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Religions, Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This article focuses on the multi-sensory prayers that certain groups of Hindu women craft in cow [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Sinicizing Religions, Sinicizing Religious Studies
Religions 2019, 10(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020137
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
From 2015 onwards, “sinicizing religions” has become the mantra of China’s religious policy, inspiring new regulations and constraining the functioning of religious organizations. After summarizing the “sinicization” doctrine and policy, this paper examines how Chinese scholars in religious studies position themselves in such [...] Read more.
From 2015 onwards, “sinicizing religions” has become the mantra of China’s religious policy, inspiring new regulations and constraining the functioning of religious organizations. After summarizing the “sinicization” doctrine and policy, this paper examines how Chinese scholars in religious studies position themselves in such a context. It reviews the developments of the field after 1979; it appraises the complex interplay between the scholarly community and policy makers; it examines how scholars in religious studies now respond to the official policy, as they strive to balance descriptive and prescriptive assessments. It shows how the search for ideal-types as well as for ‘sinicized’ typologies and methodologies partly function as an adaptative tactic. The need to answer political imperatives revives older debates on religious forms and functions, and, to some extent, stirs theoretical imagination. However, political constraints make it difficult for scholars to focus on current religious trends, as they find it safer to debate on a somewhat atemporal model of “Chinese religion”. Full article
Open AccessArticle Moon, Rain, Womb, Mercy The Imagery of The Shrine Model from Tell el-Far‛ah North—Biblical Tirzah For Othmar Keel
Religions 2019, 10(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020136
Received: 6 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
The present article focuses on the imagery of the shrine model found at Tell el-Far‛ah North, Biblical Tirzah, seat of the ruling dynasty of the Northern Kingdom in the early days of the Israelite monarchy. It examines the multiplicity of connotations, changeability and [...] Read more.
The present article focuses on the imagery of the shrine model found at Tell el-Far‛ah North, Biblical Tirzah, seat of the ruling dynasty of the Northern Kingdom in the early days of the Israelite monarchy. It examines the multiplicity of connotations, changeability and ambiguity in the representation of the lunar crescent image in the figurative language of the ancient Near East. Finally, the article offers a reconstruction of the model’s place within the cult of the late 10th–early 9th century BCE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeology and Ancient Israelite Religion)
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Open AccessArticle Translation as an Ethical Relationship between Ethics and Politics. An Interpretive Reading of Emmanuel Levinas
Religions 2019, 10(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020135
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
The otherness of the other, considered as foreignness, is deeply intertwined with the problem of translation and with the one of morality. How can the two of them be brought together based on the work of Emmanuel Levinas? The main question which leads [...] Read more.
The otherness of the other, considered as foreignness, is deeply intertwined with the problem of translation and with the one of morality. How can the two of them be brought together based on the work of Emmanuel Levinas? The main question which leads my analysis is the following: does morality limit itself to the relationship with another person or does it concern society in its entirety? In the thought of Levinas, ethics is placed on the side of the dual relationship with the other, while the presence of the third institutes the realm of politics. At first glance, the two dimensions contradict each other, for the first one is characterized by infinity, overabundance, and love, while the second one comports a dimension of finitude, measure, symmetry, and justice. Yet these two domains always exist contemporaneously, each of them needing the limitation brought by its counterpart. How is their relationship to be thought? I will argue that the answer can be found within the domain of translation, understood as an essential asymmetry that is both harmonic and disruptive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Levinas and the Political)
Open AccessArticle “Paltrie Vermin, Cats, Mise, Toads, and Weasils”: Witches, Familiars, and Human-Animal Interactions in the English Witch Trials
Religions 2019, 10(2), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020134
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
This article explores the role played by the relationship between witch and familiar in the early modern witch trials. It positions animal familiars at the intersection of early modern belief in witchcraft and magic, examining demonologies, legal and trial records, and print pamphlets. [...] Read more.
This article explores the role played by the relationship between witch and familiar in the early modern witch trials. It positions animal familiars at the intersection of early modern belief in witchcraft and magic, examining demonologies, legal and trial records, and print pamphlets. Read together, these sources present a compelling account of human-animal interactions during the period of the witch trials, and shed light upon the complex beliefs that created the environment in which the image of the witch and her familiar took root. The animal familiar is positioned and discussed at the intersection of writing in history, anthropology, folklore, gender, engaging with the challenge articulated in this special issue to move away from mono-causal theories and explore connections between witchcraft, magic, and religion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Witchcraft, Demonology and Magic)
Open AccessArticle Christian University Students’ Attitudes to Gender: Constructing Everyday Theologies in a Post-Feminist Climate
Religions 2019, 10(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020133
Received: 3 November 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
This article explores how religion shapes approaches to gender amongst university students in the United Kingdom, focusing on how attitudes about gender interact with their Christian identities. Drawing from 68 semi-structured interviews conducted at five universities, the article identifies three main approaches Christian [...] Read more.
This article explores how religion shapes approaches to gender amongst university students in the United Kingdom, focusing on how attitudes about gender interact with their Christian identities. Drawing from 68 semi-structured interviews conducted at five universities, the article identifies three main approaches Christian students adopt when asked how faith affects their views on gender: the individualized approach, the egalitarian approach and the conservative approach. The article outlines the permutations of these approaches, showing their points of similarity and difference, and argues that feminism, biological essentialism and notions of reasonableness or “cultural common sense” feature in all three, being integral to the gender discourse of “post-feminist” UK society. The article argues that religion functions as a resource in Christian students’ gender attitudes, alongside other resources such as friends or family, and is deployed to justify both egalitarianism and gender conservatism. Christian students are constructing “everyday theologies” that integrate religious resources with other social resources, generating divergent egalitarian and conservative interpretations, mirroring patterns in “post-feminist” UK society more generally. Full article
Open AccessArticle Secrets and Lies: Adolescent Religiosity and Concealing Information from Parents
Religions 2019, 10(2), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020132
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
There is very little research on the relationship between adolescent religiosity and concealing information from parents, although research on religiosity and family life is plentiful. Therefore, I used the second wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion to examine the relationship [...] Read more.
There is very little research on the relationship between adolescent religiosity and concealing information from parents, although research on religiosity and family life is plentiful. Therefore, I used the second wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion to examine the relationship between adolescent religiosity and lying to parents and keeping secrets from parents. The results suggest that adolescents who attend religious services more often are less likely to keep secrets from parents, whereas adolescents who believe that religion is important are both less likely to lie to parents and keep secrets from parents. Being spiritual, but not religious, is not related to lying to parents or keeping secrets from parents. Results also suggest that primarily alcohol use, substance using peers, and morality mediate the effect of adolescent religiosity on lying to parents and keeping secrets from parents. Adolescents who attend religious services often and believe that religion is important are less likely to use alcohol, less likely to have friends that use substances, and are more likely to believe that moral rules should not be broken, which helps to explain why they are less likely to lie to parents and keep secrets from parents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Beyond Atheism and Atheology: The Divine Humanism of Emmanuel Levinas
Religions 2019, 10(2), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020131
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
Is the divine a meaningful and indispensable element of moral responsibility? Emmanuel Levinas’ ethics have brought new expression to the question of God and the Good. Contemporary engagements with Levinas’ provocation, however, have generated a morass of contrary judgments and enigmatic explications, including [...] Read more.
Is the divine a meaningful and indispensable element of moral responsibility? Emmanuel Levinas’ ethics have brought new expression to the question of God and the Good. Contemporary engagements with Levinas’ provocation, however, have generated a morass of contrary judgments and enigmatic explications, including praise and criticism for its atheology, secular transcendence, and crypto-religious conceit. The essay takes issue with secular and atheistic interpretations of Levinas, arguing that his mature ethics offer a philosophical species of divine humanism, one that justifies the indispensable significance of the divine for moral responsibility. It examines the philosophical problems that lead to the creation of new phenomenological descriptions for divine transcendence, and it sheds light on the seemingly erratic scattering of divine names—infinite, third person, trace, immemorial past, absence, beyond being, illeity—as improvisational orchestrations for God at the margins of moral responsibility. Full article
Open AccessEditorial The Sacred and the Digital. Critical Depictions of Religions in Digital Games
Religions 2019, 10(2), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020130
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
In this editorial, guest editor Frank Bosman introduces the theme of the special issue on critical depictions of religion in video games. He does so by giving a tentative oversight of the academic field of religion and video game research up until present [...] Read more.
In this editorial, guest editor Frank Bosman introduces the theme of the special issue on critical depictions of religion in video games. He does so by giving a tentative oversight of the academic field of religion and video game research up until present day, and by presenting different ways in which game developers critically approach (institutionalized, fictional and non-fictional) religions in-game, of which many are discussed by individual authors later in the special issue. In this editorial, Bosman will also introduce all articles of the special issue at hand. Full article
Open AccessArticle A View of Spirituality and Spiritual Care in a Sample of Spanish Nurses
Religions 2019, 10(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020129
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this paper was to explore a select group of Spanish nurses’ views of spirituality and spiritual care. An exploratory design using both qualitative and quantitative methods was used in this study. The participants were nurses who were enrolled in a [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to explore a select group of Spanish nurses’ views of spirituality and spiritual care. An exploratory design using both qualitative and quantitative methods was used in this study. The participants were nurses who were enrolled in a Master of Nursing Research. Data were collected via an open questionnaire. Furthermore, participants completed the Meaning in Life Scale (MiLS-Sp), whose results were analysed using quantitative methodology. The results that were obtained from the quantitative analyses reported a satisfactory mean score on nurses’ self-reported spirituality. Qualitative data were analysed using grounded theory procedures. Qualitative analysis showed two approaches to spirituality nurses’ views: (i) a clinical approach that influenced by the context of their clinical practice and (ii) an alternative approach where spirituality was viewed as a health resource, moving away from the biomedical model of nursing training. Nurses are sensitive to spirituality issues and acknowledge their importance to practice. Despite this, they view spirituality in a rather mechanistic way without changing their attitudes, competences and perspectives on healthcare. Full article
Open AccessArticle We Have Come Back Home: The Spanish-Moroccan Community, Collective Memory, and Sacred Spaces in Contemporary Spain
Religions 2019, 10(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020128
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper examines the role of Islamic sacred spaces in Spanish-Moroccan identity negotiations in contemporary Madrid, Spain. In doing so, I explore how these sacred sites produce diverse meanings and practices that resist the Spanish states hegemonic narratives of place. I argue that [...] Read more.
This paper examines the role of Islamic sacred spaces in Spanish-Moroccan identity negotiations in contemporary Madrid, Spain. In doing so, I explore how these sacred sites produce diverse meanings and practices that resist the Spanish states hegemonic narratives of place. I argue that the multilayered resistance via the “memory” and “place” of these sacred sites ostensibly reconciles and situates Spanish-Moroccans within the larger Spanish imagined community. The paper will first discuss the trans-local experiences of the Spanish-Moroccan community and how their liminal state of being neither “here or there” necessitates an anchor (Muslim sacred spaces) to the new home context. I will then outline a brief historical narrative of the Muslim presence in Spain and then analyze the meanings attached to the sacrality of Islamic monuments and mosques to the Spanish-Moroccan community. Finally, the paper will explore how the historical memories and their discursive meanings attached to these sacred sites allow Spanish-Moroccans to produce counterhegemonic frameworks that challenge and reshape nationalistic spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Space and Place)
Open AccessArticle Thought Experiments as a Tool for Undermining Methodological Naturalism
Religions 2019, 10(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020127
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
There is a substantial literature on the question of whether methodological naturalism (MN) is and/or should be among the principles operative in the natural and social sciences; moreover the status of MN has been one of the battle grounds in prominent debates regarding [...] Read more.
There is a substantial literature on the question of whether methodological naturalism (MN) is and/or should be among the principles operative in the natural and social sciences; moreover the status of MN has been one of the battle grounds in prominent debates regarding the demarcation lines between science and theology (e.g., the debate over whether intelligent design hypotheses can ever count as genuinely scientific). I review some concrete examples of the use of thought experiments in this context, and argue that there are realistic thought experiments showing how metaphysical naturalism (MTN) could be subjected to empirical falsification; that in turn implies that MN should not be employed universally as an operative principle in the sciences. I conclude by discussing some recent actual experimental work concerning near-death experiences (NDEs), work which may point towards the likelihood of just such empirical falsification taking place in the relatively near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue God out of Mind: Thought Experiments, Science, and Religion)
Open AccessArticle Political Justice: Levinas Contra Aristotle
Religions 2019, 10(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020126
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, I argue that two radically different conceptions of political justice can be derived from the work of Aristotle and Emmanuel Levinas—notions of justice that are indeed directly opposed. Aristotle defines justice in terms of considerations of moderation, prudence, and measure, [...] Read more.
In this paper, I argue that two radically different conceptions of political justice can be derived from the work of Aristotle and Emmanuel Levinas—notions of justice that are indeed directly opposed. Aristotle defines justice in terms of considerations of moderation, prudence, and measure, where the virtuous actor is supposed to demonstrate aspects of character and perform acts that are neither deficient nor excessive; yet the ethics of Levinas, as instantiated in justice, is a demand that responding to the needs of others not be limited by moderate considerations, but can precisely be realized as an exorbitant and anarchic assumption of responsibility. It thus becomes of decisive importance for both a thinking of the political, and political praxis, in determining which conception of justice is found to be more compelling. I illustrate the stakes of this difference with reference to the politics of asylum, and in particular, a discussion of the historical case of the Kindertransport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Levinas and the Political)
Open AccessArticle Planting the Seeds of the Future: Eschatological Environmentalism in the Time of the Anthropocene
Religions 2019, 10(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020125
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this essay examines how the local Jehovah’s Witnesses’ response to the current ecological crisis on the Galápagos Islands has produced a distinct form of religious environmentalism. Specifically, I argue that the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ vision of the ultimate future informs [...] Read more.
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this essay examines how the local Jehovah’s Witnesses’ response to the current ecological crisis on the Galápagos Islands has produced a distinct form of religious environmentalism. Specifically, I argue that the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ vision of the ultimate future informs action rather than despair—contrary to what is often assumed about millenarian beliefs. This essay joins voices in Christian feminist and eco-theology interested in reclaiming eschatology for its imaginative valence. Yet, unlike invocations for hope that lack consideration of their viability, my ethnographic approach contributes to this literature with a view of the practical reverberations of eschatology. Further, current discussions about ecological unraveling, often couched around the concept of the Anthropocene, have reinforced expert-driven, techno-scientific measures that exclude other forms of knowledge production and practical interventions. If such worries continue to motivate a paradigm of conservation that exclude locals, my essay shows how the local Jehovah’s Witnesses promote a valuable alternative form of environmentalism, on the Galápagos and elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Verdant: Knowing Plants, Planted Relations, Religion in Place)
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Open AccessArticle Interpretations of al-wala’ wa-l-bara’ in Everyday Lives of Salafis in Germany
Religions 2019, 10(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020124
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
Salafis’ everyday lives, social relations, and attitudes towards both Muslims and non-Muslims are often shaped implicitly or explicitly by the theological concept of al-wala’ wa-l-bara’ (“loyalty and disavowal”). It indicates whom to be loyal to on the one hand, and whom to disavow [...] Read more.
Salafis’ everyday lives, social relations, and attitudes towards both Muslims and non-Muslims are often shaped implicitly or explicitly by the theological concept of al-wala’ wa-l-bara’ (“loyalty and disavowal”). It indicates whom to be loyal to on the one hand, and whom to disavow on the other hand—or from which persons, deeds, and practices one should distance oneself. However, within the highly heterogeneous spectrum of Salafi orientations, beliefs, and religious practices, interpretations of al-wala’ and al-bara’ differ as well as its actual relevance and its implications for concrete life situations. This article explores how Muslims in Germany who identify themselves with non-violent, so-called ‘purist Salafism’ perceive and practice social relations, social closeness, or separation in their everyday lives by drawing implicitly or explicitly on principles of loyalty and disavowal. Based on qualitative interviews and participant observations (data gathered between 2014 and 2018), we shed light on how individuals’ ideas of loyalty and disavowal intersect with issues of identity, belonging, inclusion, and exclusion. The article thus shows how local interpretations and implementations of a Salafi core concept are strongly interwoven with realities of everyday life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salafism in the West)
Open AccessArticle A Qualitative Study of Ramadan: A Month of Fasting, Family, and Faith
Religions 2019, 10(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020123
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
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Abstract
Islam is a major world religion and the Muslim population is one of the fastest growing religious populations in the Western world, including in the United States. However, few research studies have examined the lived religious experience of U.S. Muslim families. Much of [...] Read more.
Islam is a major world religion and the Muslim population is one of the fastest growing religious populations in the Western world, including in the United States. However, few research studies have examined the lived religious experience of U.S. Muslim families. Much of the attention on Islam among researchers and the media tends to be on controversial aspects of the religion. The purpose of this paper is to examine the unique religious practice of the month-long fast of Ramadan, especially its perceived role on marital and familial relationships from an insider’s perspective. Content analysis of in-depth, qualitative interviews of twenty diverse Shia and Sunni Muslim families living in the United States (N = 47 individuals) yielded several emergent themes. This study presents and explores data on the focal theme: “fasting brings us closer together.” These data suggest that Ramadan serves a sacred, unifying, and integrating purpose for many of the 47 practicing Muslim mothers, fathers, and youth in this study. Meanings and processes involved in Ramadan and family relationships are explored and explained. Implications and applications of the research findings are discussed and some potential directions for future research are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Women in Israelite Religion: The State of Research Is All New Research
Religions 2019, 10(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020122
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
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Abstract
Historically, those studying Israelite religion have ignored the existence of women in Iron Age Israel (1200–587 BCE). They have, therefore, accounted neither for the religious beliefs of half of ancient Israel’s population nor for the responsibilities that women assumed for maintaining religious rituals [...] Read more.
Historically, those studying Israelite religion have ignored the existence of women in Iron Age Israel (1200–587 BCE). They have, therefore, accounted neither for the religious beliefs of half of ancient Israel’s population nor for the responsibilities that women assumed for maintaining religious rituals and traditions. Such reconstructions of Israelite religion are seriously flawed. Only in the last four decades have scholars, primarily women, begun to explore women’s essential roles in Israel’s religious culture. This article utilizes evidence from the Hebrew Bible and from archaeological sites throughout Israel. It demonstrates that some women had roles within the Jerusalem Temple. Most women, however, resided in towns and villages throughout the Land. There, they undertook responsibility for clan-based and community-based religious rituals and rites, including pilgrimage, seasonal festivals, rites of military victory, and rites of mourning. They fulfilled, as well, essential roles within the sphere of domestic or household religion. At home, they provided medico-magical healing for all family members, as well as care for women and babies throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. They, and the men in their communities, worshipped Yahweh, Israel’s primary deity, and the goddess Asherah, as well; for most people, these two divinities were inextricably linked. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeology and Ancient Israelite Religion)
Open AccessArticle Hardwar: Spirit, Place, and Politics
Religions 2019, 10(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020121
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
This article describes the narratives and projections that shaped the contested character of Hardwar and the river Ganges as symbols par excellence of the Hindus’ claim to India’s sacred geography over the last two hundred years. It deliberates on the tactics and practices [...] Read more.
This article describes the narratives and projections that shaped the contested character of Hardwar and the river Ganges as symbols par excellence of the Hindus’ claim to India’s sacred geography over the last two hundred years. It deliberates on the tactics and practices through which Hardwar’s ancient and legendary status has been employed to assert Hindu identity and territorial claims vis-à-vis the colonial administrators, but also to exclude the country’s Muslim and Christian populace. The purifying, divine land of Hardwar enabled the nationalist imagination and struggle for a Hindu India, even as it was instituted as a site for the internal purification of Hinduism itself, to mirror its glorious past. The article describes the contests and claims, based on religion and class, as well as the performance of socio-economic and existential anxieties that the sacred quality of Hardwar and the river Ganges continues to authorize and enable in post-colonial India. For this, we draw particularly on the Kanwar Mela, an annual event in which millions of mostly poor young men carry water from the river Ganges on foot, and often over long distances. We deliberate on the significance of the sacred water, rituals, and the journey in reinforcing these pilgrims’ perceptions of the self, and their moral claims over the nation and its territory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Space and Place)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Revolution in Contemporary Buddhism: The Interbeing of Individual and Collective Consciousness in Ecology
Religions 2019, 10(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020120
Received: 25 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
A spiritual awakening is necessary to address the global ecological crisis and to bring about an environmental revolution. The aim of this paper is to bring together various passages from Thich Nhat Hanh’s works that refer to a collective consciousness and environmental revolution, [...] Read more.
A spiritual awakening is necessary to address the global ecological crisis and to bring about an environmental revolution. The aim of this paper is to bring together various passages from Thich Nhat Hanh’s works that refer to a collective consciousness and environmental revolution, in order to gain some insight into what the view of contemporary Buddhism might have been on the idea of Buddhist environmentalism. This paper is divided into three main areas: the concept of interbeing, the view on the interdependent nature of individual and collective consciousness, and the various interdependent elements influencing the transformation of consciousness that could bring about an environmental revolution in ecology. In using the concept of interbeing coined by Thich Nhat Hanh, I argue that this understanding of the interconnected relationship of everything in the world will enhance the awareness of a global environmental movement for a better future, which is possible. Full article
Open AccessArticle Religious Activities, Christian Media Consumption and Marital Quality among Protestants
Religions 2019, 10(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020119
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
Although associations between religiosity and marital quality have been demonstrated in previous research, mechanisms still remain unclear. Three 3-step hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine whether 10 individual, dyadic or family religious activities or uses of 7 forms of Christian media [...] Read more.
Although associations between religiosity and marital quality have been demonstrated in previous research, mechanisms still remain unclear. Three 3-step hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine whether 10 individual, dyadic or family religious activities or uses of 7 forms of Christian media predicted positive relationship quality, negative interaction and intimate partner violence in a sample of North American Protestants. Joint spousal and family religious activities predicted higher levels of relationship quality. Individual activities, such as reading the Bible, and parent-child activities, such as praying with children and discussing Christians values with children, predicted lower levels of relationship quality. Listening to Christian talk radio and viewing Christian websites or blogs predicted lower levels of relationship quality. The authors inferred that individuals in low-quality relationships use activities such as reading the Bible, listening to Christian talk radio, and viewing Christian websites and blogs to seek information to improve relationships or promote healthy adaptation. Similarly, the authors speculated that praying with children and discussing spiritual values with them were seen as interventionary measures to protect children when parents were in low-quality relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Workplace Spiritual Climate and Its Influence on Nurses’ Provision of Spiritual Care in Multicultural Hospitals
Religions 2019, 10(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020118
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: Spiritual care is a growing field of interest in the healthcare industry in Saudi Arabia, one that is largely defined by the religious and cultural context of the country that has a rich and strong backdrop. Workplace spiritual climate may have a [...] Read more.
Background: Spiritual care is a growing field of interest in the healthcare industry in Saudi Arabia, one that is largely defined by the religious and cultural context of the country that has a rich and strong backdrop. Workplace spiritual climate may have a significant impact on nurses’ ability and willingness to provide spiritual care. This study aims to examine the influence of workplace spiritual climate on nurses’ provision of spiritual care. Methods: A convenience sample of 918 nurses employed in seven public hospitals in Saudi Arabia was surveyed in this cross-sectional study using the Spiritual Climate Scale (SCS) and the Spiritual Care Intervention-Provision Scale (SCIPS). Results: The overall mean in the SCS was 64.58 (SD = 24.60), whereas the overall mean in the SCIPS was 56.83 (SD = 9.46). Nurses with Saudi nationality, with Islamic faith, with administrative functions, and with higher years of experience as a nurse reported better perceptions of workplace spirituality. Hospital, position, years of experience in the present hospital, and the hospital’s spiritual climate were identified as significant predictors of the nurses’ spiritual care interventions provision. Conclusions: The results of the study support the importance of having good workplace spiritual climate as it impacts the nurses’ provision of spiritual care interventions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Biblical Performance Criticism: Survey and Prospects
Religions 2019, 10(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020117
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
Biblical Performance Criticism (BPC) analyzes communication events of biblical traditions for audiences. Every communication event of a tradition has four aspects: a communicator, traditions re-expressed, an audience, and a social situation. This essay surveys the history of BPC and its current prospects and [...] Read more.
Biblical Performance Criticism (BPC) analyzes communication events of biblical traditions for audiences. Every communication event of a tradition has four aspects: a communicator, traditions re-expressed, an audience, and a social situation. This essay surveys the history of BPC and its current prospects and points to the future work of developing a fine-grained theoretical foundation for its work. In the analytical mode, a scholar gathers and examines data from a past performance event to describe it, and its effects, in detail. In the heuristic mode, a performer presents a tradition to an audience in order to better understand its dynamics. In the practical mode, a person reflects on the performance of biblical traditions in daily life. In these ways, BPC reunites biblical scholarship fragmented by critical reduction, and bridges the academic and popular use of biblical traditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in New Testament Study)
Open AccessArticle “The Real Victim of Lynch Law Is the Government”: American Protestant Anti-Lynching Advocacy and the Making of Law and Order
Religions 2019, 10(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020116
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 17 February 2019
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Abstract
This article examines American Protestant anti-lynching advocacy in the early twentieth century. In contrast to African American Protestants, who framed their anti-lynching efforts in ways that foregrounded the problem of racism and black experiences of suffering, white mainline Protestant critiques of lynching regularly [...] Read more.
This article examines American Protestant anti-lynching advocacy in the early twentieth century. In contrast to African American Protestants, who framed their anti-lynching efforts in ways that foregrounded the problem of racism and black experiences of suffering, white mainline Protestant critiques of lynching regularly downplayed race and framed the crime in terms of its threat to American civilization and national law and order. This article connects these latter concerns to the national war on crime of the 1930s and 40s and the early history of the modern carceral state. Full article
Open AccessArticle Muslims’ Representation in Donald Trump’s Anti-Muslim-Islam Statement: A Critical Discourse Analysis
Religions 2019, 10(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020115
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 17 February 2019
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Abstract
The Muslim community in America has been facing turmoil, particularly after the events of 9/11. Muslims are facing a number of anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim discriminatory practices, biases, and sentiments from many Americans. These religious prejudices are apparent at the public and political leadership [...] Read more.
The Muslim community in America has been facing turmoil, particularly after the events of 9/11. Muslims are facing a number of anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim discriminatory practices, biases, and sentiments from many Americans. These religious prejudices are apparent at the public and political leadership levels, as well as other facets of the country. The current study has concentrated on Trump’s emerging ideology that positions him within anti-Islamic and anti- Muslim discourses since he announced his candidature for the presidency. The study aims to examine and pin point the self-other representations that are evident in the Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments in Trump’s statements during the American Presidential Elections of 2016. In order to examine Trump’s prejudicial discourse, the research engaged with Critical Discourse Studies as its framework, with a specific focus upon Van Dijk’s Ideological Square Model as well as NVIVO 12 Pro for linguistic inquiry. The results showed that the self-other binary is strongly evidenced in Trump’s statements and that he employed various discursive techniques to represent Islam and Muslims in a negative manner, while representing himself as very patriotic to the country. To legitimatize his arguments, he deployed several rhetoric strategies, including victimization, presupposition, authority, number game, evidentiality, polarization, and populism. Keeping the religious and economic context in view, the research reveals that Donald Trump has represented Islam and Muslims as a negative phenomenon and presented himself as an Islamophobe by negatively targeting Islamic components, like Shariah and Jihad. In his prejudicial representation of Islam, most of the Islamic beliefs are represented as anti-women and anti-American, threatening the security of America and its very way of life. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Family Religiosity, Parental Monitoring, and Emerging Adults’ Sexual Behavior
Religions 2019, 10(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020114
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
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Abstract
The processes through which families play a role in the religious and sexual socialization of children are varied and complex. Few studies have considered the impact of parental or family religiosity on young people’s sexual behaviors, either directly or through influence on adolescents’ [...] Read more.
The processes through which families play a role in the religious and sexual socialization of children are varied and complex. Few studies have considered the impact of parental or family religiosity on young people’s sexual behaviors, either directly or through influence on adolescents’ own religiosity. This study of college students at a large, public university in the mid-Atlantic uses multidimensional measures to examine the relationships among family religiosity, parental monitoring during adolescence, students’ religiosity, and students’ specific sexual behaviors. Results suggest that greater family religiosity is associated with a decreased likelihood of engaging in certain sex acts, but for students who do engage, family religiosity is not associated with any differences in the timing of sexual onset or in the numbers of partners with whom students engaged. Results also suggest that parental monitoring may mediate the relationship between family religiosity and some sexual risk behavior. Greater individual religiosity is associated with a lower likelihood of having engaged in any sexual activity, and a higher likelihood of condom use for students who have had vaginal sex. This study offers valuable insights into the role that religiosity, at both the family and the individual level, plays in college students’ sexual behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Family Life)
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Open AccessArticle How to Deal with Dangerous and Annoying Animals: A Vinaya Perspective
Religions 2019, 10(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020113
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
Against the background of guidelines on non-killing and developing ideas on the release of captured or domesticated animals, this study focuses on how vinaya (disciplinary) texts deal with dangerous and/or annoying animals, such as snakes, mosquitoes, and flies. Are there any circumstances in [...] Read more.
Against the background of guidelines on non-killing and developing ideas on the release of captured or domesticated animals, this study focuses on how vinaya (disciplinary) texts deal with dangerous and/or annoying animals, such as snakes, mosquitoes, and flies. Are there any circumstances in which they may be killed, captured, or repelled? Or should they be endured and ignored, or even protected and cherished, at all times? This paper discusses the many guidelines relating to avoiding—and, if necessary, chasing away—dangerous and annoying animals. All of these proposals call for meticulous care to reduce the risk of harming the creature. In this sense, animals, such as snakes and mosquitoes, seem to be assured a better life in comparison with domesticated or hunted animals. This distinction reflects the somewhat uncomfortable balance that Buddhist monastics must achieve between respecting the life of individual sentient beings, including all animals, and adhering to social conventions in order to safeguard their position in society. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Study on the Xiuxing of Contemporary Horchin Mongolian Shamanism
Religions 2019, 10(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020112
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
Research has been carried out on the procedures for recruiting and training shamans among the Horchin (mainly in Tongliao City, China). This well-known problem is crucial to the development of Horchin shamanism. If a potential shaman wants to complete the transition from an [...] Read more.
Research has been carried out on the procedures for recruiting and training shamans among the Horchin (mainly in Tongliao City, China). This well-known problem is crucial to the development of Horchin shamanism. If a potential shaman wants to complete the transition from an ordinary person to a shaman, they need to repeat religious practices, progress spiritually, learn, and deal well with the role between their daily life and religious life. This process of Xiuxing is full of hardship. However, the issues surrounding the requirements, influencing factors, and evaluation criteria has received little attention. We have been conducting fieldwork in the Horchin area since 2013, have continuously tracked and interviewed more than 100 shamans and prospective shamans, and have obtained much fieldwork data. Through the collation, induction, and comparative study of these materials, we found that Horchin shamans are required to study the knowledge and skills of shamanism, respect their teacher, obey their principles, fulfill the duties and obligations of a shaman, and devote their lives to serving the local community. We also found that Horchin shamans are struggling to adapt their religious practices to the belief systems of the contemporary Chinese world. We also found that it is believed that, in the region, a successful shamanic career presupposes not only knowledge of rituals but also compassionate and principled behavior with respect to the clients and the community. Full article
Open AccessArticle Beyond Religious Rigidities: Religious Firmness and Religious Flexibility as Complementary Loyalties in Faith Transmission
Religions 2019, 10(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020111
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
Research has found that intergenerational transmission of religiosity results in higher family functioning and improved family relationships. Yet the Pew Research Center found that 44% of Americans reported that they had left the religious affiliation of their childhood. And 78% of the expanding [...] Read more.
Research has found that intergenerational transmission of religiosity results in higher family functioning and improved family relationships. Yet the Pew Research Center found that 44% of Americans reported that they had left the religious affiliation of their childhood. And 78% of the expanding group of those who identify as religiously unaffiliated (“Nones”) reported that they were raised in “highly religious families.” We suggest that this may be, in part, associated with religious parents exercising excessive firmness with inadequate flexibility (rigidity). We used a multiphase, systematic, team-based process to code 8000+ pages of in-depth interviews from 198 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim families from 17 states in all 8 major religio-cultural regions of the United States. We framed firmness as mainly about loyalty to God and God’s purposes, and flexibility as mainly about loyalty to family members and their needs and circumstances. The reported findings provided a range of examples illustrating (a) religious firmness, (b) religious flexibility, as well as (c) efforts to balance and combine firmness and flexibility. We discuss conceptual and practical implications of treating firmness and flexibility as complementary loyalties in intergenerational faith transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Family Life)
Open AccessArticle Saints, Hagiographers, and Religious Experience: The Case of Tukaram and Mahipati
Religions 2019, 10(2), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020110
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
One of the most important developments in Hinduism in the Common Era has been the rise of devotionalism or bhakti. Though theologians and others have contributed to this development, the primary motive force behind it has been poets, who have composed songs [...] Read more.
One of the most important developments in Hinduism in the Common Era has been the rise of devotionalism or bhakti. Though theologians and others have contributed to this development, the primary motive force behind it has been poets, who have composed songs celebrating their love for God, and sometimes lamenting their distance from Her. From early in their history, bhakti traditions have praised not only the various gods, but also the devotional poets as well. And so hagiographies have been written about the lives of those exceptional devotees. It could be argued that we find the religious experience of these devotees in their own compositions and in these hagiographies. This article will raise questions about the reliability of our access to the poets’ religious experience through these sources, taking as a test case the seventeenth century devotional poet Tukaram and the hagiographer Mahipati. Tukaram is a particularly apt case for a study of devotional poetry and hagiography as the means to access the religious experience of a Hindu saint, since scholars have argued that his works are unusual in the degree to which he reflects on his own life. We will see why, for reasons of textual history, and for more theoretical reasons, the experience of saints such as Tukaram must remain elusive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Experience in the Hindu Tradition)
Open AccessArticle Religious Heterogamy and the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion: A Cross-National Analysis
Religions 2019, 10(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020109
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
This study examines the effect of religious heterogamy on the transmission of religion from one generation to the next. Using data from 37 countries in the 2008 Religion III Module of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), I conduct a cross-national analysis of [...] Read more.
This study examines the effect of religious heterogamy on the transmission of religion from one generation to the next. Using data from 37 countries in the 2008 Religion III Module of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), I conduct a cross-national analysis of the relationship between parents’ religious heterogamy and their adult childrens’ religious lives. By estimating fixed effects regression models, I adjust for national-level confounders to examine patterns of association between having interreligious parents during childhood and level of adult religiosity as measured by self-rated religiousness, belief in God, and frequencies of religious attendance and prayer. The results indicate that having religiously heterogamous parents or parents with dissimilar religious attendance patterns are both associated with lower overall religiosity in respondents. Parents’ religious attendance, however, mediates the relationship when each parent has a different religion. Having one unaffiliated parent is associated with lower religiosity regardless of parents’ levels of religious attendance. The negative impact of parents’ religious heterogamy on religious inheritance is independent of national-level factors and has implications for anticipating changes in the religious landscapes of societies characterized by religious diversity and growing numbers of interreligious marriages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Family Life)
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Open AccessArticle Experiencing Justice from the Inside Out: Theological Considerations about the Church’s Role in Justice, Healing, and Forgiveness
Religions 2019, 10(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020108
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
Recent suggestions have been made that theology may have more to offer on matters related to the subjects of punishment, corrections, and rehabilitation than has often been acknowledged in the scholarly literature. This essay sets out to explore the merits of such claims [...] Read more.
Recent suggestions have been made that theology may have more to offer on matters related to the subjects of punishment, corrections, and rehabilitation than has often been acknowledged in the scholarly literature. This essay sets out to explore the merits of such claims with regard to how they might assist ongoing efforts to address mass incarceration, including the theological dimensions of punitive justice along with other potentially redemptive realities that theological reflection may illuminate and make more visible. Consideration will be given to the ongoing role that religion plays in the life of the prison before giving consideration to the ontology of the church as a social actor, especially as locally-constituted within the prison—the ecclesia incarcerate, or the prison church. The theological rationale for the basic existence of such an actor is explored along with the effects of such a vision for this kind of transformation the church may experience along with both promises and potential challenges that come with the church having its own ontology, not as a given, but as a creature of grace. Full article
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