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Religions, Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2018)

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Open AccessArticle The Blackness of Liet-Kynes: Reading Frank Herbert’s Dune Through James Cone
Religions 2018, 9(9), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090281 (registering DOI)
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Frank Herbert’s landmark science fiction novel Dune has received numerous sequels, prequels, and film treatments. Detailing the saga of humanity’s far future beyond our present solar system, the work plays successfully with religious, political, and ecological themes. This essay deals with the social/theological
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Frank Herbert’s landmark science fiction novel Dune has received numerous sequels, prequels, and film treatments. Detailing the saga of humanity’s far future beyond our present solar system, the work plays successfully with religious, political, and ecological themes. This essay deals with the social/theological implications of two figures within the story-world of Dune: Its protagonist and visible hero, Paul Atreides/Muad’Dib and the lesser figure of the “Imperial Planetologist” Dr. Kynes, also known to the Fremen as “Liet”. By reading these two figures through the theology of James Cone, we discover that the obvious hero is not a messianic figure but a demonic one. Further, it is the lesser character of Liet-Kynes who actually fulfills the messianic role in Cone’s theological system. This essay is preceded by and makes use of Jeremy Ian Kirk’s work with the film Avatar that provides similar analysis. Where Kirk’s principal concern is with the ethical considerations of Avatar, this essay will more closely bear on Cone’s dynamic of redemption and conversion, specifically his notion of dying to white identity to be reborn in blackness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction)
Open AccessCommentary Soft Islamophobia
Religions 2018, 9(9), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090280
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
This article explores Islamophobia as a system of oppression by examining policies and practices found in liberal or left-leaning “anti-Islamophobia” spaces in the United States that limit the efficacy of the fight for justice. These include the reification of “Muslim” as a cultural
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This article explores Islamophobia as a system of oppression by examining policies and practices found in liberal or left-leaning “anti-Islamophobia” spaces in the United States that limit the efficacy of the fight for justice. These include the reification of “Muslim” as a cultural category of brown foreigners, the lack of structural analysis around anti-Muslim hate, and the discomfort with and erasure of Islam as a faith in favor of “cultural” Muslims. The article then briefly proposes alternate ways forward that center the Muslims most affected by the intersections of race, class, gender, and religion in work against Islamophobia so that advocates can more effectively and directly address a system of Islamophobia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anti Muslim Racism and the Media)
Open AccessArticle “A Fourfold Vision: Nature Religion and the Wages of Scientism in Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘Newton’s Sleep’”
Religions 2018, 9(9), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090279
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1991 short story ‘Newton’s Sleep’ begins in a utopic society that escaped the environmental and social calamity of a near-future Earth and created an enlightened culture on a space station. The group, led by a scientific elite, pride themselves
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Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1991 short story ‘Newton’s Sleep’ begins in a utopic society that escaped the environmental and social calamity of a near-future Earth and created an enlightened culture on a space station. The group, led by a scientific elite, pride themselves on eradicating the irrational prejudices and unempirical mentality that hamstringed Earth; but chaos blossoms as the society struggles with the reappearance of religious intolerance, and becomes confused by an outbreak of mass hallucinations of the Earth they left behind. This narrative trope of the necessity of nature for the survival of humanity—physically, mentally, and spiritually—represents a new and relatively common allegory in contemporary science fiction in an era distinguished by separation from the natural world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction)
Open AccessArticle The Gendered Space of the “Oriental Vatican”—Zi-ka-wei, the French Jesuits and the Evolution of Papal Diplomacy
Religions 2018, 9(9), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090278
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
In a global context, the story of the Jesuit compound in Shanghai, since its establishment by French Jesuits in 1847, reflected not only conflicts between rival powers in Europe but also the fight for their interests in the Eastern world. The female Catholic
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In a global context, the story of the Jesuit compound in Shanghai, since its establishment by French Jesuits in 1847, reflected not only conflicts between rival powers in Europe but also the fight for their interests in the Eastern world. The female Catholic orders at the east bank of Zi-ka-wei compound provided a unique window approaching the complexity. The Pope, who was stuck without legal status in the Vatican after 1861, was also seeking the chance to save the authority of the Church in the face of questions regarding the extent of his temporal power and the status of Rome in the context of Italian unification. As in the Reformation, a break-through in the east seemed to offer a solution for losses in Europe. However, the Jesuits to the East in the late 19th century were not only troops working and fighting on behalf of the Pope; their identities under the French Protectorate added complexity to an already complicated story involving not just the Church, but the course of world history. Locating the Jesuit-affiliated women and children hospice in the French Concession but outside the Zi-ka-wei compound was a result of how different conflicts played themselves out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religiosity, Secularity and Pluralism in the Global East)
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Open AccessArticle The Ideal of a Radical Christian Intellectual
Religions 2018, 9(9), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090277
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
The life and work of Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J. is of radical vision and revolutionary change. His dynamic life and works accompanied El Salvador and the Universidad Centroamericana through perhaps the most tumultuous years of the country’s history, yet there has been limited work
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The life and work of Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J. is of radical vision and revolutionary change. His dynamic life and works accompanied El Salvador and the Universidad Centroamericana through perhaps the most tumultuous years of the country’s history, yet there has been limited work done to examine his contributions. This paper shows how Ellacuría viewed the role of a Christian intellectual and Christian university within his philosophical and theological framework. I argue that Ignacio Ellacuría held, similarly to his soteriological views, that the intellectual must also be willing to sacrifice all for the sake of her/his work in a pattern of discipleship/martyrdom that is prefigured by his exemplars Christ and Socrates. It was this dedication to praxis and theory that western theology and philosophy had respectfully lost since their foundations, which he sought to restore to a central role. In conclusion, the Christian intellectual and institution, according to Ellacuría, must use its voice and life in service of the people even to the point of martyrdom; he would argue, the implicit reason for Christian martyrdom and the crucifixion of Christ himself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Religious Education)
Open AccessArticle Spirituality and Self-Efficacy in Caregivers of Patients with Neurodegenerative Disorders: An Overview of Spiritual Coping Styles
Religions 2018, 9(9), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090276
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this research was to assess the effect of spirituality and self-efficacy in the mental health of caregivers of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Four styles of spiritual coping were examined to identify which of them can function as protective or risk
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The objective of this research was to assess the effect of spirituality and self-efficacy in the mental health of caregivers of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Four styles of spiritual coping were examined to identify which of them can function as protective or risk factors for caregivers of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Interviews were conducted face-to-face to 116 caregivers of patients diagnosed with some type of neurodegenerative disorder. The results showed that caregivers with a selfless spiritual coping style exhibit significantly higher depression, stress, and perceived overload than those with a collaborative style. No statistically significant differences were found between the means of the other styles of spiritual coping. Simultaneously, it was found that the selfless spiritual coping style is a risk factor for overload, depression, and stress. The study is a first step in understanding how spirituality interacts with self-efficacy to protect the mental health of caregivers of dementia patients in Puerto Rico. Our results theoretically and empirically support the functional compatibility of both psychological resources. Full article
Open AccessEditorial “The Public Role of Religion” Editorial Notes
Religions 2018, 9(9), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090275
Received: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Public Role of Religion)
Open AccessArticle Framing Muslims in the “War on Terror”: Representations of Ideological Violence by Muslim versus Non-Muslim Perpetrators in Canadian National News Media
Religions 2018, 9(9), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090274
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
This study compared representations of ideological violence by Muslim versus non-Muslim perpetrators in Canadian national news media (the Globe and Mail, National Post, and CBC). Both quantitative and qualitative disparities were examined. Acts of Muslim violence received 1.5 times more coverage, on average,
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This study compared representations of ideological violence by Muslim versus non-Muslim perpetrators in Canadian national news media (the Globe and Mail, National Post, and CBC). Both quantitative and qualitative disparities were examined. Acts of Muslim violence received 1.5 times more coverage, on average, than non-Muslim ones, and thwarted Muslim plots received five times more coverage. Muslim incidents were more likely to be labelled “terrorism” and linked to other episodes of violence, and Muslim perpetrators were more likely to be labelled by their religious and ethno-racial identities. These patterns in representation serve to stabilise the racial formations of the Canadian national security state in the “war on terror”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anti Muslim Racism and the Media)
Open AccessEditorial Introduction of Special Issue “Theodicy”
Religions 2018, 9(9), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090273
Received: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
For a topic that many have thought long-solved, theodicy in the 21st-century has thus far produced novel approaches [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
Open AccessLetter Cadaverous Decomposition as a Representation of the Soul’s Journey. Anthropological Evidence of a Funerary Ritual
Religions 2018, 9(9), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090272
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
Our archaeological and anthropological investigations carried out inside the Crypt of the Franciscan Monastery in Azzio (Varese, Northern Italy) allowed us to discover a singular funerary practice of Franciscan friars. It consisted of a secondary burial practice. Full article
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Open AccessReview Review and Characterization of Portuguese Theses, Dissertations, and Papers about Spirituality in Health
Religions 2018, 9(9), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090271
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
Research about spirituality has grown widely in the past decades and the interest in health care is also evident in Portugal. This literature review aims to identify and to characterize Portuguese theses, dissertations, and papers about spirituality in health, and to provide a
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Research about spirituality has grown widely in the past decades and the interest in health care is also evident in Portugal. This literature review aims to identify and to characterize Portuguese theses, dissertations, and papers about spirituality in health, and to provide a systematic overview of the knowledge concerning this subject. The search was conducted in February 2017 and updated in January 2018. Four independent reviewers screened and analyzed all citations, and a total of 76 results were included. Publications started in 2002 and include master degree dissertations (n = 37), scientific papers (n = 31), and PhD theses (n = 8). Papers were published in 24 national and international journals. Most papers were psychology- and nursing-related and had a quantitative design (n = 55). Samples were mostly composed of patients living with a chronic disease (n = 20) or elderly (n = 11). The Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire (SWBQ) was the most used tool. A multidisciplinary approach is regarded as foundational in implementing spirituality in the provision of health care and the results underline the interest on this topic from other disciplines rather than nursing. Further studies must provide a deeper understanding of spirituality in children, adolescents or families’ perspective bringing new insights to advanced health practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Jewels Set in Stone: Hindu Temple Recipes in Medieval Cōḻa Epigraphy
Religions 2018, 9(9), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090270
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
Scholarship abounds on contemporary Hindu food offerings, yet there is scant literature treating the history of food in Hinduism beyond topics of food restrictions, purity, and food as medicine. A virtually unexplored archive is Hindu temple epigraphy from the time that was perhaps
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Scholarship abounds on contemporary Hindu food offerings, yet there is scant literature treating the history of food in Hinduism beyond topics of food restrictions, purity, and food as medicine. A virtually unexplored archive is Hindu temple epigraphy from the time that was perhaps the theological height of embodied temple ritual practices, i.e., the Cōḻa period (ninth-thirteenth centuries CE). The vast archive of South Indian temple inscriptions allows a surprising glimpse into lived Hinduism as it was enacted daily, monthly, and annually through food offerings cooked in temple kitchens and served to gods residing in those temples. Through analyzing thousands of Tamiḻ inscriptions from the tenth through the fourteenth centuries CE, I have gleaned information concerning two distinct material cultural facets. (1) The practice of writing these rare but remarkable recipes which themselves are culinary textual artifacts has allowed us to access (2) Hindu food offerings of the past, also complex, sensory historical artifacts. In exploring these medieval religious recipes for the first time, I aim to show: the importance that food preparation held for temple devotees, the theological reality of feeding the actual bodies of the gods held in these temples, and the originality of the Cōḻa inscriptional corpus in bringing about a novel culinary writing practice that would be adopted more extensively in the Vijayanagara period (fourteenth-seventeenth centuries CE). This study, a radical new attempt at using historical sources inscribed in stone, sheds new light on medieval Hindu devotees’ priorities of serving and feeding god. The examination of this under-explored archive can help us move our academic analysis of Hindu food offerings beyond the hitherto utilized lenses of economics, sociology, and anthropology. Further, it contributes to our understanding of medieval temple worship, early culinary studies, and the history of food in India. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Food in Global and Historical Perspective )
Open AccessArticle Animal Ethics in Islam: A Review Article
Religions 2018, 9(9), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090269
Received: 19 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
This article offers an assessment of the current state of scholarship on animal ethics in Islam. It first discusses a group of texts that share the preoccupation of demonstrating the superiority of Islam’s animal teachings, thus exhibiting a clearly apologetic tone. Then it
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This article offers an assessment of the current state of scholarship on animal ethics in Islam. It first discusses a group of texts that share the preoccupation of demonstrating the superiority of Islam’s animal teachings, thus exhibiting a clearly apologetic tone. Then it turns to the debate on animal ethics in Western academia. By raising challenging questions, the latter holds the promise of delving deeper into the subject, but at its current stage much of it is still hampered by factual inaccuracies and methodological flaws. In conclusion, the article explains why the subject of animal ethics in Islam is particularly deserving of careful study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Muslim Ethics in the Global Medina)
Open AccessArticle Performing the Bible in the Korean Context: Korean Ways of Reading, Singing, and Dramatizing the Scriptures
Religions 2018, 9(9), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090268
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
The present study explores the performative nature of the Bible as a sacred text in the Korean context. Drawing on the theory of scriptural performance advocated by James W. Watts, I investigate its character as words and contents. First, I delve into
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The present study explores the performative nature of the Bible as a sacred text in the Korean context. Drawing on the theory of scriptural performance advocated by James W. Watts, I investigate its character as words and contents. First, I delve into the scriptural performance of thoroughly reading (and listening to) the Bible at the level of words. Second, I scrutinize the scriptural performance of singing and dramatizing the Bible at the level of contents. The specific context of South Korea—whether religious, cultural, or social—alerts us to the performed transformation of the semantic range of the long-standing Christian tradition. Given the cultural differences between Western and Eastern Christianity, I contend that the adaptation of Christianity to Korean soil renders the performative dimension of the scriptures all the more semantic. In other words, the Korean ways of performing the Bible are essentially deeply rooted in those of signifying it. In the long term, Christianity turns out to be such a global religion that it provokes a more complex analysis of its scriptural performance in its widely differing range of semantics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role and Meaning of Religion for Korean Society)
Open AccessArticle Orthodox Fasting in a Postsecular Society: The Case of Contemporary Russia
Religions 2018, 9(9), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090267
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
The article deals with the revival of fasting in Russia after a long period of its nearly full neglect. On the basis of electronic sources, such as web forums, question-and-answer services, streaming video channels, and other publications the author shows how the clergy
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The article deals with the revival of fasting in Russia after a long period of its nearly full neglect. On the basis of electronic sources, such as web forums, question-and-answer services, streaming video channels, and other publications the author shows how the clergy and the laity together discuss, collectively test and evaluate diverse fasting practices. The discourse on fasting practices in Russia is polyphonic and highly personalized; even the clergy has no single authoritative position. It remains unclear, who should be responsible for fasting mitigation in case of illness, pregnancy, or other circumstances; people are exposed to many different opinions, what results in confusion and anxiety. The article shows that contemporary believers—including the clergy—are not ready to follow tradition blindly. The discussants are roughly divided into two groups: those supporting traditional rules (fasting from animal products), and those inventing their own practices (fasting from sweets, or switching to cheaper foods). Both groups are interested in rational, mundane arguments in support of their choice: the traditionalists emphasize that fasting from meat is “healthy”, or that Lenten food is “tastier”; their opponents point out that fish and seafood are more expensive than dairy products and poultry; therefore, no money can be saved for the destitute. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Food in Global and Historical Perspective )
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Environmental References in the Texts of the Four Gospels Using Descriptive Statistics
Religions 2018, 9(9), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090266
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 26 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
Christian ecotheology uses theology to examine the consequences of human action on ecology. It comes from the notion that the natural world is the creation and the good of God. The study of the Sacred Texts and the analysis of their references to
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Christian ecotheology uses theology to examine the consequences of human action on ecology. It comes from the notion that the natural world is the creation and the good of God. The study of the Sacred Texts and the analysis of their references to the environment provides information on the relation of human beings to the environment and reveals the approach of each author. In this study, a detailed descriptive statistical analysis of the environmental references of the four Gospels of the New Testament was carried out. The different aspects of the environment (natural, anthropogenic, and spiritual) were explored and a quantitative analysis of the environmental references was performed for the texts of the four Gospels using descriptive statistics measures. The results show that the anthropogenic environment is the most commonly cited, with the spiritual environment coming next and the natural environment in the third position. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Double Character of Cuban Protestantism and Philanthropy
Religions 2018, 9(9), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090265
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
In Cuba and the United States, Protestant institutions exist that are both reflective and nonreflective about their culture’s influence on belief and practice. The case of Cuba sheds light on how Christian churches and voluntary associations operate in an authoritarian regime. Despite the
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In Cuba and the United States, Protestant institutions exist that are both reflective and nonreflective about their culture’s influence on belief and practice. The case of Cuba sheds light on how Christian churches and voluntary associations operate in an authoritarian regime. Despite the tension and enmity that have typified Cuba’s geopolitical relationship with the United States since the colonial days, cross-cultural Christian philanthropic partnerships exist. The “doble carácter” (double character) of Cuban Protestant churches has grown out of both collaboration with, and resistance to U.S.-style evangelicalism (Arce Valentín 2016). Adaptations of liberation theology, adopted among Cuban Christians, provide an influential counterweight to the mighty Western theological and philanthropic tradition (González 2012). The nature of this engagement influences Cuban civil society, the survival of the Cuban regime, and provides an extreme case for cross-cultural philanthropy worldwide. This socio-historical account utilizes the data collected from personal interviews with Cuban Protestant leaders, primary sources found in the library at the San Cristobal Presbyterian Seminary and Cuban theological journals, and a qualitative analysis of literature on Cuba, Protestants, missions, philanthropy, nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and civil society. Full article
Open AccessArticle Matter in Motion: A Dogon Kanaga Mask
Religions 2018, 9(9), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090264
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
Dogon masks have been famous for a long time—and none more so than the kanaga mask, the so-called croix de Lorraine. A host of interpretations of this particular mask circulate in the literature, ranging from moderately exotic to extremely exotic. This contribution will
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Dogon masks have been famous for a long time—and none more so than the kanaga mask, the so-called croix de Lorraine. A host of interpretations of this particular mask circulate in the literature, ranging from moderately exotic to extremely exotic. This contribution will focus on one particular mask situated within the whole mask troupe, and it will do so in the ritual setting to which it belongs: a second funeral, long after the burial. A description of this ritual shows how the mask troupe forms the constantly moving focus in a captivating ritual serving as second funeral. Thus, the mask rites bridge major divides in Dogon culture, between male and female, between man and nature, and between this world and the supernatural one. They are able to do so because they themselves are in constant motion, between bush and village and between sky and earth. Masks are matter in motion and symbols in context. Within imagistic religions such as the Dogon one, these integrative functions form a major focus of Dogon masks rituals—and hence, to some extent, of African mask rituals in general. In the Dogon case, the ritual creates a virtual reality through a highly embodied performance by the participants themselves. Then, the final question can be broached, that of interpretation. What, in the end, do these masquerades signify? And our kanaga mask, what does it stand for? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Ritual and Ritualistic Objects)
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Open AccessArticle Pausanian Classification or Socratic Participation: Theologizing the Plurality of Erotic Praxis in Plato’s Symposium
Religions 2018, 9(9), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090263
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
Read theologically, Plato’s Symposium is an exercise in doxology: how Eros is to be praised. Pausanias observes that, since Eros is not one, a unitary praise will be inadequate. Proposing a focus on praxis, he classifies erotic praxes, and praises one, in a
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Read theologically, Plato’s Symposium is an exercise in doxology: how Eros is to be praised. Pausanias observes that, since Eros is not one, a unitary praise will be inadequate. Proposing a focus on praxis, he classifies erotic praxes, and praises one, in a synthesis of contemporary convention, sophistic rationality, social responsibility and polytheistic fidelity. Against this Socrates praises erotic praxis as one of a plurality of desires mediating between mortals and an otherwise transcendent good. Desire which is specifically erotic involves a praxis of (pro)creation through attention to beauty. In this praxis mortals participate in immortality and the divine. Pausanias’ praise is seriously offered. However, lacking a participatory element, it delivers an underwhelming doxology, making Eros at best an instrument of a sophistically constructed virtue ethic to which his polytheism is ambiguously connected. It is the philosophical theology of Socrates, which, praising Eros as a mediator enabling participation in the divine realm, and offering itself as an analogous form of mediation, is able to be consummated liturgically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexuality and Greco-Roman Religions)
Open AccessArticle Continuity and Discontinuity in 17th- and 18th-Century Ecclesiastical Silverworks from the Southern Andes
Religions 2018, 9(9), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090262
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
This article deals with interpretations of images on silver ecclesiastical objects from the Southern Andes dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The silverworks communicate contents on a nonverbal level and are integrated into ritual acts in the context of church services; this
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This article deals with interpretations of images on silver ecclesiastical objects from the Southern Andes dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The silverworks communicate contents on a nonverbal level and are integrated into ritual acts in the context of church services; this facilitates associations with non-Christian beliefs. If the images are studied by means of a combination of various analytical levels, transcultural processes become apparent in the images on the objects studied, and meanings emerge that would not have been brought to light by simple image analysis. This applies particularly to the comparison with possible indigenous meanings of European images, which enables a much more comprehensive interpretation. Depending on the beholder, the images may be interpreted as expressing continuity, i.e., as representations of indigenous beliefs; as expressing discontinuity, i.e., as representations of Christian beliefs; or as the result of a transfer of meaning encompassing and combining both belief systems, thus enabling a new way of “reading” them. However, a transcultural process of regional relocation and use of cultural elements is not only visible in the images; it is also illustrated by the ecclesiastical silverworks in the Americas as such, given the European influence manifest in them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Ritual and Ritualistic Objects)
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Open AccessArticle Worldview Analysis in a Comparative Context: Fishing for Data in Muddy Waters
Religions 2018, 9(9), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090261
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
Drawing on the five-fold revision of the concept of “worldview” offered by the issue editors, I investigate whether some nonreligious modes of cultural production might be profitably investigated using such a typology. In my comparative study of religious and secular sustainability-oriented social movements
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Drawing on the five-fold revision of the concept of “worldview” offered by the issue editors, I investigate whether some nonreligious modes of cultural production might be profitably investigated using such a typology. In my comparative study of religious and secular sustainability-oriented social movements I offered skeletal definitions of the categories “religion” and “sustainability,” and suggested ways in which public deployments of such terms might offer fertile ground for collaboration between individuals and groups with different value sets. In more recent work among particular rock music and festival scenes, I have found it necessary to offer a dramatically different understanding of the category “religion.” In a sort of thought experiment, I imagine whether the revised concept of “worldview” might be applicable, and indeed whether it offers some advantage over the category “religion.” My conclusions are that in general, in some cases the category of worldview may have some advantages, but it may also gloss over or ignore important cultural contestations over terms such as religion, and at best underplay important affective activators of belonging and identity. The notion of “ways of life,” or “lifeways” may offer a term which avoids some ethnocentric impositions, but would require greater elaboration to be broadly useful to ethnographers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnographies of Worldviews/Ways of Life)
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Open AccessEditorial Editor’s Introduction: Religion and Crime: Theory, Research, and Practice
Religions 2018, 9(9), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090260
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
The scientific study of religion is a relatively recent development in colleges and universities
around the world[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Crime: Theory, Research, and Practice)
Open AccessEditorial Sacred Journeys: Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage
Religions 2018, 9(9), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090259
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
Pilgrimage, being an ancient practice and a global phenomenon, continues to gain a growing
interest among scholars as its scope traverses many other disciplines and perspectives.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Journeys: Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage)
Open AccessArticle “Not as the Gentiles”: Sexual Issues at the Interface between Judaism and Its Greco-Roman World
Religions 2018, 9(9), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090258
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 19 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
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Abstract
Sexual issues played a significant role in Judaism’s engagement with its Greco-Roman world. This paper will examine that engagement from the Hellenistic Greco-Roman era to the end of the first century CE. In part, sexual issues were a key element of the demarcation
[...] Read more.
Sexual issues played a significant role in Judaism’s engagement with its Greco-Roman world. This paper will examine that engagement from the Hellenistic Greco-Roman era to the end of the first century CE. In part, sexual issues were a key element of the demarcation between Jews and the wider community, alongside such matters as circumcision, food laws, the sabbath keeping, and idolatry. Jewish writers, such as Philo of Alexandria, made much of the alleged sexual profligacy of their Gentile contemporaries, not least in association with wild drunken parties, same-sex relations, and pederasty. Jews, including the emerging Christian movement, claimed the moral high ground. In part, however, matters of sexuality were also areas where intercultural influence was evident, such as in the shift in the Jewish tradition from polygyny to monogyny, but also in the way Jewish and Christian writers adapted the suspicion, and sometimes rejection, of the passions that were characteristic of some of the popular philosophies of their day, seeing each other as allies in their moral crusade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexuality and Greco-Roman Religions)
Open AccessArticle Framing Islam/Creating Fear: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of Terrorism from 2011–2016
Religions 2018, 9(9), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090257
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 18 August 2018 / Accepted: 26 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
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Abstract
Powell’s 2011 study of media coverage of 11 post-9/11 terrorist events argued that a thematic framing exists which results in a model of media coverage of terrorism that is different for acts of terror committed by Muslims than by non-Muslims. This pattern connects
[...] Read more.
Powell’s 2011 study of media coverage of 11 post-9/11 terrorist events argued that a thematic framing exists which results in a model of media coverage of terrorism that is different for acts of terror committed by Muslims than by non-Muslims. This pattern connects terrorism to Islam, thus creating a fear of the “other” and aids terrorists in achieving their goal of creating a climate of fear. This study examines the 11 terrorist events since the last study, between 2011 and 2016, to determine if any changes in media coverage of terrorism have occurred in a climate of increased awareness of Islamophobia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anti Muslim Racism and the Media)
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Open AccessReview Influences of Egyptian Lotus Symbolism and Ritualistic Practices on Sacral Tree Worship in the Fertile Crescent from 1500 BCE to 200 CE
Religions 2018, 9(9), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090256
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
Many conventional features of world tree motifs in the ancient Near East—including stalked palmettes, aureoles of water lily palmettes connected by pliant stems, floral rosettes, winged disks and bud-and-blossom motifs—trace largely from Egyptian practices in lotus symbolism around 2500 BCE, more than a
[...] Read more.
Many conventional features of world tree motifs in the ancient Near East—including stalked palmettes, aureoles of water lily palmettes connected by pliant stems, floral rosettes, winged disks and bud-and-blossom motifs—trace largely from Egyptian practices in lotus symbolism around 2500 BCE, more than a millennium before they appear, migrate and dominate plant symbolism across the Fertile Crescent from 1500 BCE to 200 CE. Several of these motifs were associated singularly or collectively with the Egyptian sema-taui and ankh signs to symbolize the eternal recurrence and everlasting lives of Nilotic lotus deities and deceased pharaohs. The widespread use of lotus imagery in iconographic records on both sides of the Red Sea indicates strong currents of cultural diffusion between Nilotic and Mesopotamian civilizations, as does the use of lotus flowers in religious rituals and the practice of kingship, evidence for which is supported by iconographic, cuneiform and biblical records. This perspective provides new insights into sacral tree symbolism and its role in mythic legacies of Egypt and the Middle East before and during the advent of Christianity. Closer scholarly scrutiny is still needed to fully comprehend the underlying meaning of immortalizing plants in the mythic traditions of Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Ritual and Ritualistic Objects)
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Open AccessArticle Transformation from Real-Centredness to Other-Centredness: A Levinasian Re-Appraisal of John Hick’s Religious Pluralism
Religions 2018, 9(9), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090255
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 19 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
John Hick’s theory of religious pluralism has from its birth faced critiques regarding both its conceptual framework and its religious outlook; yet even so, his philosophy continues to challenge us to strive for a greater sense of openness and equality as regards other
[...] Read more.
John Hick’s theory of religious pluralism has from its birth faced critiques regarding both its conceptual framework and its religious outlook; yet even so, his philosophy continues to challenge us to strive for a greater sense of openness and equality as regards other faiths that conflict with our own. The viability of Hick’s teaching today depends on a re-appraisal that enables it to surmount its theoretical difficulties. In this paper, we re-evaluate Hick’s philosophy of religion, focusing on the underlying ethical importance of his claim regarding soteriological transformation. Despite the problematic notion of the noumenal Real and its role in religious pluralism, the soteriological transformation claimed by Hick, which goes from self-centredness toward Real-centredness, reveals a commitment to self-opening and compassion towards the others. Yet we will argue that Hick only gives this ethical importance a secondary status in his philosophy of religion, which leaves open the question of the nature of the causality between the ultimate Reality and this ethical commitment. We thereby engage with the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, in search of an ethical dimension with a characteristic of infinity, which can offer religious pluralism a transcendent foundation without disregarding ethical primacy. Following Levinas, we will argue for a further transformation from reality-centredness towards other-centredness, by which messianic peace would take the place of ultimate Reality as the teleological value underpinning religious pluralism. Full article
Open AccessErratum Erratum: Lawrence, D.P. Pratyabhijñā Apoha Theory, Shannon–Weaver Information, Saussurean Structure, and Peircean Interpretant Agency. Religions 9 (2018): 191
Religions 2018, 9(9), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090254
Received: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
Regrettably this article (Lawrence 2018) was published with a number of misprints and other errors [...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial Introduction to the Special Issue of Religions—“Transcendentalism and the Religious Experience”
Religions 2018, 9(9), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090253
Received: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 25 August 2018
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Abstract
In his 1837 oration “The American Scholar,” Emerson demanded that, above all, […] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcendentalism and the Religious Experience)
Open AccessArticle Caught in between: Profanation and Re-Sacralization in Marco Bellocchio’s Nel nome del padre (1971)
Religions 2018, 9(9), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090252
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
This article assesses the coexistence of the practices of profanation and re-sacralization in one of Marco Bellocchio’s most understudied films: Nel nome del padre (In the Name of the Father, 1971). Indeed, such practices rarely situate themselves at opposite ends of
[...] Read more.
This article assesses the coexistence of the practices of profanation and re-sacralization in one of Marco Bellocchio’s most understudied films: Nel nome del padre (In the Name of the Father, 1971). Indeed, such practices rarely situate themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum but rather are integrated within other works by the same director, and even within the same film. By providing a content and stylistic analysis of episodes of profanation and re-sacralization, this article highlights how Bellocchio profanes traditional Roman Catholic elements through the employment of parody and satire as well as how he re-sacralizes unorthodox characters and situations using narrative, symbolism, and iconography. This integration allows him to deliver his criticism of pre-conciliar Roman Catholicism (its folk manifestations at grassroots level, empty rituals, and sexuophobic education), on the one hand, and identify possible alternatives, characterized by a more progressive, tolerant, and forgiving religious sentiment, on the other. What emerges is Bellocchio’s essentially ambivalent attitude toward religion, characterized by the simultaneous and apparently contradictory need for both more and less Catholicism. Full article
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