Next Issue
Volume 9, November
Previous Issue
Volume 9, September

Religions, Volume 9, Issue 10 (October 2018) – 41 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Internet multiplies people’s possibilities for communication, but it also offers venues for some racist narratives. For example, after the British Referendum on EU membership (Brexit) in 2016, Twitter witnessed a surge of Islamophobia. But is Internet (and Twitter) Islamophobia different from other forms of racism? If yes, what are the differences? This article analyzes anti-Muslim tweets sent after Brexit through the Runnymede Trust’s definition of Islamophobia. The analysis suggests that online Islamophobia follows the same patterns of offline racism, but it is worsened by fake news, trolls, bots, and the possibility of creating global networks. Therefore, there is a need to spread digital media literacy and to consider Internet Islamophobia as serious as offline anti-Muslim attacks. 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 Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Franciscan-Inspired Spirituality and Their Associations with Compassion and Altruism in Franciscan Brothers and Sisters
Religions 2018, 9(10), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100324 - 22 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
In Christian tradition there are many different ‘schools’ of spirituality which address an ‘inner transformation’ referring to an individual experience of the Sacred. The focus of this study was to examine the ‘core’ component of Franciscan spirituality (life according to the Gospel) and [...] Read more.
In Christian tradition there are many different ‘schools’ of spirituality which address an ‘inner transformation’ referring to an individual experience of the Sacred. The focus of this study was to examine the ‘core’ component of Franciscan spirituality (life according to the Gospel) and the ‘transformative’ components (living with and for others in need and respectful commitment to the creation) in a group of brothers and sisters of the Franciscan family. In particular, the reflection on how this spirituality is connected with the perception of the divine in daily life, with feelings of awe and subsequent gratitude on the one hand and compassion and altruistic behavior on the other, was an essential aspect of the present work. Data from a cross-sectional study with standardized instruments among 388 Franciscan brothers and sisters (mean age 61 ± 25 years) showed that “Living from the Faith” and “Seeking God in Silence and Prayer” scored highest, followed by “Commitment to the Creation” and interpersonal factors such as “Peaceful Attitude/Respectful Treatment” and “Commitment to the Disadvantaged”. In all cases, women achieved significantly higher scores than men (with values of F between 5.3 and 23.5, p < 0.05). These dimensions were moderately to strongly associated with experiential aspects of spirituality (i.e., Perception of the Divine, Gratitude/Awe), particularly “Living from the Faith” (r > 5.0, p < 0.0001). With regard to the prosocial ‘outcomes’ (e.g., Compassion and Altruism), stepwise regression analyses showed that Compassion was best predicted by “Peaceful Attitude/Respectful Treatment” and Gratitude/Awe (both explain 27% of variance), and Altruism was best predicted by “Commitment to the Disadvantaged” and Gratitude/Awe (both explain 21% of variance). Mediator analyses with the standardized z-factor values showed that Gratitude/Awe is also a significant mediator of the effects of the Perception of the Divine (as a further significant predictor of prosocial behaviors) on Compassion (beta = 0.05 ± 0.02, p < 0.01) and Altruism (beta = 0.03 ± 0.02, p = 0.04). Surprisingly, “Commitment to the Disadvantaged” was only weakly linked to “Living from the Faith”. It could be shown that “Living from the Faith” was much more connected to Compassion as an intention rather than to Altruism as an action. “Living from the Faith”, as the fundamental aspect of Franciscan spirituality, mediated the effect of the Perception of the Divine on Compassion (beta = 0.08 ± 0.03, p < 0.01) and Altruism (beta = 0.06 ± 0.03, p = 0.04), as well as mediating the effect of Gratitude/Awe on Compassion (beta = 0.07 ± 0.02, p < 0.01) and Altruism (beta = 0.06 ± 0.02, p < 0.01). However, there are significant differences between more contemplative and charitably engaged Franciscans; “Living from the Faith” scored highest in contemplative brothers and sisters within the different branches of Franciscan orders when compared to more charitably engaged persons, while their “Commitment to the Disadvantaged” was significantly lower. These differences could also be ascribed to the different charisms and missions of the Franciscan branches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Franciscan Spirituality and Its Impact for Today’s World)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Facing the Issues Raised in Psalm 1 through Thinking and Feeling: Applying the SIFT Approach to Biblical Hermeneutics among Muslim Educators
Religions 2018, 9(10), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100323 - 21 Oct 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1195
Abstract
A group of 22 Muslim educators participating in a residential Islamic Education summer school were invited to explore their individual preferences for thinking and feeling (the two functions of the Jungian judging process). They were then invited to work in three groups (seven [...] Read more.
A group of 22 Muslim educators participating in a residential Islamic Education summer school were invited to explore their individual preferences for thinking and feeling (the two functions of the Jungian judging process). They were then invited to work in three groups (seven clear thinking types, eight clear feeling types, and seven individuals less clear of their preference) to discuss Psalm 1. Clear differences emerged between the ways in which thinking types and feeling types handled the judgement metred out to the wicked in the Psalm. The feeling types were disturbed by the portrayal of God in Psalm 1 and sought ways to mitigate the stark message. The thinking types confronted the dangers to which this image of God could lead and sought pedagogic strategies for dealing with these dangers. Full article
Open AccessArticle
We Spring from that History: Bernard Lazare, between Universalism and Particularism
Religions 2018, 9(10), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100322 - 21 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1149
Abstract
This paper examines the evolution of Jewish identity in the works of writer and critic Bernard Lazare. It suggests that Lazare’s oeuvre elucidates one of the central tensions in modern Jewish thought: the division between those thinkers who use the reputedly universalist Greek [...] Read more.
This paper examines the evolution of Jewish identity in the works of writer and critic Bernard Lazare. It suggests that Lazare’s oeuvre elucidates one of the central tensions in modern Jewish thought: the division between those thinkers who use the reputedly universalist Greek philosophical tradition as a lens to analyze and critique Judaism, and those who use the Jewish textual tradition to challenge and reconceive non-Jewish philosophy. Lazare situated himself on both sides of this divide during his life. In his early work, he used the universalist, laical ideology of French republicanism to attack what he perceived as the inflexible, regressive, anti-modernist character of Talmudic Judaism. Lazare’s thought later shifted in the wake of his involvement in the Dreyfus Affair, and he sought to reclaim an ethnic, nationalist conception of Jewish identity as the source for a communal Jewish political response to rising anti-Semitism. Yet through a close reading of Lazare’s writings, the paper suggests that Lazare’s intellectual evolution was never as complete or totalizing as he perhaps wished. His earlier work occasionally used Jewish sources to critique philosophical universalism, while hints of philosophical critiques of the particularism of Jewish texts such as the Talmud remained in his later revalorization of Jewish identity. Lazare thereby reveals how universalism and particularism remain mutually implicated within modern Jewish thought. The paper thus suggests avenues for Lazare to be productively read within the broader canon of modern Jewish thinkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Modern Jewish Thought)
Open AccessArticle
Believing in Women? Examining Early Views of Women among America’s Most Progressive Religious Groups
Religions 2018, 9(10), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100321 - 20 Oct 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
This paper examines views of women among the most prominent “progressive” American religious groups (as defined by those that liberalized early on the issue of birth control, circa 1929). We focus on the years between the first and second waves of the feminist [...] Read more.
This paper examines views of women among the most prominent “progressive” American religious groups (as defined by those that liberalized early on the issue of birth control, circa 1929). We focus on the years between the first and second waves of the feminist movement (1929–1965) in order to examine these views during a time of relative quiescence. We find that some groups indeed have a history of outspoken support for women’s equality. Using their modern-day names, these groups—the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and to a lesser extent, the Society of Friends, or Quakers—professed strong support for women’s issues, early and often. However, we also find that prominent progressive groups—the Protestant Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the United Presbyterian Church—were virtually silent on the issue of women’s rights. Thus, we conclude that birth control activism within the American religious field was not clearly correlated with an overall feminist orientation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feminisms and the Study of “Religions”)
Open AccessArticle
A Place of Pretense and Escapism: The Coffeehouse in Early 20th Century Budapest Jewish Literature
Religions 2018, 9(10), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100320 - 18 Oct 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 963
Abstract
In Budapest, going to the coffeehouiennese Café and Fin-De-Siecle Cultuse was the quintessential urban habit. The coffeehouse, a Judaized urban space, although devoid of any religious overtones, was Jewish in that most of the owners and significant majority of the intellectual clientele were [...] Read more.
In Budapest, going to the coffeehouiennese Café and Fin-De-Siecle Cultuse was the quintessential urban habit. The coffeehouse, a Judaized urban space, although devoid of any religious overtones, was Jewish in that most of the owners and significant majority of the intellectual clientele were Jewish—secular and non-affiliated—but Jewish. The writers’ Jewishness was not a confessed faith or identity, but a lens on the experience of life that stemmed from their origins, whether they were affiliated with a Jewish institution or not, and whether they identified as Jews or not. The coffeehouse enabled Jews to create and participate in the culture that replaced traditional ethnic and religious affiliations. The new secular urban Jew needed a place to express and practice this new identity, and going to the coffeehouse was an important part of that identity. Hungarian Jewish literature centered in Budapest contains a significant amount of material on the coffeehouse. Literature provided a non-constrained and unfiltered venue for the secular Jewish urban intellectuals to voice freely and directly their opinions on Jewish life at the time. In the article I examine what the Jewish writers of the early 20th century wrote about Budapest’s coffeehouses and how their experience of them is connected to their being Jewish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Jewish Secular Culture)
Open AccessArticle
“Don’t Freak We’re Sikh”—A Study of the Extent to Which Australian Journalists and the Australian Public Wrongly Associate Sikhism with Islam
Religions 2018, 9(10), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100319 - 18 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1526
Abstract
This study emerged from an incidental, and somewhat surprising, finding that 15 percent of working journalists who attend training on improving the ways that mainstream new media report stories about Islam and Muslims, wrongly associated Sikhism with Islam. We wondered if this was [...] Read more.
This study emerged from an incidental, and somewhat surprising, finding that 15 percent of working journalists who attend training on improving the ways that mainstream new media report stories about Islam and Muslims, wrongly associated Sikhism with Islam. We wondered if this was indicative of the Australian population and, through a random stratified survey of the Australian population, found that it was. The question about the extent to which populations wrongly associate Sikhism with Islam is an important one. In Australia, Muslims and Sikhs are minorities. Ignorance of Islam and its religious diversity coupled with ignorance of Muslims and their ethnic and cultural diversity underpins the intolerance of Islam in the West and the concomitant animus directed at Muslims. Intolerance and violence directed at Muslims and people wrongly assumed to be Muslims (such as Sikhs) increased after the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 (9/11). This speaks to religious literacy, the treatment of religious minorities and raises important questions around educating various publics (including the news media) about both Islam and Sikhism. It also speaks to the role of the mainstream news media in perpetuating Islamophobia, and its detrimental flow-on effects to Muslims and Sikhs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anti Muslim Racism and the Media)
Open AccessArticle
“Do Not Extinguish the Spirit of Prayer” The Act of Prayer According to Francis of Assisi
Religions 2018, 9(10), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100318 - 18 Oct 2018
Viewed by 993
Abstract
Francis of Assisi did not shape a systematic tractate about prayer and contemplation. He was first of all a Man of Prayer and secondly a Master of Prayer. This article tries to work out some mainlines of St. Francis’ practice of prayer based [...] Read more.
Francis of Assisi did not shape a systematic tractate about prayer and contemplation. He was first of all a Man of Prayer and secondly a Master of Prayer. This article tries to work out some mainlines of St. Francis’ practice of prayer based on a small selection of his writings. Despite an incomparable situation of spirituality, society, and lifestyle between the 13th century and today, it is possible to figure out some persistent elements of what it means “to pray”: acclamation to and dialogue with the ineffable God; the logic of donation and restitution; the relevance of identity and universal solidarity in prayer; the relation between prayer and action or the meaning of “unceasing prayer”. The spiritual practice of Francis of Assisi may help us to approach and to understand the human act of prayer, which is no longer self-evident—and probably never was. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Franciscan Spirituality and Its Impact for Today’s World)
Open AccessArticle
Transformative Pedagogy, Black Theology and Participative forms of Praxis
Religions 2018, 9(10), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100317 - 18 Oct 2018
Viewed by 936
Abstract
This paper outlines the development of a form of scholarship that seeks to bring together transformative modes of pedagogy that have become commonplace in Christian religious education alongside the liberative themes to be found in Black theology. The paper summarises the significant contributions [...] Read more.
This paper outlines the development of a form of scholarship that seeks to bring together transformative modes of pedagogy that have become commonplace in Christian religious education alongside the liberative themes to be found in Black theology. The paper summarises the significant contributions of Paulo Freire to transformative pedagogy and conscientization as the first stage in this developing work. This formative analysis is then followed by reflections on the significant developments in religious education by and for Black people, principally in the US. In the final part of the paper, I describe my own participative approaches to Black theology by means of transformative pedagogy, which utilises interactive exercises as a means of combining the insights of the aforementioned ideas and themes into a transformative mode of teaching and learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Religious Education)
Open AccessArticle
Boundary-Breaking Disposition against Post-Truth: Five Big Questions for Religious Education
Religions 2018, 9(10), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100316 - 17 Oct 2018
Viewed by 2956
Abstract
This paper articulates how religious education can broaden our perspective on post-truth from simply an issue of critical reading to a philosophical challenge involving larger issues such as our sense of self, perception of others, and grounding of justice. Pointing out that the [...] Read more.
This paper articulates how religious education can broaden our perspective on post-truth from simply an issue of critical reading to a philosophical challenge involving larger issues such as our sense of self, perception of others, and grounding of justice. Pointing out that the root cause of post-truth is our parochial, defensive sense of self and community, which premises a boundary-drawing/building mindset, the author suggests the feeling of transcendence as an intellectual, psychological, and spiritual ground to cultivate a counterforce, which is the boundary-breaking disposition. This rationale is developed particularly by the discussion of the Five Big Questions that the author has been using for his Introduction to Religion course: Ultimate Meaning, Transcendence, Personal Identity, Vocation, and Service. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Religious Education)
Open AccessArticle
That Suggestion: Catholic Casuistry, Complexity, and Macbeth
Religions 2018, 9(10), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100315 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1780
Abstract
In a keeping with the view that Shakespeare harbored a sympathetic attitude to Catholic ways of seeing, this essay argues that Macbeth is a study in the dangers of oversimplification and certainty. In contradistinction to how Spenser’s Redcrosse Knight escapes the Cave of [...] Read more.
In a keeping with the view that Shakespeare harbored a sympathetic attitude to Catholic ways of seeing, this essay argues that Macbeth is a study in the dangers of oversimplification and certainty. In contradistinction to how Spenser’s Redcrosse Knight escapes the Cave of Despaire, Macbeth would benefit greatly from probing, questioning, nuancing, and sifting through ambiguity. He needs to examine the particular attenuation of his own moral thinking, and needs to engage equivocation, in the forms of both amphibology and mental reservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions in Shakespeare's Writings)
Open AccessArticle
Between Tradition and Transition: An Islamic Seminary, or Dar al-Uloom in Modern Britain
Religions 2018, 9(10), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100314 - 15 Oct 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
Based on detailed ethnographic fieldwork, this article provides an insider account of life inside a British Dar al-Uloom, or a traditional Islamic religious seminary, for the first time. Given that Dar al-Ulooms play an important role in the British Muslim landscape in [...] Read more.
Based on detailed ethnographic fieldwork, this article provides an insider account of life inside a British Dar al-Uloom, or a traditional Islamic religious seminary, for the first time. Given that Dar al-Ulooms play an important role in the British Muslim landscape in providing training for religious leadership, the article argues that, far from the Dar al-Uloom tradition being static, it is undergoing continuous adaptation and change. After mapping the historical and geographical lineage of the modern Dar al-Uloom, the article explores its pedagogy. The postural tradition and adab (broadly translated as comportment or code of behavior) embody the notion of humility, as the classroom has become the locale for balancing a curriculum with depth and coverage, especially given the challenges young Muslims in Britain are facing. The current students of the Dar al-Uloom will become imams and faith leaders primarily responsible for addressing the changing needs of young Muslims. What has emerged is a traditional Dar al-Uloom that is in a dialogical relationship both with the modern world outside of it and within it. There is the need to embody a ‘tarbiyyatic pedagogy’ that is one that emphasises the student-teacher relationship where the student is transformed in the process of learning while interpreting Islam through the lens of the Deobandi universe. Ultimately, it will be the younger generation of teachers who determine the particular trajectory of the Dar al-Uloom. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Quiet Faith: Quakers in Post-Christian Britain
Religions 2018, 9(10), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100313 - 15 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1490
Abstract
Post-Christian Britain is characterised by a rejection of doctrinal and morally conservative religion. This does not reflect solely the experience of those with ‘no religion’ but can be found in the narratives of ‘new Quakers,’ those who have become members or attenders in [...] Read more.
Post-Christian Britain is characterised by a rejection of doctrinal and morally conservative religion. This does not reflect solely the experience of those with ‘no religion’ but can be found in the narratives of ‘new Quakers,’ those who have become members or attenders in the past three years. New Quakers contrast Quaker sense of acceptance, freedom from theological ideas and freedom to be a spiritual seeker with conservative Christian churches, which have often been experienced as judgmental and doctrinal. Quaker liberal morality also affords inclusivity to those who have felt marginalised, such as disabled and LGBT people. The way new Quakers articulate their identity shines a light on the contemporary transformation of religious forms and society. Their emphasis on individual spirituality and rejection of theological doctrine reflect the profound cultural shift towards a post-Christian Britain, which is religiously diverse, more open to individual spiritual seeking and more liberal morally and socially. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)
Open AccessArticle
Perceptions of Spirituality and Spiritual Care of Health Professionals Working in a State Hospital
Religions 2018, 9(10), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100312 - 12 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
Background: The determination and fulfillment of the spiritual needs of the individual in times of crisis can be realized by the health care professionals having the knowledge and skills to provide individual-specific care. This research was conducted to determine the perceptions of health [...] Read more.
Background: The determination and fulfillment of the spiritual needs of the individual in times of crisis can be realized by the health care professionals having the knowledge and skills to provide individual-specific care. This research was conducted to determine the perceptions of health professionals about spirituality and spiritual care. Methods: The study of 197 health professionals working in a state hospital was performed. This study is a descriptive study which was conducted between December 2017 and January 2018. Data in the form of an “Introductory Information Form” and “Spirituality and Spiritual Care Grading Scale” was collected. In the analysis of the data, the Mann–Whitney U test, Kruskal–Wallis tests, frequency as percentage, and scale scores as mean and standard deviation were used. Results: It was determined that 45.7% of the health professionals were trained in spiritual care, but that they were unable to meet their patients’ spiritual care needs due to the intensive work environment and personnel insufficiency. The total score averaged by the health professionals on the spirituality and spiritual care grading scales was 52.13 ± 10.13. Conclusions: The findings of the research show that health professionals are inadequate in spiritual care initiatives and that their knowledge levels are not at the desired level. With in-service trainings and efforts to address these deficiencies, spiritual care initiatives can be made part of the recovery process. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Towards a Typology of Battlefield Miracles: The Case of Operation “Cast Lead” in the Israel Defense Forces
Religions 2018, 9(10), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100311 - 11 Oct 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
Battlefield miracle stories are not rare. This paper suggests a typology of battlefield miracles. From this perspective it asks what sort of miracles can we expect to see in battle and when can we expect to see them? After presenting the main points [...] Read more.
Battlefield miracle stories are not rare. This paper suggests a typology of battlefield miracles. From this perspective it asks what sort of miracles can we expect to see in battle and when can we expect to see them? After presenting the main points of discussion regarding miracles, it proposes a range of categories for military miracles (miracles as acts that violate nature versus miracles as everyday acts; those involving the divine versus occurrences not requiring the presence of a heavenly emissary; acts of benevolence versus acts with no such intent; having a clear purpose versus acts where there is disagreement regarding interpretation). After discussing these categories, the articles uses Operation Cast Lead (December 2008–January 2009) as a case study to test the typology suggested above. Since this field is underdeveloped, this paper sets out to initiate a conversation on battlefield miracles, with hope that future studies will build upon it. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Challenging Moderate Muslims: Indonesia’s Muslim Schools in the Midst of Religious Conservatism
Religions 2018, 9(10), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100310 - 11 Oct 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2814
Abstract
Muslim schools are an important element of education in Indonesia. The school was in place long before Indonesia’s independence in 1945. Schools educate Indonesian Muslim children to understand and practice religion while promoting a sense of nationalism. Thanks to Muslim schools, Indonesian Muslims [...] Read more.
Muslim schools are an important element of education in Indonesia. The school was in place long before Indonesia’s independence in 1945. Schools educate Indonesian Muslim children to understand and practice religion while promoting a sense of nationalism. Thanks to Muslim schools, Indonesian Muslims are recognized as being moderate. Recently, however, the moderate nature of Indonesian Islam is challenged by the spirit of conservative Islam. The question is how Muslim schools play their roles in the discourse of moderate versus conservative Muslims. This study identified five issues that are largely discussed among Indonesian Muslims: Islam and state, Muslims–non Muslims relations, non-mainstream Islam, gender, and media. Knowing that there is a strong relationship between society and education, i.e., religious education, it is important to see the relationship between schools and society including how the current conservative trend in Indonesian Islam is being taught at schools. This study explored how the curriculum of (Islamic) religious education potentially contributes toward the development of Indonesian conservative Muslims and how religious education teachers view sensitive issues concerning conservative Islam. To answer these questions, the analysis of religious education curricula and the interviewing of teachers serve as the primary methods of data collection. Four religious education teachers from different provinces of Indonesia were interviewed to reveal their opinions on various religion-related issues. This paper discusses how Islamic education in Indonesia has been designed to present moderate Islam but, at the same time, faces a number of challenges that try to turn religious education into conservative religious doctrines. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Shaping the Religiosity of Chinese University Students: Science Education and Political Indoctrination
Religions 2018, 9(10), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100309 - 11 Oct 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1723
Abstract
Our study examined the respective relationships between two components of higher education in mainland China—science education and political indoctrination—and the religiosity of university students. Using a cross-sectional, representative sample of about 1700 college students in Beijing, we found first that students studying natural/applied [...] Read more.
Our study examined the respective relationships between two components of higher education in mainland China—science education and political indoctrination—and the religiosity of university students. Using a cross-sectional, representative sample of about 1700 college students in Beijing, we found first that students studying natural/applied sciences were less likely to perceive Protestantism, Catholicism, and Islam as plausible and less likely to have supernatural belief, relative to students in humanities/social sciences. In addition, the more students positively evaluated the political education courses—which indicates students’ acceptance of political indoctrination—the less likely they reported Protestantism and Catholicism as being plausible. Nevertheless, neither science education nor political indoctrination was associated with the perceived plausibility of Buddhism and Daoism or the worshipping behavior of students. We discuss the implications of these findings in light of the secularization debate and the research on education, religion, and state atheism. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“Korea National Prayer Breakfast” and Protestant Leaders’ Prophetic Consciousness during the Period of Military Dictatorship (1962–1987)
Religions 2018, 9(10), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100308 - 10 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1275
Abstract
This paper illuminates the prophetic consciousness of Korean Protestant leaders by examining the “Korea National Prayer Breakfast” (Gukgajochangidohoe, 국가조찬기도회) that they hosted, particularly during the military regimes. In explaining the motivation for and intention of this special religious event in the [...] Read more.
This paper illuminates the prophetic consciousness of Korean Protestant leaders by examining the “Korea National Prayer Breakfast” (Gukgajochangidohoe, 국가조찬기도회) that they hosted, particularly during the military regimes. In explaining the motivation for and intention of this special religious event in the political arena, most scholars have emphasized the Protestant leaders’ political ambition and their agendas to get the government support and expand their power in Korean society. However, we should take heed of the leaders’ religious aspirations to make the country righteous in God’s sight. They attempted to have a good influence on the inner circle of the military dictatorship, which some Christians regarded as an evil force. Though they preached to and prayed for the military regimes, their sermons were often unpleasant and challenging to the presidents and their associates. The Protestant leaders wanted to play the role of John the Baptist rebuking Herod Antipas rather than the compliant chief priests and scribes serving Herod the Great. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Hate in a Tweet: Exploring Internet-Based Islamophobic Discourses
Religions 2018, 9(10), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100307 - 10 Oct 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3954
Abstract
Islamophobia is the unfounded hostility against Muslims. While anti-Muslim feelings have been explored from many perspectives and in different settings, Internet-based Islamophobia remains under-researched. What are the characteristics of online Islamophobia? What are the differences (if any) between online and offline anti-Muslim narratives? [...] Read more.
Islamophobia is the unfounded hostility against Muslims. While anti-Muslim feelings have been explored from many perspectives and in different settings, Internet-based Islamophobia remains under-researched. What are the characteristics of online Islamophobia? What are the differences (if any) between online and offline anti-Muslim narratives? This article seeks to answer these questions through a qualitative analysis of tweets written in the aftermath of the 2016 British referendum on European Union membership (also known as “Brexit”), which was followed by a surge of Islamophobic episodes. The analysis of the tweets suggests that online Islamophobia largely enhances offline anti-Islam discourses, involving narratives that frame Muslims as violent, backward, and unable to adapt to Western values. Islamophobic tweets also have some peculiar characteristics: they foster global networks, contain messages written by so-called “trolls” and “bots,” and contribute to the spreading of “fake news.” The article suggests that, in order to counteract online Islamophobia, it is important to take into account the networked connections among social media, news media platforms, and offline spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anti Muslim Racism and the Media)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Living and Dealing with Food in an Affluent Society—A Case for the Study of Lived (Non)Religion
Religions 2018, 9(10), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100306 - 10 Oct 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1294
Abstract
Significant changes have been taking place in the field of the sociology of religion in the last few decades, which challenge researchers to rethink this scholarly field. This article suggests that a great deal could be learned about the current dilemmas within this [...] Read more.
Significant changes have been taking place in the field of the sociology of religion in the last few decades, which challenge researchers to rethink this scholarly field. This article suggests that a great deal could be learned about the current dilemmas within this field through research that explores the moral underpinnings of everyday food consumption within contemporary society that is characterized by abundance. More specifically, the article proposes that everyday food consumption and everyday ethics provide unique opportunities to transcend and surpass crucial distinctions within social sciences in a way that can feed the sociological imagination in relation to research on lived (non)religion. Drawing on examples from research on food consumption in the nonreligious context and at the individual, discursive and institutional levels, this study shows how the everyday ethics of food consumption can serve as a point of departure for sociological research, which could help researchers to understand the currents of lived religion and nonreligion in a way that evades the idea of religion as a certain set of practices or beliefs, or as a specific religious affiliation. This research would enable the study of issues such as practices, beliefs, meanings and belonging, as well as distancing, withdrawal, and indifference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Food in Global and Historical Perspective )
Open AccessArticle
Religion in the Global East: Challenges and Opportunities for the Social Scientific Study of Religion
Religions 2018, 9(10), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100305 - 10 Oct 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1994
Abstract
This essay is based on the Presidential Address at the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Inaugural Conference on 3–5 July 2018 in Singapore. It discusses some aspects of the key concepts, some of the distinct characteristics of religion in [...] Read more.
This essay is based on the Presidential Address at the East Asian Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Inaugural Conference on 3–5 July 2018 in Singapore. It discusses some aspects of the key concepts, some of the distinct characteristics of religion in East Asia, and some implications for the social scientific study of religion in general. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Dark of the World, Shine on Us: The Redemption of Blackness in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther
Religions 2018, 9(10), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100304 - 08 Oct 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3504
Abstract
Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film Black Panther portrays the heroes of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda as godlike. They possess otherworldly sophistication by virtue of their blackness, in contrast to longstanding tendencies in mainstream film toward tokenism, stereotyping, and victimhood in [...] Read more.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film Black Panther portrays the heroes of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda as godlike. They possess otherworldly sophistication by virtue of their blackness, in contrast to longstanding tendencies in mainstream film toward tokenism, stereotyping, and victimhood in depictions of people of African descent. The superhero the Black Panther, a.k.a. King T’Challa, learns to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, even those in whose oppression he has been unwittingly complicit, such as the children of the African diaspora. As a result, the film can function as catalyst for reflection on the part of viewers in terms of how they might perceive more clearly the complexity, variety, and ambiguity represented by blackness, whether others’ or their own, and how they, too, might identify with the Other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction)
Open AccessArticle
Nation, Race, and Religious Identity in the Early Nazi Movement
Religions 2018, 9(10), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100303 - 07 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1304
Abstract
This paper examines the dissemination of radical nationalist and racist ideas among Catholics within the early Nazi movement in Munich. While the relationship between the Nazi regime and the Catholic faith was often antagonistic after 1933, a close examination of the earliest years [...] Read more.
This paper examines the dissemination of radical nationalist and racist ideas among Catholics within the early Nazi movement in Munich. While the relationship between the Nazi regime and the Catholic faith was often antagonistic after 1933, a close examination of the earliest years of the Nazi movement reveals a different picture. In the immediate aftermath of the First World War and within the specific context of Munich and its overwhelmingly Catholic environs, early Nazi activists attempted to resacralize political life, synthesizing radical völkisch nationalism with reformist, “modern” conceptions of Catholic faith and identity. In so doing, they often built on ideas that circulated in Catholic circles before the First World War, particularly within the Reform Catholic movement in Munich. By examining depictions of nation and race among three important Catholic groups—reform-oriented priests, publicists, and university students—this paper strives not only to shed light on the conditions under which the Nazi movement was able to survive its tumultuous infancy, but also to offer brief broader reflections on the interplay between nationalism, racism, and religious identity. The article ultimately suggests it was specifically the malleability and conceptual imprecision of those terms that often enhanced their ability to penetrate and circulate effectively within religious communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nationalism)
Open AccessArticle
Rationality and Ethics between Western and Islamic Tradition
Religions 2018, 9(10), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100302 - 07 Oct 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
In the contemporary legal and political debate a large space is taken by the concept of ‘reasonableness’ as a multifaceted notion. Its plasticity makes it very adaptable to the variety of problems that is called on to solve. Its philosophical underpinnings are located [...] Read more.
In the contemporary legal and political debate a large space is taken by the concept of ‘reasonableness’ as a multifaceted notion. Its plasticity makes it very adaptable to the variety of problems that is called on to solve. Its philosophical underpinnings are located in the tradition of Western thought. On the one hand, we have the modern tradition, including the Kantian and the Humean views and, on the other, the Aristotelian–Thomistic tradition, proposing a different and competing conception of reasonableness. Insofar as the latter tradition proposes an idea relying on perfectionist considerations, I want to inquire into the Islamic tradition of reason and rationality in order to find whether it is closer to the first or to the second model. Concepts such as ‘ijitihad’, ‘maqasid’ and ‘maslaha’, I shall argue, find their better explanation if interpreted along the Aristotelian perfectionist tradition rather than along its competitor. If this move is well-founded, some important consequences for the understanding of contemporary Islamic culture may derive. My basic assumption is that those Islamic concepts (and a few others) embed a religious and cultural core of tension to ‘human development’ that can nicely dovetail with Aristotelian rationality and ethics of virtues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Muslim Ethics in the Global Medina)
Open AccessArticle
Exegetical Resistance: The Bible and Protestant Critical Insiders in South Korea
Religions 2018, 9(10), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100301 - 07 Oct 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1005
Abstract
South Korean Protestantism has attracted scholars for a number of reasons including its almost unrivaled numeric growth and vibrancy in East Asia. Recent observations, however, have also noticed its negative perceptions among the general public in Korea, including those who profess to be [...] Read more.
South Korean Protestantism has attracted scholars for a number of reasons including its almost unrivaled numeric growth and vibrancy in East Asia. Recent observations, however, have also noticed its negative perceptions among the general public in Korea, including those who profess to be Protestants. This study focuses on movements by Protestant “critical insiders,” namely, those who are committed to their Protestant faiths yet are highly critical of the ways in which the Protestant religion is taught, believed, and practiced in South Korea. Such emphasis on resistance fits well the scholarly agenda of cultural studies. The subjects of observation in this study, however, can take the cultural studies orthodoxy and flip it on its head. In cultural studies, it has been asserted that unintended-creative readings of cultural—and religious—texts on the part of the readers indicate their resistive agency rather than subjugation. Korean Protestant critical insiders’ various activities pertaining to the Bible, however, entail reversing such observations about interpreting cultural texts and empowerment. Instead of turning the signs upside down, as typically celebrated in cultural studies, what they aspire to do is follow more radically the intended meanings/readings of the text. Rescuing the text, so to speak, is paramount for religiously loyal resistance. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Rewilding Hearts and Habits in the Ancestral Skills Movement
Religions 2018, 9(10), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100300 - 07 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1148
Abstract
This ethnographic study of the ancestral skills movement focuses on the ways that participants use tools in practices such as fire making and bow hunting to ritualize relationships with the more-than-human natural world. Ethnographic methods were supplemented with Internet research on the websites [...] Read more.
This ethnographic study of the ancestral skills movement focuses on the ways that participants use tools in practices such as fire making and bow hunting to ritualize relationships with the more-than-human natural world. Ethnographic methods were supplemented with Internet research on the websites of teachers, schools, and organizations of this movement that emerged in North America in the 1980s and has recently experienced rapid growth. At ancestral skills gatherings, ritual activities among attendees, as well as between people and plants, nonhuman animals, stone, clay, and fire helped create a sense of a common way of life. I place ancestral skills practitioners in the context of other antimodernist movements focusing on tools, crafts, self-reliance, and the pursuit of a simpler way of life. The ancestral skills movement has a clear message about what the good life should consist of: Deep knowledge about the places we live, the ability to make and use tools out of rocks, plants, and nonhuman animals, and the ability to use these tools to live a simpler life. Their vision of the future is one in which humans feel more at home in the wild and contribute to preserving wild places and the skills to live in them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnographies of Worldviews/Ways of Life)
Open AccessArticle
Sacred Places and Sustainable Development
Religions 2018, 9(10), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100299 - 04 Oct 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1188
Abstract
Religious beliefs are not only profound, some of them are also pervasive, persistent and persuasive. It follows that the cultural and religious experiences of communities often play a central role in determining their worldviews and the ways in which they understand their own [...] Read more.
Religious beliefs are not only profound, some of them are also pervasive, persistent and persuasive. It follows that the cultural and religious experiences of communities often play a central role in determining their worldviews and the ways in which they understand their own circumstances. These worldviews, it follows, can thereby assist in providing narratives for community development in places that have particular meaning to these communities and individuals within them, and thereby enhance the long-term success of such initiatives. One often-overlooked aspect in research up until recently is the role that these often sacred places can play in sustainable development. This paper undertakes a study of development spaces situated in sacred places, in this case of a women’s Buddhist monastery on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, devoted to gender equity. It begins with an overview of research pertaining to religion and development, religion in contemporary societies, and sacred places, and concludes with an analysis of the case study data that recognizes the need to consider the significance of sacred places, and narratives attached to them, in sustainable community development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Space and Place)
Open AccessArticle
Pentecostalism, Politics, and Prosperity in South Africa
Religions 2018, 9(10), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100298 - 03 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1220
Abstract
One of the fastest growing religious movements in South Africa is a form of Pentecostal Charismatic Evangelic (PCE) Christianity that has some version of prosperity theology as a central pillar. This paper, based on sermons and interviews with 97 PCE pastors in the [...] Read more.
One of the fastest growing religious movements in South Africa is a form of Pentecostal Charismatic Evangelic (PCE) Christianity that has some version of prosperity theology as a central pillar. This paper, based on sermons and interviews with 97 PCE pastors in the area of Johannesburg, South Africa, argues that these churches form loose clusters defined by similar emphases along a continuum of prosperity theology. These clusters are “abilities prosperity,” “progress prosperity,” and “miracle prosperity.” Some churches fall neatly into one of the clusters, while others appear as more of a hybrid between two of these types. The paper shows that a relationship exists between the type of theology preached by PCE churches and the nature and extent of the political engagement that the pastors suggested that members in these churches should have. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Comparative Theology and Scriptural Reasoning: A Muslim’s Approach to Interreligious Learning
Religions 2018, 9(10), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100297 - 02 Oct 2018
Viewed by 1414
Abstract
In this paper, I examine Comparative Theology (CT) and Scriptural Reasoning (SR), two distinctive interreligious learning practices, in relation to each other. I propose that these practices, with respect to their dialogical features and transformative power, represent two of the most noteworthy current [...] Read more.
In this paper, I examine Comparative Theology (CT) and Scriptural Reasoning (SR), two distinctive interreligious learning practices, in relation to each other. I propose that these practices, with respect to their dialogical features and transformative power, represent two of the most noteworthy current modes of interreligious dialogue. They achieve this by their ability to explicitly understand the “other.” This is also because they serve not only as tools in service of understanding in academic circles, but also as existentially/spiritually transformative journeys in the exotic/familiar land of the “other.” In respect to religious particularity and (un)translatability, I argue that both CT and SR have certain liberal and postliberal features, as neither of them yields to such standard taxonomies. Finally, I deal with Muslim engagement with CT and SR and present some initial results of my current comparative questioning/learning project. Consequently, I plan for this descriptive work to stand as a preliminary to, first, an SR session that focuses on some Qur’anic verses and biblical accounts with a probable progressivist view of history and, second, an in-depth study of the Islamic tradition in that light. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Industry or Holy Vocation? When Shehitah and Kashrut Entered the Public Sphere in the United States during the Age of Reform
Religions 2018, 9(10), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100296 - 30 Sep 2018
Viewed by 937
Abstract
Long before the Agriprocessors scandal, the question of whether secular law and social concerns should shape the halakhah surrounding kosher meat production has been a live issue in the United States. In the 1890s, a critical mass of Orthodox Jewish immigrants gave rise [...] Read more.
Long before the Agriprocessors scandal, the question of whether secular law and social concerns should shape the halakhah surrounding kosher meat production has been a live issue in the United States. In the 1890s, a critical mass of Orthodox Jewish immigrants gave rise to a more commercialized kosher meat industry, which raised the question of how much rabbinic legislation concerning kashrut could stay untouched by civil or union regulation. Although there has been plenty written about the regulatory roles of unions and government regulation in the kosher meat industry from the Progressive Era to the New Deal, the purpose of this essay will be to examine the responses of Orthodox rabbinic leaders in America to these developments. It will also focus on the role of non-Jewish legislation in creating greater uniformity of kashrut standards, as well as, ironically a more insular focus on the letter of the law, sometimes at the expense of civil legal concerns. Finally, it will examine how separation of religion and state created the system of kosher certification that emerged during the early twentieth century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Jewish Experience in America)
Open AccessArticle
Religiosity and Informal Economic Practices in Southeastern European Societies
Religions 2018, 9(10), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100295 - 29 Sep 2018
Viewed by 1086
Abstract
The dominant religions in Southeastern European countries (Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania), Orthodoxy, Islam, and Catholicism, contain social teachings, which include several norms that deal with certain forms of economic practices. These post-socialist societies develop various forms of informal practices, [...] Read more.
The dominant religions in Southeastern European countries (Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania), Orthodoxy, Islam, and Catholicism, contain social teachings, which include several norms that deal with certain forms of economic practices. These post-socialist societies develop various forms of informal practices, some of which are contrary to elements of religious social teachings and religious ethics. In the process of the revitalization of religiosity after the fall of socialism in this region, the question can be posed as to whether the attitude towards informality and the application of certain informal economic practices, which range from the illegitimate to the illegal (getting things “done” through informal connections, tax evasion, corruption), correlates to some extent with the level of religiosity and the type of religion. The results of the research show that there is a connection between belonging to a certain confession or religion, self-declared religiosity and level of religiosity, and approving of informal practices and engaging in them. At the state level, a specific dynamic was developed even when it came to approving of and engaging in informal practices depending on whether the members of certain confessions were a minority or a majority at the level of the observed country. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop