Next Issue
Volume 14, January
Previous Issue
Volume 13, November
 
 

Religions, Volume 13, Issue 12 (December 2022) – 102 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In contemporary debates over rival models of God, it is common to hear someone object to a rival view by saying, “You have blurred the Creator/creature distinction.” This is meant to be a devastating objection, but the accusation is more often than not question begging. This is because most people take the concept of Creator to mean, “the model of God that I just so happen to affirm.” In light of this, there is a need to examine concepts of Creator and creature in order to promote better debates in the future. View this paper
  • 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 Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
13 pages, 249 KiB  
Article
The Integral Formation of Catholic School Teachers
by Amy E. Roberts and Gerard O’Shea
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121230 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2131
Abstract
The Catholic Church has a long history of conducting schools as part of its mission to evangelize. This paper will contend that in order for teachers to implement the evangelistic mission of Catholic schools, they themselves need an integral formation that puts every [...] Read more.
The Catholic Church has a long history of conducting schools as part of its mission to evangelize. This paper will contend that in order for teachers to implement the evangelistic mission of Catholic schools, they themselves need an integral formation that puts every dimension of their human nature—body, emotions, will, and intellect—in ongoing communion with Christ and His Church. A brief examination of the impact of secularization in the United States on the Catholic school mission indicates that teachers are inadequately formed to fulfill that mission. Contemplative practice, a common faith formation practice used for Catholic school teachers, will be evaluated as insufficient for achieving its goal because it does not fully account for the way God created human beings. Contemplative practice relies heavily on the work of John Dewey, who applied inadequate anthropological principles to the task of human learning and teacher education. By contrast, faith formation efforts that account for human nature engage both the intellectus and the ratio, and in so doing engage the teacher’s whole integrated person. Teacher faith formation can facilitate the teacher’s encounter with God, allowing Him to form her, by providing analogical encounters with Him through the transcendentals and sacramental encounters with Him in the liturgy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Education)
22 pages, 13785 KiB  
Article
The Virgin Mary and Sainte-Foy: Chant and the Original Design of the West Façade at Conques
by Bissera V. Pentcheva
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1229; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121229 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2553
Abstract
Using the evidence of Aquitanian chants, this article explores the possibility that a twelfth-century relief panel of the Annunciation today in the interior of Conques was originally designed for the West facade, where it completes the composition of the divine plan of Salvation. [...] Read more.
Using the evidence of Aquitanian chants, this article explores the possibility that a twelfth-century relief panel of the Annunciation today in the interior of Conques was originally designed for the West facade, where it completes the composition of the divine plan of Salvation. This hypothetic reconstruction also uncovers the important role of the patron saint, Sainte-Foy, and how she is promoted as second after Mary and efficacious intercessor. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 386 KiB  
Article
The Catholic Church in Poland, Her Faithful, and the Restrictions on Freedom to Practise Religion during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Piotr Stanisz, Dariusz Wadowski, Justyna Szulich-Kałuża, Małgorzata Nowak and Mirosław Chmielewski
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1228; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121228 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2459
Abstract
In response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus epidemic, the state authorities in Poland—as in other countries—decided to introduce various restrictions on rights and freedoms, including the freedom to practise religion. The purpose of this study is to analyse and evaluate the [...] Read more.
In response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus epidemic, the state authorities in Poland—as in other countries—decided to introduce various restrictions on rights and freedoms, including the freedom to practise religion. The purpose of this study is to analyse and evaluate the position taken by the ministers of the Catholic Church in Poland and her faithful towards these restrictions during the first wave of the pandemic. An analysis of source material, including documents published by representatives of the Conference of Polish Bishops and diocesan bishops (or curial deputy officials), leads to the conclusion that, in their official messages, the bishops virtually unanimously supported the restrictions imposed by the state, often granting them the sanction of canon law, or introducing even more restrictive solutions in their own dioceses. Moreover, an analysis of the media coverage of the first wave of the pandemic, as well as sociological opinion research focusing on Poland’s Catholic faithful, concludes that both the faithful and ‘rank-and-file’ clergy exhibited a polarised assessment of the stance adopted by the bishops towards the restrictions. However, this analysis allows for the refutation of the claim expressed in the literature, and shared by some of the faithful, about the bishops’ excessive submissiveness to the state authorities. Our research proves that this claim somewhat distorts the reality. Rather, the attitude of the hierarchs of the Church needs to be seen as an expression of their responsibility for the common good. More deserving of criticism, on the other hand, is the excessive focus of the ecclesiastical message of this period on the restrictions on the freedom to practise religion, while the right of the faithful to the spiritual goods of the Church was relegated to the background (Can. 213 CIC-1983). In adopting the research framework developed by Joseph Cardijn (‘see–judge–act’), our analysis concludes with the recommendation that, should a similar crisis arise in the future, the institution of the Church should rather focus its message to the faithful on securing the said right in the context of the state-imposed restrictions, by adopting the attitude typical of that of an addressee of legal norms, in line with the conclusions drawn from its own autonomy and independence as underlying principles of the State-Church relationship in both Church teachings and Polish law. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Education)
13 pages, 2203 KiB  
Article
Music and Spirituality in Africa: Gospel Music, Spirituality, and Everyday Meaning-Making in Nigeria
by Oladele Ayorinde and Toyin Samuel Ajose
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1227; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121227 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2921
Abstract
This article explores gospel music as one of the ways people negotiate spirituality and everyday meaning-making in Lagos. Beyond sonic spheres and analysis, this article provides insight into ways in which people ‘perform’ spirituality and negotiate wellbeing amidst Nigeria’s social, political, and economic [...] Read more.
This article explores gospel music as one of the ways people negotiate spirituality and everyday meaning-making in Lagos. Beyond sonic spheres and analysis, this article provides insight into ways in which people ‘perform’ spirituality and negotiate wellbeing amidst Nigeria’s social, political, and economic uncertainty through a focus on the ‘celebrity’ character and self-fashioning of one of Nigeria’s gospel music stars, Tope Alabi. Gospel music and its infrastructures of modernity constitute one of the ways Nigerians negotiate wellbeing and respond to global economic tensions ‘from below’. We explore the nexus between gospel music and how the ‘spirituality’ it facilitates shapes people’s subjective ideas of social and economic wellbeing. We ask: what is the link between gospel music, spirituality, and people’s everyday meaning-making and self-making? Using Harry Garuba’s animist unconscious’, we explore ways in which the social life and superstar image of Nigerian ‘celebrity’ gospel musicians constitute sites where people negotiate spirituality and everyday subjective happiness, and social and economic wellbeing. We argue that spirituality, ‘being spiritual’ or the understanding thereof does not only manifest at the intersections of sound and emotion. Instead, we suggest that people’s subjective idea of spirituality or ‘being spiritual’ in a place such as Lagos can also be understood through a focus on the social life and the self-fashioning of gospel musicians. The self-fashioning and superstar image of gospel musicians become a medium through which the everyday idea of spirituality and meaning-making is negotiated, staged, and performed, and a channel through which these processes of meaning-making can be explored and understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Researches with Spirituality and Music)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
Fore-Giving in Time: A Husserlian Reading of Genesis, Luke, and John
by Peter R. Costello
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121226 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1006
Abstract
This paper attempts to perform a phenomenology of forgiveness by way of careful analysis of texts on time-consciousness and alterity by Edmund Husserl. It does so in two ways: first, by identifying the manner in which we give time to ourselves as both [...] Read more.
This paper attempts to perform a phenomenology of forgiveness by way of careful analysis of texts on time-consciousness and alterity by Edmund Husserl. It does so in two ways: first, by identifying the manner in which we give time to ourselves as both absolute and concrete subjectivity; and second by identifying the way in which our relation to other persons has an isomorphic, structural similarity with our self-relation as temporality. The final part of the paper engages with three biblical texts—the story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis, where forgiveness is mentioned for the first time—and two short passages in the Gospels of Luke and John. Ultimately, the paper concludes that forgiveness of self and other occurs as a kind of pre-giving or fore-giving in the sense of opening up new meaning for us all to inhabit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Experience and Metaphysics)
21 pages, 320 KiB  
Article
Religions, Women and Discourse of Modernity in Colonial South India
by M. Christhu Doss
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121225 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2450
Abstract
Colonial education and missionary discourse of modernity intensified struggles for continuity and change among the followers of Hinduism and Christianity in nineteenth century India. While missionary modernity was characterised by an emphasis on sociocultural changes among the marginalized women through Christian norms of [...] Read more.
Colonial education and missionary discourse of modernity intensified struggles for continuity and change among the followers of Hinduism and Christianity in nineteenth century India. While missionary modernity was characterised by an emphasis on sociocultural changes among the marginalized women through Christian norms of decency, orthodox Hindus used traditional cultural practices to confront missionary modernization endeavours. This article posits that the discourse of missionary modernity needs to be understood through the principles of Western secular modernity that impelled missionaries to employ decent clothing as a symbol of Christian femininity. It argues that missionary modernity not only emboldened the marginalized women to challenge their ascribed sociocultural standing but also solidified communitarian consciousness among the followers of Hinduism and Christianity substantially. Even though Travancore state defended the entrenched customary practices, including women’s attire patterns, with all its potency through authoritative proclamations, it could not dissuade missionaries from converting the marginalized women to missionary modernity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Christianity in History and in Culture)
16 pages, 2506 KiB  
Article
Reception History and Early Chinese Classics
by Tobias Benedikt Zürn
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121224 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2832
Abstract
Thus far, the study of early China and its texts is dominated by originalist approaches that try to excavate the authentic meaning of the classics. In this article, I promote the idea that a shift in focus from the intentions of the authors [...] Read more.
Thus far, the study of early China and its texts is dominated by originalist approaches that try to excavate the authentic meaning of the classics. In this article, I promote the idea that a shift in focus from the intentions of the authors to the readers’ concrete responses could meaningfully accompany our research on the classics’ “original” meaning. Beyond merely illuminating the cultural and intellectual environments in which the various receptions were produced, such research on the classics’ myriad interpretations could also serve as a postcolonial catalyst, helping us identify field-specific trends and reading strategies that, often unnoticed, impact our understandings of early Chinese texts. In other words, reception history would not only give us insights into the history of early Chinese classics and the variegated worlds they inhabited. It would also help us illuminate and reflect upon the ways we researchers shape and preconfigure our visions of premodern China and its texts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 4007 KiB  
Article
Pleasure and Fear: On the Uneasy Relation between Indic Buddhist Monasticism and Art
by Henry Albery
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121223 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1394
Abstract
When monastics of the Indic North and Northwest around the turn of the Common Era made the decision to introduce art into monasteries, current cultural assumptions regarding the aesthetic experience of such objects, which were axiomatically negated by Buddhist ideology, led to certain [...] Read more.
When monastics of the Indic North and Northwest around the turn of the Common Era made the decision to introduce art into monasteries, current cultural assumptions regarding the aesthetic experience of such objects, which were axiomatically negated by Buddhist ideology, led to certain confrontations in law and praxis and an attempt to resolve these within certain monastic legal codes (vinaya) redacted during this period. Tracing the historical relation between monasticism and art in this context, this paper focuses on two such uneasy relations. The first deals with an opposition between the worldly aesthetics of pleasure associated with art and fashion and the aesthetics of asceticism as a representation of monasticism’s renunciate ideal. The second considers the aesthetics of fear associated with images of deities, the rejection of such objects as mere signs, and the resulting acts of theft and iconoclasm enacted upon them. It will show that resolution to both was sought in a particular semiotic which negated the aesthetic experience of such objects and rendered them signs with a significance that accorded with Buddhist ideology. Yet the solution remained incomplete, with issues arising when the same ideology was applied to monasticism’s own representation in the art of monasteries, stūpas and Buddha-images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/Philosophies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
Exploring Intergenerational Worship of Interdependence in a Korean American Context
by Namjoong Kim
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121222 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Formed alongside the arrival of the first Korean immigrants in Hawaii in 1903, the Korean American Protestant Church has played a significant role in the social, political, and religious lives of Koreans in the United States. However today, membership is declining and the [...] Read more.
Formed alongside the arrival of the first Korean immigrants in Hawaii in 1903, the Korean American Protestant Church has played a significant role in the social, political, and religious lives of Koreans in the United States. However today, membership is declining and the newer generations represent a smaller part of the movement leading the Korean American Protestant Church to review and reform its current respective practices of ministry in terms of language, teaching, preaching, worship, and theological orientation. This article focuses on the critical issues that the Korean American Protestant Church is facing and examines the current common practice of Korean American worship. Additionally, this article proposes theological and liturgical suggestions that could be utilized to help realize the goal of Korean American intergenerational worship. These suggestions are formed against the background of five notable characteristics of the Trinity—flexibility (innovation), communication (sharing and empathy), interconnection, ubiquity, and holistic artistry—which are essential to achieving intergenerational worship and its design. As a sample liturgy, worship combined with a meal invites children and young adults, born and raised in the United States, to participate in leadership roles with first-generation adults, which directly correlates with the aforementioned characteristics. As such, in essence, liturgies like these will lead worshippers to experience the embodied theology of intergenerational worship, based on a practical and theological concept of interdependence and awareness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multicultural Worship: Theory and Practice)
10 pages, 241 KiB  
Article
The Logic of Dialogue and Dialogical Theology
by Ephraim Meir
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1221; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121221 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
In this article, I introduce and develop a logic of dialogue and reciprocity as distinguished from a logic of reflection. I argue that interreligious dialogue is not only desirable, but logically necessary for two reasons: one, the logic of dialogue precedes the logic [...] Read more.
In this article, I introduce and develop a logic of dialogue and reciprocity as distinguished from a logic of reflection. I argue that interreligious dialogue is not only desirable, but logically necessary for two reasons: one, the logic of dialogue precedes the logic of reflection and, two, the intersubjective dialogue is a precondition for the dialogue with the Ultimate Reality. I proceed in three stages. First, I problematize the terms identity and belonging and expound on the challenge of dialogue. Second, I reflect upon the nature of interreligious dialogue and present my dialogical theology together with its crucial notion of “trans-difference”. Third, I refer to the dialogical philosophies of Buber, Fischer and Gandhi, whose thoughts contribute to a dialogical theology. Full article
16 pages, 1527 KiB  
Article
Priestly Garments as Atoning Agents in Amoraic Literature
by Shlomo Zuckier
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121220 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
The garments worn by the priests in the Temple not only present a stark image of “glory and splendor” (Exod 28:2) but present an accompanying theology, as well. This paper will focus on one theological strand—the idea that the priestly garments atone—in classical [...] Read more.
The garments worn by the priests in the Temple not only present a stark image of “glory and splendor” (Exod 28:2) but present an accompanying theology, as well. This paper will focus on one theological strand—the idea that the priestly garments atone—in classical Judaism. It will demonstrate that, while the biblical account of priestly garments sees them largely as functional or as serving primarily in non-expiatory roles, late classical rabbinic (i.e., Amoraic) literature features an extensive tradition that these garments serve to atone for a variety of sins. This paper traces several versions of that tradition in exploring the expansive account of atonement found in these rabbinic texts and contextualizing that within other developments in classical Judaism and rabbinic literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atonement: Classic and Contemporary, Sacred and Secular)
29 pages, 8700 KiB  
Article
Nonverbal Communication in Rituals on Irish Pilgrimage Routes
by Bożena Gierek
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1219; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121219 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1840
Abstract
There are endless lists of academic publications on pilgrimage and on nonverbal communication, but very rarely if at all, do these two phenomena meet together in the same one, hence the author’s attempt to bring them together here. In this article the author [...] Read more.
There are endless lists of academic publications on pilgrimage and on nonverbal communication, but very rarely if at all, do these two phenomena meet together in the same one, hence the author’s attempt to bring them together here. In this article the author discusses nonverbal communication in the context of pilgrimage rituals. Since rituals are carried out both physically and mentally, their performance requires the involvement of all the senses. A ritual may be verbal or nonverbal and very often is both. All elements of the ritual send a message. Thus, ritual communicates—it is a source of information about the individual retrieved by others—but it is not only that, as it also effects the mind, thoughts and spirituality of the individual. It has enormous influence on the well-being of a person; it is therapeutic. The author describes and analyzes single rituals related to the well, the tree, various kinds of stones, and other objects located on pilgrimage routes. While doing this, the author takes a phenomenological approach. She bases her analysis of nonverbal communication mainly on ethnographic materials. She also utilizes sources from the areas of archeology, anthropology, sociology and psychology. They are supplemented by her own participant observation at many pilgrimage places in Ireland over the period 1995–2012. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pilgrimage in the Modern World)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 2774 KiB  
Article
“Mystical Spirituality” in Second Temple Period Judaism? Light from the Decorated Stone in the Magdala Synagogue
by Wally V. Cirafesi
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121218 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1924
Abstract
While “Merkavah mysticism” as a religious movement is a phenomenon of Late Ancient and Medieval Judaism, scholars have debated whether the origins of this movement are traceable to traditions of the divine Merkavah (chariot-throne) preserved in some early Jewish apocalyptic literature from the [...] Read more.
While “Merkavah mysticism” as a religious movement is a phenomenon of Late Ancient and Medieval Judaism, scholars have debated whether the origins of this movement are traceable to traditions of the divine Merkavah (chariot-throne) preserved in some early Jewish apocalyptic literature from the Second Temple period. Furthermore, scholars have emphasized that these early Merkavah traditions reflect individualistic religious experiences that emerged historically in contexts of small esoteric groups of initiates who claimed a privileged experience and knowledge of the divine. In this article, I wish to do two things: (1) to establish methodologically the point that, from an analytical perspective, we can, indeed, speak of a kind of Jewish “mystical spirituality” present in the Second Temple period akin to later Jewish mystical traditions; and (2) to argue that, in light of some iconographic features on the decorated stone from the first-century synagogue at Magdala, early Jewish “mystical spirituality” was not a phenomenon restricted to the individual but could also involve an assembled community’s experience of divine presence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Jesus and Spirituality: In Biblical and Historical Perspective)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
A New Dimension of the Catholic Church’s Influence on the World: On the Novelty of the Social Teaching of St. John Paul II
by Michał Gierycz
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121217 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1404
Abstract
When reflecting on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the modern world in the second half of the 20th century, it is impossible to overlook the radical shift brought about by John Paul II. As Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde points out, the saintly Pope [...] Read more.
When reflecting on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the modern world in the second half of the 20th century, it is impossible to overlook the radical shift brought about by John Paul II. As Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde points out, the saintly Pope opened a “new dimension of the Church’s influence on the world”. The essence of this novelty was John Paul II’s perception of the Church’s task as being defined “centrally and exclusively from the perspective of its salvation mission”. The above thesis seems proven regarding Holy See diplomacy. The most prominent example of a “new approach” was the decision taken by John Paul II to put aside Ostpolitik, dominant since the t ime of John XXIII. Nonetheless, the question arises regarding a change in the social teaching of the Church under St. John Paul II, for ultimately, political praxis is always rooted in some theory. In the case of the Church, the theoretical foundation of the Church’s socio-political activity and its relation to modern world is Catholic social doctrine. The presented article examines the meaning of the teaching of St. John Paul II for the nature, method, and goals of the social teaching of the Church. If Böckenförde is right when writing about the political novelty of the Polish Pope’s pontificate, also in this field, despite numerous references to his predecessors, the position of John Paul II should be associated with a significant novum. The article is devoted to discussing this thesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Secularism and Religious Traditions)
15 pages, 946 KiB  
Article
Reexamining the Different Paths to the Dao of the Daodejing
by Jing Tan and Xiangfei Bao
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121216 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3853
Abstract
The Daodejing has inconsistent editions and versions. There are controversial issues that lie in the theme, the intention, the significance, and the semantic meaning of the Daodejing. This article takes “Dao ke dao fei chang Dao” as an anchor to [...] Read more.
The Daodejing has inconsistent editions and versions. There are controversial issues that lie in the theme, the intention, the significance, and the semantic meaning of the Daodejing. This article takes “Dao ke dao fei chang Dao” as an anchor to reexamine the different paths to the Dao of the Daodejing. We regard all of the editions and versions as an enrichment of the Daodejing. Drawing on the Chinese exegetics, we obtain two basic meanings of the verb dao (“to speak” and “to follow”), and two basic meanings of the adjective chang (“eternal” and “common”). Based on a philosophical analysis and review of the sinological interpretations, we discriminate three ways of speaking (conceptual way, metaphorical way, and transcendental way), two modes of following (to imitate the Dao and to merge identically with the Dao), and three types of eternal (immutable eternal, constantly changing as eternal, and eternal in the core). By examining different paths to the Dao, we conclude that Laozi’s Dao cannot be expressed conceptually or metaphorically. We must comprehend the Dao in a transcendental way. The Dao constantly changes with a stable core or law but differs from physical law, dialectical logic, and logos in the Western context. People can follow the Dao and become identical to it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways into Early Daoist Philosophy)
11 pages, 653 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Relationship between Centrality of Religiosity, Instrumental Harm, and Impartial Beneficence through the Lens of Moral Foundations
by Mariola Paruzel-Czachura and Edyta Charzyńska
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121215 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
A growing body of work suggests that religiosity is typically associated with deontological or non-utilitarian moral judgments. However, recent conceptualizations of utilitarian psychology show that instrumental harm is just one (negative) dimension of utilitarianism. In the new two-dimensional model of utilitarian psychology, impartial [...] Read more.
A growing body of work suggests that religiosity is typically associated with deontological or non-utilitarian moral judgments. However, recent conceptualizations of utilitarian psychology show that instrumental harm is just one (negative) dimension of utilitarianism. In the new two-dimensional model of utilitarian psychology, impartial beneficence is the second (positive) dimension of utilitarianism. In the current study, we investigated the relationship between the centrality of religiosity and utilitarianism (its two dimensions) among adults (N = 401). We also examined whether five moral foundations serve as mediators of this relationship. We found that religiosity was directly and indirectly (through the care foundation) related to impartial beneficence. Although the direct effect of religiosity on instrumental harm was insignificant, we found two indirect effects through purity and authority foundations. The results suggest that the relationship between religiosity and utilitarianism is more complex than previously assumed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Meaning of Religiosity in Life)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Birds of Prey, Birds of Wisdom: Relating to Non-Humans in Contemporary Western-Based Shamanism
by Carolina Ivanescu and Nienke Groskamp
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1214; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121214 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1668
Abstract
Birds of prey appear frequently in contemporary forms of shamanism. For example, Michael Harner’s Core Shamanism references the ‘power animal,’ or the authentic self, which sometimes takes the form of a strong and benevolent eagle. However, precisely how meaning and belief concerning these [...] Read more.
Birds of prey appear frequently in contemporary forms of shamanism. For example, Michael Harner’s Core Shamanism references the ‘power animal,’ or the authentic self, which sometimes takes the form of a strong and benevolent eagle. However, precisely how meaning and belief concerning these birds may have been lost, challenged or (re)invented remains to be explored. In this contribution, we have used the methods and vision of netnography to explore the relationships between contemporary western-based, self-defined shamans and birds of prey: real, imagined or represented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
9 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Marian Devotion on the Camino de Santiago during the Middle Ages
by Piotr Roszak and Jesus Tanco Lerga
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1213; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121213 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1520
Abstract
This article presents the theological basis of Marian devotion on the medieval Camino de Santiago and its manifestation in the form of Marian advocacies (Virgen Peregrina, Virgen del Camino). The presence of the cult of the Virgin Mary on the pilgrimage route to [...] Read more.
This article presents the theological basis of Marian devotion on the medieval Camino de Santiago and its manifestation in the form of Marian advocacies (Virgen Peregrina, Virgen del Camino). The presence of the cult of the Virgin Mary on the pilgrimage route to Compostela, closely linked to the Jacobean tradition from the very beginning, grows out of the main Mariological trend in the Middle Ages, expressed in the synthesis of Thomas Aquinas. However, a special relationship must be sought in the Mariology of the Hispanic–Mozarabic rite, which created the spiritual climate for the Compostela pilgrimages in the first centuries of their existence. Full article
15 pages, 438 KiB  
Article
Sex Education in Islamic Primary Schools in The Netherlands
by Sara Kaya-Postema
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1212; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121212 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 39411
Abstract
The Netherlands is known for its progressive attitude towards dealing with sexuality. Sex education has a permanent place in the educational system. Dutch legislation provides schools with the opportunity to teach the subject in their own way, in line with the school’s ethos/identity. [...] Read more.
The Netherlands is known for its progressive attitude towards dealing with sexuality. Sex education has a permanent place in the educational system. Dutch legislation provides schools with the opportunity to teach the subject in their own way, in line with the school’s ethos/identity. In this article I answer the question: What are the views and attitudes of RE teachers regarding sexuality in the teaching practice of Islamic primary schools? Qualitative research among six teachers of religious education (RE), a school principal, and a counsellor of religion at the Islamic school foundation SIMON, shows that respondents experience a gap between Islamic principles regarding sexuality and views common in Dutch society. Topics that lead to discussion include talking openly about sex, sexual diversity and the use of photos and images. The question emerges what role shame plays in Islamic sex education. One experiences a paradox as to the call to shame that emanates from religious sources, which seems to contradict the openness found in the same sources. Islamic sex education at SIMON schools seems to prefer open, informative, and modest communication about (almost) all subjects related to sexuality. Islamic views and an attitude of respect are encouraged with positive and loving terminology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam and/in Education in the Netherlands)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 233 KiB  
Article
Conscience, Law, and Politics
by Patrick Hannon
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121211 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1032
Abstract
Of the many questions on which our title invites reflection, one in particular has again achieved prominence in the United States: how is a politician who is Roman Catholic expected to vote when a measure purports to legalise what church teaching says is [...] Read more.
Of the many questions on which our title invites reflection, one in particular has again achieved prominence in the United States: how is a politician who is Roman Catholic expected to vote when a measure purports to legalise what church teaching says is morally wrong? The debate has become increasingly acrimonious, to the point where senior prelates are among those who contend that President Biden and Speaker of the House Pelosi are unfit to receive Holy Communion since they subscribe to the ‘pro-choice’ position of the Democratic Party. The core question has become politicised, its public discussion poisoned by association with toxic elements of the so-called ‘culture wars’, at an impasse that is impairing effective leadership in the US Catholic Church, and an effective Catholic contribution to the common good of American society. I shall argue that this is as unnecessary as it is regrettable, and that a way through the impasse is to be found in mainline Catholic thinking about morality, law, and politics. Full article
9 pages, 270 KiB  
Article
The Eternal Plan of the Father and the Immaculate Conception of the Mother: The Foundations of an Objective Mariology in the Theology of Blessed John Duns Scotus
by Sławomir Jerzy Kunka
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121210 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
This article explores selected aspects of the Mariology of Blessed John Duns Scotus, a medieval Franciscan philosopher and theologian. Even though the Subtle Doctor did not develop a theological synthesis as mature as that of St. Thomas Aquinas, his observations continue to provide [...] Read more.
This article explores selected aspects of the Mariology of Blessed John Duns Scotus, a medieval Franciscan philosopher and theologian. Even though the Subtle Doctor did not develop a theological synthesis as mature as that of St. Thomas Aquinas, his observations continue to provide a relevant source of inspiration for a more in-depth look at Franciscan protological and soteriological concepts. Duns Scotus earned his place in the history of theology as a eulogist of the mystery of the Incarnation and defender of the truth about the Immaculate Conception. In fact, what he had accomplished laid the necessary foundation for the dogmatic ruling on that matter in 1854. The article begins by presenting the scholar’s view of the relation between creation and Redemption from the standpoint of Christ’s perfect mediation. The Marian Doctor was an advocate of emphasizing the objectivity of Redemption, although he himself stopped short of the “threshold” of the mystery of the Father with respect to the Mother of the Son of God, the most perfect Mediator—also for the Virgin Mary. In the end, the Subtle Doctor did not draw all the possible conclusions from his theological vision of creation and salvation history. Next, the article outlines the perspective of God’s eternal plan. Blessed John Duns Scotus’s theology reveals a vision of history in which everything is directed toward the fulfilment of God’s eternal plan: the very plan of which St. Paul wrote very forcefully yet subtly and to which St. John Paul II often referred. The interpretation of that plan is the foundation of an “objective Mariology”. Finally, the author addresses the question of the freedom of both the Creator and His creation from the perspective of the Creator’s plan and in accordance with the Marian Doctor’s assumptions. An analysis of Duns Scotus’s Mariology reveals its depth and innovative character and, at the same time, certain limitations which—in his time—were mentally unsurmountable. Full article
13 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Original Sin, or Other Opposition to Optimism? How Harkness Differs from Wesley in the Face of Human Depravity
by Natalya A. Cherry
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121209 - 12 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1493
Abstract
Responding to the too-optimistic theology of fellow Arminian, John Taylor, John Wesley wrote his lengthy treatise on the doctrine of original sin. In an optimistic effort to make fellow personalist theologians’ works accessible, Methodist theologian Georgia Harkness tersely disdained the same doctrine in [...] Read more.
Responding to the too-optimistic theology of fellow Arminian, John Taylor, John Wesley wrote his lengthy treatise on the doctrine of original sin. In an optimistic effort to make fellow personalist theologians’ works accessible, Methodist theologian Georgia Harkness tersely disdained the same doctrine in her first major book. She soon found her liberal theology “chastened” by interactions with neo-orthodox opponents and experiences of depravity—in world events and gender-based discrimination reflecting systemic sin. This article examines her later works for evidence of whether Harkness modified her attitude toward original sin and innovations she made to accommodate both her disdain for the doctrine and the realities of depravity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Original Sin: Wesleyan/Methodist Insights for Women)
19 pages, 377 KiB  
Article
Civilizational Populism in Indonesia: The Case of Front Pembela Islam (FPI)
by Ihsan Yilmaz, Nicholas Morieson and Hasnan Bachtiar
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121208 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2369
Abstract
This article examines whether a ‘civilizational turn’ has occurred among populist movements in Indonesia. It focuses on the civilizational elements in the populist discourse of the Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defender Front/FPI) in Indonesia. The article traces the FPI’s history and growing influence [...] Read more.
This article examines whether a ‘civilizational turn’ has occurred among populist movements in Indonesia. It focuses on the civilizational elements in the populist discourse of the Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defender Front/FPI) in Indonesia. The article traces the FPI’s history and growing influence on politics and society in Indonesia in the 2010s. This article argues that the FPI has instrumentalized religious discourse, and through it divided Indonesian society into three groups: the virtuous ummah, corrupt elites, and immoral internal and external non-Muslim enemies, especially the civilizational bloc ‘the West’. This instrumentalization gained the group a degree of popularity in the second decade of the post-Suharto period and strengthened its political power and ability to bargain with mainstream political parties. The article uses the FPI’s actions and discourse during the Ahok affair to demonstrate the civilizational turn in Indonesian populism. The article shows how the FPI grew in power during the Ahok affair, in which a Christian Chinese politician, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, was accused of blasphemy by Indonesian Islamists and later convicted on the same charge by an Indonesian court. The FPI was a leading part of a broad coalition of Islamist groups and individuals which called for Ahok to be charged with blasphemy; charges which were eventually laid and which led to Ahok being sentenced to two years imprisonment. The FPI, the article shows, framed Ahok as a non-Muslim Christian and therefore a ‘foreign’ enemy who was spreading moral corruption in Indonesia, governing ‘elites’ as complacent in combating immorality and positioned themselves as defenders of ‘the people’ or ummah. From the security perspective of the state, the FPI presented a critical threat that required containing. As a result of the growing power of the group, the FPI was banned in 2020 and Rizieq was imprisoned, while Ahok was politically rehabilitated by the Widodo government. Although the FPI’s banning is considered the most effective nonpermanent solution for the state, there is evidence that the FPI’s discourse has been adopted by mainstream political actors. This article, then, finds that the growth of the FPI during the second decade of the post-Suharto period, and their actions in leading the persecution of Ahok, demonstrates a civilizational turn in Indonesian Islamist populism. Full article
19 pages, 3461 KiB  
Article
Black Masculinities and Jewish Identity: Ethiopian-Israeli Men in Contemporary Art
by Tal Dekel
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1207; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121207 - 12 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2834
Abstract
The identity of Jewish-Israeli men of Ethiopian descent has undergone deep-seated changes in the last decade, as evident in visual representations created by contemporary black artists living in Israel. In recent years, a new generation of Ethiopian-Israeli artists has revitalized local art and [...] Read more.
The identity of Jewish-Israeli men of Ethiopian descent has undergone deep-seated changes in the last decade, as evident in visual representations created by contemporary black artists living in Israel. In recent years, a new generation of Ethiopian-Israeli artists has revitalized local art and engendered deep changes in discourse and public life. Ethiopian-Israelis, who comprise less than two percent of the total Jewish population in the country, suffers multiple forms of oppression, especially due to their religious status and given that their visibility—as black Jews—stands out in a society that is predominantly white. This article draws links between events of the past decade and the images of men produced by these artists. It argues that the political awareness of Jewish-Ethiopians artists, generated by long-term social activism as well as police violence against their community, has greatly impacted their artistic production, broadened its diversity, and contributed a wealth of artworks to Israeli culture as a whole. Using intersectional analysis and drawing on theories from gender, migration and cultural studies, the article aims to produce a nuanced understanding of black Jewish masculinity in the ethno-national context of the state of Israel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research of Jewish Communities in Africa and in Their Diaspora)
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 360 KiB  
Article
Preunderstanding, Presuppositions and Biblical Interpretation
by Thomas A. Howe
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121206 - 12 Dec 2022
Viewed by 3098
Abstract
For contemporary biblical scholars, the recognition that everyone interprets a text through one’s presuppositions and preunderstanding is axiomatic. If anyone claims to approach the biblical text without any presuppositions, this is in fact a presupposition. The pervasive recognition of presuppositions and preunderstanding in [...] Read more.
For contemporary biblical scholars, the recognition that everyone interprets a text through one’s presuppositions and preunderstanding is axiomatic. If anyone claims to approach the biblical text without any presuppositions, this is in fact a presupposition. The pervasive recognition of presuppositions and preunderstanding in interpretation has largely developed out of the influence of modern philosophy, particularly in such representatives as Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer. One’s presuppositions and preunderstanding form the grid through which one interprets everything, not only texts. The pervasiveness of presuppositions and preunderstanding has issued in a wholesale rejection of the possibility of objectivity in interpretation. This essay will argue that the rejection of the possibility of objectivity is self-defeating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Philosophical Theology)
14 pages, 301 KiB  
Article
Women and the Exclusionary Practices of the Christ Apostolic Church Prayer Mountains in Selected Yoruba Cities of Southwestern Nigeria
by Enoch Olujide Gbadegesin and Elizabeth Ayoola Adeyemi-Adejolu
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121205 - 12 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1862
Abstract
We argue that Christ Apostolic Church leaders used doctrines and rituals to exclude women from full participation in prayer mountain experience in the Yorùbá cities of southwestern Nigeria. We examine the underlying doctrinal reasons behind this practice. We analyze how ritual performance alters [...] Read more.
We argue that Christ Apostolic Church leaders used doctrines and rituals to exclude women from full participation in prayer mountain experience in the Yorùbá cities of southwestern Nigeria. We examine the underlying doctrinal reasons behind this practice. We analyze how ritual performance alters the status of participants on the prayer mountain. Finally, we address the question of any antecedent in the Christ Apostolic Church’s doctrine regarding the exclusion of women on the prayer mountain rituals. The field works that form the basis of this study took place between October 2011 and January 2015. We used participant-observation and oral interview methods on selected mountains in Southwestern Nigeria. We conclude that the leadership of Christ Apostolic Church must reexamine their doctrines to eliminate practices that exclude women from full and active participation in religious experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Gender and Sexuality)
22 pages, 313 KiB  
Article
Late Medieval Mysticism and the Analogy of Grace and Nature
by Christopher M. Wojtulewicz
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1204; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121204 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1621
Abstract
Erich Przywara’s insightful and Christological interpretation of Aquinas’ maxim regarding grace and nature suggests that nature and reason ought to pass through a redemptive ‘death’ with respect to grace and faith. This highlights the inadmissibility of proportioning finality to nature and reason. But [...] Read more.
Erich Przywara’s insightful and Christological interpretation of Aquinas’ maxim regarding grace and nature suggests that nature and reason ought to pass through a redemptive ‘death’ with respect to grace and faith. This highlights the inadmissibility of proportioning finality to nature and reason. But more can be said regarding this particular reclamation of a high scholastic view. The late medieval mystical tradition shows a relationship between grace and nature, faith and reason, which sheds further light on this project, and in particular offers a way of valorising a Christological understanding of the relationship within each pair. I propose that this occurs specifically within the mystical context when any and all finality ascribed to apophasis ‘dies’, resulting in an oscillation between both ontic and noetic expressions of transcendence and immanence. This includes the question of mystical claims to spiritually outgrow ecclesial contexts and specificities. I highlight this with particular reference to Meister Eckhart and Jan van Ruusbroec. Full article
17 pages, 941 KiB  
Article
Catholic Religious Practices Questionnaire (CRPQ): Construction and Analysis of Psychometric Properties
by Dariusz Krok, Małgorzata Szcześniak, Adam Falewicz and Janusz Lekan
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121203 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3059
Abstract
Members of the Catholic Church express their faith in a variety of manners, in general with a focus on liturgical and popular forms of piety. This article provided construction and initial validation for a brief questionnaire to measure Catholic religious practices. The authors [...] Read more.
Members of the Catholic Church express their faith in a variety of manners, in general with a focus on liturgical and popular forms of piety. This article provided construction and initial validation for a brief questionnaire to measure Catholic religious practices. The authors used Sample 1 (n = 219) for exploratory factor analysis and Sample 2 (n = 181) for confirmatory factor analysis and to test the validity of a new scale. A model with two factors with five items each provided a good fit. The Catholic Religious Practices Questionnaire (CRPQ) consists of two subscales: official religiosity and folk practices. Both exhibit positive though varying correlations with the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS) and Multidimensional Prayer Inventory (MPI). The new questionnaire has been confirmed as a reliable and valid measure that takes into account the distinctive features of the Catholic religious tradition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Action Possibilities Enhancing the Spiritual Wellbeing of Young Children: Applying Affordance Theory to the Godly Play Room
by Brendan Hyde
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121202 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Godly Play is an approach to religious education for young children between the ages of three and eight. The Godly Play room, modelled on Montessori’s prepared environment, provides opportunities for young children to respond to Sacred stories, Parables and Liturgical actions presented by [...] Read more.
Godly Play is an approach to religious education for young children between the ages of three and eight. The Godly Play room, modelled on Montessori’s prepared environment, provides opportunities for young children to respond to Sacred stories, Parables and Liturgical actions presented by the Storyteller through art using any of the materials available to them. However, there is a paucity of research into how different spatial affordances may enhance opportunities for spiritual development in the Godly Play room. This article examines the Godly Play room through the lens of affordance theory. It applies elements of the notion of affordances to three documented anecdotes of Godly Play storytellers to show how particular action possibilities enhance opportunities for spiritual development and wellbeing. The analysis highlights the importance of the Storyteller’s guidance, the readily accessible materials, and the dedicated space in which Godly Play is undertaken. Full article
27 pages, 2480 KiB  
Article
Significance of the Śrāvastī Miracles According to Buddhist Texts and Dvāravatī Artefacts
by Natchapol Sirisawad
Religions 2022, 13(12), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13121201 - 9 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2641
Abstract
The story of the Śrāvastī miracles is one episode of the Buddha’s biography that is depicted in the art forms of Dvāravatī from about the 7th to the 11th centuries CE. The fact that many artefacts were produced—in such variety, over such a [...] Read more.
The story of the Śrāvastī miracles is one episode of the Buddha’s biography that is depicted in the art forms of Dvāravatī from about the 7th to the 11th centuries CE. The fact that many artefacts were produced—in such variety, over such a long period, and at so many sites—shows the popularity of the scene of the Śrāvastī miracles in the Dvāravatī culture. The objective of this research paper is to analyze the significance of the story of the Śrāvastī miracles that affected the creation of Dvāravatī art in Thailand by examining the textual sources together with the Dvāravatī artefacts. The analysis shows that the stories of the Śrāvastī miracles were significant in various ways, being one of the Buddha’s necessary deeds, a principal miracle only performed by the Buddha, a means of converting others to Buddhism, and a key source for the idea of making Buddha images as an act of merit. These significant features may explain the popularity of the Śrāvastī miracle theme in Dvāravatī culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhist Doctrine and Buddhist Material Culture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop