Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Religions, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Description There is four pictorial works attributed to either Quentin Massys (1466–1530) or his son Jan Massys [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-15
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reformation Leads to Self-Reliance: The Protestantism of Transcendentalism
Religions 2017, 8(2), 30; doi:10.3390/rel8020030
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 21 January 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
PDF Full-text (203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article examines connections between the Protestant Reformation and American literature and argues that Protestantism’s best expression exists in contemporary iterations of self-reliance. The first part focuses on William Ellery Channing’s and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s literary criticism of John Milton, a poet who
[...] Read more.
This article examines connections between the Protestant Reformation and American literature and argues that Protestantism’s best expression exists in contemporary iterations of self-reliance. The first part focuses on William Ellery Channing’s and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s literary criticism of John Milton, a poet who represents the Protestant ideals these writers combine with American principles to develop the literary tradition. The second part discusses the trajectory of American literature in the nineteenth century and extends this discussion to current assumptions regarding teaching and learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle How Love for the Image Cast out Fear of It in Early Christianity
Religions 2017, 8(2), 20; doi:10.3390/rel8020020
Received: 15 August 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Iconoclastic and iconophilic impulses have long vied for pre-eminence in Christianity, coming to one particularly fraught crisis point in the Byzantine Iconomachy of the eighth and ninth centuries. Funding both impulses, this paper argues, is a profound Platonic ambivalence about the image. For
[...] Read more.
Iconoclastic and iconophilic impulses have long vied for pre-eminence in Christianity, coming to one particularly fraught crisis point in the Byzantine Iconomachy of the eighth and ninth centuries. Funding both impulses, this paper argues, is a profound Platonic ambivalence about the image. For Plato, the image not only deceives and enslaves; it also reveals and inspires. Plotinus, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, John of Damascus, and Theodore of Stoudios articulate their own iterations of Plato’s hopes and fears about the image as they attempt different strategies for resolving these dueling inclinations. This paper traces the evolution of image theory across these thinkers to illumine how Theodore of Stoudios’ approach magnifies Platonic image hopes and quells fears in a way that prepares for the ongoing resolution of image anxiety in the iconographic tradition. More than a purely historical interest, this arc of image thought have continuing relevance for image theory today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plato among the Christians)
Open AccessArticle Origen and the Platonic Tradition
Religions 2017, 8(2), 21; doi:10.3390/rel8020021
Received: 3 September 2016 / Accepted: 31 January 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study situates Origen of Alexandria within the Platonic tradition, presenting Origenas a Christian philosopher who taught and studied philosophy, of which theology was part and parcel. More specifically, Origen can be described as a Christian Platonist. He criticized “false philosophies” as well
[...] Read more.
This study situates Origen of Alexandria within the Platonic tradition, presenting Origenas a Christian philosopher who taught and studied philosophy, of which theology was part and parcel. More specifically, Origen can be described as a Christian Platonist. He criticized “false philosophies” as well as “heresies,” but not the philosophy of Plato. Against the background of recent scholarly debates, the thorny issue of the possible identity between Origen the Christian Platonist and Origen the Neoplatonist is partially addressed (although it requires a much more extensive discussion); it is also discussed in the light of Origen’s formation at Ammonius’s school and the reception of his works and ideas in “pagan” Platonism. As a consequence, and against scholarly perspectives that tend to see Christianity as anti-Platonism, the final section of this paper asks the question of what is imperial and late antique Platonism and, on the basis of rich evidence ,suggests that this was not only “pagan” institutional Platonism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plato among the Christians)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle History, Hysteria, and Hype: Government Contracting with Faith-Based Social Service Agencies
Religions 2017, 8(2), 22; doi:10.3390/rel8020022
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In light of the adoption of the Charitable Choice Provision of the Welfare Reform Bill and the creation of White House Offices on faith based initiatives this article examines the history of government contracting with faith-based organizations to deliver human and social services
[...] Read more.
In light of the adoption of the Charitable Choice Provision of the Welfare Reform Bill and the creation of White House Offices on faith based initiatives this article examines the history of government contracting with faith-based organizations to deliver human and social services with a particular focus on how the U. S. Supreme Court has viewed the legal status of such contracts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Welfare and Social Service Provision: Common Ground)
Open AccessArticle Glocal Religion and Feeling at Home: Ethnography of Artistry in Finnish Orthodox Liturgy
Religions 2017, 8(2), 23; doi:10.3390/rel8020023
Received: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3551 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper adapts a glocalization framework in a transnational, anthropological exploration of liturgy in the Orthodox Church of Finland (OCF). It draws on long-term ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with participants of liturgy from Finnish, Russian, and Greek cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The main
[...] Read more.
This paper adapts a glocalization framework in a transnational, anthropological exploration of liturgy in the Orthodox Church of Finland (OCF). It draws on long-term ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with participants of liturgy from Finnish, Russian, and Greek cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The main argument of the paper is that generic processes of nationalization and transnationalization are not mutually exclusive in practitioners’ experiences of liturgy in OCF, but rather generate a glocal space that incorporates Finnish, Russian, Karelian, and Byzantine elements. Individuals artistically engage with glocal liturgy on sensorial, cognitive, social, and semantic levels. What is important for the participants is a therapeutic sense that comes from a feeling of ‘being at home’, metaphorically, spiritually, and literally. People’s ongoing, creative work constitutes Orthodoxy as their national and transnational home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glocal Religions)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The International NERSH Data Pool—A Methodological Description of a Data Pool of Religious and Spiritual Values of Health Professionals from Six Continents
Religions 2017, 8(2), 24; doi:10.3390/rel8020024
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
PDF Full-text (454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Collaboration within the recently established Network for Research on Spirituality and Health (NERSH) has made it possible to pool data from 14 different surveys from six continents. All surveys are largely based on the questionnaire by Curlin “Religion and Spirituality in Medicine, Perspectives
[...] Read more.
Collaboration within the recently established Network for Research on Spirituality and Health (NERSH) has made it possible to pool data from 14 different surveys from six continents. All surveys are largely based on the questionnaire by Curlin “Religion and Spirituality in Medicine, Perspectives of Physicians” (RSMPP). This article is a methodological description of the process of building the International NERSH Data Pool. The larger contours of the data are described using frequency statistics. Five subscales in the data pool (including the already established DUREL scale) were tested using Cronbach’s alpha and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). 5724 individuals were included, of which 57% were female and the mean age was 41.5 years with a 95% confidence interval (CI) ranging from 41.2 to 41.8. Most respondents were physicians (n = 3883), nurses (n = 1189), and midwives (n = 286); but also psychologists (n = 50), therapists (n = 44), chaplains (n = 5), and students (n = 10) were included. The DUREL scale was assessed with Cronbach’s alpha (α = 0.92) and PCA confirmed its reliability and unidimensionality. The new scales covering the dimensions of “Religiosity of Health Professionals (HPs)” (α = 0.89), “Willingness of Physicians to Interact with Patients Regarding R/S Issues” (α = 0.79), “Religious Objections to Controversial Issues in Medicine” (α = 0.78), and “R/S as a Calling” (α = 0.82), also proved unidimensional in the PCAs. We argue that the proposed scales are relevant and reliable measures of religious dimensions within the data pool. Finally, we outline future studies already planned based on the data pool, and invite interested researchers to join the NERSH collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health and Psychology of Religion)
Figures

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Death and Dying in Orthodox Liturgy
Religions 2017, 8(2), 25; doi:10.3390/rel8020025
Received: 16 November 2016 / Revised: 30 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Orthodox Church is known for its liturgical aesthetics. The rich liturgical cycle consists of several liturgical offices celebrated throughout the year, complete with icons, chant, polyphony, and powerful ritual gestures. The Divine Liturgy is the external symbol of the typical Orthodox liturgy.
[...] Read more.
The Orthodox Church is known for its liturgical aesthetics. The rich liturgical cycle consists of several liturgical offices celebrated throughout the year, complete with icons, chant, polyphony, and powerful ritual gestures. The Divine Liturgy is the external symbol of the typical Orthodox liturgy. The liturgical celebration profoundly shapes the inner and outer lives of the liturgical participants, as liturgy is a constant and repetitive rehearsal of dying and rising to new life. This article examines the most salient patterns and instances of dying and rising to new life in Orthodox liturgy and concludes with a reflection on how engaging this process might have a greater impact on the daily lives of Orthodox Christians today. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle “One Should Have Two Homelands”: Discord and Hope in Soma Morgenstern’s Sparks in the Abyss
Religions 2017, 8(2), 26; doi:10.3390/rel8020026
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
PDF Full-text (206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soma Morgenstern’s three-part novel Sparks in the Abyss, written between 1930 and 1943, exudes a spirit of serenity and optimism at the same time that its narrative is structured by repeated scenes of conflict and violence. This paper seeks to account for
[...] Read more.
Soma Morgenstern’s three-part novel Sparks in the Abyss, written between 1930 and 1943, exudes a spirit of serenity and optimism at the same time that its narrative is structured by repeated scenes of conflict and violence. This paper seeks to account for the place of discord in the trilogy. Morgenstern uses the interwar Galician homeland as a site to articulate the possibility of traditional Jewish life in modern Europe. By inhabiting two homes—East and West, Galicia and Vienna, secularism and piety—Jews will be able to negotiate the inevitable discord and occasional brutality that they face in the world. The lessons learned by a Western secular Jew in pluralist Galicia create hope for the negotiation of difference, if not for the complete overcoming of violence, on the eve of World War II. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle New Interdisciplinary Spaces of Religions and Beliefs in Contemporary Thought and Practice: An Analysis
Religions 2017, 8(2), 16; doi:10.3390/rel8020016
Received: 11 November 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
PDF Full-text (187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article is rooted in the observation that the 21st century has witnessed a resurgent interest in and a new visibility of religions and beliefs across a range of arts, humanities and social science disciplines, some of which have always focused on religions
[...] Read more.
This article is rooted in the observation that the 21st century has witnessed a resurgent interest in and a new visibility of religions and beliefs across a range of arts, humanities and social science disciplines, some of which have always focused on religions and beliefs, others are returning to it, while some have no previous tradition of doing so. The article reports on an analysis of these new spaces of interest in religions and beliefs, undertaken through semi-structured interviews with eighteen landmark figures in the study of religion internationally. Points of connection, disconnection and innovation are explored, and the concept of liminality is deployed to explore how understandings of religion, belief and the secular are in a process of being re-imagined within academic disciplines. By considering new thresholds and debates as they are emerging, the article concludes that there are opportunities to research and conceive of the role of religions and beliefs as an interdisciplinary exercise, which are yet to be addressed and which reflect the need to re-imagine how religions and beliefs are broadly conceived and how different disciplines engage with each other. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Protestant Search for ‘the Universal Christian Community’ between Decolonization and Communism †
Religions 2017, 8(2), 17; doi:10.3390/rel8020017
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article investigates the history of American Protestant thought about peoples living beyond the North Atlantic West, in Asia in particular, from 1900 to the 1960s. It argues that Protestant thought about the Global South was marked by a tension between universalism and
[...] Read more.
This article investigates the history of American Protestant thought about peoples living beyond the North Atlantic West, in Asia in particular, from 1900 to the 1960s. It argues that Protestant thought about the Global South was marked by a tension between universalism and particularism. Protestants believed that their religion was universal because its core insights about the world were meant for everyone. At the same time, Protestant intellectuals were attentive to the demands of their coreligionists abroad, who argued that decolonization should herald a greater appreciation for national differences. The article traces three distinct stages of Protestant attempts to resolve these tensions; support for imperialism in the early twentieth century, then for human rights at mid-century, and finally for pluralism in the 1960s. In doing so, it shows that the specter of the Soviet Union intensified the Protestant appreciation of national differences and ultimately led to the disavowal of Protestant universalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Nationalism in the United States)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle John Calvin and John Locke on the Sensus Divinitatis and Innatism
Religions 2017, 8(2), 27; doi:10.3390/rel8020027
Received: 4 December 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Inheritors of the Calvinist Reformed tradition have long disagreed about whether knowledge of God’s nature and existence can be or need be acquired inferentially by means of the standard arguments of natural theology. Nonetheless, they have traditionally coalesced around the thought that some
[...] Read more.
Inheritors of the Calvinist Reformed tradition have long disagreed about whether knowledge of God’s nature and existence can be or need be acquired inferentially by means of the standard arguments of natural theology. Nonetheless, they have traditionally coalesced around the thought that some sense or awareness of God is naturally implanted or innate in human beings. A root of this orientation can be found in John Calvin’s discussion of the sensus divinitatis in the first book of The Institutes of the Christian Religion. This paper outlines a pedagogical strategy for organizing and evaluating Calvin’s treatment of the sensus divinitatis, chiefly by putting it in tension with John Locke’s polemic against innatism in Book I of An Essay concerning Human Understanding. I begin by reconstructing Calvin’s depiction of the sensus divinitatis, as well as his case for thinking that it is innate. I then explain how Locke’s critique of innatism offers a fairly direct response to Calvin and, hence, a useful framework for exploring the limits of Calvin’s treatment of the sensus divinitatis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
Open AccessArticle William Apess, Pequot Pastor: A Native American Revisioning of Christian Nationalism in the Early Republic
Religions 2017, 8(2), 18; doi:10.3390/rel8020018
Received: 29 September 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 27 January 2017
PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pequot Native and Methodist Minister William Apess has received growing recognition among historians as a unique voice for Native Americans—and minorities in general—during the early Republic. This essay began by inquiring into Apess’s relationship with the Christian nationalism of his day. Extensive readings
[...] Read more.
Pequot Native and Methodist Minister William Apess has received growing recognition among historians as a unique voice for Native Americans—and minorities in general—during the early Republic. This essay began by inquiring into Apess’s relationship with the Christian nationalism of his day. Extensive readings of Apess’s works, scholarship on all aspects of Apess’s life, and analyses of Christian nationalism during the early Republic initially revealed severe conflict. Apess is fiery in his critique of Anglo American society and religion; he questions the integrity of Christians who treat Native Americans with a double standard. Analyzing Apess’s critiques and his proposed solutions in depth, however, shows that his main problem rests with faulty implementation of genuinely good ideals. Apess’s solutions actually rest on revising and enforcing, not destroying, the main components of Christian nationalism. This essay concludes that Apess should be read as advancing his own revised form of Christian nationalism; his plan for the future of America and national unity embraced establishing a more perfect Christian union. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Nationalism in the United States)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle On the Paradox of the Political/Transcendence and Eschatology: Transimmanence and the Promise of Love in Jean-Luc Nancy
Religions 2017, 8(2), 28; doi:10.3390/rel8020028
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The debate on the possibility of re-thinking transcendence at the so-called end or closure of the metaphysical tradition and its relation to the political is situated at the heart of contemporary continental philosophy of religion. This article engages the debate by reviewing what
[...] Read more.
The debate on the possibility of re-thinking transcendence at the so-called end or closure of the metaphysical tradition and its relation to the political is situated at the heart of contemporary continental philosophy of religion. This article engages the debate by reviewing what is to be thought or anticipated at the closure. Firstly, the problem of engaging with transcendence at the closure of metaphysics is outlined as a discussion on what is possibly meant by the end of transcendence and onto-theology. Subsequently, the question concerning the political and its inseparable relation to transcendence is sketched and denoted by the phrase “the political/transcendence”. Secondly, Levinas’ and Nancy’s respective attempts at addressing the problem are explored in the form of a debate, with the outcome suggesting a possible gesture towards Nancy’s reconception of transcendence as transimmanence, found in his notion of “the promise of love”, on “how” to anticipate rather than “what” to anticipate in these end times. Full article
Open AccessArticle Four Versions of the Christus by the Massys: Deciphering the Meaning of the Letters
Religions 2017, 8(2), 19; doi:10.3390/rel8020019
Received: 4 September 2016 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (9898 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Flemish painters Quentin Massys and his son Jan Massys appear to be the authors of four works with a very similar motif, the bust of Jesus Christ. These canvasses can be found in different locations today: the Prado Museum in Madrid (Spain),
[...] Read more.
The Flemish painters Quentin Massys and his son Jan Massys appear to be the authors of four works with a very similar motif, the bust of Jesus Christ. These canvasses can be found in different locations today: the Prado Museum in Madrid (Spain), the RKD Netherlands Institute for Art History of The Hague (Netherlands), the Kunstmuseum Winterthur (Switzerland), and another one in a private collection. Written on the edge of the robe around the neck, these canvasses display a series of Hebrew or pseudo-Hebrew letters. We offer the complete solution deciphered, until today incomplete, for three of them, with a very similar letter sequence. Finally, we resolve completely one of the canvasses, which, until today, had no known solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Philosophical and Theological Studies)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Feasibility Study of Taste & See: A Church Based Programme to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food
Religions 2017, 8(2), 29; doi:10.3390/rel8020029
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 18 February 2017
PDF Full-text (791 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Holistic approaches which include a religious element are a promising intervention within obesity, but have not been explored in the UK. Objective: To conduct a feasibility study of a three-month, Christian-based intuitive-eating programme in a church. Methods: A total of 18
[...] Read more.
Holistic approaches which include a religious element are a promising intervention within obesity, but have not been explored in the UK. Objective: To conduct a feasibility study of a three-month, Christian-based intuitive-eating programme in a church. Methods: A total of 18 adults participated. Ethical approval was granted by Coventry University Ethics Committee. Participant and facilitator experience was investigated qualitatively. Results showed participants accepted the programme and engaged well with its spiritual component. Lay facilitators managed to adequately run the programme, although some difficulties identified training needs. Clinical, psychological and spiritual measures were analysed using intention to treat; baseline observation carried forward to input missing data. Mental well-being, anxiety, depression, quality of life, pain/discomfort uncontrolled-eating, emotional-eating, cognitive-restrained-eating, intuitive-eating and Body Mass Index (BMI) improved significantly post-intervention. There were improvements in spiritual well-being, and reductions in energy, fat and saturated fat intake. Between the end of the intervention and a six-month follow-up, there were no statistically significant changes. However, the extent that weight and BMI returned to baseline levels meant that the reduction from baseline was no longer significant or clinically important. Mean changes in other variables, including uncontrolled eating, emotional eating, mental well-being and anxiety remained statistically improved from baseline. At six-month follow-up, improvements in intuitive eating were fully sustained at this time point and total fat, saturated fat and sugar intake had reduced further even though these values did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion: It is feasible to recruit to, deliver and evaluate Taste & See in a UK church, with lay volunteers. Clinical outcomes were positive, but a larger, controlled study is needed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Religions Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
E-Mail: 
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Religions Edit a special issue Review for Religions
Back to Top