Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Validation of a Novel Instrument to Measure Elements of Franciscan-Inspired Spirituality in a General Population and in Religious Persons
Religions 2017, 8(9), 197; doi:10.3390/rel8090197 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Today there are several approaches for bringing mindfulness, which conceptually refers to the Buddhist Vipassana tradition, into organizations. Programs referring to value-based attitudes and behaviors derived from specific Christian contexts are rarely evaluated. A prerequisite are reliable instruments for measuring the respective outcomes.
[...] Read more.
Today there are several approaches for bringing mindfulness, which conceptually refers to the Buddhist Vipassana tradition, into organizations. Programs referring to value-based attitudes and behaviors derived from specific Christian contexts are rarely evaluated. A prerequisite are reliable instruments for measuring the respective outcomes. We therefore performed a cross-sectional study among 418 participants to validate an instrument measuring specific aspects of Franciscan-inspired spirituality (FraSpir), particularly the core dimensions and transformative outcomes. Exploratory factor analysis of this FraSpir questionnaire with 26 items pointed to four main factors (i.e., “Live from Faith/Search for God”; “Peaceful attitude/Respectful Treatment”; “Commitment to Disadvantaged and Creation”; “Attitude of Poverty”). Their internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) ranged from 0.79 to 0.97. With respect to convergent validity, there were sound correlations with engagement in religious practices, gratitude and awe, and prosocial-humanistic practices. The 26-item instrument was found to be a reliable and valid instrument for use in training and education programs. Interestingly, nuns and monks scored significantly higher on the Faith and Poverty subscales than others, but similarly on the two subscales addressing considerate action in the world. These attitudes and behaviors are not exclusively valued by those of religious faith, but by all. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Hindu Students and Their Missionary Teachers: Debating the Relevance of Rebirth in the Colonial Indian Academy
Religions 2017, 8(9), 198; doi:10.3390/rel8090198 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This essay provides a meta-narrative for the philosophical dialogues that took place in colonial India between Scottish missionary philosophers and philosophers of Vedānta on the topic of karma and rebirth. In particular, it offers a reconstruction and analysis of the context and strategy
[...] Read more.
This essay provides a meta-narrative for the philosophical dialogues that took place in colonial India between Scottish missionary philosophers and philosophers of Vedānta on the topic of karma and rebirth. In particular, it offers a reconstruction and analysis of the context and strategy that shaped the content of discussions that were initiated in the pages of the Madras Christian College Magazine in 1909 between Subrahmanya Sastri and AG Hogg and that inspired Radhakrishnan’s response in his dissertation entitled “The Ethics of Vedanta and its Metaphysical Suppositions”. The broad context is provided by a history of missionary presence in India. The context is further circumscribed by the ‘hybrid’ character of the position of the missionaries as teachers in departments of philosophy, teaching students of “upper-caste Hindus” in the English medium universities set up by the British in the late nineteenth century. The hermeneutics of form and context is essential to understanding the content of these debates about the ethics and metaphysics of Christianity and Hinduism, where the meaning and significance of the notion of rebirth took center stage. Importantly, these debates in turn shed light on the broader social and political context in which these debates took place. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Piercing to the Pith of the Body: The Evolution of Body Mandala and Tantric Corporeality in Tibet
Religions 2017, 8(9), 189; doi:10.3390/rel8090189 -
Abstract
Buddhist tantric practitioners embrace the liminal status of the human body to manifest divine identity. In piercing to the pith of human embodiment, the tantric practitioner reconfigures the shape and contours of his/her reality. This article investigates the evolution of one particular technique
[...] Read more.
Buddhist tantric practitioners embrace the liminal status of the human body to manifest divine identity. In piercing to the pith of human embodiment, the tantric practitioner reconfigures the shape and contours of his/her reality. This article investigates the evolution of one particular technique for piercing to the pith of the body on Tibetan soil, a ritual practice known as body mandala [lus dkyil Skt. deha-maṇḍala]. In particular, it uncovers a significant shift of emphasis in the application of the Guhyasamāja body mandala practice initiated by champions of the emerging Gandenpa [Dga’ ldan pa] or Gelukpa [Dge lugs pa] tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Tsongkhapa (1357–1419) and Mkhas grub rje (1385–1438). This article reveals some of the radical implications of ritual exegesis, ranging from the socioreligious aspects of securing prestige for a tradition to the ultimate soteriological goals of modifying the boundaries between life and death and ordinary and enlightened embodiment. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Rethinking Amalek in This 21st Century
Religions 2017, 8(9), 196; doi:10.3390/rel8090196 -
Abstract
Twice in the Hebrew Bible—Exodus 17:14–16 and Deuteronomy 25: 17–19—the ancient Israelites were commanded to “blot out” the memory of Amalek, their enemy for all time (as God intended to do as well). Yet, because these texts are a part of Jewish (and
[...] Read more.
Twice in the Hebrew Bible—Exodus 17:14–16 and Deuteronomy 25: 17–19—the ancient Israelites were commanded to “blot out” the memory of Amalek, their enemy for all time (as God intended to do as well). Yet, because these texts are a part of Jewish (and Christian) religious traditions, annually these passages are read in the synagogue on the appropriate Sabbath occasions in the annual reading cycle, and linked to the Festival of Purim that is based on the Book of Esther. Over the course of Jewish history, Amalek has served as the symbolic enemy of the Jewish people (e.g., Armenians, Nazis, Palestinians); indeed, all of the enemies of the Jews were and are understood to be descendants of the original Amalekites, and thus worthy not only of enmity but of destruction as well (e.g., Haman, Antiochus, Titus, Hadrian, Torquemada, Khmelnitsky, Hitler). Today, many of those in Israel allied with the so-called “settler movement” associated with right-of-center Orthodox Judaism and located among populations primarily of Palestinian Muslims, and Arabs view them as the descendants of Amalek as well, and thus sanction and legitimate their own at times violent actions and behaviors. At its most transparent level, responding to Amalek is a response to antisemitism, both historical and contemporary. This paper examines the history of Amalekut (“Amalek-ness”) within the Jewish (and Christian) religious tradition, the role of memory and forgetting of those survivors and their descendants traumatized by their enemies, the current manner of branding one’s enemies as descendants of Amalek, and whether, in truth, reconciliation is even possible among enemies of long standing. The implications and consequences for all of the divided groups thus becomes an enormous challenge. Practical suggestions are offered at the end as potential models for both present and future work as well. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An 18th Century Jesuit “Refutation of Metempsychosis” in Sanskrit
Religions 2017, 8(9), 192; doi:10.3390/rel8090192 -
Abstract
The Punarjanmākṣepa, a work in Sanskrit from the 17th–18th century Jesuit milieu, aims at refuting the notion of reincarnation as believed by the Hindus in India. It discloses an interesting historical perspective of missionary comprehension and criticism of the belief. This paper
[...] Read more.
The Punarjanmākṣepa, a work in Sanskrit from the 17th–18th century Jesuit milieu, aims at refuting the notion of reincarnation as believed by the Hindus in India. It discloses an interesting historical perspective of missionary comprehension and criticism of the belief. This paper briefly examines the context, purpose and the rhetorical strategies of the work and incidentally situates the subject of reincarnation in the 18th century European intellectual ideologies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Anger toward God(s) Among Undergraduates in India
Religions 2017, 8(9), 194; doi:10.3390/rel8090194 -
Abstract
Many people report occasional feelings of anger toward God. However, most evidence pertains to western, predominantly Christian populations. In this study, Indian university students (N = 139; 78% Hindu) completed a survey about anger toward God(s). Polytheists (45%) chose one god to
[...] Read more.
Many people report occasional feelings of anger toward God. However, most evidence pertains to western, predominantly Christian populations. In this study, Indian university students (N = 139; 78% Hindu) completed a survey about anger toward God(s). Polytheists (45%) chose one god to focus on. Measurement invariance tests supported comparisons of anger toward God between the predominantly Hindu Indian sample and three mostly Christian U.S. undergraduate samples (Ns = 1040, 1811, 918). Indian participants reported more current and situation-specific anger toward God than U.S. participants, but less anger toward God over their lifetimes. In the Indian sample, anger toward God correlated positively with other indicators of religious/spiritual struggle, seeing God as cruel and distant, and seeing anger toward God as morally acceptable. Regarding an event involving suffering, anger toward God related positively to the event’s harmfulness, seeing God as responsible, seeing God’s actions as negative, and responses involving substance use and protest toward God. Generally, these findings replicated those from prior U.S. samples. Polytheists who preferred some gods over others or chose to follow a different god reported greater anger toward gods. Results uphold the comparability of anger toward God(s) between Indian and U.S. undergraduates while beginning to reveal key differences. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Does Religious Involvement Mitigate the Effects of Major Discrimination on the Mental Health of African Americans? Findings from the Nashville Stress and Health Study
Religions 2017, 8(9), 195; doi:10.3390/rel8090195 -
Abstract
Several decades of scholarly research have revealed the significant toll of discrimination experiences on the well-being of African Americans. Given these findings, investigators have become increasingly interested in uncovering any potential resources made available to African Americans for mitigating the psychosocial strains of
[...] Read more.
Several decades of scholarly research have revealed the significant toll of discrimination experiences on the well-being of African Americans. Given these findings, investigators have become increasingly interested in uncovering any potential resources made available to African Americans for mitigating the psychosocial strains of discrimination. The current study contributes to this literature by testing whether various indicators of religious involvement—e.g., church attendance, prayer, and religious social support—buffer the noxious effects of major discrimination experiences on the mental health outcomes (i.e., depression and life satisfaction) of African Americans. We analyze data from the African American subsample (n = 627) of Vanderbilt University’s Nashville Stress and Health Study, a cross-sectional probability sample of adults living in Davidson County, Tennessee between the years 2011 and 2014. Results from multivariate regression models indicated (1) experiences of major discrimination were positively associated with depression and negatively associated with life satisfaction, net of religious and sociodemographic controls; and (2) religious social support offset and buffered the adverse effects of major discrimination on both mental health outcomes, particularly for those respondents who reported seeking support the most often. We discuss the implications and limitations of our study, as well as avenues for future research. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
What Are the “Long Nostrils” of YHWH?
Religions 2017, 8(9), 190; doi:10.3390/rel8090190 -
Abstract
The mention of YHWH’s “nostrils” (ʾapayīm) in the Bible is classically interpreted as a metonymy of the face and/or a metaphor for anger. The reference to their length and even to their elongation, however, rules out any entirely satisfying explanation in
[...] Read more.
The mention of YHWH’s “nostrils” (ʾapayīm) in the Bible is classically interpreted as a metonymy of the face and/or a metaphor for anger. The reference to their length and even to their elongation, however, rules out any entirely satisfying explanation in this semantic context. If this term is construed as a tuyère, as is identified in Dan 10:20, the use of ʾapayīm in Ex 15:8 becomes clear. This interpretation also explains the denotation of patience and loving-kindness as ʾerek ʾapayīm (the so-called “long nostrils” of YHWH) because the air pressure generated by a blast from a tuyère (=its power) decreases proportionally to its length. Accordingly, the liturgical formulae that includes this expression (Ex 34:6; Num 14:18; Joel 2:13; Jon 4:2; Pss 86:15; 103:8; 145:8; Neh 9:17) praise YHWH for the forbearance of voluntarily restraining the power of his reaction to annoying events on earth. This interpretation also clarifies the use of ʾapapayīm in Isa 48:9; Jer 15:15, and Nah 1:3. Furthermore, these last-mentioned instances reveal that beyond their metaphoric meaning, the divine ʾapayīm evoke an essential attribute of YHWH. The significance of these findings is discussed in view of the duality of anthropomorphic and aniconic representations of YHWH in ancient Israel. Full article
Open AccessArticle
From Fitnah to Thaura: The Metamorphosis of the Arab-Muslim Protest Movements
Religions 2017, 8(9), 193; doi:10.3390/rel8090193 -
Abstract
Since 2011, the Arab world has entered a period of political turbulence accompanied by widespread growth of protest activity. The events that were metaphorically called the “Arab Spring” referring to the “Spring of Nations” of 1848, affected virtually all countries of the Middle
[...] Read more.
Since 2011, the Arab world has entered a period of political turbulence accompanied by widespread growth of protest activity. The events that were metaphorically called the “Arab Spring” referring to the “Spring of Nations” of 1848, affected virtually all countries of the Middle East and North Africa. In Libya, Syria, and Yemen, antigovernment demonstrations led to almost complete destruction of statehood raising the question of the existence of these political entities in their former borders. Egypt and Tunisia ended up with a change in the ruling regimes that repeated many times. The ruling elites of other Arab countries, having experienced the wrath of the Arab streets to varying degrees, managed to stay in power. The “Arab Spring” events should be more adequately viewed in the framework of “fitnah”, a form of protest traditional in the Arab-Muslim political culture. Indeed, since the emergence of Islam, fitnah was one of the most common forms of protest activity in the Middle East. However, in the last two centuries, it was replaced by “thaura” or the “revolution,” much more common in the European mentality. While the term "fitnah" has mainly negative connotations, “thaura” has been praised in every possible way and even became the basis for commemorative practices. This paper makes an attempt to compare these two forms of protest in the Muslim world. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Prayer, Meditation, and Anxiety: Durkheim Revisited
Religions 2017, 8(9), 191; doi:10.3390/rel8090191 -
Abstract
Durkheim argued that religion’s emphasis on the supernatural combined with its unique ability to foster strong collective bonds lent it power to confer distinctive social benefits. Subsequent research has confirmed these propositions with respect to religion and mental health. At the same time,
[...] Read more.
Durkheim argued that religion’s emphasis on the supernatural combined with its unique ability to foster strong collective bonds lent it power to confer distinctive social benefits. Subsequent research has confirmed these propositions with respect to religion and mental health. At the same time, meditation has been linked to mental health benefits in intervention-based studies. Our investigation offers a unique test of two comparable inhibitors of anxiety-related symptoms in the general population, namely, prayer versus meditation. Using data from the 2010 wave of the Baylor Religion Survey, we find that frequent communal prayer is correlated with an increased incidence of anxiety-related symptoms whereas worship service attendance is negatively associated with reported anxiety. Attendance also combines with communal prayer to yield anxiety-reducing benefits. Meditation, measured as a dichotomous indicator, is unrelated to reported anxiety in our sample of American adults. Our study underscores the selective efficacy of collective forms of religious expression, and points to several promising directions for future research. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Religiosity and Relationship Quality of Dating Relationships: Examining Relationship Religiosity as a Mediator
Religions 2017, 8(9), 187; doi:10.3390/rel8090187 -
Abstract
Individual and romantic partner religiosity are positively associated with marital quality. However, many studies focus on married couples, rather than examining dating relationships, and rely on single-item measures of religiosity. More importantly, few studies have examined the importance of relationship religiosity in the
[...] Read more.
Individual and romantic partner religiosity are positively associated with marital quality. However, many studies focus on married couples, rather than examining dating relationships, and rely on single-item measures of religiosity. More importantly, few studies have examined the importance of relationship religiosity in the context of dating, despite the theoretical importance of this construct. Relationship religiosity is defined as participating in and discussing religiosity and spirituality with a current romantic partner. The goal of this study is to test relationship religiosity as a mediator between individual and partner religiosity for relationship quality of dating relationships using stringent measures of centrality of religiosity. Data for this study comes from 119 participants who were in dating relationships (74.8% female; mean age: 23.2 years). Participants completed a survey regarding their religiosity, their partners’ religiosity, the religiosity of their relationships, and the quality of their dating relationships. Mediation analyses via linear regression showed that relationship religiosity fully mediated the relationship between individual religiosity and relationship satisfaction and fully mediated the relationship between partner religiosity and relationship satisfaction. However, relationship religiosity was not associated with commitment. Results from the study emphasize the importance of dyadic religious activities for dating couples. Further implications will be discussed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Why Disability Studies Needs to Take Religion Seriously
Religions 2017, 8(9), 186; doi:10.3390/rel8090186 -
Abstract
Religion and theology are central ways that many people make sense of the world and their own place in that world. But the insights of critical studies of religion, or what is sometimes positioned as religious studies as opposed to theology, are scarce
[...] Read more.
Religion and theology are central ways that many people make sense of the world and their own place in that world. But the insights of critical studies of religion, or what is sometimes positioned as religious studies as opposed to theology, are scarce in disability literature. This article suggests some of the costs of this oversight and some of the benefits of including religion. First, this article discusses how some past scholarly engagements of disability and religion have misrepresented and denigrated Judaism. Second, it argues that Judaism paints different disabilities in quite different ways, and that we cannot coherently talk about “disability in Judaism” as if it is a single thing. Third, it discusses the medical model and the social model, and shows how one Jewish woman’s writing on pain complicates how we might think about these models. In this way, the article shows how religious studies can both help remedy past mistakes and bring new insights to disability studies. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Magicians, Sorcerers and Witches: Considering Pretantric, Non-sectarian Sources of Tantric Practices
Religions 2017, 8(9), 188; doi:10.3390/rel8090188 -
Abstract
Most models on the origins of tantrism have been either inattentive to or dismissive of non-literate, non-sectarian ritual systems. Groups of magicians, sorcerers or witches operated in India since before the advent of tantrism and continued to perform ritual, entertainment and curative functions
[...] Read more.
Most models on the origins of tantrism have been either inattentive to or dismissive of non-literate, non-sectarian ritual systems. Groups of magicians, sorcerers or witches operated in India since before the advent of tantrism and continued to perform ritual, entertainment and curative functions down to the present. There is no evidence that they were tantric in any significant way, and it is not clear that they were concerned with any of the liberation ideologies that are a hallmark of the sectarian systems, even while they had their own separate identities and specific divinities. This paper provides evidence for the durability of these systems and their continuation as sources for some of the ritual and nomenclature of the sectarian tantric traditions, including the predisposition to ritual creativity and bricolage. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Dieter Schnebel: Spiritual Music Today
Religions 2017, 8(9), 185; doi:10.3390/rel8090185 -
Abstract
This article presents an annotated English translation of the composer-theologian Dieter Schnebel’s seminal essay exploring music’s spiritual capacities. Speaking explicitly from his time and place, Schnebel considers compositional questions arising from the most advanced new music of European modernism. The approach is driven
[...] Read more.
This article presents an annotated English translation of the composer-theologian Dieter Schnebel’s seminal essay exploring music’s spiritual capacities. Speaking explicitly from his time and place, Schnebel considers compositional questions arising from the most advanced new music of European modernism. The approach is driven by insights derived from Marxist critical theory and the “new theology” associated with Bonhoeffer, Bultmann, and others. Acknowledging the secularized, religionless society Bonhoeffer had predicted in 1944, Schnebel argues that an authentic geistliche Musik has always been one driven by a secularizing dynamic, pressing beyond the walls of the church to engage a broken world of injustice and suffering. For him, the experimental avant-garde is fertile ground, since a music of the Spirit is a new, non-conformist music engaged in renewal. A translator’s introduction analyzes briefly the major components of Schnebel’s thought. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Music’s Role in Facilitating the Process of Healing—A Thematic Analysis
Religions 2017, 8(9), 184; doi:10.3390/rel8090184 -
Abstract
This qualitative study aims to understand the factors motivating Korean migrants’ participation in weekly Charismatic Prayer Meetings in a Catholic Church. As music plays a crucial role in these meetings, the paper explores whether active engagement with music motivated the long-term commitment of
[...] Read more.
This qualitative study aims to understand the factors motivating Korean migrants’ participation in weekly Charismatic Prayer Meetings in a Catholic Church. As music plays a crucial role in these meetings, the paper explores whether active engagement with music motivated the long-term commitment of participants to the meetings. The research is based on a thematic analysis of a focus group comprising six Korean adults living in Australia. Results show that music performed in religious forms such as Praise and Worship and Speaking/Singing in Tongues prayers was found to intensify spiritual experiences of the people as a group, and over time, each participant experienced improved physical and mental wellbeing, which in turn motivated further investment in the meetings. It was evident that the passionate group music-making enabled participants to focus on conscious and subconscious body, mind, and spirit, eliciting transpersonal experiences within each person. The findings of the current study are deemed relevant to this specific cohort and to others in similar contexts, where minority groups use worship and music for socio-cultural inclusion that addresses both spiritual and mental health issues. Though a small-scale study, the current paper provides a rationale for these religious groups to be involved in music-based spiritual practice. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“A Religious Recognition of Equality”: Liberal Spirituality and the Marriage Question in America, 1835–1850
Religions 2017, 8(9), 183; doi:10.3390/rel8090183 -
Abstract
Studying texts by Lydia Maria Child, Sarah Grimke, and Margaret Fuller, this article seeks to recover the early phases of a dialogue that moved marriage away from an institution grounded in ideas of unification and toward a concept of marriage grounded in liberal
[...] Read more.
Studying texts by Lydia Maria Child, Sarah Grimke, and Margaret Fuller, this article seeks to recover the early phases of a dialogue that moved marriage away from an institution grounded in ideas of unification and toward a concept of marriage grounded in liberal ideas about equality. It seeks to situate the “marriage question” within both the rhetoric of American antebellum reform and of liberal religious thought. Rather than concluding that these early texts facilitated a movement toward a contractarian ideal of marriage this article concludes that Child, Grimke, and Fuller, sought to discredit unification as an organizing idea for marriage and replace it with a definition that placed a spiritual commitment to equality between the partners as the animating core of the idea of marriage. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
How to Constitute a Field of Merit: Structure and Flexibility in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery’s Curriculum
Religions 2017, 8(9), 174; doi:10.3390/rel8090174 -
Abstract
The written curriculum of Tibet’s prestigious Mindrölling monastery, composed in 1689, marries a firm pedagogical structure with flexibility for individual students. This reflects the monastery’s balance of institutional priorities, shaped by its religious, cultural, and political climate. The curriculum’s author was Terdak Lingpa,
[...] Read more.
The written curriculum of Tibet’s prestigious Mindrölling monastery, composed in 1689, marries a firm pedagogical structure with flexibility for individual students. This reflects the monastery’s balance of institutional priorities, shaped by its religious, cultural, and political climate. The curriculum’s author was Terdak Lingpa, a charismatic visionary and systematizer of the “Ancient” or Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism who forged alliances with the Fifth Dalai Lama’s government in Lhasa starting in the seventeenth century. As part of Mindrölling’s formal constitutional document, the curriculum commits students and teachers to a distinctive approach to Buddhist training and helps to constitute the monastery and its members as a Buddhist “field of merit.” As such, Mindrölling is presented as a worthy recipient of support and protection from patrons and of respect from the community. The curriculum reflects a variety of overarching priorities for a relatively diverse student body over time and therefore calls for individual flexibility within a reliable and sustainable institutional structure. In this way, the curriculum demonstrates Mindrölling’s identity as a bridge between the potentially competing values of the Tibetan Buddhist schools of the author’s day. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to “Cognitive Science and the Study of Yoga and Tantra”
Religions 2017, 8(9), 181; doi:10.3390/rel8090181 -
Abstract
The range of disciplines known as the Cognitive Science of Religions (CSR), which has emerged in recent decades, embraces many areas and specializations within the Academy, including cognitive science, linguistics, neuroscience, and religious studies.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Dazzling Displays and Hidden Departures: Bodhisattva Pedagogy as Performance in the Biographies of Two Twentieth Century Tibetan Buddhist Masters
Religions 2017, 8(9), 173; doi:10.3390/rel8090173 -
Abstract
This article, part of a special issue on pedagogy and performance in Tibetan Buddhism, explores two closely-related yet apparently opposite Tibetan repertoires of virtuoso Buddhist mastery as sites of performative pedagogy. One of these modes of Buddhist mastery is connected with the ideal
[...] Read more.
This article, part of a special issue on pedagogy and performance in Tibetan Buddhism, explores two closely-related yet apparently opposite Tibetan repertoires of virtuoso Buddhist mastery as sites of performative pedagogy. One of these modes of Buddhist mastery is connected with the ideal virtuoso figure of the yogic siddha, or druptop (Tib. grub thob), and with remarkable manifestations of yogic prowess (what are sometimes called yogic “miracles” in English). The other mode is connected with the ideal of renunciation, and the Tibetan Buddhist virtuoso figure of the renunciant hermit-wanderer, or chatralwa (Tib. bya bral ba). In Indic and Tibetan literature, both of these repertoires of Buddhist mastery are classically associated with a bodhisattva’s teaching activity in the world, and with a bodhisattva’s use of many kinds of skillful means (Skt. upāya; Tib. thabs) to develop individuals on the Buddhist path. (A bodhisattva, in Mahayana Buddhist terms, is someone who has vowed to achieve Buddhahood to benefit others.) I explore how these related modes of virtuoso pedagogical performance emerge in oral and textual life stories of two notable twentieth-century Tibetan masters. These modes of virtuoso Buddhist pedagogy and Tibetan ways of talking about them challenge our understandings of what it means to “perform” and what it means to “renounce,” with renunciation emerging as a guarantor of the genuineness of someone’s altruism. Full article
Open AccessArticle
To Never See Death: Yeats, Reincarnation, and Resolving the Antinomies of the Body-Soul Dilemma
Religions 2017, 8(9), 182; doi:10.3390/rel8090182 -
Abstract
This essay addresses the ideas and schemas of reincarnation as used in the poetry and prose of William Butler Yeats, with particular focus on the two editions of A Vision. It contrasts the metaphysical system as given in A Vision (1937) with
[...] Read more.
This essay addresses the ideas and schemas of reincarnation as used in the poetry and prose of William Butler Yeats, with particular focus on the two editions of A Vision. It contrasts the metaphysical system as given in A Vision (1937) with a number of inconsistencies found in Yeats’s poetic corpus, with an emphasis on how one might interpolate an escape from the cycle of lives, in at least one possibility while still maintaining corporality. The justification for this last comes from an analysis of complex cabalistic metaphors and teachings that Yeats learned as a member of MacGregor Mathers’ Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Full article
Figures

Figure 1