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Religions, Volume 11, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 83 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): From 2020, the National Curriculum in Norway has been renewed. New concepts such as ‘deep learning’ and ‘core elements’ have been introduced, and three interdisciplinary topics: ‘health and life skills’, ‘democracy and citizenship’, and ‘sustainable development’. Emphasis is placed on competence-oriented relevance and “deep learning”, not on learning of ‘facts’. This article unpacks what the reform means for studies in religion and worldviews in schools. Continuity and change are discussed along a subject-specific/general-educational policy axis and a national/international axis. Changes are connected to social changes on a supranational level, continuities mainly to national processes. We find the relevance of teaching about religion and worldviews in schools to be strengthened, with the potential for contributions to the general aims of education, such as strengthening democracy. View [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Drivers of Development in a Romanian Context: An Empirical Study of the Potential Impact of Religiosity and Individual Values on Core Human Rights Relevant to the United Nations’ Agenda 2030
Religions 2020, 11(11), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110626 - 23 Nov 2020
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Abstract
The aim of this study is to analyse the complex interplay between religiosity, individual values, and support for human rights relevant to development, in a Romanian context marked by high levels of religiosity and low levels of socioeconomic development. The study employs a [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to analyse the complex interplay between religiosity, individual values, and support for human rights relevant to development, in a Romanian context marked by high levels of religiosity and low levels of socioeconomic development. The study employs a quantitative empirical research project involving high school students (N-681) in all the capital cities of the regional development areas of Romania. The results of hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicate that some dimensions of religiosity (religious belief and faith) are positive predictors of support for socioeconomic rights, universalism, and human dignity, and thus are conducive to sustainable development attitudes and practices. However, other dimensions, such as theism, positively predict traditionalism, while negatively predicting universalism, which may indicate a lower propensity towards supporting development. Hence, it can be inferred that for this sample, religiosity has a real but limited role in supporting some human rights and individual values conducive to a culture of development relevant to the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda. Individual values such as self-direction and universalism seem to play a more important role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Human Rights: Complementary or Contrary?)
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Open AccessArticle
Popular Songs, Melodies from the Dead: Moving beyond Historicism with the Buddhist Ethics and Aesthetics of Pin Peat and Cambodian Hip Hop
Religions 2020, 11(11), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110625 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 233
Abstract
This article illustrates how the aesthetics of two types of Cambodian music—pin peat and Cambodian hip hop—enact Cambodian–Buddhist ethics and function as ritual practices through musicians’ recollections of deceased teachers’ musical legacies. Noting how prevalent historicist and secular epistemologies isolate Cambodian and, [...] Read more.
This article illustrates how the aesthetics of two types of Cambodian music—pin peat and Cambodian hip hop—enact Cambodian–Buddhist ethics and function as ritual practices through musicians’ recollections of deceased teachers’ musical legacies. Noting how prevalent historicist and secular epistemologies isolate Cambodian and, more broadly, Southeast Asian musical aesthetics from their ethical and ritual functions, I propose that analyses focusing on Buddhist ethics more closely translate the moral, religious, and ontological aspects inherent in playing and listening to Cambodian music. I detail how Cambodian musicians’ widespread practices of quoting deceased teachers’ variations, repurposing old musical styles, and reiterating the melodies and rhythms played by artistic ancestors have the potential to function as Buddhist rituals, whether those aesthetic and stylistic features surface in pin peat songs or in hip hop. Those aesthetic practices entail a modality of being historical that partially connects with but exceeds historicism’s approach to Buddhism, temporality, and history by enacting relations of mutual care that bring the living and dead to be ontologically coeval. Such relational practices bring me to conclude with a brief discussion rethinking what post-genocide remembrance sounds like and feels like. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music, Sound, and the Sacred)
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Open AccessArticle
The Views on Terrorism in the Name of Islam Held by Islamic Religion Teachers in Spain
Religions 2020, 11(11), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110624 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Violent radicalisation is currently one of the most pressing global problems. Accordingly, the intention of this paper is to discover the views on terrorism in the name of Islam held by Islamic religion teachers in Spain and to analyse the preventive socio-educational measures [...] Read more.
Violent radicalisation is currently one of the most pressing global problems. Accordingly, the intention of this paper is to discover the views on terrorism in the name of Islam held by Islamic religion teachers in Spain and to analyse the preventive socio-educational measures that they propose, employing a mixed methods approach with a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Most of the teachers point to a poor knowledge of Islam among the young, especially as regards to the concept of jihad, as the main reason behind this phenomenon. The second-generation immigrants among the teachers attach great importance to possible identity crises as a factor that makes the young more vulnerable to violent radicalisation. The most frequently mentioned social measure is fostering the integration of Muslims, thus creating a sense of belonging to their country of residence. They recommend preventive educational strategies that, far from focusing on detecting possible violent extremists, place the accent on teaching the fundamentals of the Islamic religion in order to provide young people with the tools that they need to challenge violent ideologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Psychology/ Social Sciences)
Open AccessArticle
1967/1969: The End, or (Just) a Pause of the Catholic Liberal Dream?
Religions 2020, 11(11), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110623 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 244
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to explore the strong connections between the topics of this special volume of Religions: the current crisis of political Catholicism and religious Catholicism; the new questions posed about the relationship between Catholicism and advanced modernization; the [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to explore the strong connections between the topics of this special volume of Religions: the current crisis of political Catholicism and religious Catholicism; the new questions posed about the relationship between Catholicism and advanced modernization; the relationship between Catholicism and European institutions; and the importance of the North Atlantic relationships within Catholicism. The paper sheds light on these questions through an analysis of a particular but indicative case study, namely, the “Catholic 68” in Italy. Deconstructing the predominant narrative about the relationship between Vatican II and the events of 1968 (or, better, those of the 2-year period 1967–1969) helps to clarify the connections between the topics of this volume in important ways. In fact, the predominant narrative about the “Catholic 68” still pays undue tribute to both an oversimplified reconstruction of the “parties” who fought one another during the Second Vatican Council and an oversimplified reading of the late 1960s. In this perspective, the Italian case is particularly relevant and yields important sociological insight. The starting point of the paper is the abundant literature on the “long 60s”. This scholarship has clarified the presence of an important religious dimension to the social and cultural processes of this period as well as a (generally accepted) link between the Council-issued renewal and “1968”. At the same time that literature has also clarified that the “long 60s” paved the way for a deep social transition which has also marked the first two decades of the 21st century. The nature of this religious renewal and social change has often been described as the triumph of liberal parties over conservative parties. This paper instead proposes a “three parties scheme” (conservative, progressive and liberal) to better understand the confrontation that occurred at the Council and that at the end of the same decade and its consequences for Catholicism and European politics today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholicism and European Politics)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Teaching Jihad: Developing Religious Literacy through Graphic Novels
Religions 2020, 11(11), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110622 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 369
Abstract
This study examined the representations of jihad in graphic novels to ascertain how its depictions may inform the development of religious literacy in secondary classrooms. Hegemonic constructions of jihad in the West are commonly reduced to false binaries that shape non-Muslims’ extant beliefs [...] Read more.
This study examined the representations of jihad in graphic novels to ascertain how its depictions may inform the development of religious literacy in secondary classrooms. Hegemonic constructions of jihad in the West are commonly reduced to false binaries that shape non-Muslims’ extant beliefs and perceptions of Islam and Muslims. This raises concerns about the ways in which societal expectations shape knowledge formation in schools. Accordingly, this critical content analysis explored the depiction of jihad in three graphic novel memoirs, an increasingly popular medium of instruction in secondary classrooms. Our analysis identified three forms of jihad conveyed through the graphic novels, specifically: jihad for education, jihad for gender justice, and jihad for identity. These representations provide robust counternarratives and suggest the value of teaching religious concepts through graphic novels as a way to develop deeper understandings and counter misinformation. The article concludes with six recommendations for educators to consider when teaching religious content through contemporary graphic novels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
‘Rejecting the Legacy, Restoring the Honor’: The Anti-Capitalist Muslims in Turkey
Religions 2020, 11(11), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110621 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 185
Abstract
Post-Islamism as coined by Asef Bayat in 1996 laid the framework to analyze rapid and fundamental changes in social and political life of the Muslim world. However, this paper argues that the scholarship around post-Islamism disregards neoliberal structuration introduced and expanded by post-Islamist [...] Read more.
Post-Islamism as coined by Asef Bayat in 1996 laid the framework to analyze rapid and fundamental changes in social and political life of the Muslim world. However, this paper argues that the scholarship around post-Islamism disregards neoliberal structuration introduced and expanded by post-Islamist parties and movements (such as the Justice and Development Party of Turkey). This structuration, coupled with the legacies of anti-left sentiments in preceding Islamist movements, stifles the Muslim youth in the region whose frustrations and aspirations are left silenced. Based on my ethnographic study between 2013 and 2017, the paper introduces the group of the Anti-Capitalist Muslims in Turkey as an internal challenge to the legacies of Islamist ideologies and the neoliberal politics of post-Islamism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Many Faces of Contemporary Post-Islamism)
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Open AccessArticle
Political Atrocities, Moral Indignation, and Forgiveness in African Religious Ethics
Religions 2020, 11(11), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110620 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 178
Abstract
Scholarship on transitional justice has oscillated between the pedagogical value of moral magnanimity, shown by victims of past atrocities who choose to forgive their wrongdoers, and the deterrent effect of imposing punishment on the offenders, which includes making restitution to the victims of [...] Read more.
Scholarship on transitional justice has oscillated between the pedagogical value of moral magnanimity, shown by victims of past atrocities who choose to forgive their wrongdoers, and the deterrent effect of imposing punishment on the offenders, which includes making restitution to the victims of their wrongful actions. This article examines the views of two African thinkers on this issue, Archbishop Desmond Tutu who argues for forgiveness, and Wole Soyinka who defends restitution as a better way to express respect for the dignity of both the victims and the rule of law. The article contends that while traditional African values play important roles in the perspectives of these thinkers, they do not, in themselves, justify either of the two positions they advance. The article further contrasts the positive role Tutu and Soyinka assign to historical memory and truth-telling with the strategies of social forgetting and public silence embraced in Sierra Leone and Mozambique in their quest for political reconciliation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Beliefs and the Morality of Payback)
Open AccessEditorial
Between Self and Spirit: Mapping the Geographies of Black Women’s Spirituality
Religions 2020, 11(11), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110619 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 252
Abstract
There wasn’t enough for Indigo in the world she’d been born to, so she made up what she needed [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Community Mental Health Nursing Consultation in a Public Bathhouse: A Spiritual Coping Resource
Religions 2020, 11(11), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110618 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 254
Abstract
(1) Background: The spiritual dimension’s importance in health/disease processes is widely recognized, also being demonstrated by scientific evidence. Hence, its study is crucial, particularly with respect to a Mental health nursing consultation occurring in a community resource, such as a public bathhouse. This [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The spiritual dimension’s importance in health/disease processes is widely recognized, also being demonstrated by scientific evidence. Hence, its study is crucial, particularly with respect to a Mental health nursing consultation occurring in a community resource, such as a public bathhouse. This study aims to identify the nursing interventions of spiritual nature developed over 5 years in the abovementioned setting, thus characterizing the Portuguese reality; (2) Methods: Observational, cross-sectional and quantitative study, based on a sample comprising all users who attended a community Mental health nursing consultation, from March 2015, to 31 December 2019; (3) Results: A total of 205 nursing appointments were performed, from which emerged a set of 346 diagnoses, resulting in 455 nursing interventions. Of the latter, some deserve to be highlighted, due to a greater prevalence: “listening” (61; 13%), “supporting” (38; 8%), “promoting self-esteem” (37; 8%), “monitoring vital signs” (31; 7%), and “identifying attitude towards care” (25; 5%); (4) Conclusions: even though some of the interventions performed during the consultations were associated with the spiritual dimension, the collected data points towards a need for new diagnoses and nursing interventions, namely, those which may help mitigate spiritual distress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality in Healthcare—Multidisciplinary Approach)
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Open AccessArticle
Mobilizing the Field Hospital: Pastoral Care as a Paradigm for Ministry with Young Adults
Religions 2020, 11(11), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110617 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 286
Abstract
When considering the Church and young adults, marketing or educational approaches are often used; however, these are inadequate to address the realities facing people in their 20s and 30s, including mental health, economic conditions, and racial and cultural injustice. What is needed is [...] Read more.
When considering the Church and young adults, marketing or educational approaches are often used; however, these are inadequate to address the realities facing people in their 20s and 30s, including mental health, economic conditions, and racial and cultural injustice. What is needed is the development of a new ecclesial paradigm based on Pope Francis’s “field hospital” analogy, which emphasizes pastoral care as a primary step in ministerial accompaniment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Youth & Young Adult Ministry)
Open AccessArticle
Adolescents’ Perception of Religious Education According to Religion and Gender in Spain
Religions 2020, 11(11), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110616 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 218
Abstract
The aim of our study is to verify the influence of Religious Education on Spanish adolescents by applying a quantitative study based on descriptive and social research methods which reflect the religious and social plurality of Spain, with a total of 679 secondary [...] Read more.
The aim of our study is to verify the influence of Religious Education on Spanish adolescents by applying a quantitative study based on descriptive and social research methods which reflect the religious and social plurality of Spain, with a total of 679 secondary education students. By means of the Delphi technique, an exploratory and semi-confirmatory factor analysis, and a confirmatory analysis using structural equations, the psychometric properties of the questionnaire designed are guaranteed. Using a multivariate analysis of variance, after the Levene test, multiple comparisons are made in order to assess the difference between religions and gender with respect to school Religious Education. Significant differences and large effect sizes are found. The results show first that experiences with regard to religion in school are more positive for the group of Christian women and that of Muslim men; second, that the knowledge of religion helps in the daily development of adolescents; third, that men from the two major religious groups and Jewish women demand more autonomy; and lastly, that students consider that the curricular development of religion in school should be reviewed, although it is confirmed that Religious Education is regarded as important for their life and future development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflecting on the Possibilities of Religious Education Research)
Open AccessEssay
Religious Amnesias, Mythologies, and Apolitical Affects in Racist Landscapes
Religions 2020, 11(11), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110615 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 196
Abstract
Given their explicit attention to contextual realities, liberation theologies have different expressions in various global contexts. One element they all have in common, however, is a sustained interest in the effects of historical processes. Dalit theology, a liberation theology arising from the struggles [...] Read more.
Given their explicit attention to contextual realities, liberation theologies have different expressions in various global contexts. One element they all have in common, however, is a sustained interest in the effects of historical processes. Dalit theology, a liberation theology arising from the struggles and hopes of Dalit communities in India, is in attunement with such critical analyses of the factors that shape power and domination. By drawing comparisons between the geography of a typical Indian village/town—in which bodies are segregated by caste belonging—and the increasing gentrification in towns and cities in the U.S.—in which bodies are segregated by the aftereffects of racialized geographies—the essay argues that domination today is better understood through affective encounters or the lack thereof. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racism and Religious Diversity in the United States)
Open AccessArticle
Images of the Mother Goddess in the Neolithic Sanctuary of Pla de Petracos (Alicante, Spain)—The Sacralization of Agriculture
Religions 2020, 11(11), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110614 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 223
Abstract
The objective of this work is to iconologically analyze the cave paintings of the Neolithic sanctuary of Pla de Petracos (Alicante, Spain), putting them in relation to the way of life and the religious thought of the society of the time, as well [...] Read more.
The objective of this work is to iconologically analyze the cave paintings of the Neolithic sanctuary of Pla de Petracos (Alicante, Spain), putting them in relation to the way of life and the religious thought of the society of the time, as well as the connection of these paintings with the Mother Goddess. To do this, firstly, the characters of early Neolithic agricultural and livestock societies, and the religiosity of the Mother Goddess that she professes, are contextualized with abundant academic documentation. The natural and religious scenery of the territory where the images and material goods—cardial ceramics, musical instruments, and ritual objects—excavated in the archeological sites located in the surroundings are described below. Finally, significant examples of ancient cultures related to the sanctuary are offered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Earlier Copy of al-Suhrawardī’s ʿAwārif al-Maʿārif and Its Scribe, Abū Ṭāhir al-Ḥanafī
Religions 2020, 11(11), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110613 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 192
Abstract
This paper introduces an accomplished Ḥanafī traditionist [muḥaddith] named Abū Ṭāhir ʿAbd al-Salām Ibn Abī al-Rabīʿ al-Shīrāzī (b.bef.590/1194, d.661/1263), and two newly-discovered manuscripts that shed light on his life, works, and networks. The first manuscript is an earlier copy of ʿUmar [...] Read more.
This paper introduces an accomplished Ḥanafī traditionist [muḥaddith] named Abū Ṭāhir ʿAbd al-Salām Ibn Abī al-Rabīʿ al-Shīrāzī (b.bef.590/1194, d.661/1263), and two newly-discovered manuscripts that shed light on his life, works, and networks. The first manuscript is an earlier copy of ʿUmar al-Suhrawardī’s (539-632/1145-1234) influential Sufi treatise, Benefits of Intimate Knowledge [ʿAwārif al-Maʿārif] that Abū Ṭāhir copied in 603/1206. In addition to updating the terminus ad quem of al-Suhrawardī’s masterpiece, the manuscript also preserves a significant audition [samāʿ] record. While Abū Ṭāhir transcribed this early copy, he seems to have neither participated in the later transmission of the work nor formed a Sufi identity. A well-connected traditionist who has not yet received scholarly attention, he wrote many works, none of which have been studied so far. This paper introduces his life and works, traces his immediate teachers and pupils in transmitting prophetic sayings, and analyzes a hitherto unstudied manuscript of his Forty Sayings on the Virtue of Praying for the Messenger of God [Al-Arbaʿūn fī Faḍīlat al-Ṣalāt ʿalā Rasūl Allāh]. The paper demonstrates that the study of al-Suhrawardī’s ʿAwārif al-Maʿārif by non-Sufi traditionists can be traced back to its earliest extant copy available to us. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Future-Day Saints: Abrahamic Astronomy, Anthropological Futures, and Speculative Religion
Religions 2020, 11(11), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110612 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 535
Abstract
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is an intense interest in creating “speculative fiction”, including speculative fiction about outer space. This article ties this interest to a broader tradition of “speculative religion” by discussing the Mormon Transhumanist Association. An [...] Read more.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is an intense interest in creating “speculative fiction”, including speculative fiction about outer space. This article ties this interest to a broader tradition of “speculative religion” by discussing the Mormon Transhumanist Association. An interest in outer space is linked to nineteenth and twentieth-century speculation by Mormon intellectuals and Church leaders regarding “Abrahamic Astronomy”. The article suggests that there is a Mormon view of the future as informed by a fractal or recursive past that social science in general, and anthropology in particular, could use in “thinking the future”. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eternity in Low Earth Orbit: Icons on the International Space Station
Religions 2020, 11(11), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110611 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 394
Abstract
This paper investigates the material culture of icons on the International Space Station as part of a complex web of interactions between cosmonauts and the Russian Orthodox Church, reflecting contemporary terrestrial political and social affairs. An analysis of photographs from the International Space [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the material culture of icons on the International Space Station as part of a complex web of interactions between cosmonauts and the Russian Orthodox Church, reflecting contemporary terrestrial political and social affairs. An analysis of photographs from the International Space Station (ISS) demonstrated that a particular area of the Zvezda module is used for the display of icons, both Orthodox and secular, including the Mother of God of Kazan and Yuri Gagarin. The Orthodox icons are frequently sent to space and returned to Earth at the request of church clerics. In this process, the icons become part of an economy of belief that spans Earth and space. This practice stands in contrast to the prohibition against displaying political/religious imagery in the U.S.-controlled modules of ISS. The icons mark certain areas of ISS as bounded sacred spaces or hierotopies, separated from the limitless outer space beyond the space station walls. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Religious Education in (Post-)Pandemic Times; Becoming a Resilient Professional in a Teacher Academy
Religions 2020, 11(11), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110610 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 212
Abstract
The world seems a different place than it was before and now, more than ever, young people are faced with questions that cannot be avoided any longer: who am I? How and where can I find roots to endure the storms in my [...] Read more.
The world seems a different place than it was before and now, more than ever, young people are faced with questions that cannot be avoided any longer: who am I? How and where can I find roots to endure the storms in my life? In what direction should I steer my compass? These questions are about resilience; the ability of individuals to cope with rapid societal change, both in their personal lives and in their professional career. Religious Education (RE) can help pupils and students to develop resilience by articulating these questions and pursuing them. The RE teacher’s job is to simply be there with them, having considered these questions her- or himself. All teachers and educators have to start with their own reflection: who am I as an RE-teacher in this new, uncertain and rapidly transforming world? Research on how to start this reflective formation process in RE is essential to attracting the attention that RE deserves. In this article, examples of pilots and the research conducted on them in the author’s Teacher Academy are presented. The main goal is to contribute to the formation of young people to make them resilient and fit for the -as yet unknown- future. They have to create this future and use their talents to effect the transformation that our world highly needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflecting on the Possibilities of Religious Education Research)
Open AccessArticle
Home beyond Borders and the Sound of Al-Andalus. Jewishness in Arabic; the Odyssey of Samy Elmaghribi
Religions 2020, 11(11), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110609 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 314
Abstract
In their conversation about music, Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim discuss a process of seeking home in music and literature. For Moroccan-Jewish superstar Samy Elmaghribi (Solomon Amzallag), who migrated to France and Israel and then settled for most of his life in Montreal, [...] Read more.
In their conversation about music, Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim discuss a process of seeking home in music and literature. For Moroccan-Jewish superstar Samy Elmaghribi (Solomon Amzallag), who migrated to France and Israel and then settled for most of his life in Montreal, Canada, the reference to Al-Andalus through the sound of the nouba became his home. Beginning his career in his native country of Morocco as a singer and composer of modern Moroccan music, in Montreal, Samy Elmaghribi became the cantor in the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, the oldest Jewish congregation in Canada. Based on ethnographic research and investigation within the archives of the artist, the authors suggest that Samy Elmaghribi created a sense of home in music, a homeness, one that transcends our present understanding of Arabness and Jewishness, religiosity and secularism, tradition and creativity. Focus on Samy Elmaghribi, an artistic persona emblematic of his generation, demonstrates how the contemporary reassessment of renowned Jewish artists’ North African heritage is often misread in light of the political present. This example encourages us to rethink the musical legacy to which these North African Jews contributed beyond what is labelled Judeo-Arabic, traditional, religious, or secular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music, Sound, and the Sacred)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative and Historical Analysis of Early Donghak: Cross-Religious Dialogue between Confucianism and Catholicism in 19th-Century Korea
Religions 2020, 11(11), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110608 - 14 Nov 2020
Viewed by 421
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to characterize early Donghak thought as the fusion of two horizons, one Confucian and the other Catholic. In particular, the study divided the Donghak founder Su-un Choe Je-u’s view of divinity into three stages, and showed how [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to characterize early Donghak thought as the fusion of two horizons, one Confucian and the other Catholic. In particular, the study divided the Donghak founder Su-un Choe Je-u’s view of divinity into three stages, and showed how the evolution of his thought through these stages can be explained as the product of a dialogue between the Confucian monist tradition based on qi or vital energy and the Catholic dualist tradition based on Thomistic scholasticism. The study adopted a comparative and historical methodology, whereby comparison was limited to similarities and differences between Su-un’s works and sources in the Confucian or Catholic tradition that we can reasonably assume to have been available to Su-un. It was found that Su-un’s thought in the early stage was marked by theistic features similar to the scholastic view of God, and that in the middle stage Su-un sought to accommodate this theism within a pantheistic framework based on the Confucian monist tradition. For convenience’ sake, this theism-within-pantheism can be referred to as Su-un’s “panentheism”. It is suggested that the creative tension within this panentheism motivated Su-un to introduce innovations in his thought. First, in the middle stage, Su-un rejected the monism of li or pattern that was prevalent in the Neo-Confucian orthodoxy of his day, reverting to the older tradition of qi-monism. Second, in the late stage of his thought, he appears to have rehabilitated li as intelligent pattern that is the source of all signs of intelligence in the natural and moral order. As for the value of the approach adopted in this study, it enables us to make better sense of obscure details in Su-un’s works by placing them in their proper historical context, as evinced by the reading of Su-un’s late stage work “Buryeon Giyeon” presented herein. It is hoped that this approach will be applied more rigorously in future studies to deepen our understanding of the intellectual history of Donghak and Cheondogyo, along with various other new religions that emerged in Korea’s modern history. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Brand Management of Catholic Church in Poland
Religions 2020, 11(11), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110607 - 14 Nov 2020
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Building the brand of the Catholic Church is an area that is little explored in the literature on the subject. This issue turns out to be a very controversial area due to the nature of the activities and the sphere in which these [...] Read more.
Building the brand of the Catholic Church is an area that is little explored in the literature on the subject. This issue turns out to be a very controversial area due to the nature of the activities and the sphere in which these activities are to be performed (marketing, ethics, religion, and faith). The article presents the results of qualitative research conducted among clergymen in Poland and is additionally based on the analysis of the literature on the subject. The theoretical considerations and research results presented in the article help to develop an understanding of the activities of the Catholic Church in Poland, aimed at strengthening the value of its brand. It should be noted that the generational change taking place in Poland forces the clergy to change their narrative and way of conducting dialogue. The previous generations, based on the faith and ethos of John Paul II, also expect modern forms of communication more and more often, which leads to building the brand value of the Catholic Church in Poland. The article discusses the specificity of the interdependence of the Church and marketing, identifies the issues of building the brand of the Catholic Church and the use of modern marketing tools in this process, and presents the results of its own research, which leads to the drawing of final conclusions verifying the research questions posed in the research methodology. This article may initiate an extended discussion on the controversial topic of the implementation of commercial marketing tools into management processes in the Catholic Church. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Regulation of Religious Communities in the Late Middle Ages: A Comparative Approach to Ming China and Pre-Reformation England
Religions 2020, 11(11), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110606 - 14 Nov 2020
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Abstract
This article examines the regulation of religious life in the late Middle Ages (14th and 15th centuries), focusing comparatively on Catholic monastic communities in pre-Reformation England and Buddhist monasticism in early Ming China. This comparative approach to two of the most important monastic [...] Read more.
This article examines the regulation of religious life in the late Middle Ages (14th and 15th centuries), focusing comparatively on Catholic monastic communities in pre-Reformation England and Buddhist monasticism in early Ming China. This comparative approach to two of the most important monastic traditions across Eurasia allows us to problematize the paradigm of ideas and praxes surrounding monastic self-governance in Latin Christendom and to integrate the current scholarship on Ming regulation of religious communities by investigating the pivotal changes in imperial religious policies taking place in the early period of this dynasty. We find that monks and secular authorities at the two ends of Eurasia often shared the same concerns about the discipline of religious men and women, the administration of their properties, and the impact of these communities on society at large. Yet, the article identifies significant differences in the responses given to these concerns. Through the analysis of primary sources that have thus far been overlooked, we show how in early Ming China the imperial government imposed a strict control over the education, ordination and disciplining of Buddhist monks. This bureaucratic system was especially strengthened during the reign of Zhu Yuanzhang (r. 1368–1398), when the figure of the Monk-Official and other tools of secular regulation were introduced, and limits to property claims and economic activities of monasteries were imposed. Instead, during the same period, English monasteries benefited from the previous disentangling of the Church from secular political authorities across Europe. In fact, in late medieval England, the Benedictine tradition of self-governance and independence from the secular sphere was arguably even more marked than in the rest of the continent. Full article
Open AccessArticle
When Rituals Fail: Confessions of Doping in Elite Sports
Religions 2020, 11(11), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110605 - 13 Nov 2020
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Abstract
In the nineteenth century, Protestant reformers declared: Sport builds character. They described sport as ethically valuable and as an experiential tool to teach values and cooperation. However, sports have long raised ethical challenges when it comes to fairness in competition. This article examines [...] Read more.
In the nineteenth century, Protestant reformers declared: Sport builds character. They described sport as ethically valuable and as an experiential tool to teach values and cooperation. However, sports have long raised ethical challenges when it comes to fairness in competition. This article examines controversies over performance enhancing drugs and pays attention to the rituals of confession at play for those caught doping. Nineteenth-century revivalist Charles Finney formalized a ritual practice that became known as the “anxious bench”. Finney would demand that a sinner sit on the bench, separated from others because of their sinfulness, and confess their sinful ways in order to re-devote themselves to God and goodness. Turning to steroid use in Major League Baseball and Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal, I consider how rituals of confession based on the anxious bench failed to redeem these athletes because the athletes themselves resisted the premise. Rituals of confession preserve an underlying ideology that sport is morally valuable. When these rituals fail, they reveal less noble structural motivations that lead to doping in the first place like monetary reward, intense pressure to perform, and the entertainment demands of elite sport. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Perceived Group Deprivation and Intergroup Solidarity: Muslims’ Attitudes towards Other Minorities in the United States
Religions 2020, 11(11), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110604 - 13 Nov 2020
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Abstract
What is the relationship between the sense of perceived discrimination among members of a marginalized racial, ethnic, or religious group and their political attitudes towards other marginalized groups within their society? Research on minority groups in politics has established that the feeling that [...] Read more.
What is the relationship between the sense of perceived discrimination among members of a marginalized racial, ethnic, or religious group and their political attitudes towards other marginalized groups within their society? Research on minority groups in politics has established that the feeling that one’s own group is socially deprived and discriminated against is generally associated with an increase in within-group solidarity, observable in members’ stronger expressions of collective identity—also called “group consciousness” or “linked fate”—as well as their robust support for political parties and policies seen as directly benefitting members of their in group. Yet an underappreciated strand of this same research suggests that a strong sense of in-group deprivation may also lead to greater empathy and political support for other marginalized minorities, a phenomenon we refer to as intergroup solidarity. In this paper, we use the case of Muslim Americans to test the hypothesis that perceptions of group deprivation can lead to increased intergroup solidarity with other socially marginalized racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. We find that Muslims who feel that they have been discriminated against and/or who believe Muslims as a group are a target of discrimination are more likely to embrace the struggles of other groups and recognize the marginalization of other groups. Our findings suggest that in-group political consciousness raising may be a first step toward intergroup coalition building among those who suffer from discrimination and marginalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complexity of Religious Inequality)
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Open AccessArticle
The Passion of Christ on Television: Intertextuality as a Mode of Storytelling
Religions 2020, 11(11), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110603 - 13 Nov 2020
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Abstract
The Passion is a contemporary performance of the passion of Christ live on stage, combined with pop music, city marketing, social media, and entertainment. The result is an encounter between the Christian gospel and traditional elements of devotion like a procession of the [...] Read more.
The Passion is a contemporary performance of the passion of Christ live on stage, combined with pop music, city marketing, social media, and entertainment. The result is an encounter between the Christian gospel and traditional elements of devotion like a procession of the cross on the one hand, and the typical mediatization and commercialization of late modern society on the other. In this article, I will first briefly describe the phenomenon, including the different effects that the event has upon the audience and the stakeholders and benefits it has for them. It is one characteristic of The Passion that it allows for a variety of possible approaches, and this is, at the same time, part of its formula for success. Another characteristic is the configured intertextuality between the sacred biblical text and secular pop songs. In the second section, I will interpret this as a central mode of storytelling in The Passion. It can evoke traditional, but also new, interpretations of the Christian gospel. The purpose of the article is to interpret The Passion as an expression of constructive public theology. It is an example of how the gospel is brought into dialogue with secular society. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Spiritual Reports from Long-Term HIV Survivors: Reclaiming Meaning While Confronting Mortality
Religions 2020, 11(11), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110602 - 13 Nov 2020
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Abstract
Reports from Long-term HIV Survivors: Reclaiming Meaning while Confronting Mortality presents research completed by Kyle Desrosiers in conjunction with the Baylor University Institute for Oral History. Applying lifespan theory to spiritual development, it discusses the narratives of four American long-term HIV survivors from [...] Read more.
Reports from Long-term HIV Survivors: Reclaiming Meaning while Confronting Mortality presents research completed by Kyle Desrosiers in conjunction with the Baylor University Institute for Oral History. Applying lifespan theory to spiritual development, it discusses the narratives of four American long-term HIV survivors from Latter-day Saints, Roman Catholic (2), and Conservative Jewish backgrounds. The fifth profile is from a Protestant pastor with an HIV ministry in a rural area. These profiles are five selected from among 10 interviews with HIV-positive people and caregivers across America now archived by the author at Baylor University. Questions directing this research were: how does HIV status affect participants’ relationship to their religious communities, identities, and spiritualties?; what narratives emerge from lifespan perspectives of HIV-positive and queer participants?; and what spiritual practices, mythos, and beliefs evolve/remain as a product of living at the margins of religion and society, alongside coping with a deadly global epidemic? This project reports narratives of change, continuity, and meaning-making to discuss how several gay/queer men from a range of ethnic and faith backgrounds have used spirituality and worldview to navigate life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Death in the Margins)
Open AccessArticle
Religion, Human Rights, and Forensic Activism: The Search for the Disappeared in Latin America
Religions 2020, 11(11), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110601 - 13 Nov 2020
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Abstract
This paper systematizes and analyzes the links and exchanges between the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense (EAAF)) and the world of religion. My hypothesis is that these links are inextricable from the mode of operation that defined the EAAF, [...] Read more.
This paper systematizes and analyzes the links and exchanges between the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense (EAAF)) and the world of religion. My hypothesis is that these links are inextricable from the mode of operation that defined the EAAF, which can be called “forensic activism”. This kind of activism, outside the State, combined scientific expertise with humanitarian sensitivity, defined by its autonomy from the human rights movement and the national scientific system (both academic and university). Moreover, religion emerged constantly from the type of work undertaken, between the living and the dead. Thus, beliefs, with their prohibitions, rituals, and ways of making sense of suffering and their tools for coming to terms with grief, coexisted with the EAAF’s development. These findings emerge from a qualitative research design combining document analysis, in-depth interviews, and participative observation of scientific disclosure open to the public provided by the EAAF over the past three years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Violence, Rights and Reconciliation)
Open AccessArticle
The Woman’s Curse: A Redemptive Reading of Genesis 3:16
Religions 2020, 11(11), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110600 - 13 Nov 2020
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Abstract
In light of the recent developments featuring women around the world reclaiming their autonomy and self-respect in the face of male domination, it is becoming increasingly urgent to rethink the ancient “curse” on woman and the way that it has not only allowed [...] Read more.
In light of the recent developments featuring women around the world reclaiming their autonomy and self-respect in the face of male domination, it is becoming increasingly urgent to rethink the ancient “curse” on woman and the way that it has not only allowed but condoned male oppression and domination over women throughout the centuries. Rather than read the text through the traditional Aristotelian lens used by Church fathers to describe woman as the seductress and man as the legitimate authority over woman’s corrupt nature, this paper proposes a radical re-reading of the “curse” of Genesis 3:16 as a redemptive rather than a punitive moment wherein the woman is given back her power as the ezer kenegdo of man, and man is given back his kingdom lost and his reign over the whole of Creation, or mashal, through the woman’s love, or teshuqah. This will entail that the two key concepts mashal and teshuqah be profoundly re-interpreted from a Hebrew inter-textual perspective rather than through a Greek philosophical lens. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Benjamin Hoadly, Samuel Clarke, and the Ethics of the Bangorian Controversy: Church, State, and the Moral Law
Religions 2020, 11(11), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110599 - 12 Nov 2020
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Abstract
The Bangorian controversy has been described as ‘the most bitter ideological conflict of the [eighteenth] century’ (J.C.D. Clark). However, while its impact is widely recognised, there are few studies dedicated to the controversy itself. Moreover, the figure at the centre of it all—Benjamin [...] Read more.
The Bangorian controversy has been described as ‘the most bitter ideological conflict of the [eighteenth] century’ (J.C.D. Clark). However, while its impact is widely recognised, there are few studies dedicated to the controversy itself. Moreover, the figure at the centre of it all—Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor—has not always been taken seriously. Such scholars as Norman Sykes, G.R. Cragg, and B.W. Young have dismissed Hoadly as an opportunistic ‘political bishop’, rather than an adept theological thinker. By contrast, this article demonstrates that Hoadly’s Bangorian writings were embedded within the ethical rationalist moral theology of Isaac Newton’s friend, and defender against Gottfried Leibniz, Samuel Clarke. As a follower of Clarke, Hoadly objected to the doctrine of apostolic succession, and to the existence of religious conformity laws in Church and state, because they prevented Christianity from being what he thought it ought to be: a religion of conscience. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Soka Gakkai International in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Religions 2020, 11(11), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110598 - 11 Nov 2020
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the activities of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) in South Africa, a largely Christian country with the presence of very strong African Independent and Pentecostal churches, where Buddhism has mostly attracted the attention of a small minority of white middle-class people [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the activities of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) in South Africa, a largely Christian country with the presence of very strong African Independent and Pentecostal churches, where Buddhism has mostly attracted the attention of a small minority of white middle-class people interested in meditational practices. By focusing on SGI South Africa, which has been able to reach out to a significant number of black, and, to a lesser extent, Coloured and Indian/Asian members, this ethnographic study aims to contribute to the understanding of Buddhism’s interplay with a broader cross-section of post-apartheid South African society, and, secondarily, to add to the existing literature on this Japanese new religious movement overseas. After a brief overview of the historical development of SGI in South Africa, my analysis focuses on SGI South Africa’s main ritual, social, and missionary activities; its interplay with local religions; its attempts to establish a meaningful link with South African culture; and, finally, on the religious experiences and narratives of SGI’s South African members. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Jewish and Hebrew Books in Marsh’s Library: Materiality and Intercultural Engagement in Early Modern Ireland
Religions 2020, 11(11), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110597 - 10 Nov 2020
Viewed by 446
Abstract
Marsh’s Library in Dublin, Ireland, is an immaculately preserved library from the early eighteenth century. Founded by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh, the library has an extensive collection of Jewish and Hebrew books which includes Hebrew Bibles, Talmudic texts, rabbinic writings, and Yiddish books that [...] Read more.
Marsh’s Library in Dublin, Ireland, is an immaculately preserved library from the early eighteenth century. Founded by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh, the library has an extensive collection of Jewish and Hebrew books which includes Hebrew Bibles, Talmudic texts, rabbinic writings, and Yiddish books that date back to the early modern period. This study explores a cross section of the Jewish and Hebrew books in Marsh’s collection, with particular focus on issues of materiality—that is, how these books as material artefacts can inform our understanding of early modern history, religion, and intercultural engagement. We suggest that these books, a majority of which come from Marsh’s personal collection, are a valuable resource for reflection on (1) Christian engagement with Jewish culture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, (2) the production, use, and travel of Jewish books in early modern Europe, and (3) snapshots of Jewish life in early modern Ireland and beyond. Full article
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