Next Issue
Volume 12, March
Previous Issue
Volume 12, January

Religions, Volume 12, Issue 2 (February 2021) – 78 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): When people pray, do they believe that God is listening? Some people do, and they may even believe that God goes a step further, providing guidance or giving them personal messages. In other cases, though, people might experience God as being silent: not speaking and perhaps not even paying attention or hearing their prayers. Our aim in this project was to create a brief (8-item) measure of people’s perceptions of divine engagement and disengagement in response to prayer. We also performed initial validity tests in an undergraduate sample. Results suggested that this new measure showed good (though still preliminary) evidence of reliability and validity. Broadly speaking, we found that the measure predicted positive, negative, and distance-related aspects of a person’s perceived relationship with God, even when controlling other variables related to how people perceive and relate to [...] Read more.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Transformations of Eastern Orthodox Religious Discourse in Digital Society
Religions 2021, 12(2), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020143 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 138
Abstract
Digital technologies have exerted a profound influence on every aspect of human life including religion. Religious discourse, like no other type of social-communicative interaction, responds to the slightest shifts in the concepts of life, identity, time, and space caused by digitalization. The purpose [...] Read more.
Digital technologies have exerted a profound influence on every aspect of human life including religion. Religious discourse, like no other type of social-communicative interaction, responds to the slightest shifts in the concepts of life, identity, time, and space caused by digitalization. The purpose of this study was to reveal the digitalization-associated transformations that have taken place in the eastern orthodox religious discourse over more than quarter of a century. This discussion focuses on the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church towards digital technologies as reflected in the interviews of its official spokespeople. On the basis of extensive empirical material, it is shown that two major factors determine new tendencies in eastern orthodox religious discourse: the necessity to adapt to modern digital environment and benefit from organizing the internet space in order to influence large numbers of “digitally educated” non-religious people, and, at the same time, a distrust of these new digital technologies. The study is based on the theory of discourse, with discourse analysis being the main research method along with the descriptive analytical method. The article also analyzed the changes in traditional genres of eastern orthodox religious discourse (the sermon), as well as the rapid development of new religious discourse genres (the commented liturgy and call-in show) and para-religious discourse genres. It is concluded that with the help of digital technologies, religious discourse penetrates into everyday life of people, regardless of their social status and religious affiliation, eliminating the borderline between the church and society in modern Russia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion in the Contemporary Transformation Society)
Open AccessArticle
Towards the Founding of a Native Clergy and the Revival of ‘Mamacha Cocharcas’: Popular Lived Catholicism in the Wake of Vatican II
Religions 2021, 12(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020142 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 188
Abstract
In the years directly following the Second Vatican Council under the guidance of its second bishop Mons. Enrique Pelach i Feliu, the Andean diocese of Abancay—founded in 1959 in one of the most rural and most indigenous areas of Peru—experienced the founding of [...] Read more.
In the years directly following the Second Vatican Council under the guidance of its second bishop Mons. Enrique Pelach i Feliu, the Andean diocese of Abancay—founded in 1959 in one of the most rural and most indigenous areas of Peru—experienced the founding of a new seminary intended to train a new generation of native clergy, and a concerted clerical effort to revive and promote the Marian pilgrimage of the Virgin of Cocharcas. The former meant the advent of a generation of native clergy made up of men born and raised in rural farming families in Abancay and native speakers of Quechua, the local indigenous language, which transformed the relationship between the institutional Church and indigenous Catholics from one rooted in antipathy and hostility to one based in a shared cultural background and language. The latter meant the elevation of the indigenous figure of Sebastian Quimichu as exemplar of both Andean Catholic faith and practice for his role in founding the Marian shrine of Cocharcas, and the legitimisation of popular Andean Catholic practices that had previously been stigmatised. This article provides a dual historical and ethnographic account of these events, and in doing so demonstrates the profound transformation of rural Andean lived religion and practice in the years following Vatican II. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mothers of the Movement: Evangelicalism and Religious Experience in Black Women’s Activism
Religions 2021, 12(2), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020141 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 207
Abstract
This article centers Black religious women’s activist memoirs, including Mamie Till Mobley’s Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America (2003) and Rep. Lucia Kay McBath’s Standing Our Ground: The Triumph of Faith over Gun Violence: A Mother’s Story [...] Read more.
This article centers Black religious women’s activist memoirs, including Mamie Till Mobley’s Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America (2003) and Rep. Lucia Kay McBath’s Standing Our Ground: The Triumph of Faith over Gun Violence: A Mother’s Story (2018), to refocus the narrative of American Evangelicalism and politics around Black women’s authoritative narratives of religious experience, expression, mourning, and activism. These memoirs document personal transformation that surrounds racial violence against these Black women’s Black sons, Emmett Till (1941–1955) and Jordan Davis (1995–2012). Their religious orientations and experiences serve to chart their pursuit of meaning and mission in the face of American brutality. Centering religious experiences spotlights a tradition of Black religious women who view their Christian salvation as authorizing an ongoing personal relationship with God. Such relationships entail God’s ongoing communication with these Christian believers through signs, dreams, visions, and “chance” encounters with other people that they must interpret while relying on their knowledge of scripture. A focus on religious experience in the narratives of activist Black women helps to make significant their human conditions—the contexts that produce their co-constitutive expressions of religious and racial awakenings as they encounter anti-Black violence. In the memoirs of Till and McBath, their sons’ murders produce questions about the place of God in the midst of (Black) suffering and their intuitive pursuit of God’s mission for them to lead the way in redressing racial injustice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evangelicalism: New Directions in Scholarship)
Open AccessArticle
British Muslims Caught Amidst FOGs—A Discourse Analysis of Religious Advice and Authority
Religions 2021, 12(2), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020140 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 314
Abstract
This paper discusses the symbolic capital found within Islamic documents that were circulated in the UK during the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, the work explores “fatwas” and “other” similar documents as well as “guidance” documents (referred to as [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the symbolic capital found within Islamic documents that were circulated in the UK during the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, the work explores “fatwas” and “other” similar documents as well as “guidance” documents (referred to as FOGs) that were disseminated in March–April 2020 on the internet and social media platforms for British Muslim consumption. We confine our materials to FOGs produced only in English. Our study takes its cue from the notion that the existence of a variety of documents created a sense of foggy ambiguity for British Muslims in matters of religious practice. From a linguistic angle, the study seeks to identify (a) the underlying reasons behind the titling of the documents; and (b) the construction of discourses in the documents. Our corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis (CA-CDA) found noticeable patterns that hold symbolic capital in the fatwa register. We also found that producers of “other” documents imitate the fatwa register in an attempt to strengthen the symbolic capital of their documents. Accordingly, fatwas act as the most authoritative documents in religious matters and are written by senior religious representatives of the Muslim community, whereas guidance documents were found to be most authoritative in health matters. The findings raise questions regarding the manner in which religious instruction may be disseminated in emergency situations. Based on this study, a call for the standardisation and unification of these diverse and sometimes contradicting religious publications may be worth considering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to the Special Issue “Religion in Museums”
Religions 2021, 12(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020139 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 196
Abstract
This Special Issue of Religions highlights the vital role museums play in mediating cultural values and educating the public about them [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion in Museums)
Open AccessArticle
An Historical Evaluation of the Covenants of the Prophet Muḥammad and ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib in the Matenadaran
Religions 2021, 12(2), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020138 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 248
Abstract
This article analyzes the manuscripts in the Matenadaran in Yerevan, Armenia that are ascribed to the Prophet Muḥammad and ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib and their translations into Farsi and Armenian. These important manuscripts have until now been neglected by scholars, and so we [...] Read more.
This article analyzes the manuscripts in the Matenadaran in Yerevan, Armenia that are ascribed to the Prophet Muḥammad and ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib and their translations into Farsi and Armenian. These important manuscripts have until now been neglected by scholars, and so we will here provide a general overview of them and how they were received by the Armenian Apostolic Church. I herein demonstrate how these documents were recognized by Muslim authorities, shedding light on how Muslim rulers managed the affairs of their Christian subjects. These documents, it would seem, also influenced the decrees of Muslim rulers to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Letters, Treaties, and Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad)
Open AccessArticle
Is There a Role of Religion? The Moderation Role of Religious Identity and Religious Practice between Traditional Media Usage and Moral Evaluation
Religions 2021, 12(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020137 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 175
Abstract
Although the relationship between traditional media usage and moral evaluation has been studied in China, it is not clear what role religion plays in this relationship. The 2013 Chinese General Social Survey was used to examine the moderation role of religious identity and [...] Read more.
Although the relationship between traditional media usage and moral evaluation has been studied in China, it is not clear what role religion plays in this relationship. The 2013 Chinese General Social Survey was used to examine the moderation role of religious identity and religious practice in this correlation. The STATA 15.1 and PROCESS macro for SPSS (Model 2) was employed. This research confirms that religion has a moderating role in the correlation between traditional media usage and moral evaluation. Specifically, religious identity, no matter whether it is polytheistic or monotheistic, will strengthen the correlation between traditional media usage and moral evaluation. However, religious practice will weaken the correlation between traditional media usage and moral evaluation, except the religious practice of monotheism in China. Furthermore, our findings prove that religion is an important situational factor in the correlation between traditional media usage and moral evaluation. We should take religious identity and religious practice as independent factors to conduct a richer study in the future. Most importantly, our findings further confirm that the rationalization of society does not necessarily lead to the secularization of religion. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Empty Night: Kashubian “Home Liturgy” in the Context of Death
Religions 2021, 12(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020136 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 145
Abstract
Based on ethnographic field research and thanatological literature, this article analyzes the continuing, but rapidly disappearing, Kashubian custom of bidding farewell to a deceased member of the local community known as “empty night”. Its essence is the night prayer vigil in the house [...] Read more.
Based on ethnographic field research and thanatological literature, this article analyzes the continuing, but rapidly disappearing, Kashubian custom of bidding farewell to a deceased member of the local community known as “empty night”. Its essence is the night prayer vigil in the house of the deceased, performed by neighbors and relatives. The prayer consists mainly of singing religious songs on “the last things”—in particular about purgatory, human fragility, God’s mercy, and the Passion of Christ. The efforts of the orants are motivated by the concern for the salvation of the soul of the deceased, that is, the shortening and relieving the purgatorial punishment. The centuries-old tradition of “empty night” has been rapidly disappearing over the past 50 years as a result of both economic and social transformations, the gradual erosion of living faith, and the abandonment of the priority of salvation by younger Kashubians. The progressive medicalization of life and change of the approach to death play a crucial role in weakening the tradition of the ancestors. Thus the traditional “empty night” becomes a relic of “tamed death,” giving way to its tabooization and the illusion of “technological immortality”. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Face to Face with Anti-Muslim Sentiment: A Qualitative Study into the Coping Mechanisms of Young College and University Muslim Students and Graduates in Flanders
Religions 2021, 12(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020135 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 165
Abstract
This explorative study seeks to provide insights into the ways young Muslim adults experience and cope with Islamophobia in Flanders. For this purpose, in-depth interviews with 14 Muslims aged 19 to 33 were conducted in the spring of 2020. Our interviewees defined themselves [...] Read more.
This explorative study seeks to provide insights into the ways young Muslim adults experience and cope with Islamophobia in Flanders. For this purpose, in-depth interviews with 14 Muslims aged 19 to 33 were conducted in the spring of 2020. Our interviewees defined themselves as Muslims and all had been confronted with racism or anti-Muslim sentiment in their daily life. Depending on reported intentions, we identified seven coping strategies in the face of such sentiment: relativization, avoidance, communication, oppression, conciliation, reaction and passive coping strategies. These forms of coping are not mutually exclusive. They are often used in combination, and they may be interchangeable in some situations. This study seeks to complement and deepen the existing literature on anti-Muslim sentiment in Flanders. Its findings should be considered as a starting point for further deductive testing of the identified typologies, meant to inspire follow-up research and serve as evidence for future policymaking. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Introduction: Religion and Violence, Rights and Reconciliation
Religions 2021, 12(2), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020134 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 112
Abstract
Planning for this Special Issue began in late 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the conditions of life for all of us [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Violence, Rights and Reconciliation)
Open AccessArticle
Revisiting the Scopes Trial: Young-Earth Creationism, Creation Science, and the Evangelical Denial of Climate Change
Religions 2021, 12(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020133 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 184
Abstract
In the century since the Scopes Trial, one of the most influential dogmas to shape American evangelicalism has been that of young-earth creationism. This article explains why, with its arm of “creation science,” young-earth creationism is a significant factor in evangelicals’ widespread denial [...] Read more.
In the century since the Scopes Trial, one of the most influential dogmas to shape American evangelicalism has been that of young-earth creationism. This article explains why, with its arm of “creation science,” young-earth creationism is a significant factor in evangelicals’ widespread denial of anthropogenic climate change. Young-earth creationism has become closely intertwined with doctrines such as the Bible’s divine authority and the Imago Dei, as well as with social issues such as abortion and euthanasia. Addressing this aspect of the environmental crisis among evangelicals will require a re-orientation of biblical authority so as to approach social issues through a hermeneutic that is able to acknowledge the reality and imminent threat of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evangelicalism: New Directions in Scholarship)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Warfare Myths about Science and Christianity and How These Myths Promote Scientism
Religions 2021, 12(2), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020132 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Many people assume that there has been ceaseless conflict between science and Christianity. I argue that the real conflict has been between scientism and religion. Scientism is the view that only the sciences generate knowledge or rational belief. Scientism, as typically articulated, entails [...] Read more.
Many people assume that there has been ceaseless conflict between science and Christianity. I argue that the real conflict has been between scientism and religion. Scientism is the view that only the sciences generate knowledge or rational belief. Scientism, as typically articulated, entails the opinion that reliable belief about divinity (theological realism) is impossible. I debunk four historic science–Christianity conflict myths and show how they have promoted scientism. These four science–religion myths function as part of a larger warfare narrative about science and Christianity. This misleading warfare thesis often comes packaged with an alternative anti-theistic “myth” in the anthropological sense—in this case, a worldview-shaping narrative that awakens the imagination to interpret the world in scientistic and non-theistic ways. I call this the scientistic warfare myth and explore its major flaws. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christianity and Science: Fresh Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle
Bilad al-Brazil: The Importance of West African Scholars in Brazilian Islamic Education and Practice in Historic and Contemporary Perspective
Religions 2021, 12(2), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020131 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 179
Abstract
While it is well established now that the middle passage did not entirely separate Africans who were forcibly brought to the Americas from their home cultures and traditions, these connections are often studied and understood in the form of survivals or ancestral memory. [...] Read more.
While it is well established now that the middle passage did not entirely separate Africans who were forcibly brought to the Americas from their home cultures and traditions, these connections are often studied and understood in the form of survivals or ancestral memory. This paper argues that in major urban centers in Brazil until around the time of World War I, West Africans not only managed to recreate Islamic communities and intellectual traditions, but maintained important contacts with their homelands. In much the same way that scholars have argued that the Sahara constituted an avenue of exchange and connection between North Africa and Bilad al-Sudan, I argue here that the Atlantic Ocean was not an insurmountable barrier but provided opportunities for African Muslims to extend the traditions of Bilad al-Sudan into Brazil—albeit to a much lesser extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Africa, Globalization and the Muslim Worlds)
Open AccessArticle
Political Islam: A 40 Year Retrospective
Religions 2021, 12(2), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020130 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 253
Abstract
The year 2020 roughly corresponds with the 40th anniversary of the rise of political Islam on the world stage. This topic has generated controversy about its impact on Muslims societies and international affairs more broadly, including how governments should respond to this socio-political [...] Read more.
The year 2020 roughly corresponds with the 40th anniversary of the rise of political Islam on the world stage. This topic has generated controversy about its impact on Muslims societies and international affairs more broadly, including how governments should respond to this socio-political phenomenon. This article has modest aims. It seeks to reflect on the broad theme of political Islam four decades after it first captured global headlines by critically examining two separate but interrelated controversies. The first theme is political Islam’s acquisition of state power. Specifically, how have the various experiments of Islamism in power effected the popularity, prestige, and future trajectory of political Islam? Secondly, the theme of political Islam and violence is examined. In this section, I interrogate the claim that mainstream political Islam acts as a “gateway drug” to radical extremism in the form of Al Qaeda or ISIS. This thesis gained popularity in recent years, yet its validity is open to question and should be subjected to further scrutiny and analysis. I examine these questions in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Islam in World Politics)
Open AccessArticle
Migration, Interfaith Engagement, and Mission among Somali Refugees in Kenya: Assessing the Cape Town Commitment from a Global South Perspective One Decade On
Religions 2021, 12(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020129 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 204
Abstract
In the last decade, since the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (2010) in Cape Town, South Africa, the world has significantly changed. The majority of the world’s Christians are located in the Global South. Globalization, conflict, and migration have catalyzed the emergence [...] Read more.
In the last decade, since the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (2010) in Cape Town, South Africa, the world has significantly changed. The majority of the world’s Christians are located in the Global South. Globalization, conflict, and migration have catalyzed the emergence of multifaith communities. All these developments have in one way or another impacted missions in twenty-first-century sub-Saharan Africa. As both Christianity and Islam are spreading and expanding, new approaches to a peaceful and harmonious coexistence have been developed that seem to be hampering the mission of the Church as delineated in the Cape Town Commitment (2010). Hence a missiological assessment of the Cape Town Commitment is imperative for the new decade’s crosscutting developments and challenges. In this article, the author contends that the mission theology of the 2010 Lausanne Congress no longer addresses the contemporary complex reality of a multifaith context occasioned by refugee crises in Kenya. The article will also describe the Somali refugee situation in Nairobi, Kenya, occasioned by political instability and violence in Somalia. Finally, the article will propose a methodology for performing missions for interfaith engagement in Nairobi’s Eastleigh refugee centers in the post Cape Town Commitment era. The overall goal is to provide mainstream evangelical mission models that are biblically sound, culturally appropriate, and tolerant to the multifaith diversity in conflict areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Debt and Sacrifice: The Role of Scapegoats in the Economic Crises
Religions 2021, 12(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020128 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 201
Abstract
Despite the process of secularization and modernization, in contemporary societies, the role of sacrifice is still relevant. One of the spaces where sacrifice actually performs a critical role is the realm of modern economy, particularly in the event of a financial crisis. Such [...] Read more.
Despite the process of secularization and modernization, in contemporary societies, the role of sacrifice is still relevant. One of the spaces where sacrifice actually performs a critical role is the realm of modern economy, particularly in the event of a financial crisis. Such crises represent situations defined by an outrageous symbolic violence in which social and economic relations experience drastic transformations, and their victims end up suffering personal bankruptcy, indebtedness, lower standards of living or poverty. Crises show the flagrant domination present in social relations: this is proven in the way crises evolve, when more and more social groups marred by a growing vulnerability are sacrificed to appease financial markets. Inspired by the theoretical framework of the French anthropologist René Girard, our intention is to explore how the hegemonic narrative about the crisis has been developed, highlighting its sacrificial aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Sacrifice in the Secular Age)
Open AccessArticle
Dispensation and Liturgy Mediated as an Answer to COVID-19 Restrictions: Empirical Study Based on Polish Online Press Narration
Religions 2021, 12(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020127 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 237
Abstract
The main objective of this study is to determine the media image of dispensation and liturgy mediated during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. The paper is based on interdisciplinary methodology, which combines elements of practical theology (the see–judge–act paradigm) and a communication and [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study is to determine the media image of dispensation and liturgy mediated during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. The paper is based on interdisciplinary methodology, which combines elements of practical theology (the see–judge–act paradigm) and a communication and media studies approach (media content analysis, critical discourse analysis). The time range of the analysed media discourse is between 12 and 18 March 2020, which was the first week after issuing government restrictions towards liturgy and the Church’s response to that: granting the dispensation and supporting the mediatisation of liturgy. The material for the discourse analysis includes online editions of 20 Polish press titles. It occurs that the general attitude of the media towards dispensation and liturgy mediated was positive, but some media tended to present the topics according to their editorial policies. The paper also formulates a theological reflection: although liturgy mediated as a permanent solution could be challenging to accept, it allowed worshippers to experience the liturgy in times of isolation. It is, therefore, an expression of the Church’s concern for the health and lives of the faithful, although not entirely in line with the official and long-standing position of the Church towards the mediatisation of the liturgy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
Open AccessArticle
Christ in Yaqui Garb: Teresa Urrea’s Christian Theology and Ethic
Religions 2021, 12(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020126 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 200
Abstract
A healer, Mexican folk saint, and revolutionary figurehead, Teresa Urrea exhibited a deeply inculturated Christianity. Yet in academic secondary literature and historical fiction that has arisen around Urrea, she is rarely examined as a Christian exemplar. Seen variously as an exemplary feminist, chicana [...] Read more.
A healer, Mexican folk saint, and revolutionary figurehead, Teresa Urrea exhibited a deeply inculturated Christianity. Yet in academic secondary literature and historical fiction that has arisen around Urrea, she is rarely examined as a Christian exemplar. Seen variously as an exemplary feminist, chicana, Yaqui, curandera, and even religious seeker, Urrea’s self-identification with Christ is seldom foregrounded. Yet in a 1900 interview, Urrea makes that relation to Christ explicit. Indeed, in her healing work, she envisioned herself emulating Christ. She understood her abilities to be given by God. She even followed an ethic which she understood to be an emulation of Christ. Closely examining that interview, this essay argues that Urrea’s explicit theology and ethic is, indeed, a deeply indigenized Christianity. It is a Christianity that has attended closely to the religion’s central figure and sought to emulate him. Yet it is also a theology and ethic that emerged from her own social and geographic location and, in particular, the Yaqui social imaginary. Urrea’s theology and ethics—centered on the person of Christ—destabilized the colonial order and forced those who saw her to see Christ in Yaqui, female garb. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Care of the Common Good as a Responsibility of Business Leaders. Catholic Social Teaching Perspective
Religions 2021, 12(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020125 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 171
Abstract
The aim of this article is to propose the adoption of a Catholic social teaching (CST) perspective as a universal approach to business ethics. We assume that the common good, as understood in CST, is an extension of the Aristotelian and Thomistic concepts [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to propose the adoption of a Catholic social teaching (CST) perspective as a universal approach to business ethics. We assume that the common good, as understood in CST, is an extension of the Aristotelian and Thomistic concepts of the organic relations between economics and ethics, which, prior to the Enlightment, was a basic rational way of management (oikonomia). We aim to show both the influence of religious ethics on the shape of economic life and the influence of the Catholic understanding of the common good on leadership. CST encourages business leaders to focus not only on the material, but also the transcendental aims of human work and life. From this perspective, the responsibility of a business leader can be understood as a practical realisation of the Commandment of Love and divided into three levels, each of which contributes to the common good. On the micro level, leaders are responsible for their own actions; on the mezzo level, they are responsible for the organisations they lead—especially for their employees—and on the macro level, they should be responsible for actions towards external stakeholders, which might ultimately be extended to the world as a whole. In this way, leaders can cooperate with God and contribute to the common good of their organisations, society, and humanity. Full article
Open AccessEssay
Christianity and Darwinism: The Journey Is More Important Than the Destination
Religions 2021, 12(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020124 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 168
Abstract
Does God exist? If he does, what is the evidence for this? Can one arrive at God through reason (natural theology), or is it faith or nothing (revealed theology)? I write of my lifetime of wrestling with this question. Raised a Quaker, I [...] Read more.
Does God exist? If he does, what is the evidence for this? Can one arrive at God through reason (natural theology), or is it faith or nothing (revealed theology)? I write of my lifetime of wrestling with this question. Raised a Quaker, I lost my faith at the age of 20. As an academic, I became an expert on Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution through natural selection. How can I make sense of—and how can I reconcile—these two hugely important things in my life? At the age of 80, I find myself a long-standing agnostic. This is not, as Francis Collins claims, a “cop out.” Showing my debt to my Quaker heritage, I am theologically apophatic. I can say only what I do not know. I find this quite-out-of-character modesty hugely exciting. It gives my life great meaning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christianity and Science: Fresh Perspectives)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
White Pop, Shiny Armour and a Sling and Stone: Indigenous Expressions of Contemporary Congregational Song Exploring Christian-Māori Identity
Religions 2021, 12(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020123 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 337
Abstract
It has taken many years for different styles of music to be utilised within Pentecostal churches as acceptable forms of worship. These shifts in musical sensibilities, which draw upon elements of pop, rock and hip hop, have allowed for a contemporisation of music [...] Read more.
It has taken many years for different styles of music to be utilised within Pentecostal churches as acceptable forms of worship. These shifts in musical sensibilities, which draw upon elements of pop, rock and hip hop, have allowed for a contemporisation of music that functions as worship within these settings, and although still debated within and across some denominations, there is a growing acceptance amongst Western churches of these styles. Whilst these developments have taken place over the past few decades, there is an ongoing resistance by Pentecostal churches to embrace Indigenous musical expressions of worship, which are usually treated as token recognitions of minority groups, and at worst, demonised as irredeemable musical forms. This article draws upon interview data with Christian-Māori leaders from New Zealand and focus group participants of a diaspora Māori church in southwest Sydney, Australia, who considered their views as Christian musicians and ministers. These perspectives seek to challenge the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations within a church setting and create a more inclusive philosophy and practice towards being ‘one in Christ’ with the role of music as worship acting as a case study throughout. It also considers how Indigenous forms of worship impact cultural identity, where Christian worship drawing upon Māori language and music forms has led to deeper connections to congregants’ cultural backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle
Zen and the Body: A Postmodern Ascetic? Bodily Awakening in the Zen Memoirs of Shozan Jack Haubner
Religions 2021, 12(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020122 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 596
Abstract
In this article, I examine two memoirs by the American Zen Buddhist author Shozan Jack Haubner. Within the contemporary genre of American Zen autobiographical literature, Haubner’s books are special in that they explore Zen awakening as driven by the body. Penetration, pregnancy and [...] Read more.
In this article, I examine two memoirs by the American Zen Buddhist author Shozan Jack Haubner. Within the contemporary genre of American Zen autobiographical literature, Haubner’s books are special in that they explore Zen awakening as driven by the body. Penetration, pregnancy and sickness are the main figures Haubner uses to show how his autobiographical protagonist accesses the Buddhist truth of no-self. Though these books can thus be said to map an ascetic quest for the erasure of individuality, this quest proceeds not through the imposition of will onto the body, but the body imposing its will on the self. Because this is somewhat different from how the ascetic self is usually theorized, I propose to call Haubner’s main character a “postmodern ascetic”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism and the Body)
Open AccessArticle
Intertwining Christian Mission, Theology, and History: A Case Study of the Basel Mission among the Thiyyas and Badagas of Kerala, 1870–1913
Religions 2021, 12(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020121 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 196
Abstract
For centuries, various denominations of Christian missionaries have contributed in a larger way towards the spread of Christianity among the people of Indian sub-continent. Each Church had its own principles of preaching the word of God and undertook welfare activities in and around [...] Read more.
For centuries, various denominations of Christian missionaries have contributed in a larger way towards the spread of Christianity among the people of Indian sub-continent. Each Church had its own principles of preaching the word of God and undertook welfare activities in and around the mission-stations. From establishing schools to providing medical aids, the Christian missionaries were involved in constant perseverance to improve the ‘indigenous’ societies not only in terms of amenities and opportunities, but also in spiritual aspects. Despite conversion being the prime motive, every Mission prepared ground on which their undertakings found meanings and made an impact over people’s lives. These endeavours, combining missiological and theological discourses, brought hope and success to the missionaries, and in our case study, the Basel Mission added to the history of the Christian Mission while operating in the coastal and hilly districts of Kerala during the 19th and the 20th centuries. Predominantly following the trait of Pietism, the Basel Mission emphasised practical matters more than doctrine, which was evident in the Mission activities among the Thiyyas and the Badagas of Malabar and Nilgiris, respectively. Along with addressing issues like the caste system and spreading education in the ‘backward’ regions, the most remarkable contribution of the Basel Mission established the ‘prototype’ of industries which was part of the ‘praxis practice’ model. It aimed at self-sufficiency and provided a livelihood for a number of people who otherwise had no honourable means of subsistence. Moreover, conversion in Kerala was a combination of ‘self-transformation’ and active participation which resulted in ‘enculturation’ and inception of ‘modernity’ in the region. Finally, this article shows that works of the Basel Mission weaved together its theological and missiological ideologies which determined its exclusivity as a Church denomination. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Ascetic Measure: A New Category for the Philosophical Analysis of Self-Inflicted Pain as an Expression of Love for God
Religions 2021, 12(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020120 - 14 Feb 2021
Viewed by 187
Abstract
The paper identifies the measure of pain monastic Christian ascetics in medieval central Europe inflicted on themselves to express the right measure of love for God. I ask whether the measure of pain had significance; whether a ratio existed between the measure of [...] Read more.
The paper identifies the measure of pain monastic Christian ascetics in medieval central Europe inflicted on themselves to express the right measure of love for God. I ask whether the measure of pain had significance; whether a ratio existed between the measure of pain ascetics experienced and the measure of love they expressed; how self-inflicted painful acts enabled the epistemic achievement of expressing the right measure of love for God; what made the right measure such; and what was the difference between ascetics and martyrs regarding the measures of pain and love respectively. Providing answers to these questions, unaddressed in existing studies, is the main contribution of this paper. While addressing them, I present a new category, the category of measure, for philosophical analysis of the old religious phenomenon under discussion. This category allows me to demonstrate that the measure of pain had significance and that there was an adequacy ratio between the measure of pain monastic ascetics experienced and the measure of love they expressed. It also lets me argue that the right measure of pain for expressing their love for God, following His example, was the exposure of blood, regardless of its quantity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle
“Abusers of Themselves with Mankind”: On the Constitutive Necessity of Abuse in Evangelical Sex Manuals
Religions 2021, 12(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020119 - 13 Feb 2021
Viewed by 179
Abstract
In this essay, I recount the recent narrative of an evangelical awakening on issues of sexual violence though the impact of Rachael Denhollander, an advocate and survivor of sexual trauma. Denhollander’s evangelical credentials authorized fellow US evangelicals to sympathize with the #MeToo movement. [...] Read more.
In this essay, I recount the recent narrative of an evangelical awakening on issues of sexual violence though the impact of Rachael Denhollander, an advocate and survivor of sexual trauma. Denhollander’s evangelical credentials authorized fellow US evangelicals to sympathize with the #MeToo movement. I then show how this script of awakening obscures a long history of abuse in relation to LGBTQ persons of faith. I demonstrate how American evangelical sex manuals make abuse both constitutive to a genuine discovery of personhood and simultaneously marginal to one’s self-identification. Paradox becomes a framework for describing the “problem” of homosexuality in evangelical circles. Finally, I reflect on what it suggests to scholars of religion that a religious community ensconces abuse in this distinctive way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evangelicalism: New Directions in Scholarship)
Open AccessArticle
Cultural Diversity and Religious Reflexivity in an Intercultural Chilean Parish
Religions 2021, 12(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020118 - 13 Feb 2021
Viewed by 239
Abstract
This research aims to analyze cultural diversity and its relationship with the personal belief in an Immigrant Parish. The discussion is framed within the topic of intercultural churches and parishes, although in a setting that has not been researched (Santiago, Chile). The research [...] Read more.
This research aims to analyze cultural diversity and its relationship with the personal belief in an Immigrant Parish. The discussion is framed within the topic of intercultural churches and parishes, although in a setting that has not been researched (Santiago, Chile). The research was carried out in the Latin-American Parish placed in Providencia, Santiago, and a qualitative framework was used to obtain and analyze the data. Cultural diversity is understood concerning religious reflexivity and under the idea that pluralism leads to a weakening of religious conviction, as Peter Berger argued. The theoretical framework makes the difference between the vision of Berger on cultural pluralism (pluralism inter-religion) and the viewpoint by Charles Taylor (pluralism intra-religion). On the contrary to Berger, the findings of this research showed that cultural diversity and pluralism are elements that produce a strengthening of individual beliefs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Religiosity and Individual Agency: Denominational Affiliation, Religious Action, and Sense of Control (SOC) in Life
Religions 2021, 12(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020117 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 220
Abstract
By reporting findings from Wave 6 of the World Values Survey, this paper presents a renewed understanding of the relationship between religiosity and individual agency that is defined as sense of control (SOC) in life. In doing so, it proposes two conceptual articulations [...] Read more.
By reporting findings from Wave 6 of the World Values Survey, this paper presents a renewed understanding of the relationship between religiosity and individual agency that is defined as sense of control (SOC) in life. In doing so, it proposes two conceptual articulations of religiosity. First, it articulates religiosity to be composed of categorical (i.e., denominational affiliation) and substantive (i.e., religious action) aspects. Second, it articulates substantive religious action to be multivocal, involving individual–affective, individual–practical, and collective–practical action. The paper finds that categorical denominational affiliation has varying effects on SOC, whereas substantive religious action mediates these effects in such a way that it consistently boosts SOC. A positive association between denominational affiliation (vs. non-affiliation) and SOC becomes smaller when religious action is accounted for. A negative association becomes greater when religious action is accounted for. In sum, the paper argues for the positive mediating effect of religious action on the varying relationship between denominational affiliation and SOC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Similarities and Differences between Danish and American Physicians’ Religious Characteristics and Clinical Communication: Two Cross-Sectional Surveys
Religions 2021, 12(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020116 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 262
Abstract
Many physicians remain reticent to initiate or partake in discussions about their patients’ religious and spiritual needs during the clinical encounter. Reasons for this may be insufficient time, capacity, education or training but may also be a product of variance in physicians’ own [...] Read more.
Many physicians remain reticent to initiate or partake in discussions about their patients’ religious and spiritual needs during the clinical encounter. Reasons for this may be insufficient time, capacity, education or training but may also be a product of variance in physicians’ own religious or spiritual characteristics. The aim of this paper was to compare American and Danish physicians’ religious characteristics, and to explore and compare American and Danish physicians’ attitudes towards, and practices of, integrating religiosity and spirituality in the clinical encounter. We included data from two cross-sectional surveys: an American survey conducted in 2002 (n = 2000) and a Danish survey conducted in 2012 (n = 1485) to test four hypotheses. American physicians were significantly more religious, they more frequently inquired about religious or spiritual issues in the clinical encounter and they found it more appropriate to discuss religious or spiritual issues if the patients brought it up when compared to Danish physicians. A weak to moderate positive correlation between level of religiosity and frequency of inquiring about religious and spiritual issues were found in both populations. The findings are discussed in relation to the clinical importance of ensuring that health care practices stay patient centered. The findings may especially be relevant to consider in increasingly ethnically and culturally diverse contexts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Zhuangzi’s Theory on “Fate” and the Humanistic Spirit within
Religions 2021, 12(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020115 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 269
Abstract
Conventional accounts of Zhuangzi’s concept of fate are limited to only a certain aspect of it. At the same time, they seem to be mutually contradictory. This essay investigates this concept afresh based on textual analysis and elucidates Zhuangzi’s real concerns about fate. [...] Read more.
Conventional accounts of Zhuangzi’s concept of fate are limited to only a certain aspect of it. At the same time, they seem to be mutually contradictory. This essay investigates this concept afresh based on textual analysis and elucidates Zhuangzi’s real concerns about fate. This analysis reveals that Zhuangzi laid stress on the virtue demonstrated in confronting the unavoidable. More specifically, the important meaning of fate encompasses, on the one hand, a whole acceptance of the facts facing us by forgetting oneself, and on the other hand, responding positively to the facts by following the “Heavenly Way” until a spontaneous state is reached. We shall see as well how Zhuangzi’s views on the relation between Heaven and the Human, and on certain moral values, help to validate his theory on fate. Thus, through exploring his underlying thoughts and showing how their various aspects are logically connected, we shall show that Zhuangzi’s concept of fate is imbued with a humanistic spirit in the face of affairs in the real world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/Philosophies)
Open AccessArticle
Depth Psychological Elements in Seon Master Daehaeng’s Dharma Talks, with Special Reference to Hanmaum Yeojeon
Religions 2021, 12(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020114 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 201
Abstract
This essay attempts to approach the dharma talks of Korean Seon Master Daehaeng (1927–2012) from a modern scientific perspective. In particular, it tries to articulate depth psychological elements which belong to or which are relevant in some way to her dharma talks. In [...] Read more.
This essay attempts to approach the dharma talks of Korean Seon Master Daehaeng (1927–2012) from a modern scientific perspective. In particular, it tries to articulate depth psychological elements which belong to or which are relevant in some way to her dharma talks. In so doing, it will attend to the content of her magnum opus, Hanmaum Yeojeon (The Principle of One Mind), which was compiled from her extensive dharma talks. This essay articulates that she could be regarded in contemporary Korean Buddhism as a pioneer, the author of the first works which can be only understood properly if one’s point of departure is the kind of meaning revealing depth psychological elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Spirituality and Psychology)
Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop