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Religions, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Despite a growth in organized violence with Shia–Sunni dimensions over the last two decades, only [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Edward A. Pace: First-Generation Psychologist, Twenty-First Century Role Model
Religions 2019, 10(10), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100590 - 21 Oct 2019
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Abstract
In 1891, Edward A. Pace, a Catholic priest and first-generation psychologist, commenced a career at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Amidst the daunting challenges in being a professor and researcher, particularly at a newly established university, he thrust himself into [...] Read more.
In 1891, Edward A. Pace, a Catholic priest and first-generation psychologist, commenced a career at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Amidst the daunting challenges in being a professor and researcher, particularly at a newly established university, he thrust himself into a third role, apologist. Habits related to the Monsignor’s three roles have contemporary relevance for psychologically-trained Protestants; in this case study, we examine four notable practices. Dr. Pace modeled an appetence for wisdom in multiple disciplines, a keen awareness of rival worldviews, intentional ripostes to Catholic critics of scientific psychology, and last, unrelenting steadfastness to the Christian faith. To characterize the priest-psychologist, we present a brief biographical sketch and an overview of influential historical movements in the zeitgeist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries affecting his life. In addition, the aforementioned habits of Pace and applications for Protestants engaging in psychology in the 21st century are delineated. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Religion and Innovation in Europe: Implications for Product Life-Cycle Management
Religions 2019, 10(10), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100589 - 21 Oct 2019
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the relationship between religion and innovation in Europe. To the best knowledge of the authors, no paper has been published about the association of religion with innovation and innovative products and services, at an individual level, for all the countries [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the relationship between religion and innovation in Europe. To the best knowledge of the authors, no paper has been published about the association of religion with innovation and innovative products and services, at an individual level, for all the countries that belong to the European Union. This is the main goal of our paper. The results show that the orientation of innovativeness depends on religion. This study contains a segmentation of the main religions in Europe, taking into account their innovative profile. Connecting the characteristics of the religious segments found and the innovations life-cycle concept, companies have a tool to manage different innovations’ evolutive stages taking into consideration the religion of their customers. The European policy-makers, still dominated by a traditional innovation approach, gain a demand-side perspective to improve citizen’s innovativeness awareness and acceptance. Finally, religiosity does not seem to have a very strong relationship with attitudes towards innovation once we control for religious affiliation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gender and Superstition in Modern Chinese Literature
Religions 2019, 10(10), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100588 - 21 Oct 2019
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Abstract
This article offers a new perspective on the study of the discourse on superstition (mixin) in modern China. Drawing upon recent work on the import of the concept “superstition” to the colonial world during the 19th century, the article intervenes in [...] Read more.
This article offers a new perspective on the study of the discourse on superstition (mixin) in modern China. Drawing upon recent work on the import of the concept “superstition” to the colonial world during the 19th century, the article intervenes in the current study of the circulation of discursive constructs in area studies. This intervention is done in two ways: first, I identify how in the modern era missionaries and Western empires collaborated in linking anti-superstition thought to discourses on women’s liberation. Couched in promises of civilizational progress to cultures who free their women from backward superstitions, this historical connection between empire, gender and modern knowledge urges us to reorient our understanding of superstition merely as the ultimate other of “religion” or “science.” Second, in order to explore the nuances of the connection between gender and superstition, I turn to an archive that is currently understudied in the research on superstition in China. I propose that we mine modern Chinese literature by using literary methods. I demonstrate this proposal by reading China’s first feminist manifesto, The Women’s Bell by Jin Tianhe and the short story Medicine by Lu Xun. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Chinese Literature)
Open AccessArticle
Shifting Religious Identities and Sharia in Othello
Religions 2019, 10(10), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100587 - 20 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Despite twenty-first century research advances regarding the role of Islam in Shakespeare’s plays, questions remain concerning the extent of William Shakespeare’s knowledge of Muslim culture and his use of that knowledge in writing Othello. I suggest that the playwright had access to [...] Read more.
Despite twenty-first century research advances regarding the role of Islam in Shakespeare’s plays, questions remain concerning the extent of William Shakespeare’s knowledge of Muslim culture and his use of that knowledge in writing Othello. I suggest that the playwright had access to numerous sources that informed his depiction of Othello as a man divided between Christian faith and Islamic duty, a division which resulted in the Moor’s destruction. Sharia, a code of moral and legal conduct for Muslims based on the Qur’an’s teachings, appears to be a guiding force in Othello’s ultimate quest for honor. The advance of the Ottoman Empire into Europe with the threat of conquest and forced conversion to Islam was a source of fascination and fear to Elizabethan audiences. Yet, as knowledge increased, so did tolerance to a certain degree. But the defining line between Christian and Muslim remained a firm one that could not be breached without risking the loss of personal identity and spiritual sanctity. Denizens of the Middle East and followers of the Islamic faith, as well as travel encounters between eastern and western cultures, influenced Shakespeare’s treatment of this theme. His play Othello is possibly the only drama of this time period to feature a Moor protagonist who wavers between Christian and Muslim beliefs. To better understand the impetus for Othello’s murder of his wife, the influence of Islamic culture is considered, and in particular, the system of Sharia that governs social, political, and religious conventions of Muslim life, as well as Othello’s conflicting loyalties between Islam as the religion of his youth, and Christianity, the faith to which he had been converted. From Act I celebrating his marriage through Act V recording his death, Othello is overshadowed by fears of who he really is—uncertainty bred of his conversion to Christian faith and his potential to revert to Islamic duty. Without indicating Sharia directly, Shakespeare hints at its subtle influence as Othello struggles between two faiths and two theologies. In killing Desdemona and orchestrating Michael Cassio’s death in response to their alleged adultery, Othello obeys the Old Testament injunction for personal sanctification. But in reverting to Muslim beliefs, he attempts to follow potential Sharia influence to reclaim personal and societal honor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions in Shakespeare's Writings)
Open AccessArticle
Can Religiosity Be Explained by ‘Brain Wiring’? An Analysis of US Adults’ Opinions
Religions 2019, 10(10), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100586 - 19 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Studies examining how religion shapes individuals’ attitudes about science have focused heavily on a narrow range of topics, such as evolution. This study expands this literature by looking at how religion influences individuals’ attitudes towards the claim that neuroscience, or “brain wiring,” can [...] Read more.
Studies examining how religion shapes individuals’ attitudes about science have focused heavily on a narrow range of topics, such as evolution. This study expands this literature by looking at how religion influences individuals’ attitudes towards the claim that neuroscience, or “brain wiring,” can explain differences in religiosity. Our analysis of nationally representative survey data shows, perhaps unsurprisingly, that religiosity is negatively associated with thinking that brain wiring can explain religion. Net of religiosity, though, individuals reporting religious experiences are actually more likely to agree that brain wiring can explain religiosity, as are individuals belonging to diverse religious traditions when compared to the unaffiliated. We also find that belief in the general explanatory power of science is a significant predictor of thinking that religiosity can be explained by brain wiring, while women and the more highly educated are less likely to think this is true. Taken together, these findings have implications for our understanding of the relationship between religion and science, and the extent to which neuroscientific explanations of religiosity are embraced by the general US public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroscience and Religion)
Open AccessArticle
A Preliminary Controlled Vocabulary for the Description of Hagiographic Texts
Religions 2019, 10(10), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100585 - 18 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 109
Abstract
As a genre defined by its content rather than by its form, the extreme diversity of the kinds of texts that can be considered “hagiographic” often proves an impediment to the progress of comparative hagiology. This essay offers some suggestions for the creation [...] Read more.
As a genre defined by its content rather than by its form, the extreme diversity of the kinds of texts that can be considered “hagiographic” often proves an impediment to the progress of comparative hagiology. This essay offers some suggestions for the creation of a controlled vocabulary for the formal description of hagiographic texts, demonstrating how having a more highly developed shared language at our disposal will facilitate both the systematic analysis and the comparative discussion of hagiography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Theory and Method)
Open AccessArticle
A Process Theology of Hope: The Counter Apocalyptic Vision of Catherine Keller
Religions 2019, 10(10), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100584 - 18 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Christianity continues to decline in the traditional west, yet is at the same time experiencing significant growth in the majority world. Research indicates that by 2060 the portion of those who identify as non-religious will decline significantly across the globe. Christianity in the [...] Read more.
Christianity continues to decline in the traditional west, yet is at the same time experiencing significant growth in the majority world. Research indicates that by 2060 the portion of those who identify as non-religious will decline significantly across the globe. Christianity in the future will largely be dominated by an apocalyptic eschatology that has the potential to disengage Christians from our current planetary crisis. Catherine Keller has developed a counter-apocalyptic vision that challenges traditional eschatology in its potential to disconnect faith from the planet’s most urgent challenges. Keller attacks a key facet of apocalyptic eschatology that enshrines an omnipotent deity. Her approach is evaluated within the broader process-relational theology from which she has emerged, particularly that influenced by Whitehead. It is argued that her eschatological alternative is best placed to offer a vision that enables Christians to take the earth seriously, to generate a chastened and realistic hope, grounded in a process relational ontology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hope in Dark Times)
Open AccessArticle
Constructing the Problem of Religious Freedom: An Analysis of Australian Government Inquiries into Religious Freedom
Religions 2019, 10(10), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100583 - 18 Oct 2019
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Australia is the only western democracy without a comprehensive human rights instrument and has only limited protection for religious freedom in its constitution. It was Australia’s growing religious diversity—the result of robust political support for multiculturalism and pro-immigration policies in the post-war period—that [...] Read more.
Australia is the only western democracy without a comprehensive human rights instrument and has only limited protection for religious freedom in its constitution. It was Australia’s growing religious diversity—the result of robust political support for multiculturalism and pro-immigration policies in the post-war period—that led to the first public inquiry into religious freedom by an Australian statutory body in 1984. Responding to evidence of discrimination against Indigenous Australians and minority religious groups, the report detailed the need for stronger legal protections. By 2019, Australia’s religious freedom ‘problem’ was focused almost solely on the extent to which religious organizations should be allowed to discriminate against LGBTIQ people. Using the What’s the Problem Represented To Be? approach to policy analysis, this paper explores the changing representation of the ‘problem’ of religious freedom by examining all public, parliamentary and statutory body reports of inquiries into religious freedom from 1984 to 2019. In their framing of the problem of religious freedom, these reports have contributed to a discourse of religious freedom which marginalises the needs of both those who suffer discrimination because of their religion and those who suffer discrimination as a result of the religious beliefs of others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion in Australian Public Life: Resurgence, Insurgence, Cooption?)
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Open AccessArticle
Rituals, Spacetime and Family in a “Native” Community of North Shanghai
Religions 2019, 10(10), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100582 - 17 Oct 2019
Viewed by 223
Abstract
China’s dramatic process of urbanization has profound influence on the country’s religious communities, practices and psyche. This article focuses on a village of North Shanghai that has been integrated into urban life through demolition and relocation at the turn of the century. It [...] Read more.
China’s dramatic process of urbanization has profound influence on the country’s religious communities, practices and psyche. This article focuses on a village of North Shanghai that has been integrated into urban life through demolition and relocation at the turn of the century. It follows the evolution of the ritual practices of its former inhabitants until present day. It underlines the fracture that has occurred in the way jia (home/family) was recognized and lived as a focus of ritual activities, and it documents the subsequent enlargement of the ritual sphere that is taking place. The choice of specific temples as privileged places of pilgrimage and ancestral worship is shown to be the result of a combination of factors, relational, geographical, and financial. The study also highlights the fact that the plasticity and inventiveness of the practices observed still testify to the resilience of the “home” concept, whatever the transformation it undergoes, and it links such resilience to the agency of women. By closely following the dynamic of ritual activities in the everyday life of the community under study, the article aims at providing a pragmatic and evolving approach to what “Chinese religion” is becoming in an urban context. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Responses of Korean Buddhism to the Ethos of Contemporary Korea: Three Discourses in the Wake of Modernization. Religions 10 (2019): 6
Religions 2019, 10(10), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100581 - 17 Oct 2019
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Abstract
The authors would like to make the following corrections to the paper (Yun and Park 2019): [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Global Capital, Local Conservation, and Ecological Civilization: The Tiejia Ecology Temple and the Chinese Daoist Association’s Green Agenda
Religions 2019, 10(10), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100580 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 113
Abstract
Since 1995, the Chinese Daoist Association (CDA) has pursued a green agenda through the publication of declarations, statements and an eight year plan. This agenda has been aided in part by its engagement with global environmental discourse as mediated in particular by the [...] Read more.
Since 1995, the Chinese Daoist Association (CDA) has pursued a green agenda through the publication of declarations, statements and an eight year plan. This agenda has been aided in part by its engagement with global environmental discourse as mediated in particular by the Alliance for Religions and Conservation (ARC). Through its collaboration with ARC and a Dutch businessman, Allerd Stikker, the CDA built its first “ecology temple” in Shaanxi Province and convened its first ecological conference there. Analysis of these declarations and activities reveals an increasing globalization and juridification of environmental discourse in Chinese Daoist temples. In this way the issue of ecology presents further opportunities for the CDA, and by extension the Communist Party of China (CPC), to enhance their supervision of local religious activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Beyond Narcissism: Towards an Analysis of the Public, Political and Collective Forms of Contemporary Spirituality
Religions 2019, 10(10), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100579 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 140
Abstract
Holistic spirituality has often been characterized by academic literature as belonging to the private sphere, articulated through the market and anchored in the growth of narcissistic individualism. However, recent empirical evidence and theoretical developments suggest a more complex picture. Drawing on the analysis [...] Read more.
Holistic spirituality has often been characterized by academic literature as belonging to the private sphere, articulated through the market and anchored in the growth of narcissistic individualism. However, recent empirical evidence and theoretical developments suggest a more complex picture. Drawing on the analysis and comparison of two empirical cases—the organization of collective meditations in public spaces and the teaching of yoga in prisons by holistic volunteers —we explore the rise of social engagement initiatives, aiming to transform society through the promotion and use of holistic techniques. Our main conclusions revolve around four main issues (a) the move of holistic spirituality from the private to the public sphere and the increasing public resonance with (and acceptance of) the contemporary holistic milieu, (b) the emergence of an holistic imaginary of social change anchored in ethics of reciprocity and responsibility, (c) the role of the body as a central locus of resistance and social transformation and (d) the articulation of new forms of individualism that enable to make self-realization compatible with social and political commitment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided World)
Open AccessArticle
Kosovo Crucified—Narratives in the Contemporary Serbian Orthodox Perception of Kosovo
Religions 2019, 10(10), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100578 - 16 Oct 2019
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Abstract
In contemporary Serbian Orthodox texts, Kosovo is often referred to as the Serbian “Jerusalem”: a city calling for a Christian defense. All Serbs are bound to heed the call in keeping with the Kosovo “covenant” or “pledge” dating back to the Battle of [...] Read more.
In contemporary Serbian Orthodox texts, Kosovo is often referred to as the Serbian “Jerusalem”: a city calling for a Christian defense. All Serbs are bound to heed the call in keeping with the Kosovo “covenant” or “pledge” dating back to the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389, when Serbian troops, led by Prince Lazar, were defeated by the invading Muslim Ottoman army. The battle and Kosovo in general have since then assumed a central symbolic role in Serbian nationalism and the Serbian Orthodox Church. Furthermore, it has been claimed that the imagery and narratives of Kosovo were the ideological backdrop for the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s. This article investigates the development of the Serbian narratives and imagery pertaining to Kosovo and their modern form in the Serbian Orthodox Church in order to trace what type of imagery is dominant. The main focus will be on whether and to what extent the narratives of Christian defense and holy Serbian warriors fighting in the name of Christ are dominant. This investigation seeks to discuss whether the Kosovo imagery and narratives are formed upon and influenced by a broader Christian European antemurale myth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the Crusades)
Open AccessArticle
Saints across Traditions and Time Periods: Methods for Increasing Range and Reading in Comparative Frameworks
Religions 2019, 10(10), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100577 - 16 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 116
Abstract
This paper offers a nascent attempt at best practices for the comparative method in a conference setting. Exploring the value in transcendence of traditions and specialization, it traces the preparation and outcome of a recent comparative hagiology panel and develops a list of [...] Read more.
This paper offers a nascent attempt at best practices for the comparative method in a conference setting. Exploring the value in transcendence of traditions and specialization, it traces the preparation and outcome of a recent comparative hagiology panel and develops a list of possible steps for facilitating meaningful interchange between scholars. Building on Freiberger’s methodology for Comparative Religions, it applies a method specifically to hagiographical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Theory and Method)
Open AccessArticle
Notes on the Nature of Beliefs in Witchcraft: Folklore and Classical Culture in Fifteenth Century Mendicant Traditions
Religions 2019, 10(10), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100576 - 15 Oct 2019
Viewed by 170
Abstract
Witchcraft is a varied historical phenomenon with changing sociocultural aspects according to the times and the places considered. Nonetheless, it is possible to trace the different cultural substrata giving shape to witch-beliefs in order to shed light on their process of amalgamation. The [...] Read more.
Witchcraft is a varied historical phenomenon with changing sociocultural aspects according to the times and the places considered. Nonetheless, it is possible to trace the different cultural substrata giving shape to witch-beliefs in order to shed light on their process of amalgamation. The aim of this study is to show how the folkloric and the Classical literary motives were intertwined in the fifteenth century by figures lauded as the high intellectuals of the time, Franciscan and Dominican preachers and inquisitors, to produce a coherent and multifaceted picture of witchcraft-related beliefs. By putting some of the most significant sources that I have analyzed in my monograph Witchcraft, Superstition, and Observant Franciscan Preachers in relation to others that I have not considered before composed by the same or different authors, my aim is to show how this process of combination of various cultural traditions gave shape to the creation and the understanding of the witchcraft phenomenon. Furthermore, I also intend to highlight how the at times contradictory views concerning witch-beliefs, pointing either to realistic or to skeptical stances, are related to specific declensions of those different traditions on the part of the friars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Witchcraft, Demonology and Magic)
Open AccessArticle
Comparative vs. Hagiology: Two Variant Approaches to the Field
Religions 2019, 10(10), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100575 - 15 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 158
Abstract
There is a basic tension within the idea of Comparative Hagiology, because the two terms that constitute its name are incongruous. To formulate a comparative hagiological project, we must choose at the outset which term will take priority. Prioritizing the comparative in comparative [...] Read more.
There is a basic tension within the idea of Comparative Hagiology, because the two terms that constitute its name are incongruous. To formulate a comparative hagiological project, we must choose at the outset which term will take priority. Prioritizing the comparative in comparative hagiology orients us to focus more on the basic disciplinary approaches to gather compare-able data, leaving hagiology as a placeholder whose content will be defined by the results of the comparison. Prioritizing hagiology requires first defining hagio- and reckoning with the European and Christian baggage that it brings to cross-cultural and inter-religious comparison. Holding that definition in mind, we then locate examples to compare by whatever approach seems fruitful in that case. Different choices of priorities lead to potentially different results. I argue that a path that prioritizes comparative is more likely to inspire experimental and innovative groupings, unconventional definitions of hagiology, and new perspectives in the cross-cultural study of religion. An approach that prioritizes hagiology runs a greater risk of repeating the same provincial and conceptual biases that doomed much of 20th-century comparative religion scholarship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Theory and Method)
Open AccessArticle
The Cult of Old Believers’ Domestic Icons and the Beginning of Old Belief in Russia in the 17th-18th Centuries
Religions 2019, 10(10), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100574 - 14 Oct 2019
Viewed by 181
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to present the cult of icons in the Old Believer communities from the perspective of private devotion. For the Old Believers, from the beginning of the movement, in the middle of the 17th century, icons were at [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to present the cult of icons in the Old Believer communities from the perspective of private devotion. For the Old Believers, from the beginning of the movement, in the middle of the 17th century, icons were at the center of their religious life. They were also at the center of religious conflict between Muscovite Patriarch Nikon, who initiated the reforms of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Old Believers and their proponent, archpriest Avvakum Petrov. Some sources and documents from the 16th and 18th centuries make it possible to analyze the reasons for the popularity of small-sized icons among priested (popovtsy) and priestless (bespopovtsy) Old Believers, not only in their private houses but also in their prayer houses (molennas). The article also shows the role of domestic icons from the middle of the 17th century as a material foundation of the identity of the Old Believers movement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Devotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe)
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Open AccessArticle
Structures of Organisation and Loci of Authority in a Glocal Islamic Movement: The Tablighi Jama’at in Britain
Religions 2019, 10(10), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100573 - 14 Oct 2019
Viewed by 259
Abstract
The Tablighi Jama’at (TJ) is widely regarded as the largest grassroots Islamic revival movement in the world, but it remains significantly under-researched. This paper, based on sustained ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2013 and 2015, provides a comprehensive overview of the movement’s organisational structures [...] Read more.
The Tablighi Jama’at (TJ) is widely regarded as the largest grassroots Islamic revival movement in the world, but it remains significantly under-researched. This paper, based on sustained ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2013 and 2015, provides a comprehensive overview of the movement’s organisational structures and loci of authority in Britain. It describes how different levels of the movement interact, from the local and regional to the national and international, to constitute a truly glocal movement. TJ’s European headquarters, located in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, is identified as a centralised hub that for several decades has co-ordinated the movement’s activities in the West through the devoted leadership of Hafiz Muhammad Patel (1926–2016) and ongoing contact with the global spiritual centre in Nizamuddin, New Delhi. TJ’s simultaneous links with hundreds of mosques across the country, largely—though not exclusively—of Deobandi orientation, are also described. The functioning of its regional centres of operation in Birmingham, Blackburn, Glasgow, Leicester and London is elaborated with reference to key weekly meetings convened on-site and the “routing” of numerous TJ groups to various British mosques each weekend. Although TJ’s leadership has recently become embroiled in schism, the paper argues for the successful establishment of a robust institutional infrastructure in Britain which has facilitated the movement’s transmission to a generation of British-born activists. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Search of Sylhet—The Fultoli Tradition in Britain
Religions 2019, 10(10), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100572 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 649
Abstract
This article presents a case study of the Fultoli tradition, an expression of Islam dominant amongst Bangladeshi migrants to the UK, but which in general terms has failed to communicate itself to British-born Muslims. It is also a denominational identity that has been [...] Read more.
This article presents a case study of the Fultoli tradition, an expression of Islam dominant amongst Bangladeshi migrants to the UK, but which in general terms has failed to communicate itself to British-born Muslims. It is also a denominational identity that has been overlooked in academic literature on British Muslims, and regularly mischaracterized. To correct this, the article presents an overview of Fultolir Sahib, the late founder of the tradition, and the theological distinctiveness of his teachings, before considering its movement to Britain. A varied methodological approach is adopted in order to explore the topic, combining a textual exploration of Fultoli sources with qualitative interviews with members of the Fultoli tradition, and also autoethnography drawing upon the authors’ (who were both raised by Fultoli parents) experience of the tradition. The article argues that Fultolir Sahib’s authority is constructed in an idiom that is inaccessible to British-born Muslims and that Fultoli institutions have failed to create leaders capable of preserving the tradition. It concludes that despite the diminishing numbers of Fultolis in Britain, it is still important for academics to recognize their unique role in the landscape of Muslim denominational diversity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Mistaken Identities: The Media and Parental Ethno-Religious Socialization in a Midwestern Sikh Community
Religions 2019, 10(10), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100571 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 120
Abstract
Strong anti-Islamic sentiments increased dramatically after the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, leading to an uptick in prejudice and the perpetration of hate crimes targeting Muslims. Sikh men and boys, often mistaken for Muslims, suffered as collateral damage. The overall health [...] Read more.
Strong anti-Islamic sentiments increased dramatically after the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, leading to an uptick in prejudice and the perpetration of hate crimes targeting Muslims. Sikh men and boys, often mistaken for Muslims, suffered as collateral damage. The overall health of both communities has been adversely affected by these experiences. Faced with such realities, communities and parents often adopt adaptive behaviors to foster healthy development in their children. In this paper, drawing on interviews with 23 Sikh parents from 12 families, we examine Sikh parents’ ethno-religious socialization of their children. The confluence of media stereotyping and mistaken identities has shaped Sikh parents’ beliefs regarding their children’s retention/relinquishment of outward identity markers. Sikh parents, in general, are concerned about the safety of their boys, due to the distinctive appearance of their religious markers, such as the turban. They are engaged in a constant struggle to ensure that their children are not identified as Muslims and to protect them from potential harm. In most of the families in our study, boys were raised to give up wearing the indicators of their ethno-religious group. In addition, many parents took responsibility for educating the wider community about their ethno-religious practices through direct communication, participation in cultural events, and support of other ethno-religious minorities. Policy implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Perspectives on Religion and Positive Youth Development)
Open AccessArticle
Fatwas on Boosting Environmental Conservation in Indonesia
Religions 2019, 10(10), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100570 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 245
Abstract
Concern about the importance of getting Muslims involved in the movement for a better environment in Indonesia has existed since the 1980s, since the involvement of the Islamic boarding school leaders in triggering their community and the involvement of NGOs in empowering the [...] Read more.
Concern about the importance of getting Muslims involved in the movement for a better environment in Indonesia has existed since the 1980s, since the involvement of the Islamic boarding school leaders in triggering their community and the involvement of NGOs in empowering the community, particularly in environmental and agricultural restoration. After the Bogor Declaration on Muslim Action on Climate Change 2010, in 2011, The Indonesia Council of Ulama (MUI) established the Institute for Environmental and Natural Resources (PLHSDA) in the MUI’s Clerical Conference. The role of this unit within the MUI is very important because the MUI has a special unit in tackling various important issues in the environment, where Muslims can find authoritative answers to environmental challenges. So far, there have been seven MUI fatāwa (edicts) released by MUI related to the environment and the conservation movement. This paper will highlight environmental movements by the Muslim community in Indonesia, and describe how the implementation of the MUI fatāwa can contribute to addressing the massive increase in environmental challenges and increase the involvement and understanding of the Muslim communities in tackling biodiversity conservation as well as climate change. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Dialogue and Destabilization: An Index for Comparative Global Exemplarity
Religions 2019, 10(10), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100569 - 12 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 119
Abstract
This reflection derives from a discussion that took place at the 2018 “Comparative Hagiology” pre-conference workshop of the American Academy of Religion. The goal during that meeting was to articulate points of dialogue for the comparison of exemplary figures in various historic, geographic, [...] Read more.
This reflection derives from a discussion that took place at the 2018 “Comparative Hagiology” pre-conference workshop of the American Academy of Religion. The goal during that meeting was to articulate points of dialogue for the comparison of exemplary figures in various historic, geographic, and faith traditions. Here, I offer an open-ended descriptive index as a heuristic device for beginning a comparative study, whether collaborative or single-authored. After positioning my inquiry from within my own field of study, medieval European Christianity, I offer a brief “test case” for the portability of the index by using its terms to think through a text that is widely-regarded within my subfield as deeply complicated and difficult to interpret, the Life of Christina Mirabilis. I conclude by re-describing some of the terms of the index and by inviting further re-description. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Hagiology: Issues in Theory and Method)
Open AccessArticle
An Orientalist Contribution to “Catholic Science”: The Historiography of Andalusi Mysticism and Philosophy in Julián Ribera and Miguel Asín
Religions 2019, 10(10), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100568 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 142
Abstract
This article provides a historiographical analysis of the principal works on Andalusi mysticism and philosophy in Spain at the turn of the twentieth century. It portrays the intellectual background in which the Arabist scholars Julián Ribera (1858–1934) and Miguel Asín Palacios (1871–1944) developed [...] Read more.
This article provides a historiographical analysis of the principal works on Andalusi mysticism and philosophy in Spain at the turn of the twentieth century. It portrays the intellectual background in which the Arabist scholars Julián Ribera (1858–1934) and Miguel Asín Palacios (1871–1944) developed their studies, and their particular “presentist” concerns, highlighting how their works and publications on this field cannot be detached from contemporary national debates on religious issues. The contribution of these Orientalist scholars was especially relevant to the transnational movement in defense of a Catholic science. The adherents of this movement sought ways of stressing the compatibility of dogma with the findings of unbiased scientific works, against the perceived attack to religious doctrine they sensed coming from positivist science. The Spanish Orientalists would bring to light the importance of Eastern Christian thought in the development of medieval Muslim theology, therefore vindicating the Christian origins of Andalusi philosophical and theological production and rendering it easier for the Catholic Spanish public to come to terms with Orientalist queries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain)
Open AccessArticle
Why Is There So Little Shia–Sunni Dialogue? Understanding the Deficit of Intra-Muslim Dialogue and Interreligious Peacemaking
Religions 2019, 10(10), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100567 - 04 Oct 2019
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Despite a growth in fatalities resulting from organized violence with Shia–Sunni dimensions over the last two decades, in this study, we show, using existing data-bases on interreligious dialogue and peacemaking, that only less than two percent of the interreligious peacemaking organizations in the [...] Read more.
Despite a growth in fatalities resulting from organized violence with Shia–Sunni dimensions over the last two decades, in this study, we show, using existing data-bases on interreligious dialogue and peacemaking, that only less than two percent of the interreligious peacemaking organizations in the world are specialized in dialogue between Shias and Sunnis. Why is there so little institutionalized Shia–Sunni dialogue occurring when the need for such dialogue is evident? This study identifies and discusses this lack of institutional initiatives designed to prevent violence, manage conflicts and facilitate processes of intra-Muslim de-sectarianization. We discuss what we see as the three seemingly most obvious explanations—(1) the dismissal of the relevance of a Shia–Sunni cleavage, (2) the inappropriateness of the interreligious dialogue concept in the Muslim context, and (3) the substitution of institutional interreligious dialogue by other channels. Although we suggest that the third is the most potent explanation to pursue, we do not aim to provide a comprehensive explanation for the Shia–Sunni religious dialogue deficit. Instead, our aspiration is mainly to present and substantiate a puzzle that has not been identified or discussed in previous research. This can set an agenda for a reinvigorated research endeavor into the contemporary challenges for interreligious peacemaking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peace, Politics, and Religion)
Open AccessArticle
“He died as he lived”: Biopolitical Mediatization in the Death of David Goodall
by Sam Han
Religions 2019, 10(10), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100566 - 02 Oct 2019
Viewed by 171
Abstract
This article explores the nexus of biopolitics, mediatization and secularization, drawing out their relationship as it pertains to matters of assisted dying and euthanasia. In particular, it examines the dynamics of the media coverage of a highly-publicized case of euthanasia, namely, that of [...] Read more.
This article explores the nexus of biopolitics, mediatization and secularization, drawing out their relationship as it pertains to matters of assisted dying and euthanasia. In particular, it examines the dynamics of the media coverage of a highly-publicized case of euthanasia, namely, that of scientist David Goodall, based in Perth, Australia, who flew to Switzerland in May 2018 to end his own life at the age of 104. Focusing on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s coverage, the article keys in on the theme of embodiment, discussing it within recent developments in social theory on the “secular body” and pain, suggesting that the mediatization of his death facilitated and structured an “environment” for staging and negotiating issues of biopolitical import. It then contextualizes this analysis within broader discussions on biopolitics and secularity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Mediatisation in Global Perspective)
Open AccessArticle
Popular Religions and Multiple Modernities: A Framework for Understanding Current Religious Transformations
Religions 2019, 10(10), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100565 - 01 Oct 2019
Viewed by 185
Abstract
Popular, ethnic, and folk religions endure in all regions of the planet, but specially in underdeveloped or developing non-Western countries. The main objective of this paper was to propose a framework for understanding this popular religious trend. Although religion in general has previously [...] Read more.
Popular, ethnic, and folk religions endure in all regions of the planet, but specially in underdeveloped or developing non-Western countries. The main objective of this paper was to propose a framework for understanding this popular religious trend. Although religion in general has previously been linked to multiple modernities, the revitalization of popular religions has not. While Eisenstadt’s original theory of multiple modernities has been criticized on several aspects, his interpretative approach is valid provided that the contradictory dynamics of modernizing processes are recognized. The epistemological shift suggested by this article involves recognizing the biases that Western sociology has brought to its analysis of religions. Once we treat modernities as multiple, the specificity of each modernity opens up the spectrum of religious alternatives that flourish in every geo-cultural area. The growing diversity of popular religious expressions in the Global South stems from the fact that they are supported by thousands of believers. Their lived religions spills beyond religious institutions. These popular religiosities are the main sources of religious diversities and religious resistance in the context of multiple modernities. Lived religion and symbolic action allow us a better understanding of the magical-religious expressions of peoples of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Power, and Resistance: New Ideas for a Divided World)
Open AccessArticle
Conflicting Paradigms of Religious and Bureaucratic Authority in a British Mosque
Religions 2019, 10(10), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100564 - 30 Sep 2019
Viewed by 338
Abstract
This article analyses an on-going conflict between two groups (Bargil and Kardal) over the management of a mosque located in an area near London. Based on fourteen months of intensive fieldwork, including participant observation, informal chats and semi-structured interviews, this article offers an [...] Read more.
This article analyses an on-going conflict between two groups (Bargil and Kardal) over the management of a mosque located in an area near London. Based on fourteen months of intensive fieldwork, including participant observation, informal chats and semi-structured interviews, this article offers an in-depth and original account of the transformations taking place in mosques concerning the role of imams and mosque committee members. By analysing the object of conflict, the organisational structure, the dynamic of the groups and its leaders, as well as the process of bureaucratisation of mosques as a material condition, I intend to scrutinise the role and status of the imam and mosque committee members. The primary aim of this article is to re-examine and challenge the narrative of decline in religious authority (in Western mosques) propounded by some scholars as being the result of individualisation and the rise of new religious figures outside traditional institutions. I suggest that rather than experiencing a decline in imams’ religious authority, mosques have become controlled by the bureaucratic authority of the committee members. In other words, imams’ religious authority is still exercised, yet only within the bureaucratic framework set by the committee members. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“Speaking Out Would Be a Step Beyond Just Not Believing”—On the Performativity of Testimony When Moving Out of Islam
Religions 2019, 10(10), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100563 - 30 Sep 2019
Viewed by 249
Abstract
This article investigates the narratives of people moving out of Islam in contemporary Europe. In particular, it focusses on the potential performance of non-belief in the form of speech. By critically examining the function of testimony in conversion and deconversion narratives, this article [...] Read more.
This article investigates the narratives of people moving out of Islam in contemporary Europe. In particular, it focusses on the potential performance of non-belief in the form of speech. By critically examining the function of testimony in conversion and deconversion narratives, this article problematises the assumed boundaries of belief, non-belief, and the function of the performance of identity. It does so by investigating contemplations over private and public performances, since the performance of speech was thought to have different effects in both spheres. Whilst public discourses on leaving Islam and speaking freely were always weighed, in private these were related to familial bonds, love, and belonging. On the other hand, considering speaking out in public was often contextualised with reference to potential secularist appropriation of their stories as ‘native testimonial’. As such, my interlocutors show that testifying of one’s religious transformation in the case of moving out of Islam was neither central nor conditional. Speech was mostly considered a ‘step beyond’ not believing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transformations of Religiosity)
Open AccessArticle
Liberating Discernment: Language, Concreteness, and Naming Divine Activity in History
Religions 2019, 10(10), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100562 - 30 Sep 2019
Viewed by 153
Abstract
One of the revolutionary insights of early liberation theology was that theological discernment is, above all, a concrete undertaking. Yet this insight is accompanied by a persistent conundrum that arises from the way in which naming God’s activity in history is perceived as [...] Read more.
One of the revolutionary insights of early liberation theology was that theological discernment is, above all, a concrete undertaking. Yet this insight is accompanied by a persistent conundrum that arises from the way in which naming God’s activity in history is perceived as collapsing God’s objective distance into contingent affairs. This paper contends that this conundrum results from a constricting account of theological objectivity which is problematically conceived in opposition to concretization and so obstructs an account of liberating discernment. Locating this concern within the (de)colonial history of competing theological readings of the weather, and, in addition, prompted by Alice Crary’s expansion of objectivity in ethical theory, I argue that theological objectivity must not only include but begin with theological languages of the oppressed as its essential point of departure. Recovering the insight of early liberation theologians, this paper contends that theology may speak of God objectively only as it concretely shares in the liberating life and words of the crucified peoples of history. The purpose of this argument is then to envision Christian ethics as language accountable to the apocalyptic activity of the God of the oppressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Christian Ethics)
Open AccessArticle
Online and Offline Religion in China: A Protestant WeChat “Alter-Public” through the Bible Handcopying Movement
Religions 2019, 10(10), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100561 - 29 Sep 2019
Viewed by 192
Abstract
Studies of digital religion frequently take democratic regime settings and developed economic contexts for granted, leaving regime and economic development levels as background factors (Campbell 2013). However, in China, the role of the authoritarian state, restrictions on religion, and rapid social change mean [...] Read more.
Studies of digital religion frequently take democratic regime settings and developed economic contexts for granted, leaving regime and economic development levels as background factors (Campbell 2013). However, in China, the role of the authoritarian state, restrictions on religion, and rapid social change mean that online and offline religious practices will develop in distinct ways. This article analyzes the 2019 Bible handcopying movement promoted through China’s most popular social media WeChat as a way to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the publication of China’s most widely used translation of the Bible. Drawing on interviews by and communication with the movement’s founder, the co-authors participated in and collected postings from a 500-member WeChat group from March to August 2019. We argue that while offline handcopying is an innovation in religious practice due to Chinese cultural and historical traditions, the online group constitutes a micro-scale “alter-public” (Chen 2015; Warner 2002), a site for religious discussion, prayer, and devotion that strengthens an “alternative” Protestant identity alongside that of Chinese citizen of the People’s Republic of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Developments in Christianity in China)
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