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Religions, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Cover Story Carroll reviews the historical relationship between theology, as discipline and practice, and [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Introduction to “In Anticipation: Eschatology and Transcendence in Contemporary Contexts”
Religions 2017, 8(7), 115; doi:10.3390/rel8070115
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Open AccessEditorial Teaching the Reformations—Introduction
Religions 2017, 8(7), 120; doi:10.3390/rel8070120
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
This introduction to the Special Issue “Teaching the Reformations” summarizes the volume’s essays and discusses the conference at which they were presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching the Reformations)
Open AccessEditorial Youth and Emerging Adults: The Changing Contexts of Faith and Giving
Religions 2017, 8(7), 124; doi:10.3390/rel8070124
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth, Emerging Adults, Faith, and Giving)
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Open AccessEditorial Multidimensional Perspectives on the Faith and Giving of Youth and Emerging Adults
Religions 2017, 8(7), 128; doi:10.3390/rel8070128
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth, Emerging Adults, Faith, and Giving)
Open AccessEditorial Introduction: Religion and the New Technologies
Religions 2017, 8(7), 129; doi:10.3390/rel8070129
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
In April 2000, Wired published a controversial article entitled “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us” by Joy (2000), co-founder and chief scientist at Sun Microsystems.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the New Technologies)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Theology as an Ethnographic Object: An Anthropology of Eastern Christian Rupture
Religions 2017, 8(7), 114; doi:10.3390/rel8070114
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper draws upon over three years’ research among Eastern Orthodox (principally Antiochian and Greek) communities in London and Mount Athos, Greece. This research came to engage theology quite heavily as part of the ethnographic facts of the fieldsites. This paper reviews some
[...] Read more.
This paper draws upon over three years’ research among Eastern Orthodox (principally Antiochian and Greek) communities in London and Mount Athos, Greece. This research came to engage theology quite heavily as part of the ethnographic facts of the fieldsites. This paper reviews some of the existing ways that theology (as both discipline and practice) relate to ethnographic enquiry, particularly as it has arisen in the dialogue with the Anthropology of Christianity and frames this in light of the historical development of Anthropology and its relationship to theology and Christianity. The paper then advances a methodological argument, in favour of further means of relation, specifically in terms of theology as a cultural artefact. Drawing on local practices of liturgical theology and Eastern Orthodox forms of allegorical interpretation, I argue for the inclusion of theological insight and practice within the social scientific study of religion. Working in an Orthodox setting requires the investigation of liturgical theology and brings to light important aspects of the relationship between temporal and sempiternal domains of action. Particularly as it relates to liturgical theology and the practices of interpretation, ethnographic enquiry into Orthodox theology asks for a reconsideration of social scientific methods of analysis and representation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnography and Theology)
Open AccessArticle Green Patriarch, Green Patristics: Reclaiming the Deep Ecology of Christian Tradition
Religions 2017, 8(7), 116; doi:10.3390/rel8070116
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
In environmental circles, there is an increasing awareness of the Orthodox tradition, largely thanks to the speeches and initiatives of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Less widely known is the considerable body of other Orthodox writing, which is less concerned with specific ecological problems,
[...] Read more.
In environmental circles, there is an increasing awareness of the Orthodox tradition, largely thanks to the speeches and initiatives of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Less widely known is the considerable body of other Orthodox writing, which is less concerned with specific ecological problems, but addresses in greater depth the theological themes found in his pronouncements. This paper looks at the continuing development of Orthodox thinking in this area, and the increasing tendency to go deep into the sources of Orthodox tradition—theological, ascetic, liturgical, and hagiographic—to address underlying questions of the spiritual significance of the material world and the rôle of man within God’s purposes for it. It takes as examples four themes: the unity of creation and divine presence; cosmic liturgy/eucharist and ‘priest of creation’; ‘ecological sin’; and asceticism. It concludes that the Orthodox tradition goes beyond the dichotomy of man and nature to offer a ‘deeper ecology’ in which the physical interrelations between creatures are set within the divine economy for all creation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Secularism and Empire in the United States, 1780–1900
Religions 2017, 8(7), 117; doi:10.3390/rel8070117
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
This essay will explore white Americans’ use of the rhetoric of church/state separation as a discourse of racial difference during the period from roughly the Revolution to the Spanish American war, when the United States both conquered vast spaces of other people’s land,
[...] Read more.
This essay will explore white Americans’ use of the rhetoric of church/state separation as a discourse of racial difference during the period from roughly the Revolution to the Spanish American war, when the United States both conquered vast spaces of other people’s land, and put forth justifications for national expansion. Over the course of the nineteenth century, white Americans fretted over the assimilability of new groups coming under control of the United States and focused their concern over other groups’ fitness for self-government. As will be shown below, religious discussions regarding the extent of people’s privatization of religious sentiment, or nascent secularization, figured into this concern about racial fitness. Religious discourses—even those cloaked in defense of “liberal” values such as the separation of church and state—remained an indispensable tool in the construction of a racially exclusive American identity throughout the nineteenth century. Full article
Open AccessArticle Work-Related Psychological Wellbeing: Testing the Balanced Affect Model among Anglican Clergy
Religions 2017, 8(7), 118; doi:10.3390/rel8070118
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Poor work-related psychological health and professional burnout remain issues of concern among clergy across denominations and across cultures. Maslach’s three-component model of burnout remains the most frequently employed conceptualization and measure in clergy research. Maslach proposes a sequential model of burnout. An alternative
[...] Read more.
Poor work-related psychological health and professional burnout remain issues of concern among clergy across denominations and across cultures. Maslach’s three-component model of burnout remains the most frequently employed conceptualization and measure in clergy research. Maslach proposes a sequential model of burnout. An alternative approach has been offered by the Francis Burnout Inventory that comprises two components. Francis proposes a balanced affect model of burnout according to which negative affect (emotional exhaustion) is offset by positive affect (satisfaction in ministry). This study draws on data provided by around 658 clergy serving in the Church of England to test this balanced affect model. Employing independent measures of burnout, the data demonstrated the significance of the interaction term between positive affect and negative affect in predicting individual differences in burnout. In other words, as positive affect increases the effects of negative affect decrease. Full article
Open AccessArticle Religious Literacy through Religious Education: The Future of Teaching and Learning about Religion and Belief
Religions 2017, 8(7), 119; doi:10.3390/rel8070119
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
This article reports on research undertaken between July 2014 and November 2015 in secondary schools (for young people aged 11–16) across England to ask what young people need to know about religion and belief in schools in order to increase ‘religious literacy’ when
[...] Read more.
This article reports on research undertaken between July 2014 and November 2015 in secondary schools (for young people aged 11–16) across England to ask what young people need to know about religion and belief in schools in order to increase ‘religious literacy’ when they go in to the workplace and wider society. The research arises in the context of an urgent debate which has been underway in England about the future of Religious Education (RE), a subject which remains compulsory in England under the Education Act 1944, but which gives rise to widespread confusion about its purposes, content and structure, as reflected in growing criticisms of the policy muddle that frames it. The key findings are: that there is an appetite for review and reform of teaching and learning about religion and belief in schools, inside and outside the RE space, in order to clarify confusion about its purposes, content and structure; that the key perceived purposes which are emerging are the ability to engage with diversity, and personal spiritual (but not religious) development; and that stakeholders want to learn about more religions and beliefs, and ways of thinking about them, which reflect a much broader and more fluid real contemporary religion and belief landscape of England and the world than education has reflected. Full article
Open AccessArticle Religion and Gender Ideologies among Working-Age U.S. Latinas/os
Religions 2017, 8(7), 121; doi:10.3390/rel8070121
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
Numerous studies have documented religious variations in gender ideology in the United States. Despite growth, diversification, and religious ferment among Latinas/os, few have investigated this topic within the Latina/o population. Drawing on insights from gender theory and prior empirical research, we develop several
[...] Read more.
Numerous studies have documented religious variations in gender ideology in the United States. Despite growth, diversification, and religious ferment among Latinas/os, few have investigated this topic within the Latina/o population. Drawing on insights from gender theory and prior empirical research, we develop several hypotheses regarding the links between religious affiliation, belief, and practice and three distinct domains of traditionalist gender ideology (respective beliefs in female domesticity, gender essentialism, and patriarchy) among U.S. Latinas/os. These hypotheses are tested using data from the Hispanic oversample of the National Survey of Religion and Family Life (NSRFL), a nationwide probability sample of working-age adults (ages 18–59). The results underscore the complex associations between multiple dimensions of religious involvement and specific facets of gender ideology among Latinas/os. Several promising directions for future research on this understudied population are outlined, and study limitations are identified. Full article
Open AccessArticle Psychometric Properties of the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale: Support for a Two-Factor Solution, Concurrent Validity, and Its Relationship with Clinical Psychological Distress in University Students
Religions 2017, 8(7), 123; doi:10.3390/rel8070123
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
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Abstract
This study examined the dimensionality and concurrent validity of the 16-item Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale (DSES) in a sample of 649 university students (448 females) from a private, Catholic university in the Midwestern United States. Present literature predominantly supported a single factor solution.
[...] Read more.
This study examined the dimensionality and concurrent validity of the 16-item Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale (DSES) in a sample of 649 university students (448 females) from a private, Catholic university in the Midwestern United States. Present literature predominantly supported a single factor solution. From results of the present study from exploratory principal component analyses (PCAs), a two-component solution (Closeness to the Divine and Selflessness) accounted for 68% of the variance and was preferred to a single component solution. Confirmatory factor analyses provided support for this two-factor solution over two different single factor solutions. Convergent validity for the DSES was supported through positive correlations between its total score and emerging components and other commonly utilized measures of spirituality and religion. Discriminant validity was supported through negligible correlations with sociodemographic data. Females reported significantly higher DSES scores. Females with low reported spirituality had significantly higher (and clinically significant) symptoms of psychological distress than moderately and highly spiritual females. The findings of the present study provide contrasting conclusions from previous work supporting a single factor solution for the DSES, encourage further investigation into its dimensionality in varying populations, and suggest a unique relationship between spirituality and psychological distress in university students. Full article
Open AccessArticle Elizabeth Bishop’s Grammar School for the Aspect-Blind and A-rhetorical
Religions 2017, 8(7), 125; doi:10.3390/rel8070125
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
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Abstract
This paper uses Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “Over 2000 Illustrations and a Complete Concordance” as an exemplar that displays the centrality of aspect perception in her work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue English Poetry and Christianity)
Open AccessArticle The Methodology Utilized in the Redaction of the Tripartite Structure of Sugyot from Tractate Eruvin in the Babylonian Talmud
Religions 2017, 8(7), 126; doi:10.3390/rel8070126
Received: 3 June 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
This paper deals with the methodology utilized in the redaction of the tripartite structure of sugyot from Tractate Eruvin. The paper begins with a short review of the tripartite structure in various sugyot of the Babylonian Talmud. It presents the various methodologies utilized
[...] Read more.
This paper deals with the methodology utilized in the redaction of the tripartite structure of sugyot from Tractate Eruvin. The paper begins with a short review of the tripartite structure in various sugyot of the Babylonian Talmud. It presents the various methodologies utilized in the redaction of the tripartite structure of sugyot from Tractate Eruvin. The paper’s significance is in its presentation of the various methods utilized in redaction of the tripartite structure, accompanied by select examples from different texts in Tractate Eruvin. These methodological methods are also evident in other sugyot and they constitute an important research foundation for examining their application in additional sugyot in the different tractates. Full article
Open AccessArticle Christians’ Perceptions of Receiving Spiritual Care in the Bible Belt of the United States: A Qualitative Study of Care Provided in the Healthcare Setting
Religions 2017, 8(7), 127; doi:10.3390/rel8070127
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
The need to include the spiritual dimension when assessing clients and planning their healthcare is evident from numerous studies conducted by various disciplines. Practitioners of holistic care agree that spiritual care must be included to address fully the needs of clients. The aim
[...] Read more.
The need to include the spiritual dimension when assessing clients and planning their healthcare is evident from numerous studies conducted by various disciplines. Practitioners of holistic care agree that spiritual care must be included to address fully the needs of clients. The aim of this qualitative research was to explore and document the stories of clients regarding the role healthcare professionals provide in spiritual care. A hermeneutical phenomenological approach was used to interview, document, and analyze the stories of 15 participants (n = 15) regarding their perceptions of spiritual care received or given during times of illness. Initially, only one participant mentioned the role of doctors and nurses in providing spiritual care. After specifically asking about spiritual care, half of the participants shared that they had received spiritual care. Prayer as a mode of spiritual care emerged as a prominent theme. Lack of spiritual care received was documented. The hesitancy to provide spiritual care was evident in participants who were also healthcare providers. More research is needed to further define spiritual care. Education regarding spiritual assessments and spiritual care strategies is needed for both patients and healthcare providers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Re-Territorializing Religiosity in Wholesome Muslim Praxis
Religions 2017, 8(7), 132; doi:10.3390/rel8070132
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
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Abstract
Despite distorting narratives about extremism, specific individuals and communities of Muslims in America ground themselves in wholesome relationships among people and in the places where they find home. Between 2001 and 2009, Taqwa Eco-food Cooperative designed eco-halal food education and distribution for Chicago
[...] Read more.
Despite distorting narratives about extremism, specific individuals and communities of Muslims in America ground themselves in wholesome relationships among people and in the places where they find home. Between 2001 and 2009, Taqwa Eco-food Cooperative designed eco-halal food education and distribution for Chicago Muslims, promoting ethical praxis with local animals, lands, waters, farmers, farm workers, and fellow consumers. Founded and funded by an interfaith non-profit organization, Taqwa generated pluralistic community with an internally diverse Muslim community, local farmers, and interfaith partners. Amidst popular contempt for terrorism, Taqwa leaders reasserted wholesome Muslim identity by re-territorializing religiosity, enhancing care-based relations in local foodscapes. Concurring with religious studies scholarship on ecology, lived religion, and pluralism, Taqwa grounded religious meaning in materially significant, personal relationships in their local community of life. Responding to lived religious meaning nested in an ecologically holistic sense of place, Taqwa leaders crafted a purity-oriented project, inscribing identity through its beneficial relations with land and home, despite instances of migratory displacement, diasporic considerations, and externally produced problematic distortions of what it means to be Muslim in America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessEssay Reflections on Reading the Scriptures as an Orthodox Christian
Religions 2017, 8(7), 122; doi:10.3390/rel8070122
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
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Abstract
The heart of the differences between an Orthodox understanding and use of Scripture, and what has prevailed in most non-Orthodox scholarly circles since the time of Spinoza, is not primarily anything to do with methodologies, or techniques as such, but fundamentally it is
[...] Read more.
The heart of the differences between an Orthodox understanding and use of Scripture, and what has prevailed in most non-Orthodox scholarly circles since the time of Spinoza, is not primarily anything to do with methodologies, or techniques as such, but fundamentally it is about the theological context within which the methods are used. Hence this paper begins by outlining the fundamentals of theology that undergird all traditional Orthodox exegesis. These fundamentals of Orthodox theology and life provide a radically different interpretive context for the use of any methods or tools of interpretation from that of the essentially agnostic approach promoted by Spinoza and those following him, who have exclusively used the historical critical method, whose foundational principle was to “interpret as if there is no God.” Hence, from an Orthodox perspective, all the basic technical aspects of historical criticism—linguistic studies, looking at the historical context, etc.—when used within a traditional Christian interpretive context can be valuable tools leading to a deeper understanding. However, the ultimate purpose of properly interpreting Scripture–salvation, becoming holy—is achieved primarily through living the gospel. Full article

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