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Religions, Volume 12, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 101 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Does Leonard Cohen count as a “poet” on Heidegger’s terms—in desolation? Read with reference to gnosticism as well as pluralism (whose deities? as Nietzsche asked), this essay addresses the allure of Cohen’s musical rendezvous with eros and occasion: what is needed to grasp the forelock of Kairos (he-god of chance)? Reading the dark night of the soul in terms of Heidegger’s complex authenticity and “thought of death”, Cohen’s poetry brings us to the religious in its secular and its esoteric breadth—but whose religion? Posing this question in terms of Heidegger’s “What are Poets For?” is to set Cohen alongside Rilke but in tension with Hölderlin’s Syrian in Bread and Wine but also the older gods of Nature and Art. Cohen’s “darker” turn is painful and reflexive: “we kill the flame”—a poet in dark times as we face them, together and alone. View this paper
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Article
Giqatilla’s Philosophical Poems on the Hebrew Vowels: Poetry, Philosophy, and Theology in Giqatilla’s Ginnat Egoz and Sefer ha-Niqqud
Religions 2021, 12(7), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070554 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 947
Abstract
In the present paper, I will examine Yosef ben Abraham Giqatilla’s philosophical poems on the Hebrew vowels that are included in his three early works on “punctuation:” the third section from the larger Ginnat Egoz (“The Nut Garden”), the longer version of Sefer [...] Read more.
In the present paper, I will examine Yosef ben Abraham Giqatilla’s philosophical poems on the Hebrew vowels that are included in his three early works on “punctuation:” the third section from the larger Ginnat Egoz (“The Nut Garden”), the longer version of Sefer ha-Niqqud (“The Book of Punctuation”), and a short version of the latter. Scholarship on the chronology of these three texts has been inconclusive. I will argue that a textual comparison of Giqatilla’s philosophical poems and an analysis of their paratextual function allow for a solution, and therefore a possible chronology of their composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spanish Mysticism)
Article
Preference for Religious Coping Strategies and Passive versus Active Coping Styles among Seniors Exhibiting Aggressive Behaviors
Religions 2021, 12(7), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070553 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 895
Abstract
This article is theoretical and empirical. The theoretical part presents issues related to experiencing stress (including ways of coping with experienced problems) and the relationships between preference for various coping strategies and human behavior. The empirical part presents the results of research on [...] Read more.
This article is theoretical and empirical. The theoretical part presents issues related to experiencing stress (including ways of coping with experienced problems) and the relationships between preference for various coping strategies and human behavior. The empirical part presents the results of research on the relationship between the frequency of seniors (n = 329) using 13 different ways to deal with experienced difficulties (including the strategy of turning to religion/religious coping) and 11 categories of aggressive behavior (retaliation tendencies, self-destructive tendencies, aggression control disorders, displaced aggression, unconscious aggressive tendencies, indirect aggression, instrumental aggression, self-hostility, physical aggression towards the environment, hostility towards the environment, and reactive aggression). The last part is devoted to a discussion on the obtained research results and the practical implications of using the strategy of turning to religion/religious coping in difficult situations as a factor protecting the elderly from aggressive behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Influence of Religions on Culture and Science)
Article
The Historiography of Medieval Monasticism: Perspectives from Northern Europe
Religions 2021, 12(7), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070552 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1132
Abstract
The article provides a thematized discussion of the development of the historiography of European monasticism in northern Europe (north Atlantic, North Sea to the Baltic). Whilst it does not offer a comprehensive overview of the field, it discusses the significance of major currents [...] Read more.
The article provides a thematized discussion of the development of the historiography of European monasticism in northern Europe (north Atlantic, North Sea to the Baltic). Whilst it does not offer a comprehensive overview of the field, it discusses the significance of major currents and models for the development of monastic history to the present day. From focusing on the heritage of history writing “from within”—produced by the members of religious communities in past and modern contexts—it examines key features of the historiography of the history of orders and monastic history paradigms in the context of national and confessional frameworks. The final section of the article provides an overview of the processes or musealization of monastic heritage and the significance of monastic material culture in historical interpretations, both academic and popular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medieval Monasticism in Northern Europe)
Article
Research on a Buddha Mountain in Colonial-Period Korea: A Preliminary Discussion
Religions 2021, 12(7), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070551 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 930
Abstract
Buddhist art became the focus of discussion when Japanese scholars began to construct Korean art history as an academic discipline. This paper presents a case study of how a particular Buddhist site, Mount Nam in Kyŏngju, was recognized, researched, and represented during the [...] Read more.
Buddhist art became the focus of discussion when Japanese scholars began to construct Korean art history as an academic discipline. This paper presents a case study of how a particular Buddhist site, Mount Nam in Kyŏngju, was recognized, researched, and represented during the colonial period (1910–1945). By analyzing representative Japanese publications on the subject, I argue that there existed disconnection between the colonial government and the site-researchers. I re-evaluate the conventional narrative that the colonizers regarded Buddhist statues as “art” removed from their original religious setting. This paper reveals a more layered picture of the early years of historical discourse on the so-called Buddha Mountain and Buddhist sculptures of Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/Philosophies)
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Article
The Freedom of Religious Institutions and Human Flourishing in India: A Present and Future Research Agenda
Religions 2021, 12(7), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070550 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
In this paper, I explore how India’s complex regime of control and management of religious institutions and communities—ironically, particularly Hindu institutions—influences the capacity of these institutions to promote various dimensions of human flourishing and socio-economic uplift among the most marginalized. In addition, I [...] Read more.
In this paper, I explore how India’s complex regime of control and management of religious institutions and communities—ironically, particularly Hindu institutions—influences the capacity of these institutions to promote various dimensions of human flourishing and socio-economic uplift among the most marginalized. In addition, I provide an overview of India’s highly varied landscape when it comes to the freedom of religious institutions from state control, and in particular discuss how some minority religious institutions experience fewer government constraints on some aspects of their freedom to self-identify and self-govern, especially when compared to some majority institutions, such as Hindu temples. Although some minority institutions still face constraints on certain aspects of their operations, the freedom they have to manage their internal affairs can, at times, translate into greater agility and the ability to innovate and flourish in the context of 21st-century India. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freedom of Religious Institutions in Society)
Article
Zero Tolerance of Children’s Sexual Abuse from Interreligious Dialogue
Religions 2021, 12(7), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070549 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Child sexual abuse is a social problem that concerns our societies. The sustainable development goals have highlighted the eradication of child sexual abuse as one of the highest-priority goals of this century. Breaking the silence within religious communities is an essential step going [...] Read more.
Child sexual abuse is a social problem that concerns our societies. The sustainable development goals have highlighted the eradication of child sexual abuse as one of the highest-priority goals of this century. Breaking the silence within religious communities is an essential step going forward. Therefore, establishing a dialogue between people of different religions is crucial to achieving this goal. The purpose of this article is to explore whether there are current interreligious dialogue initiatives based on scientific recommendations to prevent child sexual abuse. The method used herein is a qualitative document analysis of the selected initiatives. The results indicate that interreligious dialogue initiatives include scientific recommendations in their prevention programs. Furthermore, these successful initiatives connect religious values and the need to support victims and to break their silence. Based on these results, it can be concluded that interreligious initiatives for child sexual abuse prevention programs based on scientific evidence are crucial in order to eradicate child sexual abuse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion in the Contemporary Transformation Society)
Article
Spiritual and Religious Support for Underrepresented First-Generation, Low-Income (UFGLI) Students
Religions 2021, 12(7), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070548 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 801
Abstract
UFGLI students comprise 34% of the students enrolled in four-year universities. Unlike some students, UFGLI students face internal and systemic barriers throughout their educational experience and their struggles are often dismissed and disregarded. Working and raising a family while taking courses, minimal support [...] Read more.
UFGLI students comprise 34% of the students enrolled in four-year universities. Unlike some students, UFGLI students face internal and systemic barriers throughout their educational experience and their struggles are often dismissed and disregarded. Working and raising a family while taking courses, minimal support systems, and financial struggles require students to optimize their resources. We explore the issues of UFGLI students and the importance of their spiritual and religious supports using a literature review and a case study. Religious and spiritual identities are resources that should be explored and supported by staff at university counselling centers. Affirming UFGLI students’ religious and spiritual identities and understanding how religion and spirituality work in their lives can assist these students in their acclimation to and success at university. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Incorporating the Sacred in Counselling)
Article
Kierkegaard at the Intersections: The Single Individual and Identity Politics
Religions 2021, 12(7), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070547 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Kierkegaard’s authorship is frequently charged with being so radically individualistic that his work is of little use to social theory. However, in this essay, I argue that Kierkegaard’s notion of “the single individual” actually offers important critical resources for some aspects of contemporary [...] Read more.
Kierkegaard’s authorship is frequently charged with being so radically individualistic that his work is of little use to social theory. However, in this essay, I argue that Kierkegaard’s notion of “the single individual” actually offers important critical resources for some aspects of contemporary identity politics. Through a focused consideration of the two notes that form the little essay, “The Individual” (published with Point of View), I suggest that Kierkegaard does not ignore embodied historical existence, as is sometimes claimed, but instead simply rejects the idea that one’s moral dignity is determined by, or reducible to, such embodied differentiation. Instead, what we find in Kierkegaard is a rejection of the quantitative judgment of “the crowd” in favor of the qualitative neighbor-love of community. In light of Kierkegaard’s claim that it is the specifically religious category of the single individual that makes possible true human equality, I contend that we can develop a Kierkegaardian identity theory consistent with some aspects of the standpoint and intersectionality theory of Patricia Hill Collins and Kimberlé Crenshaw. Although Collins and Crenshaw operate at a structural level and Kierkegaard works at a theological level, they all offer important reminders to each other about the stakes of lives of meaning in light of the embodied task of social justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kierkegaard's den Enkelte in an Era of "Identity Politics")
Article
Ecological Apocalypse in the Poetry of Patrick and Emily Brontë
Religions 2021, 12(7), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070546 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
This essay considers relationships between nature, ecology and apocalypse in the poetry of Patrick Brontë (1777–1861) and Emily Brontë (1818–1848). It argues that though Patrick’s poetry emphasises the spiritual benefits of human connection with the natural world, his apocalypticism leads him to see [...] Read more.
This essay considers relationships between nature, ecology and apocalypse in the poetry of Patrick Brontë (1777–1861) and Emily Brontë (1818–1848). It argues that though Patrick’s poetry emphasises the spiritual benefits of human connection with the natural world, his apocalypticism leads him to see no eschatological future for the natural world. Emily’s poetry is more attentive to destruction and violence in the natural world, but it also offers an eschatological vision of a future in which all of creation participates. Reading Emily’s poetry in theological conversation with that of her father, this essay argues that Emily reinterprets Patrick’s evangelical apocalypticism in the light of her understanding of God as the eternal source of all finite being. Drawing on a theological view of creation as God’s eternal relationship with the earth, Emily suggests that meaningful eschatological hope can be located only in a future in which the whole of creation participates with the human. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Eco-theology)
Article
‘Scrupulous and Timid Conformism’: Ireland and the Reception of the Liturgical Changes of Vatican II
Religions 2021, 12(7), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070545 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1528
Abstract
The Second Vatican Council and, in particular, its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, changed much in the daily life of the Church. In Ireland, a country steeped in the Catholic tradition but largely peripheral to the theological debates that shaped Vatican II, the [...] Read more.
The Second Vatican Council and, in particular, its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, changed much in the daily life of the Church. In Ireland, a country steeped in the Catholic tradition but largely peripheral to the theological debates that shaped Vatican II, the changes to liturgy and devotional practice were implemented dutifully over a relatively short time span and without significant upset. But did the hierarchical manner of their reception, like that of the Council itself, mean that Irish Catholics did not receive the changes in a way that deepened their spirituality? And was the popular religious memory of the people lost through a neglect of liturgical piety and its place in the interior life, alongside what the Council sought to achieve? In this essay, Dr Gary Carville will examine the background to the liturgical changes at Vatican II, the contribution to their formulation and implementation by leaders of the Church in Ireland, the experiences of Irish Catholic communities in the reception process, and the ongoing need for a liturgical formation that brings theology, memory, and practice into greater dialogue. Full article
Article
‘Conversion’ to Islam in Early Medieval Europe: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives on Arab and Northern Eurasian Interactions
Religions 2021, 12(7), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070544 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1542
Abstract
In recent years, the influence of Muslims and Islam on developments in medieval Europe has captured the attention of scholars and the general public alike. Nevertheless, ‘conversion’ to Islam remains a challenging subject for historical research and demands more transdisciplinary collaborations. This article [...] Read more.
In recent years, the influence of Muslims and Islam on developments in medieval Europe has captured the attention of scholars and the general public alike. Nevertheless, ‘conversion’ to Islam remains a challenging subject for historical research and demands more transdisciplinary collaborations. This article examines early medieval interactions between Muslim Arabs and Northern and Eastern Europeans as a case study for whether some individuals in Northern Eurasia ‘converted’ to Islam. More importantly, we address some key examples and lines of evidence that demonstrate why the process of ‘conversion’ to Islam is not more visible in the historical and archaeological records of Northern Eurasia. We find that, despite the well-established evidence for economic exchanges between the Islamic World and Northern Eurasia, the historical and material records are much more complex, but not entirely silent, on the issue of religious change. We also conclude that religious connectivity and exchanges, including with Islam, were common in early medieval Northern Eurasia, even if it is difficult in most cases to identify conclusive instances of ‘conversion’ to Islam. Full article
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Article
Rediscovering a Biblical and Early Patristic View of Atonement through Orthodox–Evangelical Dialogue
Religions 2021, 12(7), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070543 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 2297
Abstract
One of the most effective ways to discover (or rediscover) truth is through dialogue. I believe that both Orthodox and Evangelicals have something important to offer for a reconstruction of a holistic biblical concept of atonement. Orthodox theology has an important perspective to [...] Read more.
One of the most effective ways to discover (or rediscover) truth is through dialogue. I believe that both Orthodox and Evangelicals have something important to offer for a reconstruction of a holistic biblical concept of atonement. Orthodox theology has an important perspective to offer, which is not well-known in Western theology—an ontological perspective on atonement. However, Orthodox theologians have lacked assertiveness, clarity, and comprehensiveness in their presentation of this view, especially in connection with biblical texts. In Protestant theology, we can find many critiques of inadequate existing views as well as in-depth biblical study of separate atonement ideas, but what is lacking is a holistic concept of atonement that would be able to harmoniously integrate various biblical atonement metaphors and also faithfully reflect the early patristic view. I believe that an ontological perspective on atonement combined with the integration of key biblical atonement ideas and metaphors can bring us back to the heart of the apostolic and early church gospel message. Several issues have hindered accomplishing such a project in the past. I will point to these problems and show some possible solutions. Finally, I will present the ontological perspective and show how it can integrate various biblical atonement metaphors. Full article
Article
Kazimir Malevich’s Negative Theology and Mystical Suprematism
Religions 2021, 12(7), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070542 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1222
Abstract
This article examines Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist art in the context of negative (apophatic) theology, as a crucial tool in analyzing both the artist’s theoretical conclusions and his new visual optics. Our analysis rests on the point that the artist intuitively moved towards recognizing [...] Read more.
This article examines Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist art in the context of negative (apophatic) theology, as a crucial tool in analyzing both the artist’s theoretical conclusions and his new visual optics. Our analysis rests on the point that the artist intuitively moved towards recognizing the ineffability of the multidimensional universe and perceiving God as the Spiritual Absolute. In his attempt to see the invisible in the formulas of Emptiness and Nothingness, Malevich turned to the primary forms of geometric abstraction—the square, circle and cross—which he endows with symbolic concepts and meanings. Malevich treats his Suprematism as a method of perceiving the ineffability of the Absolute. With the Black Square seen as a face of God, the patterns of negative theology rise to become the philosophical formula of primary importance. Malevich’s Mystical Suprematism series (1920–1922) confirms the presence of complex metaphysical reflection and apophatic thought in his art. Not only does the series contain icon paraphrases and the Christian symbolism of the cross and mandorla, but it also advances the formulas of the apophatic faith of the modern times, since Suprematism presents primary forms as the universals of “the face of the future” and the energy of the non-objective art. Full article
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Brief Report
Psychometric Properties of the Clergy Suicide Prevention Competencies Developmental Rubric and Faith Leaders’ Readiness to Address Suicide Stigma
Religions 2021, 12(7), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070541 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 883
Abstract
Faith leaders (FL) have a key role in suicide prevention. One of their roles is to address suicide stigma in faith communities. Are they ready to do so? The Clergy Suicide Prevention Skills Developmental Rubric (CSPCDR) was developed to understand and assess clergy [...] Read more.
Faith leaders (FL) have a key role in suicide prevention. One of their roles is to address suicide stigma in faith communities. Are they ready to do so? The Clergy Suicide Prevention Skills Developmental Rubric (CSPCDR) was developed to understand and assess clergy suicide prevention skills. The psychometric properties of the CSPCDR are reported in order to assess FL’ readiness to address suicide stigma. Sample 1, 186 Protestant seminary students completed the CSPCDR twice, resulting in Pearson’s r = 0.77. Sample 2, 187 Protestant clergy and lay ministers completed the CSPCDR before and after one of eight trainings to test construct validity; the CSPCDR performed as expected. Results suggest how to expand FL’ readiness to address suicide stigma in faith communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the Stigma of Suicide)
Article
Suicide Stigma in Christian Faith Communities: A Qualitative Study
Religions 2021, 12(7), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070540 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Given the increasing numbers of U.S. lives lost to suicide, it is imperative to identify factors that can help protect against suicide. While regular religious service attendance has been found to be protective against suicide, faith communities have taboos against suicide which may [...] Read more.
Given the increasing numbers of U.S. lives lost to suicide, it is imperative to identify factors that can help protect against suicide. While regular religious service attendance has been found to be protective against suicide, faith communities have taboos against suicide which may be associated with stigma. Nine Christian faith leaders and congregants and one moral psychologist completed interviews on suicide stigma in Christian faith communities. Themes that emerged included internal, interpersonal, and theological components and group differences related to suicide stigma in Christian faith communities. Participants proposed seven barriers and seven corresponding ways to address suicide stigma in Christian faith communities: talk about suicide, address skill deficits, practice vulnerability, get leadership on board, address the theology of suicide, appreciate that faith communities have a unique contribution to make to suicide prevention, and address cultural/systemic issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the Stigma of Suicide)
Editorial
Introduction to the Special Issue “Marriage, Intimacy, Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia”
Religions 2021, 12(7), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070539 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 956
Abstract
The topic of gender and Islam in Southeast Asia has been much studied [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marriage, Intimacy, Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia)
Editorial
Introduction to Special Issue: Exploring Sikh Traditions and Heritage
Religions 2021, 12(7), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070538 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 995
Abstract
It was quite an exciting moment when the Religions Editorial Office reached out to me to be a guest editor of a Special Issue (SI) on a broad theme of “Exploring Sikh Traditions and Heritage” for the celebrated Open Access Online Journal, Religions [...] Read more.
It was quite an exciting moment when the Religions Editorial Office reached out to me to be a guest editor of a Special Issue (SI) on a broad theme of “Exploring Sikh Traditions and Heritage” for the celebrated Open Access Online Journal, Religions [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Sikh Traditions and Heritage)
Article
The Crucifix and the Art Gallery: An Odyssey from Religious Material Culture to Fine Art
Religions 2021, 12(7), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070537 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 888
Abstract
This article focuses the epistemological processes through which a thirteenth-century Spanish Crucifix in less than pristine condition transformed from an obscure rural Catholic devotional into an art commodity and celebrated work of medieval art now exhibited at the Memorial Art Gallery of the [...] Read more.
This article focuses the epistemological processes through which a thirteenth-century Spanish Crucifix in less than pristine condition transformed from an obscure rural Catholic devotional into an art commodity and celebrated work of medieval art now exhibited at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester (MAG) in Rochester, New York. By situating the Spanish Crucifix within the nascent art historical epistemology and museum movement in the late eighteenth to early twentieth century, this article offers a case study in how religious material culture becomes embedded in capitalistic systems as products or commodities, yet suggests the ways that critical religious studies approaches might enhance our understanding of religious material culture in fine arts museums. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Religious Material Culture Studies)
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Editorial
Sixteen Contributors: A Response
Religions 2021, 12(7), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070536 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 846
Abstract
It is a rare event indeed to have sixteen philosophers join together in a symposium to reflect up the central question of one’s book [...] Full article
Article
Ayatollah Yusuf Sanei’s Contribution to the Discourse of Women’s Rights
Religions 2021, 12(7), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070535 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
Ayatollah Yusef Sanei was a prominent contemporary Shia scholar whose particular methodological approach led him to issue some of the most progressive Shia fatwas on the subject of women’s rights. However, the ideas he expressed in the last decades of his life have [...] Read more.
Ayatollah Yusef Sanei was a prominent contemporary Shia scholar whose particular methodological approach led him to issue some of the most progressive Shia fatwas on the subject of women’s rights. However, the ideas he expressed in the last decades of his life have scarcely been addressed in the English language scholarship. This article explores Sanei’s broader jurisprudential approach and how he applied it to analyzing and often challenging traditional Shia rulings related to gender issues. The article first differentiates Sanei’s approach towards jurisprudence from established methodologies, particularly in relation to his consideration of the Sunna as secondary to the Qurʾān, his rejection of the practice of using consensus as an independent basis of legal rulings, his idea that Sharia rulings may change over time, and his strong emphasis on the Qurʾān’s messages of justice and human dignity. The article illuminates how this combination led Sanei to challenge traditional ideas about men’s authority over women, a fixed socio-political role for women, and men’s superiority in the areas of divorce rights, testimony and worth in blood money (dīya), while concurring with earlier scholars on the unequal division of inheritance. Notwithstanding this latter exception, the article demonstrates that Sanei drew upon jurisprudential approaches in arguing in favor of equality between men and women in many areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Qur'anic Hermeneutics in the Muslim World)
Article
Corporealism as an Ontological Position and Its Involvement in the Thought of Tertullian
Religions 2021, 12(7), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070534 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1285
Abstract
This paper aims to examine the meaning, role, inspirations, and place of corporealism in Tertullian’s system of thought. The extent to which corporealism is a basic philosophical belief in Tertullian’s work and to what extent it is a particular element of his theological [...] Read more.
This paper aims to examine the meaning, role, inspirations, and place of corporealism in Tertullian’s system of thought. The extent to which corporealism is a basic philosophical belief in Tertullian’s work and to what extent it is a particular element of his theological doctrine is questioned. It presents the named ontological position as a rare specificity within the range of early Christian thought, especially in Tertullian’s works De anima and De carne Cristi. This paper makes a clear distinction between corporealism and materialism, as it tries to determine the degree of influence of Stoic philosophy, especially ontology, on Tertullian, as well as the influence of Aristotle in selected areas. In this context, his traducianism is also examined. In the ontological context, the status of the soul and God in Tertullian thought is also presented. In connection with the metaphysical problem of creation, the article also touches on the question of creatio ex nihilo as a problem on which Tertullian had to take a stand. It investigates the role of corporealism in Tertullian’s polemic against Marcion, Apelles, and the Valentinian Gnosis by mapping which elements in the teachings of these representatives and Gnosis, especially (but not exclusively) Valentinian, could provoke Tertullian to controversy. This paper holds the opinion that Tertullian’s corporealism was due to his theological views and controversy with opponents, which were used as philosophical inspiration, especially stoic inspiration, but was used mainly in the service of his theological thinking and strategic needs for argumentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Influence of Religions on Culture and Science)
Article
From the Philosophy of Cult to the Philosophy of History in the Work of Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky (* 1882 + 1937)
Religions 2021, 12(7), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070533 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 771
Abstract
P. A. Florensky dedicated nine writings of his rich interdisciplinary work to the phenomenon of cult, which were first published in a censored form in 1977. We turn our attention to one of these writings called Cult, Religion and Culture, published under [...] Read more.
P. A. Florensky dedicated nine writings of his rich interdisciplinary work to the phenomenon of cult, which were first published in a censored form in 1977. We turn our attention to one of these writings called Cult, Religion and Culture, published under the common title Philosophy of Cult, in which the author elaborates a distinctive concept of the cult as the primary activity of man and at the same time as the gift offered to him for his own sanctification. It is the sacred cult—sacra from where, according to the author, two other human activities originate: namely, the ability to create tools—instrumenta—and the ability to create abstract concepts—notiones. However, both human activities have to be understood as a process of disintegration of the cult—sacra. Thus, by prioritizing one of the three human activities mentioned above, we can recognize three historical periods in history. According to Florensky, the human ability to create tools corresponds to the era of historical materialism, the ability to create concepts corresponds to the era of ideologism, and ultimately, the primary human activity—the life of man in the cult and its culture corresponds to the sacral materialism or concrete idealism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Influence of Religions on Culture and Science)
Article
The Experience and Correlates of God’s Silence among Christians
Religions 2021, 12(7), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070532 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1119
Abstract
The aim of the study was to find out if Christians experience God’s silence and if so, what are its correlates during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second purpose of the study was to identify the connections between the experience of God’s silence and [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to find out if Christians experience God’s silence and if so, what are its correlates during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second purpose of the study was to identify the connections between the experience of God’s silence and depressive mood disorders and the impact of God’s silence on other spiritual experiences. The study was conducted online on a group of 771 people, mostly Christians. The experience of God’s silence was declared by 82.1% of the respondents. This experience does not depend on the sex of the respondents, but correlates with their age. The experience of God’s silence is commensurate with the joy that comes from having a relationship with God through daily spiritual experiences. Additionally, the conducted research shows that experience of God’s silence resembles a state rather than a permanent feature with a visible ending, which is associated with a change in the image of God. The consequences of experiencing God’s silence need not to be negative. The conducted research shows that the most frequently mentioned effect of this experience is the strengthening and consolidation of faith. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Mental Health: Antecedents and Consequences (Volume I))
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Article
Popular-Indigenous Catholicism in Southern Mexico
Religions 2021, 12(7), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070531 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
This paper examines popular indigenous religiosity in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca in the 1990s, in the context of a “progressive” pastoral program formed within the campaign of the New Evangelization, and attuned to the region’s large indigenous population. Based on ethnographic [...] Read more.
This paper examines popular indigenous religiosity in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca in the 1990s, in the context of a “progressive” pastoral program formed within the campaign of the New Evangelization, and attuned to the region’s large indigenous population. Based on ethnographic research in an urban Oaxacan context, I offer an account of the popular Catholic ritualization of death which highlights its independence, and sensuous, material, collective orientation. I approach popular Catholicism as a field of potential tension, hybridity, and indeterminacy, encompassing the discourses and teachings of the Catholic Church in continuous interaction with people’s own sacred imaginaries and domestic devotional practices. Full article
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Article
Beyond Secularization and Post-Secularity—Joseph Ratzinger’s and Józef Tischner’s Concept of a Breakthrough
Religions 2021, 12(7), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070530 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 741
Abstract
The inspiration to write this article was provided by the assessment made by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI: man of the Western civilization is undergoing a deep spiritual crisis. Therefore, conversion, a breakthrough, or spiritual renewal is absolutely necessary. Without this renewal, humanity will become [...] Read more.
The inspiration to write this article was provided by the assessment made by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI: man of the Western civilization is undergoing a deep spiritual crisis. Therefore, conversion, a breakthrough, or spiritual renewal is absolutely necessary. Without this renewal, humanity will become a victim of its own thinking, wanting and acting. As I search for a philosophical description of the breakthrough postulated by Benedict XVI, I refer to the original philosophical and religious thought of Polish philosopher Józef Tischner, who presents the question of the breakthrough at the anthropological-axiological level, where he exposes the issue of interpersonal correlation. The basis for the permanent existence of this correlation is man’s ethical awareness grounded in the ethic of dialogue. This grounding is particularly important, because it is a guarantee for overcoming internal and external threats to the existence of a religious community. Tischner presents the issue of this grounding against the background of the secularization of Western society. By distinguishing relative secularization from radical secularization, Tischner provides an insightful analysis of the phenomenon of the apparent and the true sacrum. For a real breakthrough, only the true sacrum, which Tischner believes to appear at the level of the Christian sanctum, is of primary importance. He understands sanctum as holiness grounded in goodness. It is holiness that is the real key to overcoming man’s multiple crises at the level of his thinking and religious life, at the level of both his private and social life. The presence of sanctum in human life constitutes, in Tischner’s view, the very core of the breakthrough and an expression of the important significance of religion in both individual and social human life. According to Tischner, it is owing to the presence of sanctum, i.e., that which is absolutely good, that man does not have to fall into the trap of post-secular thinking. For post-secularity, as Tischner believes, seeks ways to overcome the tension between the secularized world and the world of religion only in renouncing, for epistemic reasons, the absolutization of secular reason. In his opinion, however, this is not enough for believers and non-believers to follow a common path of cultivating the heritage of universal principles and values, historically expressed mainly in religious life. Only the capacity for selfless kindness can serve as the basic condition for both believers and non-believers to understand and preserve this heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Influence of Religions on Culture and Science)
Article
Speech Genres and Interpretation of the Qur’an
Religions 2021, 12(7), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070529 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
This essay provides an overview of the investigation of genres in Qur’anic studies to date and argues for the utility of the theory of speech genres for the interpretation of the Qur’an generally. Drawing on this approach, it addresses several Qur’anic passages whose [...] Read more.
This essay provides an overview of the investigation of genres in Qur’anic studies to date and argues for the utility of the theory of speech genres for the interpretation of the Qur’an generally. Drawing on this approach, it addresses several Qur’anic passages whose interpretation has been a matter of debate. Attention to the generic conventions of the various types of speech that are contained in Islam’s sacred text may help resolve a number of long-standing and current interpretive debates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Re-Interpreting the Qur’an in the 21st Century)
Article
The Myth of Faust, “Titanism”, and the Religious Topic of the Selling of the Soul in the Cultural Writings of Jan Patočka
Religions 2021, 12(7), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070528 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 796
Abstract
The intensive and systematic scholarly interest in the relation of Patočka’s phenomenology to religion and Christianity is recent and has only intensified over the last ten years. Thus far, the topic has mainly been studied from philosophical and theological perspectives, and the extensive [...] Read more.
The intensive and systematic scholarly interest in the relation of Patočka’s phenomenology to religion and Christianity is recent and has only intensified over the last ten years. Thus far, the topic has mainly been studied from philosophical and theological perspectives, and the extensive body of Patočka’s cultural writings has largely failed to attract the attention of scholars. Moreover, a culturological approach is virtually absent. Therefore, this article suggests focusing on the analysis of cultural archetypes in Patočka’s cultural writings related to the topic of religion and Christianity from this perspective. The cultural archetypes of the Faustian figures of Patočka’s cultural writings, whether Goethe’s Faust, Goethe’s Marguerite, or Mann’s Adrian Leverkühn, are all Socratic-Christic avatars that personify Patočka’s philosophical concept of “care for the soul” in the modern age. The legacy of Plato’s Greek philosophy and that of Western Christianity as presented by Patočka insist on the universally shared existential experience of finitude that should be grasped as a positive challenge in the strife for meaning. Patočka’s “titanism” and the archetypal titanic figures of his cultural writings are Patočkian manifestations of this universal effort. A culturological approach to Patočka’s thinking on religion and Christianity might thus prove most relevant. Full article
Article
Contextualist Approaches and the Interpretation of the Qur’ān
Religions 2021, 12(7), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070527 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 950
Abstract
When it comes to the interpretation of ethico-legal texts in the Qur’ān, there is usually a high degree of emphasis on literalism and textualism but not enough focus on contextualization. This is true for both the classical period and the modern period. This [...] Read more.
When it comes to the interpretation of ethico-legal texts in the Qur’ān, there is usually a high degree of emphasis on literalism and textualism but not enough focus on contextualization. This is true for both the classical period and the modern period. This article points to the contextual nature of interpretation and how the contextualist approach to interpreting the Qur’ān can enable Muslims to follow its ethical teachings in accordance with contemporary needs and circumstances, without sacrificing fundamental Qur’ānic values. In order to do so, the article refers to Qur’ānic passages related to freedom of religion and the laws of punishment, and explores how a contextualist approach to interpreting such passages may yield results different from those of a textualist or literalist approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Re-Interpreting the Qur’an in the 21st Century)
Article
Reciprocating and Connecting: The Ritual Structure and Social Functions of Yao Huan Jia Yuan in Huangdong, Southwest China
Religions 2021, 12(7), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070526 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 858
Abstract
One of the traditional religious rituals of the Yao ethnic group is seeking reciprocal favor for the family from the gods (known as “Huan Jia Yuan”). The cultural value system of the Yao community can be seen in this ritual. Based on fieldwork [...] Read more.
One of the traditional religious rituals of the Yao ethnic group is seeking reciprocal favor for the family from the gods (known as “Huan Jia Yuan”). The cultural value system of the Yao community can be seen in this ritual. Based on fieldwork examining Huan Jia Yuan in Huangdong Township, Hezhou City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, this article analyzes the symbolism of the ritual, as well as the behavior and psychology of the Yao people. It provides a detailed account of the structure and process of the ritual and examines the religious function of Huan Jia Yuan. It demonstrates that Huan Jia Yuan is a ritual by which Yao people communicate and exchange with gods through offerings and sacrifices. In return, the gods promise to eliminate disasters and to use their sacred powers to help those who are experiencing difficulties. In modern society, maintaining cultural inheritance and fostering connections between people are very important. As a result, the ritual has changed in response to the changing life of the community. Full article
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Article
Shrines and Pilgrimages in Poland as an Element of the “Geography” of Faith and Piety of the People of God in the Age of Vatican II (c. 1948–1998)
Religions 2021, 12(7), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070525 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
This research is aimed at learning about the origins and functions of shrines, and changes to the pilgrimage movement in Poland during the Vatican II era (c. 1948–1998). The objective required finding and determining the following: (1) factors in the establishment of shrines [...] Read more.
This research is aimed at learning about the origins and functions of shrines, and changes to the pilgrimage movement in Poland during the Vatican II era (c. 1948–1998). The objective required finding and determining the following: (1) factors in the establishment of shrines in Poland during this time; (2) factors in the development of shrines with reference to the transformation of religious worship and to the influence of political factors in Poland; (3) changes in pilgrimage traditions in Poland, and (4) changes in the number of pilgrimages to selected shrines. These changes were determined by archive and library research. Additionally, field studies were performed at more than 300 shrines, including observations and in-depth interviews with custodians. Descriptive–analytical, dynamic–comparative and cartographic presentation methods were used to analyze results. Full article
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