perfection). Concerning the way to establish this point of [...] Read more.
“The Mirror: Advice on the Presence of Awareness” (dran pa dang shes bzhin gyi gdams pa me long ma) is a short text that describes the essence of the Dzogchen teaching (rdzogs chen, total perfection). Concerning the way to establish this point of view (lta ba), the main point is to have a direct understanding through the experience of our primordial state of pure presence, beyond any mental or intellectual construction. With regard to meditation (sgom pa), this involves practicing in order to be sure to understand our own true nature, the non-dual condition of the calm state (the essence of the mind) and movement (its natural energy). Behavior (spyod pa) is the integration of meditation in all our daily activities, continuing in the state of pure presence in every circumstance of life. This is the total realization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dzogchen)
Open AccessArticle Promoting the Everyday: Pro-Sharia Advocacy and Public Relations in Ontario, Canada’s “Sharia Debate”
Religions 2013, 4(3), 423-442; doi:10.3390/rel4030423
Received: 10 July 2013 / Revised: 10 September 2013 / Accepted: 12 September 2013 / Published: 17 September 2013
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Abstract
Why, in the midst of public debates related to religion, are unrepresentative orthodox perspectives often positioned as illustrative of a religious tradition? How can more representative voices be encouraged? Political theorist Anne Phillips (2007) suggests that facilitating multi-voiced individual engagements effectively dismantles [...] Read more.
Why, in the midst of public debates related to religion, are unrepresentative orthodox perspectives often positioned as illustrative of a religious tradition? How can more representative voices be encouraged? Political theorist Anne Phillips (2007) suggests that facilitating multi-voiced individual engagements effectively dismantles the monopolies of the most conservative that tend to privilege maleness. In this paper, with reference to the 2003–2005 faith-based arbitration debate in Ontario, Canada, I show how, in practice, Phillips’ approach is unwieldy and does not work well in a sound-bite-necessitating culture. Instead, I argue that the “Sharia Debate” served as a catalyst for mainstream conservative Muslim groups in Ontario to develop public relations apparatuses that better facilitate the perspectives of everyday religious conservatives in the public sphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam, Immigration, and Identity) Print Edition available

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Open AccessCreative End of the Line—A Play in One Act
Religions 2013, 4(3), 351-357; doi:10.3390/rel4030351
Received: 17 June 2013 / Revised: 16 July 2013 / Accepted: 17 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
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Abstract
In this short play, the playwright drew on her experience as a voiceover talent for bus transportation and Global Positioning Systems. The drama humanizes a voice we love to hate, and subsequently adds layers of back-story and meaning to a deceptively slight [...] Read more.
In this short play, the playwright drew on her experience as a voiceover talent for bus transportation and Global Positioning Systems. The drama humanizes a voice we love to hate, and subsequently adds layers of back-story and meaning to a deceptively slight one-act, which begins in one reality, and ends in another. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
Open AccessCreative On Visiting Our Dead
Religions 2013, 4(3), 358-366; doi:10.3390/rel4030358
Received: 31 May 2013 / Revised: 29 July 2013 / Accepted: 30 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
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Abstract
A redefining of the meaning of death and grief: this essay explores a rejection of conventional ideas about mourning and describes the experiences of two daughters after they have lost their beloved father. In the one case, it is an evocation of [...] Read more.
A redefining of the meaning of death and grief: this essay explores a rejection of conventional ideas about mourning and describes the experiences of two daughters after they have lost their beloved father. In the one case, it is an evocation of his spirit that feels like a conversation and, in the other, visits by the father to the daughter through palpable signs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writers and Critics on Loss, Love, and the Supernatural)
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