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Religions, Volume 13, Issue 7 (July 2022) – 100 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic in the larger context of our present-day ontology and the environmentally destructive human–nature relationship that characterizes it. This article first sets out the problematic conceptualization of nature in the modern social imaginary, focusing upon the self in terms of identity, agency, and authority. Second, it sets out how the pandemic fundamentally disrupts these three facets of the self. Finally, it explores opportunities for a renewed relationship with nature through the concepts of metaphysical participation, teleology, and rational intuition. In doing so, the pandemic crisis is considered in the wider context of the ecological crisis, and as an opportunity for rethinking our collective concept of nature as well as the place of our selves within it. View this paper
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13 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
‘The Whole Concept of Social Cohesion, I Thought, “This Is So Qur’anic”’: Why Australian Muslim Women Work to Counter Islamophobia
by Susan Carland
Religions 2022, 13(7), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070670 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1994
Abstract
Islamophobia is on the rise in many Western countries, and while previous research has considered the causes of Islamophobia and the impact it has on its victims, little research has investigated the attitudes and experiences of Muslims who are working to counter Islamophobia, [...] Read more.
Islamophobia is on the rise in many Western countries, and while previous research has considered the causes of Islamophobia and the impact it has on its victims, little research has investigated the attitudes and experiences of Muslims who are working to counter Islamophobia, and particularly those of Muslim women. This research investigates the motivations and intentions of Australian Muslim women who run public engagement events for non-Muslims to counter Islamophobia and build social cohesion. Data were obtained via in-depth interviews with 31 Sunni, Shia, Ahmadiyya Muslim women in four Australian capital cities. The three main themes that emerged were that the women wanted to connect with the non-Muslims who attended the events, create positive social change, and increase the knowledge that non-Muslims had about Islam and Muslims. Significantly, the women said that their most important motivator was their faith, and they rejected the idea that they were doing such work to appease non-Muslims. Instead, they saw work was an affirmation of their identity as Muslim women and their commitment to God. Full article
16 pages, 270 KiB  
Article
Pragmatic Encroachment, Phenomenology, and Religious Experience
by Michael D. Barber
Religions 2022, 13(7), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070669 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1426
Abstract
Aaron Rizzieri’s Pragmatic Encroachment, Religious Belief, andPractice (2013) is the fullest religious appropriation of a relatively new epistemological concept: pragmatic encroachment. To achieve this goal, Rizzieri rightly sees (1) how justification takes place within an encompassing pragmatic context and (2) how justification [...] Read more.
Aaron Rizzieri’s Pragmatic Encroachment, Religious Belief, andPractice (2013) is the fullest religious appropriation of a relatively new epistemological concept: pragmatic encroachment. To achieve this goal, Rizzieri rightly sees (1) how justification takes place within an encompassing pragmatic context and (2) how justification of religious belief establishes within a wider context less than absolute knowledge. While the first point can be supported by Alfred Schutz’s theory of action, often including multi-layered sub-acts, Schutz’s idea of a theoretical enclave can create a space for epistemic evidentialism, as an independent distinctive moment, with distinctive (justificatory) purposes, within an overarching practical action. Rizzieri’s book itself exemplifies such evidentialism, theoretically justifying pragmatic encroachment, after the fashion of Husserlian transcendental phenomenology. Rizzieri could also profit from Husserlian regional ontologies, on which he implicitly already relies to support religious knowledge. Husserl’s concept of bipolar intentionality would accommodate Rizzieri’s responsible internalism, while allowing for the action of objects upon us. This, in turn, opens the door to the evidence for religious knowledge that an account of religious experience such as Max Scheler’s could provide. Such an account could counter those who reduce religious experience to mere subjective projection—a critique to which internalism might be more vulnerable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Experience and Metaphysics)
9 pages, 217 KiB  
Article
Causal Connections, Logical Connections, and Skeptical Theism: There Is No Logical Problem of Evil
by Perry Hendricks
Religions 2022, 13(7), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070668 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1452
Abstract
In this paper, I consider Sterba’s recent criticism of skeptical theism in context of his argument from evil. I show that Sterba’s criticism of skeptical theism shares an undesirable trait with all past criticisms of skeptical theism: it fails. This is largely due [...] Read more.
In this paper, I consider Sterba’s recent criticism of skeptical theism in context of his argument from evil. I show that Sterba’s criticism of skeptical theism shares an undesirable trait with all past criticisms of skeptical theism: it fails. This is largely due to his focus on causal connections and his neglect of logical connections. Because of this, his argument remains vulnerable to skeptical theism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Do We Now Have a Logical Argument from Evil?)
38 pages, 3033 KiB  
Article
The Young Goddess Who Dances through the Ordinariness of Life―A Study on the Tantric Traditions of Kerala
by Maciej Karasinski-Sroka and G. Sudev Krishna Sharman
Religions 2022, 13(7), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070667 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 4387
Abstract
Drawing on both ethnographic and literary sources, this paper indicates that initiations into the mantra of Bālā are essential rites of passage for various Tantric communities. We focus on two previously unstudied texts: Bālāviṃśati stotra (“Twenty Verses on the Bālā Goddess”), a popular [...] Read more.
Drawing on both ethnographic and literary sources, this paper indicates that initiations into the mantra of Bālā are essential rites of passage for various Tantric communities. We focus on two previously unstudied texts: Bālāviṃśati stotra (“Twenty Verses on the Bālā Goddess”), a popular eulogy sung on festive occasions in Keralan temples, and Bālādīkṣāpaddhati (“A Treatise on Initiation into the Bālā Mantra”), a short treatise explaining the rules of initiation into the Bālā cult of Kerala. The article contextualizes the texts by providing commentaries of practitioners and interpretations of Keralan gurus who initiate their adepts into Śrīvidyā. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Divine: She/Her/Hers—Global Goddess Traditions)
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19 pages, 333 KiB  
Article
The Lautsi Legacy: A New Judgment on the Crucifix in Classrooms and the Multiculturalist Turn on Freedom of/from Religion in Italy
by Olga Breskaya, Paolo De Stefani and Giuseppe Giordan
Religions 2022, 13(7), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070666 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1840
Abstract
The article offers a socio-legal analysis of the recent case on freedom of/from religion in Italy, the Coppoli judgment of the Italian Supreme Court, which grants public schools the autonomy to manage religious symbols. The new ruling is discussed in the shadow of [...] Read more.
The article offers a socio-legal analysis of the recent case on freedom of/from religion in Italy, the Coppoli judgment of the Italian Supreme Court, which grants public schools the autonomy to manage religious symbols. The new ruling is discussed in the shadow of the Lautsi case, examining the shift from the discourse of “passive religious symbol” to the framework of “respect of different sensibilities” in pluralistic classrooms. In doing that, first, we provide a sociological framework for the study of “passive religious symbols” from a multiculturalist and religious freedom perspective. Second, the Coppoli case is contextualized within political, normative and judicial Italian contexts following the Lautsi jurisprudence. Third, we revise the model of “secularism as a method of dialogue” considered by the judges as important in claiming individual freedoms of/from religion in the multicultural classroom. The final part of the article provides a discussion and critical considerations about the Coppoli case, problematizing the future challenges of managing religious diversity in Italian public schools. We argue that the dynamic of freedom of/from religion’s jurisprudence in the Coppoli case endorses an additive model of accommodating diverse cultural and religious identities in public schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Freedom in Multicultural Societies)
14 pages, 334 KiB  
Article
Micro Pilgrimages: A New Post-Secular Trend?
by Anne E. Bailey
Religions 2022, 13(7), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070665 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3216
Abstract
The word “micro” or “mini” is increasingly appearing in relation to pilgrimage. A Guardian article in December 2021 described a guided pilgrimage walk in Sussex as a “micro pilgrimage”; in the spring of 2022, six “micro pilgrimages” took place in southern England. However, [...] Read more.
The word “micro” or “mini” is increasingly appearing in relation to pilgrimage. A Guardian article in December 2021 described a guided pilgrimage walk in Sussex as a “micro pilgrimage”; in the spring of 2022, six “micro pilgrimages” took place in southern England. However, what is a micro pilgrimage, and what has prompted its sudden surge in popularity? This article explores this seemingly innovative practice, focusing on Britain, where it is particularly prevalent. It shows how and why micro pilgrimages became particularly prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic, and discusses their continuing popularity today. A micro pilgrimage is usually understood as a pilgrimage which is completed in one day or less, an idea—the article argues—which has arisen from assumptions that short pilgrimages are a departure from the norm. The article challenges this notion by showing that, throughout Western history, long journeys have been in the minority. However, while arguing that micro pilgrimages have been with us since the Middle Ages, the article also recognizes that there is much which is indeed new about modern forms of the practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pilgrimage and Religious Tourism in Post-pandemic)
21 pages, 1262 KiB  
Article
Attitudes toward Immigrants Intertwined with Religion: Comparison of Croatia and Italy
by Teuta Stipišić
Religions 2022, 13(7), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070664 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2624
Abstract
This article seeks to contribute to the study of migration and religion in two EU countries, Croatia and Italy, by examining the impact of religiosity and cultural identification on negative attitudes toward immigrants. In many European societies, the increasing diversification within different levels [...] Read more.
This article seeks to contribute to the study of migration and religion in two EU countries, Croatia and Italy, by examining the impact of religiosity and cultural identification on negative attitudes toward immigrants. In many European societies, the increasing diversification within different levels of society stemming from recent migrations has turned immigrants’ reception and integration into a key issue, whereby migrants are often perceived as a threat to the dominant religion and culture, thus aggravating the process of migrant integration within society. Our article follows recent empirical research on migration and religion, which determined that higher levels of religiosity are positively correlated with negative out-group attitudes. Conducting quantitative research in Croatia (N = 603) and Italy (N = 714) and based on the analysis of primary data, firstly, we assess whether there is an association between negative attitudes towards immigrants depending on different degrees of religiosity and levels of cultural identification. Secondly, we examine the differences of the socio-religious contexts of Croatia and Italy, with a focus on the interplay between religion, national identity, and migration patterns. In line with this, our research shows that religiosity has the largest influence on negative attitudes toward immigrants, implying that higher levels of religiosity result in higher levels of negative attitudes toward immigrants. Furthermore, the results of our research show that Croatian participants have more negative attitudes toward immigrants than Italian participants, whereby Roman Catholic participants in both countries are more negative than non-religiously declared participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Freedom in Multicultural Societies)
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10 pages, 217 KiB  
Article
Queer Politics: Re-Shaping the Politics of Church and State
by Woodard King Mott
Religions 2022, 13(7), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070663 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2573
Abstract
The impact of LGBTQ+ individuals upon church institutions, state organizations, and political actors is expanding globally. Considerable policy objectives that protect queer people and families, most notably on marriage, trans rights, and non-discrimination policies, have been enacted in many nation states. However, although [...] Read more.
The impact of LGBTQ+ individuals upon church institutions, state organizations, and political actors is expanding globally. Considerable policy objectives that protect queer people and families, most notably on marriage, trans rights, and non-discrimination policies, have been enacted in many nation states. However, although there are exceptions to queer political progress, broader church and government inter-actions have been altered as well, demonstrating a dynamic religious and political relationship. Far-right nationalists and traditional religious conservatives respond to queer influence by moving further to the right and using LGBTQ+ individuals and political groups as rhetorical and political targets to motivate their base. The result is a draconian environment for progressives inside these institutions. Also notable is the political power necessary to provoke this obsessive focus upon anything ‘queer’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Church–State Relations in Global Transition)
33 pages, 22691 KiB  
Article
When Mahāyāna Meets Theravāda: The Position of Chinese Bhikṣuṇīs in Contemporary Myanmar
by Tzu-Lung Chiu
Religions 2022, 13(7), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070662 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3696
Abstract
Mahāyāna and Theravāda are the two major traditions of Buddhism in contemporary Asia. Although they share many similar teachings, there are long-standing disputes between their respective sets of adherents, touching on doctrine, ritual, religious practices, and the ultimate goal, among other matters. Drawing [...] Read more.
Mahāyāna and Theravāda are the two major traditions of Buddhism in contemporary Asia. Although they share many similar teachings, there are long-standing disputes between their respective sets of adherents, touching on doctrine, ritual, religious practices, and the ultimate goal, among other matters. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Yangon and Mandalay, this study explores gender’s role in the position of Sino-Burmese Mahāyāna bhikṣuṇīs in the sociocultural context of Theravāda-majority Myanmar, where the full bhikṣuṇī lineage of Theravāda Buddhism has died out. Its findings, firstly, shed light on how the local Theravāda ethos inevitably affects Sino-Burmese Mahāyāna nuns’ positions and experiences of religious- and ethnic-minority status. Secondly, they demonstrate the gender dynamics of Sino-Burmese nuns’ interactions both with indigenous Burmese monks and Myanmar’s ethnic-Chinese laity. As such, this research opens up a fresh perspective on these nuns’ monastic lives, to which scant scholarly attention has hitherto been paid. Specifically, it argues that while Sino-Burmese nuns are subjected to “double suffering” on both gender and ethnoreligious minority grounds, they play an important role in shaping the future of Chinese Mahāyāna Buddhism by educating the next generation of monastics and serving the religious needs of the wider Sino-Burmese community in Myanmar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhist Women's Religiosity: Contemporary Feminist Perspectives)
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13 pages, 759 KiB  
Article
Jonah in 20th Century Literature
by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
Religions 2022, 13(7), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070661 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2016
Abstract
The biblical book of Jonah has been the subject of multiple literary retellings, ranging from individual poems to whole novels and theatrical dramas. This article focuses on interaction with the book of Jonah in 20th-century world literature, where Jonah becomes our alter ego; [...] Read more.
The biblical book of Jonah has been the subject of multiple literary retellings, ranging from individual poems to whole novels and theatrical dramas. This article focuses on interaction with the book of Jonah in 20th-century world literature, where Jonah becomes our alter ego; he embodies our own struggles with God. I shall highlight three common tropes in the retellings: (1) Several retellings use the character of Jonah to express a person’s failure to escape God’s calling. Others use him to explore the Jewish experience of never being able to run away from being chosen by God. (2) Other retellings turn the trope of “the fleeing Jonah” into “Jonah the refugee”: Jonah is a man whom God abandoned. These retellings stem from Jonah 2:5 (Eng. 2:4] where Jonah expresses how he is cast out from God’s presence. They gain further inspiration from the affinity between the dialogue between God and Jonah in Jonah 4 and that between Cain and God in Gen 4. This intertextuality fashions Jonah as a type for the “wandering Jew.” (3) Yet another set of retellings employs the figure of Jonah to discuss God’s justice and his perceived failure to be unmerciful. Full article
11 pages, 245 KiB  
Article
Toward Buddhist Womanism: Tonglen Practice in The Color Purple
by Zhi Huang
Religions 2022, 13(7), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070660 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2361
Abstract
Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist practice that aims at developing the practitioner’s bodhicitta. In this article, I argue that it not only finds expression in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple through the protagonist Celie, but adds more complexity to the womanist philosophy for [...] Read more.
Tonglen is a Tibetan Buddhist practice that aims at developing the practitioner’s bodhicitta. In this article, I argue that it not only finds expression in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple through the protagonist Celie, but adds more complexity to the womanist philosophy for which Walker has been ensconced in positions of influence. More specifically, Celie follows an implied Buddhist practice of tonglen; in the process of “taking in and sending out”, her bodhicitta has been generated and cultivated. Underlying her tonglen practice is Buddhist womanism demonstrating how African American women can survive the social oppression and injustice by way of acknowledging their own terrible afflictions, empathizing with those enduring intense suffering, male and female, extending their loving kindness, comprehending the absence of intrinsic entity and the principle of dependent origination, etc. In addition, the article suggests that the fight for the survival of the oppressed is a type of Buddhist practice in Walker’s Buddhist womanism. Full article
18 pages, 325 KiB  
Article
The Globalization of Christian Democracy: Religious Entanglements in the Making of Modern Politics
by Rosario Forlenza and Bjørn Thomassen
Religions 2022, 13(7), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070659 - 16 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2400
Abstract
This article throws light on a crucial, yet overlooked, aspect of global entanglements that significantly came to shape modern politics: the global spread of Catholic ideas that, from the late nineteenth century and through the twentieth century, became translated into various political platforms [...] Read more.
This article throws light on a crucial, yet overlooked, aspect of global entanglements that significantly came to shape modern politics: the global spread of Catholic ideas that, from the late nineteenth century and through the twentieth century, became translated into various political platforms and, eventually, into Christian Democratic parties. The article will cover three broad periods where such global entanglements took shape: the mid-nineteenth century up until World War I, the interwar period, and the aftermath of World War II. We primarily address developments across the Atlantic in Europe and Latin America, while briefly touching upon Asian developments. The article aims to show the role of non-secular ideologies in political globalization processes and the co-existence of centric and multi-polar tendencies in such processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
18 pages, 911 KiB  
Article
Muslim Instagram: Eternal Youthfulness and Cultivating Deen
by Farah Hasan
Religions 2022, 13(7), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070658 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 3828
Abstract
This article argues that Muslims have created a specific Muslim Instagram that sustains youthfulness and cultivates their deen (religion). Instagram as a social has become a space for Muslim youth all over the world to share images. These images, being circulated over Instagram [...] Read more.
This article argues that Muslims have created a specific Muslim Instagram that sustains youthfulness and cultivates their deen (religion). Instagram as a social has become a space for Muslim youth all over the world to share images. These images, being circulated over Instagram across localities, create visual representations for other users. For this research, over 500 images with the hashtags #muslim and #islam were analysed to understand how Muslims represent themselves and their religion online. A two-step methodological procedure involved the adaption of iconographical and iconological techniques of visual art interpretation to the images collected. The concept of youthfulness and the Islamic concept of deen will be discussed in relation to the analysed images to demonstrate the emergence of a Muslim Instagram. Muslim Instagram is a translocal space that enables Muslims to simultaneously act eternally youthful and cultivate their deen. By playing with notions of youthfulness, Muslims recontextualise their faith and practice online to cultivate their deen. They thereby embed Islam and subsume Islamic concepts and practices into modern global lifestyle patterns of consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Youth and Religion)
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20 pages, 9538 KiB  
Article
Making, Using, Disposing, Remaking…: Sacred Arts of Re-Creation in Southern Asia
by Susan S. Bean
Religions 2022, 13(7), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070657 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 3122
Abstract
For centuries, in the eastern Indian subcontinent, areas now in Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha, and Bihar, temporary polychrome terracruda (air-dried clay) figural images have been created for periodic pujas (rituals of worship) and immersed in nearby rivers or [...] Read more.
For centuries, in the eastern Indian subcontinent, areas now in Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha, and Bihar, temporary polychrome terracruda (air-dried clay) figural images have been created for periodic pujas (rituals of worship) and immersed in nearby rivers or ponds at the event’s close. This essay explores how the perennial re-creation of terracruda ritual images supported the rise of goddess worship, stimulated the expansion of the annual cycle of religious festivals, and contributed to a modernizing cosmopolitan public culture. Drawing on recent reconsiderations of materiality that recognize the active roles of inanimate objects and substances, terracruda sacred sculpture is approached through the medium to consider the distinctive contributions that clay makes in interactions with artists, patrons, devotees, and the public. This essay focuses on how the transformational character of air-dried clay enables practices of making, worshipping, and disposing that evoke cosmic cycles, harness potencies that inhere in earth, and realign religious practices in changing times. Full article
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15 pages, 6916 KiB  
Article
A View of Champā Sites in Phú Yên Province, Vietnam: Toward a Longue Durée of Socio-Religious Context
by Van Son Quang and William B. Noseworthy
Religions 2022, 13(7), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070656 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2373
Abstract
Champā sites in Phú Yên province, Vietnam, were in what historians have typically called the polity of ‘Kauṭhāra’. Among these, the Hồ Citadel was mentioned in recent studies of Champā citadels and Champā archaeology, but the region of ‘Kauṭhāra’ has yet to be [...] Read more.
Champā sites in Phú Yên province, Vietnam, were in what historians have typically called the polity of ‘Kauṭhāra’. Among these, the Hồ Citadel was mentioned in recent studies of Champā citadels and Champā archaeology, but the region of ‘Kauṭhāra’ has yet to be analyzed with a vision for the Longue durée of cultural history. Drawing on the study of maps, historical documents, and archaeological evidence, we provide a more coherent understanding of Hồ Citadel in the socio-religious context of Champā, including the incorporation of Champā’s Hindu–Buddhist polities of Kauṭhāra and Vijaya into what is now Vietnam; historical evidence that suggests follow up archaeological research could fruitfully focus on the Early Modern period of history. Our findings suggest the region was one of the longest-occupied Champā regions, despite a comparative lack of focus on archaeological studies in the area versus Champā sites further northward. Future archaeological work should not only focus on the very earliest finds but rather the Longue durée of persistent settlement patterns. Thus, we hope to inspire continued and more direct collaborations between historians and archaeologists for the benefit of advancing research in the study of local and transregional understandings of Asia in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Full article
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18 pages, 4348 KiB  
Article
The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Interest in Prayer and Spirituality in Poland According to Google Trends Data in the CONTEXT of the Mediatisation of Religion Processes
by Jacek Stańdo, Gabriela Piechnik-Czyż, Andrzej Adamski and Żywilla Fechner
Religions 2022, 13(7), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070655 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2362
Abstract
The research undertaken in this article uses the Google Trends tool to study the degree of interest in prayer and general spirituality during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland and Europe. The authors assumed that for people interested in prayer [...] Read more.
The research undertaken in this article uses the Google Trends tool to study the degree of interest in prayer and general spirituality during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland and Europe. The authors assumed that for people interested in prayer during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internet served as a virtual prayer book. The main research questions addressed the frequency of typed queries, referring not only to the word “prayer” but also to specific types of prayer. In addition, interest in prayer was compared with interest in the word “prophecy” to explore the relationship between religiosity and interest in the supernatural sphere in its broadest sense. The analysis shows that there is distinct recurrence regarding the terms searched, with some of them noticeably intensifying with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings also show that keywords related to prophecies were searched more frequently at significant moments in Polish history (2005—the death of John Paul II, 2010—the plane crash in which the President of Poland died) than in the months of 2020 when the pandemic struck and escalated. At that time, searches related to religion were more frequent. It can also be concluded that the outbreak of the pandemic contributed to an increase in the religious activity of Poles. The article is interdisciplinary in nature, referring primarily to Religion Studies and Mass Media and Communication Studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
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15 pages, 294 KiB  
Article
Religion, Animals, and Indigenous Traditions
by Meaghan S. Weatherdon
Religions 2022, 13(7), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070654 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4090
Abstract
This article examines how the field of Indigenous studies can contribute to expanding the way religious studies scholars think through the question of the animal. It suggests that Indigenous intellectual traditions, which often position animals as persons, relatives, knowledge holders, and treaty makers, [...] Read more.
This article examines how the field of Indigenous studies can contribute to expanding the way religious studies scholars think through the question of the animal. It suggests that Indigenous intellectual traditions, which often position animals as persons, relatives, knowledge holders, and treaty makers, prompt further reflection on the fundamental questions of what it means to be a human animal and member of a pluralistic cosmology of beings. The article considers how Indigenous activists and scholars are actively re-centering animals in their decolonial pursuits and asks how a re-centering of animals might also contribute to decolonizing the study of religion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Animals, and X)
21 pages, 335 KiB  
Article
Interculturalizing Religious Education—Mission Completed?
by Erna Zonne-Gätjens
Religions 2022, 13(7), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070653 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
In 1996 the German Länder started the ‘mission’ to interculturalize all subjects, including religious education (RE). Interculturalizing also applies for RE taught in conformity with the oldest model for RE. In so-called ‘confessional RE’ at state schools, it is the Catholic teacher who [...] Read more.
In 1996 the German Länder started the ‘mission’ to interculturalize all subjects, including religious education (RE). Interculturalizing also applies for RE taught in conformity with the oldest model for RE. In so-called ‘confessional RE’ at state schools, it is the Catholic teacher who teaches children of several classes of the same year in one denominational RE group. The Protestant teacher teaches children whose parents ticked off “Protestant RE”. How this model came into existence is displayed in a historical introduction of this chapter. However, a newer model called ‘cooperative RE’ is gaining popularity. In various schools there is ecumenical education by both Catholic and Protestant staff or multireligious education by Jewish, Christian, or Muslim teachers. New publications on this latter model have a focus on organizational matters, but also shed a light on interreligious learning. However, in this chapter the focus is on how intercultural issues are dealt with in the classroom within the first model. After all, confessional RE is still the standard and most common model in Germany. Therefore, this article will focus on Protestant confessional RE that is not organized in cooperation with Islamic, Jewish, or Catholic colleagues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Intercultural Education)
22 pages, 364 KiB  
Article
Experiential Avoidance Mediates the Relationship between Prayer Type and Mental Health before and through the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Gabriel B. Lowe, David C. Wang and Eu Gene Chin
Religions 2022, 13(7), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070652 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2496
Abstract
The practice of prayer has been shown to predict various mental health outcomes, with different types of prayer accounting for different outcomes. Considering the numerous stressors facing seminary students, which have only intensified throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, prayer may be a common coping [...] Read more.
The practice of prayer has been shown to predict various mental health outcomes, with different types of prayer accounting for different outcomes. Considering the numerous stressors facing seminary students, which have only intensified throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, prayer may be a common coping strategy for students who study theology, spiritual growth, and leadership. The present study investigates the role that different types of prayer may have in reducing anxiety, depression, and work burnout among seminary students. Experiential avoidance is proposed as a mediator such that specific types of prayer contribute to greater spiritual and characterological formation through staying engaged in the midst of struggle. Longitudinal data was collected from 564 graduate seminary students from 17 institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. Based on previous research, we hypothesized that experiential avoidance would mediate the relationship between colloquial, liturgical, meditative, and petitionary prayer types and the negative mental health outcomes of anxiety, depression, and work burnout. Results confirmed significant negative relationships between colloquial, liturgical, and meditative prayer types and all three mental health indicators, fully mediated by experiential avoidance. Petitionary prayer was not significantly related to lower levels of mental health. These results indicate that engaging in certain prayer practices may be a protective factor by facilitating experiential engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Mental Health, and Religious Treatment Research)
15 pages, 1755 KiB  
Article
What Is Global Laozegetics?: Origins, Contents, and Significance
by Misha Tadd
Religions 2022, 13(7), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070651 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2877
Abstract
Mainstream scholarship on the Laozi or Daodejing generally focuses on the “original” text and its “original” meaning. However, the Chinese study of Laoxue 老學 (translated here with the author’s neologism “Laozegetics”) offers a valuable alternative, as it shifts focus to the hermeneutical and [...] Read more.
Mainstream scholarship on the Laozi or Daodejing generally focuses on the “original” text and its “original” meaning. However, the Chinese study of Laoxue 老學 (translated here with the author’s neologism “Laozegetics”) offers a valuable alternative, as it shifts focus to the hermeneutical and historical value of the 2185 Chinese, 430 Japanese, and 91 Korean relevant interpretations and commentaries on the classic. The inclusive perspective of Laozegetics has further inspired the author’s creation of the term “Global Laozegetics.” This even broader topic assumes both Laozi commentaries and translations (all 2051 in 97 languages) belong within a single field of research. To better introduce the study of Global Laozegetics to an English-language readership, this article will explore the history of the term Laoxue, review contemporary related research, and present the content and significance of applying the notion of Laozegetics to the globalized Laozi. Full article
18 pages, 312 KiB  
Article
Secular Mysticism
by Richard H. Jones
Religions 2022, 13(7), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070650 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3008
Abstract
How a positive naturalist understanding of mystical experiences is possible and how these experiences and accompanying practices can be incorporated into a secular mysticism are discussed. Philosophical issues related to such a secular mysticism are also raised: is a truly secular mysticism possible? [...] Read more.
How a positive naturalist understanding of mystical experiences is possible and how these experiences and accompanying practices can be incorporated into a secular mysticism are discussed. Philosophical issues related to such a secular mysticism are also raised: is a truly secular mysticism possible? Are mystical experiences cognitive of transcendent non-natural realities? Can secular mysticism address the issue of the possible construction of mystical experiences? Can one find meaning or a purpose to life when non-natural realities and life after death are not parts of the picture? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Philosophy of Mystical Experience)
10 pages, 255 KiB  
Article
Locating Religious Violence in the Spiritual Constitution of Experience
by Neal DeRoo
Religions 2022, 13(7), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070649 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1272
Abstract
This work sought to address the question of where religious violence is located in our constitution of experience, so as to show how transcendental phenomenology can help us begin to better understand religious violence. The paper begins with an outline of four distinct [...] Read more.
This work sought to address the question of where religious violence is located in our constitution of experience, so as to show how transcendental phenomenology can help us begin to better understand religious violence. The paper begins with an outline of four distinct levels of phenomenological analysis provided by transcendental phenomenology. It then relates those four levels to religious experience, showing that religious violence can refer to violence occurring on all four of those levels. In doing so, it also shows that “religious experience” can refer both to particular experiences we call ‘religious’ and to a dimension of all experiencing. Finally, the paper ends with the suggestion that religious communities wishing to address the question of religious violence must pay attention both to the spiritual force that animates them and to the cultural context in which they express that force. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In the Shadows of Religious Experience: Hostility, Violence, Revenge)
14 pages, 262 KiB  
Article
Studying Jewish Meditative Techniques: A Phenomenological Typology and an Interdisciplinary View
by Tomer Persico
Religions 2022, 13(7), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070648 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2365
Abstract
The field of mystical and meditative research lacks a basic typology delineating the varied genres and characteristics of the mystical experience and of the meditative practices that may be correlated to those. Such a state hinders the comparative study of mysticism and meditation [...] Read more.
The field of mystical and meditative research lacks a basic typology delineating the varied genres and characteristics of the mystical experience and of the meditative practices that may be correlated to those. Such a state hinders the comparative study of mysticism and meditation through different philosophical, religious and spiritual traditions, or along the chronological development in a single tradition. In this article, I introduce phenomenological typological tools developed in a previous monograph dealing with the Jewish meditative tradition and illustrate how these can be used to analyze the adjustments and the variations between previous and contemporary Jewish mystics, through examining the four different types of mystical experience and five different characteristics of meditative techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Jewish Meditation)
11 pages, 319 KiB  
Article
Jesus’ Spirituality of [Af]filiation in the Fourth Gospel
by Dorothy A. Lee
Religions 2022, 13(7), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070647 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2661
Abstract
The spirituality of Jesus, embedded within the literary contours of the Johannine narrative, is primarily grounded in a relationship of affiliation and friendship. It is a spirituality of abiding whose origins and goal lie in the unity of heart and mind that the [...] Read more.
The spirituality of Jesus, embedded within the literary contours of the Johannine narrative, is primarily grounded in a relationship of affiliation and friendship. It is a spirituality of abiding whose origins and goal lie in the unity of heart and mind that the Johannine Jesus as Son shares with the Father. This core relationship connotes not only the love that binds Jesus to God but is also the basis of the motif of sending and the divine authority over life and death which Jesus possesses in this Gospel. Jesus’ spirituality is grounded in the abiding presence of the Spirit-Paraclete whom he bequeaths to the disciples. In handing over the Spirit to the gathered community through his death and resurrection, Jesus donates his own spirituality, ultimately drawing all creation into the divine circle of love. This spirituality is the result of the Spirit’s presence, restoring human beings to their original, created identity as children and friends of God and empowering them for mission. While the dominant imagery is masculine there are also feminine images, particularly that of divine Wisdom, which provide a counterbalance and create an inclusive sense of appropriation and welcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Jesus and Spirituality: In Biblical and Historical Perspective)
23 pages, 955 KiB  
Article
The United Arab Emirates’ Religious Soft Power through Ulema and Organizations
by Hamdullah Baycar and Mehmet Rakipoglu
Religions 2022, 13(7), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070646 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 6608
Abstract
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) proposes “peaceful” religious discourse by supporting religious scholars such as Hamza Yusuf and Abdallah bin Bayyah and institutions such as the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and the Emirates Fatwa Council. The UAE has attempted to [...] Read more.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) proposes “peaceful” religious discourse by supporting religious scholars such as Hamza Yusuf and Abdallah bin Bayyah and institutions such as the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and the Emirates Fatwa Council. The UAE has attempted to present itself as promoting a moderate form of Islam to counter political Islam. This study is based on data from religious verdicts (fatwās), speeches, and conference records of these scholars and institutions. The main point of the research is to show to what extent providing additional support to recently established religious institutions and emerging scholars is used as soft power to promote the UAE’s version of Islam and present the UAE as a moderate and tolerant country. Applying critical discourse analysis, the study aims to uncover the existing connection between emerging religiopolitical discourse and UAE-based legal verdicts of scholars (ulamā) and the organizations that they initiated. This study further argues that “moderate Islam” and “tolerance”, used as religious soft power, are other tools that the UAE has applied in line with expectations for influence and power-seeking based on small state theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Soft Power: Definition(s), Limits and Usage)
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15 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Does God Work in All Things to the Good of Those Who Love Him? Family Caregivers of Persons with Early-Stage Dementia Share Their Spiritual Struggles
by Jocelyn Shealy McGee, Morgan Davie, Rebecca Meraz, Dennis Myers and Michaela McElroy
Religions 2022, 13(7), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070645 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1930
Abstract
Spiritual struggles are distressing thoughts, feelings, or shifts in behaviors pertaining to faith/life philosophy in response to traumatic/stressful experiences. There is limited research on this phenomenon among family caregivers of persons in the early-stages of dementia (PWD). The purpose of this qualitative study, [...] Read more.
Spiritual struggles are distressing thoughts, feelings, or shifts in behaviors pertaining to faith/life philosophy in response to traumatic/stressful experiences. There is limited research on this phenomenon among family caregivers of persons in the early-stages of dementia (PWD). The purpose of this qualitative study, therefore, was to better understand spiritual struggles in this population. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, we analyzed interviews of 28 caregivers of PWD in the early stages. There were three broad areas for spiritual struggles in their narratives: (1) transpersonal spiritual struggles (e.g., struggles with God or a higher power in the context of caregiving); (2) interpersonal spiritual struggles (e.g., struggles with communities of faith related to the lived experience of being a caregiver of a loved one with dementia); and (3) intrapersonal spiritual struggles (e.g., struggles around beliefs, morality or ultimate meaning related to caregiving). Themes and subthemes under each of these areas are expounded upon. The importance of identifying/addressing spiritual struggles among family caregivers of PWD and areas for future research are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Existential Issues in Health)
14 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Cultural Diversity on End-of-Life Care
by Caroline Yih
Religions 2022, 13(7), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070644 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2889
Abstract
Despite the universality of death for humanity, end-of-life care needs and expectations are highly unique and influenced by the individual’s cultural conditioning, values, and beliefs. In the pursuit of quality end-of-life care provision within the increasingly complex and diverse contemporary medical context, it [...] Read more.
Despite the universality of death for humanity, end-of-life care needs and expectations are highly unique and influenced by the individual’s cultural conditioning, values, and beliefs. In the pursuit of quality end-of-life care provision within the increasingly complex and diverse contemporary medical context, it is vital for cultural idiosyncrasies to be taken into consideration in order to attend to the individual patient’s needs and end-of-life goals. Palliative chaplains, as the spiritual care specialists within the multidisciplinary healthcare team, play a crucial role in the support and facilitation of the holistic vision of end-of-life care delivery. However, the capacity of the chaplains to become culturally competent practitioners are often insufficiently addressed in their professional educational pathways, creating additional challenges for them in their practice. Using Hong Kong as a case study, this article examines the impact of cultural diversity on the effectiveness of the chaplains’ delivery of end-of-life spiritual care. Specifically, special attention will be focused on two identified challenges resulting from the lack of integration of local cultural understandings within the religion-cultural practice framework of chaplaincy formation: the cultural taboo of death, and the cultural idiosyncrasies in end-of-life communication. This article hopes to raise awareness of cultural incongruencies within the current chaplaincy professional formation and development, and to initiate further attention and efforts to support chaplains in becoming culturally competent practitioners in the pluralistic healthcare landscape. Full article
36 pages, 5933 KiB  
Article
Post-Tridentine Mass Attendance as Devotion to the Suffering Christ
by Henrik von Achen
Religions 2022, 13(7), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070643 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 3436
Abstract
Continuing the long tradition of the allegorical interpretation of the Mass, the seventeenth- and eighteenth century ideal of proper mass attendance was devotion to the suffering Christ, inextricably linked to each step of the liturgy. In this article, post-Tridentine mass books, booklets, or [...] Read more.
Continuing the long tradition of the allegorical interpretation of the Mass, the seventeenth- and eighteenth century ideal of proper mass attendance was devotion to the suffering Christ, inextricably linked to each step of the liturgy. In this article, post-Tridentine mass books, booklets, or chapters on the mass in devotional books for lay people, are investigated to understand the praxis pietatis in which they were embedded. These texts served devotional and educational purposes outside mass as well, but primarily they reveal a concerted effort to promote active participation of lay people at mass. In the post-Tridentine era, the mass books for lay people became a kind of Passional, serving active participation of the faithful at mass as a devotional practice configured to the actions of the priest as mass progressed. Joining Ordo and Passion, the mass books combined two dimensions of the one sacrifice with the main objective being to support a heartfelt, attentive focus on both. Based on the mass books and other devotional texts investigated, no sharp distinction can be made between attending the formal liturgy and engaging in a devotional practice as the Passion narrative unfolded in, and by, the actions of the priest. Full article
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16 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
The Christian Discourses of “Chao Zhengzhi” (Supra-Politics) in the Early PRC: A Religio-Political Reappraisal
by Fuk-Tsang Ying
Religions 2022, 13(7), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070642 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2186
Abstract
In the context of the Chinese churches, religio-political relations or interaction is an unavoidable but widely controversial issue. On the one hand, the political control of religion can be regarded as the dominant model of the relationship between state and church in Chinese [...] Read more.
In the context of the Chinese churches, religio-political relations or interaction is an unavoidable but widely controversial issue. On the one hand, the political control of religion can be regarded as the dominant model of the relationship between state and church in Chinese society. On the other hand, different religions and even diverse traditions within religious bodies have developed divided attitudes and stances on how to deal with their relationships with state and politics. The year 1949 was an important watershed in the contemporary history of China. The new regime carried out a comprehensive remolding and reformation of all sectors of Chinese society, and the religious sphere was not spared. “Supra-politics” (“chao zhengzhi”) was one of the charges that often appeared in the communists’ criticism and reform movement against Christianity after the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This article aims to address the following questions: (1) What does “supra-politics” mean? What is the political context of the emergence of this discourse? (2) Why and how did the Communist Party of China (CPC) use the discourse of “supra-politics” to criticize Christian churches? (3) What are the different understandings and interpretations of the “supra-politics” discourse among churches in China? This article offers a review of the controversy and discourse of the “supra-political” position of Christianity, which may contribute to the critical investigation of the religio-political relations of the early PRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue History of Christianity: The Relationship between Church and State)
23 pages, 2320 KiB  
Article
On Bonshakuji as the Penultimate Buddhist Temple to Protect the State in Early Japanese History
by George A. Keyworth
Religions 2022, 13(7), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070641 - 12 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2288
Abstract
During the 740s in Japan, the emperor established Buddhist temples in nearly all the provinces, in which three Buddhist scriptures were chanted to avert natural disasters. Tōdaiji, in the recently constructed capital, was the head temple of a network of Temples of Bright [...] Read more.
During the 740s in Japan, the emperor established Buddhist temples in nearly all the provinces, in which three Buddhist scriptures were chanted to avert natural disasters. Tōdaiji, in the recently constructed capital, was the head temple of a network of Temples of Bright Golden Light and Four Heavenly Kings to Protect the State. The principal Buddhist scripture followed in these temples was the Golden Light Sūtra, translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in Tang China at the beginning of the 8th century. This article investigates the history of an understudied example of one of these temples, called Bonshakuji. Emperor Kanmu (r. 781–806) repurposed it in 786 after the introduction from China of novel rituals to protect the state. It had among the most important Buddhist temple libraries, which came to rival perhaps only that of Tōdaiji through the 12th century. I also examine how and why scholar officials and powerful monastics, particularly those associated with the so-called esoteric Tendai and Shingon temples of Enryakuji and Miidera, and Tōji and Daigoji, respectively, utilized the library of Bonshakuji and older and novel state protection texts kept there to preserve early Japanese state-supported Buddhist worldmaking efforts long after that state had become virtually bankrupt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Life History of Chinese Buddhist Monks)
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