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Religions, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Comparing religious nationalism in Turkey and Israel seems a contrived exercise, since Turkey is [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle A Ruby and Triangled Sign upon the Forehead of Taurus: Modalities of Revelation in Megalithic Archaeoastronomy and James Joyce’s Novels Ulysses and Finnegans Wake
Religions 2018, 9(11), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110375
Received: 4 October 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
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Abstract
This paper proceeds from the concurrent interpretation of two distinct, apparently unrelated disciplinary contexts, at the crossroads of the positivism of archaeology and the imaginary world of literature. The character of the reciprocal relationship between megalithism in Neolithic Portugal and the writings of
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This paper proceeds from the concurrent interpretation of two distinct, apparently unrelated disciplinary contexts, at the crossroads of the positivism of archaeology and the imaginary world of literature. The character of the reciprocal relationship between megalithism in Neolithic Portugal and the writings of the twentieth-century author, James Joyce, is transfigured through the introduction of a third element of interpretation, a deeply paradoxical current of Jewish thought, with messianic dimensions, antithetical to the forces of mythic reconciliation present in Joyce’s fiction and in archaeological conceptions of ‘symbolic systems’ in antiquity, which tend to erase the innumerable singulars of experience. Applying a cryptotheologically-inflected exegesis immanent to the materials of text and archaeology in the light of their respective orientation to the same astral phenomenon, I seek to generate insights unanticipated within interpretations restricted to the disciplinary boundaries, theories and methodologies of archaeology and literary criticism as discrete entities. Within allegorised readings of archaeology and an archaeologicised reading of Joyce’s texts I bring into play non-synchronous elements which both disrupt the idealised harmonies of social and religious conformity and illuminate hitherto unseen connections between diverse, seemingly incommensurable contexts, beyond the discursive conventions of detached objectivity, without relinquishing irreduceible remnants to a totalising synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Marrano Phenomenon. Jewish ‘Hidden Tradition’ and Modernity)
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Open AccessArticle The Four–Seven Debate of Korean Neo-Confucianism and the Moral Psychological and Theistic Turn in Korean Philosophy
Religions 2018, 9(11), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110374
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
This paper discusses how Korean Neo-Confucian philosophers in the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) explained the moral nature of the mind and its emotions. Among the philosophical debates of Korean Neo-Confucianism, the author of the paper focuses on the Four–Seven Debate (a philosophical debate about
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This paper discusses how Korean Neo-Confucian philosophers in the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) explained the moral nature of the mind and its emotions. Among the philosophical debates of Korean Neo-Confucianism, the author of the paper focuses on the Four–Seven Debate (a philosophical debate about the moral psychological nature of the four moral emotions and the seven morally indiscrete emotions) to analyze its liqi metaphysics (a philosophical explanation of the universe through the intricate and interactive relation between the two cosmic processes, li and qi) and its conflicting viewpoints on the moral psychological nature of emotion. Because of the ambiguities and inconsistencies in the Neo-Confucian explanation, specifically those of the Cheng–Zhu schools of Neo-Confucianism on the nature and functions of the mind, Korean Neo-Confucians struggled to bring Neo-Confucian liqi metaphysics to the moral and practical issues of the human mind and moral cultivation. Later in the Joseon dynasty, some Korean Neo-Confucians discussed the fundamental limitations of liqi metaphysics and developed their explanations for the goodness of the moral mind and the world from an alternative (i.e., theistic) viewpoint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role and Meaning of Religion for Korean Society)
Open AccessArticle A Mathematical Analysis of Maria Valtorta’s Mystical Writings
Religions 2018, 9(11), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110373
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
We have studied the very large amount of literary works written by the Italian mystic Maria Valtorta to assess similarities and differences in her writings, because she claims that most of them are due to mystical visions. We have used mathematical and statistical
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We have studied the very large amount of literary works written by the Italian mystic Maria Valtorta to assess similarities and differences in her writings, because she claims that most of them are due to mystical visions. We have used mathematical and statistical tools developed for specifically studying deep linguistic aspects of texts. The general trend indicates that the literary works explicitly attributable to Maria Valtorta differ significantly from her other literary works, which she claims are attributable to the alleged characters Jesus and Mary. Mathematically, they seem to have been written by different authors. The comparison with the Italian literature is very striking. A single author, namely Maria Valtorta, seems to be able to write texts so diverse as to cover the entire mathematical range (suitably defined) of the Italian literature spanning seven centuries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The American Jewish Future after Immigration and Ethnicity Fade: H. A. Wolfson’s Analysis in 1918
Religions 2018, 9(11), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110372
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
H. A. Wolfson arrived in the United States at 16 from the Lithuanian region of the Russian Empire and at Harvard as a freshman five years later. He remained at Harvard until his death in 1974, as Emeritus Professor of Hebrew Literature and
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H. A. Wolfson arrived in the United States at 16 from the Lithuanian region of the Russian Empire and at Harvard as a freshman five years later. He remained at Harvard until his death in 1974, as Emeritus Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy. Among the most important historians of western religious philosophy, he published on contemporary issues only until 1925 and even then only rarely. Nevertheless, his 1918 article, “Pomegranates”, deserves attention. Wolfson clearly followed debates about the American ethnic future. He carved out an original and unexpected position on that issue, and on the American Jewish future within that context. He perceptively rejected Horace Kallen’s views of a “multi-national America”, and like Israel Zangwill’s Melting Pot, he stressed that full cultural and political assimilation would occur in the United States. But unlike Zangwill, he argued that Jewish religious creativity would find a long-term place in American life, once freed of its national trappings. Strongly supporting a Hebraic renaissance and a Jewish homeland in Palestine, he also emphasized with great force that the “we”—the east-European Jewish intellectuals and the Zionists—had greatly misunderstood the promise of Reform Judaism for the diaspora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Jewish Experience in America)
Open AccessArticle Thank God We Are Creatures: Hannah Arendt’s Cryptotheology
Religions 2018, 9(11), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110371
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
Main concern of this article is to grasp the interpretative matrix of Hannah Arendt’s doctorate, which, I claim, is the central organising net for her other writings. I call this matrix “cryptotheological defence of the secular world”. In order to show its functionality,
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Main concern of this article is to grasp the interpretative matrix of Hannah Arendt’s doctorate, which, I claim, is the central organising net for her other writings. I call this matrix “cryptotheological defence of the secular world”. In order to show its functionality, I have to determine the character of Arendt’s discourse in relation to theology and philosophy on the basis of her doctoral thesis from 1929. The main attention will be focused on the figure of the neighbour as a singular and the concept of natality. I will show how the critique of theology, often very ironic, serves Arendt to contest the paradigm of the political theology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Marrano Phenomenon. Jewish ‘Hidden Tradition’ and Modernity)
Open AccessArticle How Levinas Can (and Cannot) Help Us with Political Apology in the Context of Systemic Racism
Religions 2018, 9(11), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110370
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 25 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
What is the structure of an apology? What is an apology supposed to achieve, and how do we know when it has achieved its purpose? These questions seem pretty straightforward when we are speaking of an apology as it is traditionally conceived, which
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What is the structure of an apology? What is an apology supposed to achieve, and how do we know when it has achieved its purpose? These questions seem pretty straightforward when we are speaking of an apology as it is traditionally conceived, which considers an explicit action that I have performed toward another individual. But how does one apologize for one’s thrownness into systemic structures of inequality and violence—such as America’s long history of racism toward people of color? I call this here a “political apology,” which may take both national forms—such as Australia’s National “I’m Sorry Day”—or personal acts—such as when a white person might apologize to a friend who is a person of color for the persistence of anti-Black racism in America. This essay will consider Emmanuel Levinas’s work and how it relates to this notion of a political apology. In some respects, Levinas’s thought is profoundly constructive and useful; however, his ahistorical, asymmetrical account of intersubjectivity is inadequate to explain what an apology seeks to achieve on a substantial political level. For this, I believe we must articulate a Levinasian-inspired account of the self–other relation that more adequately takes into account both parties as well as the concrete situation in which the need for apology arises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Levinas and the Political)
Open AccessArticle A Critical Evaluation of Religious Education in Korea
Religions 2018, 9(11), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110369
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 11 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
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Abstract
This essay will discuss the general orientation of Korean religious education and some of the problematic issues that are related to its position within the current Korean educational systems. It will focus especially on four critical aspects pertaining to religious education as found
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This essay will discuss the general orientation of Korean religious education and some of the problematic issues that are related to its position within the current Korean educational systems. It will focus especially on four critical aspects pertaining to religious education as found today in the Republic of Korea (we will not consider the situation of religious education in North Korea because it is so difficult to get accurate information). The first section will begin to identify the contemporary ‘communicational dilemma’ of religious education in Korea and its roots in the lack of a proper understanding of religious education from a non-confessional academic perspective. The second section will place the problem in the context of Korean religious demography as it pertains to the necessity of religious education and the conventional image of religious education within schools. The third section will enumerate a number of critical issues and analyze their impact on the direction of religious education policy since the establishment of the government’s equalization educational policy in 1969. The fourth section will critically examine a number of constitutional issues as they bear on the question of where compulsion exists in current religious education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role and Meaning of Religion for Korean Society)
Open AccessEditorial Introduction to “Current Trajectories in Global Pentecostalism: Culture, Social Engagement, and Change”
Religions 2018, 9(11), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110368
Received: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
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Abstract
This special issue of Religions assembles a talented group of international scholars from a variety of regions and disciplines to address contemporary developments within global Pentecostalism, a burgeoning movement that is changing the face—and interface—of religion and society today. A total of twelve
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This special issue of Religions assembles a talented group of international scholars from a variety of regions and disciplines to address contemporary developments within global Pentecostalism, a burgeoning movement that is changing the face—and interface—of religion and society today. A total of twelve articles (representing the work of thirteen authors) speak to issues surfacing along one of three overlapping trajectories: cultural expression, social engagement, and institutional change. The introduction briefly sets a framework for each article and calls attention to its wider connections and notable contributions. As a body of scholarship, these articles constitute a set of strategic soundings that refine our understanding of the texture and topography of global Pentecostalism. In addition to their substantive contributions, the authors, viewed collectively, also put on display the central attributes of a new era in Pentecostal studies, one distinguished by its productivity, diversity, range, and interdisciplinary ken. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pedagogies in Becoming Muslim: Contemporary Insights from Islamic Traditions on Teaching, Learning, and Developing
Religions 2018, 9(11), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110367
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
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Abstract
In light of calls to examine, elaborate, and improve pedagogies in teaching and learning Islam, thematic analysis was conducted on literature in English on pedagogies derived from the primary-source texts, the Qur’an and Sunnah. Three themes were constructed, each capturing a distinct pedagogic
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In light of calls to examine, elaborate, and improve pedagogies in teaching and learning Islam, thematic analysis was conducted on literature in English on pedagogies derived from the primary-source texts, the Qur’an and Sunnah. Three themes were constructed, each capturing a distinct pedagogic principle, to suggest an expansive framework of principled, flexible, situated, holistic, and transformative pedagogies. First, Relational Pedagogies center learning and developing in warm human relationships. Second, Pedagogies of Mutual Engagement include doing, speaking, and inquiring together in participatory processes of making meaning. Third, Pedagogies of Conscious Awareness aim to make visible purposes, reasons, and principles behind Islamic practices. These three themes were then used as sensitizing concepts in examining data gathered in a sociocultural study on Muslim educators’ perspectives and practices at a mosque school in Canada. Reflections of the themes in the data—and contradictions—suggest that educators passionately but partially draw from primary-source pedagogies to inform their praxis in a pedagogic diaspora where interpretation and application vary. Further research is required to examine whether the developmental potential of these primary-source pedagogies might be optimized when they are employed together, as a balanced group, and how they might address pedagogical criticisms in teaching and learning Islam. Full article
Open AccessArticle Intertwined Sources of Buddhist Modernist Opposition to Ritual: History, Philosophy, Culture
Religions 2018, 9(11), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110366
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 10 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 17 November 2018
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Abstract
This essay is an inquiry into the religio-cultural background of the opposition to ritual evidenced by many adherents of Buddhist modernism. This background can be structured by three different kinds of questions—historical, philosophical, and cultural. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism in the United States and Canada)
Open AccessArticle Karl Rahner and the Elusive Search for Christian Unity
Religions 2018, 9(11), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110365
Received: 6 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 17 November 2018
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Abstract
Despite his prominence within the landscape of theology, Karl Rahner is largely absent in ecumenical discourse. This is surprising considering the concern he shows for both the church’s unity and ecumenism throughout his writings. Rahner’s understanding of unity and diversity and their relationship
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Despite his prominence within the landscape of theology, Karl Rahner is largely absent in ecumenical discourse. This is surprising considering the concern he shows for both the church’s unity and ecumenism throughout his writings. Rahner’s understanding of unity and diversity and their relationship to one another has the potential to provide important resources for the contemporary ecumenical movement and the goal of visible unity. This article examines Karl Rahner’s theological understanding of ecumenism and the relationship of ecumenism to the realities of unity and diversity. This article explicates Rahner’s theologies of symbol and unity as prerequisites for understanding and developing the relationship between unity and diversity. The unity of the Church is fundamentally a symbolic reality in the process of “becoming”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecumenism and Ecclesiology: The Challenge of Unity and Difference)
Open AccessArticle New Representations of Religion and Belief in Schools
Religions 2018, 9(11), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110364
Received: 14 October 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
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Abstract
Discussions around the future of Religious Education (RE) in England have focused on the need to address the diversity of religion and belief in contemporary society. Issues of the representation of religion and belief in Religious Education are central to the future of
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Discussions around the future of Religious Education (RE) in England have focused on the need to address the diversity of religion and belief in contemporary society. Issues of the representation of religion and belief in Religious Education are central to the future of the subject. This article draws on research into key stakeholders’ views and aspirations for RE to map an alternative representation of religion and belief to that found in existing approaches that universalise, sanitise and privatise religion. The data reveal a thirst for the study of a broader range and a more nuanced understanding of religion and belief. This incorporates a focus on religion and belief as identity as well as tradition, the study of the role of religion in global affairs as well as the controversies and challenges it can pose for individuals and the exploration of religion and belief as fluid and contested categories. What may be described as a contemporaneous and sociological turn, moves beyond the existing binaries of religious/secular, public/private, good/bad, fluid/static that shape much existing representation, towards a representation of the ‘real religion and belief landscape’ in all its complexity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Religious Education)
Open AccessArticle The Survival of the Gift: An Enchanted Interpretation of Early Quakerism
Religions 2018, 9(11), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110363
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
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Abstract
Since Max Weber’s ground-breaking study, The Protestant Ethic, and the Spirit of Capitalism, it has become something of a scholarly trope to treat the rise of secular modernity and the formation of Quakerism as going readily together. In an effort to dismantle
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Since Max Weber’s ground-breaking study, The Protestant Ethic, and the Spirit of Capitalism, it has become something of a scholarly trope to treat the rise of secular modernity and the formation of Quakerism as going readily together. In an effort to dismantle this habitual interpretation of Quaker history, this article posits the existence of an embryonic ‘enchanted’ Quakerism, which actively resisted the nascent secularity of early modernity. Drawing extensively on the gift-theory of Marcel Mauss, it will be shown that first-generation Quakerism was characterised by a magical conception of the body, nature, and society. Such a posture, in its radical anachronism, sought to undermine both Cartesian science and the emerging discipline of political economy. In place of a cosmology of hierarchy and commodification, early Quakers argued for a sweeping theology of gift, which imbued the whole of experience with divine activity. While secularity was busily confining the magical and the miraculous to the realm of innermost subjectivity, the Quakerism of the 1650s and 60s was characterised by a stubborn refusal to accept such a process of religious privatisation. In contrast, early Quaker spirituality postulated the continual interaction of Biblical realities with contemporary natural and social orders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)
Open AccessArticle Philanthropy and Human Flourishing in Patristic Theology
Religions 2018, 9(11), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110362
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
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Abstract
This article grounds early Christian theologies and practices of philanthropy in their varied complexities in a larger patristic vision of human flourishing. For patristic authors (second to fifth centuries), human flourishing is grounded in God’s creative intent for material creation, including nature and
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This article grounds early Christian theologies and practices of philanthropy in their varied complexities in a larger patristic vision of human flourishing. For patristic authors (second to fifth centuries), human flourishing is grounded in God’s creative intent for material creation, including nature and material goods, that are to be shared for common use and common good, and also to be a means of distributive justice. Based on God’s own philanthropia (“love of humanity”, compassionate generosity), when Christians practice it mainly through almsgiving to the poor and sharing, they mirror the original image (eikon) of God, undo their crime of inhumanity, retain a Christian identity and virtue, and thus restore a semblance of God’s creative intent for the common good. This fundamental social virtue, philanthropia, is, in fact, an attendant virtue of salvation (the goal of creation, including humanity), in reversing the effects of the fall and restoring human flourishing. I then examine patristic authors’ presentations of how wealth presents Christians in concrete situations with a unique challenge and opportunity to demonstrate their spiritual state and persevere in their salvation by eliminating vices (e.g., greed) and cultivating virtues (e.g., detachment), and thereby to affirm and confirm their Christian identities. Finally, I explore the institutional aspect of philanthropy in the (post-) Constantinian era as the Christian church took on the task of caring for the poor of the whole Roman society as a result. Full article
Open AccessArticle Bad Religion as False Religion: An Empirical Study of UK Religious Education Teachers’ Essentialist Religious Discourse
Religions 2018, 9(11), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110361
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
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Abstract
We argue that there is a well-intentioned—yet mistaken—definitional turn within contemporary cultural discourse in which ‘true’ religion, being essentially loving and peaceful, is distinguished from ‘false’ religion. Concerned with the possibility that this discourse might be prevalent in school Religious Education (RE), we
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We argue that there is a well-intentioned—yet mistaken—definitional turn within contemporary cultural discourse in which ‘true’ religion, being essentially loving and peaceful, is distinguished from ‘false’ religion. Concerned with the possibility that this discourse might be prevalent in school Religious Education (RE), we surveyed practicing RE teachers within the United Kingdom (UK) on their beliefs about religion. We wanted to see how far the surveyed teachers evidenced a strand of contemporary cultural discourse which, we argue, conceptualizes bad religion as false religion. Responses from 465 teachers to our online survey indicate that many RE teachers understand religion(s) as essentially benign or pro-social—and present it/them as such in the classroom. We argue that RE can only foster religious literacy if religions are presented as multifarious, complex, social phenomena. This cannot be predicated upon an essentialist conceptualization of harmful religion as false religion, which is inimical to understanding religion in the world today—as in times past. We conclude that this conceptualization is a barrier to UK RE meeting both its extrinsic purpose to educate, and one of its intrinsic purposes to foster tolerance and pro-social attitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Religious Education)
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Open AccessArticle Contemplative Practice, Doxographies, and the Construction of Tibetan Buddhism: Nupchen Sangyé Yeshé and The Lamp for the Eye in Meditation
Religions 2018, 9(11), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110360
Received: 10 October 2018 / Revised: 8 November 2018 / Accepted: 10 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract
In this article, I would like to reframe our understanding of the role played by doxographies or classification of views (Skt. siddhānta, Ch. panjiao 判教, Tib. grub mtha’) in the Buddhist tradition as it pertained to Tibetan attempts at defining and
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In this article, I would like to reframe our understanding of the role played by doxographies or classification of views (Skt. siddhānta, Ch. panjiao 判教, Tib. grub mtha’) in the Buddhist tradition as it pertained to Tibetan attempts at defining and organizing the diversity of Buddhist contemplative practices that made their way into Tibet since the introduction of Buddhism to the Tibetan plateau in the seventh century, all the way up to the collapse of the Tibetan Empire in the ninth century. In order to do that, this article focuses on one such doxography, the Lamp for the Eye in Meditation (bsam gtan mig sgron), composed in the 10th century by the Tibetan scholar Nupchen Sangyé Yeshé. The first part of the article will place Nupchen’s text in the larger historical and intellectual context of the literary genre of doxographies in India, China, and Tibet. The second part of the article will argue that Nupchen used the doxographical genre not only as a vehicle for organizing and articulating doctrinal and contemplative diversity, but also as a tool for the construction of a new and original system of Tibetan Buddhist practice known as ‘the Great Perfection’ (rdzogs chen). Finally, and as a small homage to the recent passing of the great religious studies scholar Jonathan Z. Smith, I would also like to reflect on the importance that the issues of definition, comparison, and classification—central concerns of Nupchen’s as well as of Smith’s works—have in creating and articulating religious difference. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Seduction of the Name: Universal Marranism and the Secret of Being-in-Language
Religions 2018, 9(11), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110359
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract
The author combines Walter Benjamin’s speculations on language, naming, and horror with Jean Laplanche’s general theory of seduction and his notion of the enigmatic signifier in order to reconstruct what he identifies as the primal scene of initiation into language. Further, the author
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The author combines Walter Benjamin’s speculations on language, naming, and horror with Jean Laplanche’s general theory of seduction and his notion of the enigmatic signifier in order to reconstruct what he identifies as the primal scene of initiation into language. Further, the author develops this construction by linking it to a similar structure which he extracts by means of interpretation from Jacques Derrida’s commentaries to the Biblical stories of the Tower of Babel and of the Binding of Isaac. Finally, the author shows how the primal scene thus reconstructed should be seen as the transcendental condition of being in language as described by Derrida in his seminal essay on Monolingualism of the Other and how this very condition should be understood as a universalized form of the Marrano condition. The most far-reaching conclusion of the argument is, then, that at least for Jacques Derrida, every subject of language is a Marrano. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Marrano Phenomenon. Jewish ‘Hidden Tradition’ and Modernity)
Open AccessArticle Internet Censorship in Arab Countries: Religious and Moral Aspects
Religions 2018, 9(11), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110358
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 8 November 2018 / Accepted: 11 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract
Internet censorship remains one of the most common methods of state control over the media. Reasons for filtering cyberspace include ensuring the security of the current regime, attempts to limit all kinds of opposition movements, and the protection of the religious and moral
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Internet censorship remains one of the most common methods of state control over the media. Reasons for filtering cyberspace include ensuring the security of the current regime, attempts to limit all kinds of opposition movements, and the protection of the religious and moral norms of society. In Arab countries, where religion plays a major role in the sociopolitical sphere, the latter is particularly important. Since, in Islamic law, there is no direct reference to censorship in practice, governments cause many resources to be filtered under various pretexts. At the same time, as the example of Egypt during the Arab spring shows, moral and religious reasons for filtering the Internet have more grounds than, say, the persecution of opposition leaders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Religious Behavior in Health Self-Management: A Community-Based Participatory Research Study
Religions 2018, 9(11), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110357
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
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Abstract
Prevalence of chronic disease, mental health problems, and risk behaviors in San Bernardino (SB) County reflect some of the worst health outcomes in the State of California and the United States. Using the Integrated Theory of Health Behavior Change (ITHBC) as the theoretical
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Prevalence of chronic disease, mental health problems, and risk behaviors in San Bernardino (SB) County reflect some of the worst health outcomes in the State of California and the United States. Using the Integrated Theory of Health Behavior Change (ITHBC) as the theoretical framework, this community-based participatory research (CBPR) study aimed to determine how religious self-regulation skills and ability, and religious behaviors, jointly affect health promotion behaviors among socio-economically challenged residents of southwest SB County, California. A convenience sample of adult residents (N = 261) completed a series of inventories to measure the relationship between modified ITHBC constructs of religious self-regulation skills, religious self-management behaviors, and health outcomes. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis was conducted to validate the strong positive effect of religious self-regulation skills and ability on how frequently individuals engage in both organized and non-organized religious activities. Results also indicated a significant positive impact of religious behaviors towards healthy eating behaviors. However, without the engagement in religious activities, high religious self-regulation skills and ability inhibited the likelihood of healthy food intake. This faith-related theoretical model provides an avenue for faith-based organizations’ capacity for contributing to community health promotion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle “Enablement”—Spirituality Engagement in Pre-Registration Nurse Education and Practice: A Grounded Theory Investigation
Religions 2018, 9(11), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110356
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
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Abstract
Historically, spirituality in nursing was considered a fundamental dimension, contributing to patients’ wellbeing. Accordingly, nurses are expected to attend to the spiritual needs of patients as a part of holistic nursing care, and pre-registration nurse education (that is undergraduate nurse education) has a
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Historically, spirituality in nursing was considered a fundamental dimension, contributing to patients’ wellbeing. Accordingly, nurses are expected to attend to the spiritual needs of patients as a part of holistic nursing care, and pre-registration nurse education (that is undergraduate nurse education) has a responsibility to equip them to fulfil this aspect of their role. However, the content of spirituality in nurse education programmes lack structure and consistency, hence further investigation into the value of such education and its transferability in clinical practice is needed. Data collection was by individual interviews with 13 pre-registration participants undertaking adult nursing between March 2012 and May 2014. Each interview was digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Through theoretical sampling, data collection and analysis occurred in a cyclical manner until theoretical saturation/sufficiency was reached. The participants’ main concerns were: explaining spirituality, remembering spirituality education and content, and uncertainties about facilitating patients’ spiritual needs; these combine to form ‘having sufficient spirituality education to facilitate patients’ spiritual needs’. The substantive theory of ‘Enablement’ (make possible) was constructed to explain how the participants resolved their main concern. This investigation reveals how the participants acquire and translate spirituality education to practice, so realising holistic care. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nation as a Neo-Idol: Muslim Political Theology and the Critique of Secular Nationalism in Modern South Asia
Religions 2018, 9(11), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110355
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
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Abstract
Modern perspectives on nationalism tend to privilege structuralist readings which approach nationalism as entailing economic and political restructuring, thereby overlooking the necessary role of human factors in the functioning of nationalism. Religious opposition to secular nationalism is then condemned as backward, reactionary, fundamentalist,
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Modern perspectives on nationalism tend to privilege structuralist readings which approach nationalism as entailing economic and political restructuring, thereby overlooking the necessary role of human factors in the functioning of nationalism. Religious opposition to secular nationalism is then condemned as backward, reactionary, fundamentalist, or ideological. However, a different understanding of nationalism is uncovered when the role of human factors in nationalism are scrutinized. Toward discerning the role of human factors in nationalism and its relation to religion in general, I turn to Liah Greenfeld’s analysis of social psychology of nationalism as a secular ideology. In exploring the effects of nationalist ideology on religion, I return to the earliest Muslim debates on nationalism in South Asia between two critics of nationalism, Muhammad Iqbal and Abu’l A’laa Mawdudi, and their opponents, Abul Kalam Azad and Husayn Ahmad Madani. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nationalism)
Open AccessArticle Solovyov’s Metaphysics between Gnosis and Theurgy
Religions 2018, 9(11), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110354
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
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Abstract
This article provides a reading of Vladimir Solovyov’s philosophy as expressed in his ‘Lectures on Divine Humanity’ and ‘The Meaning of Love’. It seeks to unpack his eclectic thought in order to answer the question of whether there is a Jewish Kabbalistic influence
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This article provides a reading of Vladimir Solovyov’s philosophy as expressed in his ‘Lectures on Divine Humanity’ and ‘The Meaning of Love’. It seeks to unpack his eclectic thought in order to answer the question of whether there is a Jewish Kabbalistic influence on the Russian thinker amidst his usual platonic, gnostic, and Schellengian tropes. Interested as a young man in Jewish Mysticism, Solovyov fluctuates in his ‘Lectures on Divine Humanity’ between a platonic reading of Schellengian Gnosticism and some elements of Kabbalistic origin. In ‘The Meaning of Love’, he develops a notion of love that puts him very close to what Moshe Idel calls ‘theosophic-theurgical Kabbalah’. Showing how ‘The Meaning of Love’ completes the narrative of ‘Lectures’, we can affirm that there is a certain Christian Kabbalistic line in Solovyov’s thought that culminates in his theurgical understanding of love. In this sense, Solovyov might be called a philosophical Marrano as he is certainly a heterodox theosopher that fluctuates between Christian Gnosis and Christian Kabbalah, never assuming a solid identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Marrano Phenomenon. Jewish ‘Hidden Tradition’ and Modernity)
Open AccessArticle Saint Hildegard’s Vegetal Psycho-Physio-Theology
Religions 2018, 9(11), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110353
Received: 17 October 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
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Abstract
Besides a series of psycho-physiological correspondences between parts of the soul and physical processes, one finds in Hildegard’s corpus an entire hagiography and a theography mapped onto parts of plants in a sort of spiritual botany. The analogies mixed together with the non-analogical
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Besides a series of psycho-physiological correspondences between parts of the soul and physical processes, one finds in Hildegard’s corpus an entire hagiography and a theography mapped onto parts of plants in a sort of spiritual botany. The analogies mixed together with the non-analogical emanations of viriditas are complex, insofar as they involve particular species of plants or plant organs, psychic faculties, and chief actors in the Judeo-Christian theological drama. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Verdant: Knowing Plants, Planted Relations, Religion in Place)
Open AccessArticle Strategies Christian Nurses Use to Create a Healing Environment
Religions 2018, 9(11), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110352
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract
From Nightingale forward, nursing has understood that interaction of person, nurse, and environment facilitates optimal outcomes. Yet, there remains a need for research on the paradigm concept of environment and creation of a healing environment. This classical, grounded theory study aimed to identify
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From Nightingale forward, nursing has understood that interaction of person, nurse, and environment facilitates optimal outcomes. Yet, there remains a need for research on the paradigm concept of environment and creation of a healing environment. This classical, grounded theory study aimed to identify (1) strategies Christian nurses used to create a healing environment and enhance well-being, (2) outcomes they perceived resulting from these strategies, and (3) factors they regarded as either enhancing or inhibiting the creation of the healing environments. A criterion-based, purposive sample of Christian nurses (N = 15) was interviewed between June 2013 and January 2014 until data saturation was reached. Data were analyzed using constant comparative methods in consultation with a grounded theory expert. “Charting the healing path,” the core category, consists of four phases: helping patients get better, fostering the healing environment, charting a healing path, and observing outcomes. The “charting the healing path” model informs development of the environment domain of nursing knowledge. Knowing the patient, the juncture of nurse and patient points of view, and the resultant nurse–patient partnership promote best potential outcomes to be realized incrementally during, and after, hospitalization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Question of Nationalism and Belonging
Religions 2018, 9(11), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110351
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract
This paper situates an analysis on the commonalities and ordinariness of Jewish and Muslim experiences vis-à-vis a critique on nationalism and belonging in the literature of Edeet Ravel and Mohsin Hamid, in addition to other writers. These literary writers are highlighted by an
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This paper situates an analysis on the commonalities and ordinariness of Jewish and Muslim experiences vis-à-vis a critique on nationalism and belonging in the literature of Edeet Ravel and Mohsin Hamid, in addition to other writers. These literary writers are highlighted by an exploration of Eran Riklis’ film A Borrowed Identity amidst the critical perspectives of Ari Shavit, Leila Ahmed, Edward W. Said, and Justin Trudeau. The focus on Israel/Palestine is complemented by addressing sustained issues of nationalism and belonging in America that reverberate on global degrees of awareness as to how religious degrees of belonging can be reconsidered in light of understanding instantiations of cultural mise-en-scène from nuanced degrees of awareness. In turn, a multifaceted unsettling of identity, religion, and culture is posited that vividly collapses distinctions between East/West in revealing highly different ways of contemplating perceptions of Jews and Muslims in the world today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remembering Jewish-Muslim Encounters: Challenges and Cooperation)
Open AccessArticle Use of Prayer as Complementary Therapy by Christian Adults in the Bible Belt of the United States
Religions 2018, 9(11), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110350
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
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Abstract
Persons of all major religious groups use prayer as a spiritual discipline when dealing with sickness, and a majority of Christians report faith in healing prayer. The purpose of this research was to explore the use of prayer as complementary therapy for healing
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Persons of all major religious groups use prayer as a spiritual discipline when dealing with sickness, and a majority of Christians report faith in healing prayer. The purpose of this research was to explore the use of prayer as complementary therapy for healing by Christian adults in the Bible Belt of the United States. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used in this qualitative study. This project was a secondary analysis of a larger study whose aim was to document stories of miraculous healings (n = 14). Open-ended questions focusing on participants’ use of prayer followed the initial telling of their stories. All participants used prayer as complementary to their traditional medical treatments, and emerging themes included prayers of the people, rituals and traditions associated with prayer, prayers of supplication, and experiences related to the act of praying. These findings support prior published studies regarding the prevalence of prayer and its use as complementary therapy. Participants commonly used prayer in times of illness and the effects of prayer included a sense of wellbeing, increased calmness, decreased anxiety, and positive healing experiences. Participants utilized self-prayer and prayer support from family, friends, clergy, and healthcare professionals. Full article
Open AccessArticle Locating Religion and Secularity in East Asia Through Global Processes: Early Modern Jesuit Religious Encounters
Religions 2018, 9(11), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110349
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
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Abstract
The central premise of this paper is that in order to understand the social construction of religion and secularity in East Asia today we need to take a long durée historical approach, which takes into account the colonial encounters between the Christian West
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The central premise of this paper is that in order to understand the social construction of religion and secularity in East Asia today we need to take a long durée historical approach, which takes into account the colonial encounters between the Christian West and East Asia during three different and distinct phases of globalization. While most of the recent scholarly work on the globalization of the categories of religion and secularity focuses on the second Western hegemonic phase of globalization, this essay focuses on the early modern phase of globalization before Western hegemony. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religiosity, Secularity and Pluralism in the Global East)
Open AccessEssay Religious Education beyond Congregational Settings
Religions 2018, 9(11), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110348
Received: 16 October 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 3 November 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
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Abstract
Religious educational literature in the United States often presumes the congregation as the primary context for the work of faith formation. Given the reduction of institutional affiliation and participation in Christian congregations, this assumption makes approaches to religious education requiring an identity-bearing community
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Religious educational literature in the United States often presumes the congregation as the primary context for the work of faith formation. Given the reduction of institutional affiliation and participation in Christian congregations, this assumption makes approaches to religious education requiring an identity-bearing community of affiliation less relevant. Several emerging models of religious education eschew the community provided by formal religious institutions for more provisional, radically contextualized communal approaches to religious education. These approaches spark a different and important imagination for religious education beyond congregations, embedded in provisional communities of solidarity and engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Religious Education)
Open AccessArticle How Saint Clare of Assisi Guided Her Sisters. Impulses for the Today’s Leadership Context
Religions 2018, 9(11), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110347
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 31 October 2018 / Published: 6 November 2018
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Abstract
Saint Clare and leadership? A lot of research on her person has been done in recent years. However, her importance for today’s management has not been taken into account. In this article, we will look more closely at her understanding of leadership and
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Saint Clare and leadership? A lot of research on her person has been done in recent years. However, her importance for today’s management has not been taken into account. In this article, we will look more closely at her understanding of leadership and how the medieval saint led the community of her sisters. To do this, we first look at biographical reports and written testimonies (about and written by her) that characterize her leadership actions and behavior. First and foremost, it was her endeavor to lead a life according to Jesus Christ under the privilege of poverty. In this presentation, the excerpts from the canonization process and passages of her order rule are of central importance. These testimonies provide valuable information on her understanding and her leadership style. Her biography, her leadership, and the values that shape her actions provide valuable insights into today’s leadership challenges. Through her example, St. Clare can help us to train ourselves as authentic leaders and to reflect on our own leadership and values. She can sensitize people to cultivate an appreciative inner attitude in dealing with others and thus develop our own effect as (leadership) personalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Franciscan Spirituality and Its Impact for Today’s World)
Open AccessArticle Ernst Bloch as a Non-Simultaneous Jewish Marxist
Religions 2018, 9(11), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110346
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 November 2018 / Published: 6 November 2018
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Abstract
The paper attempts to reassess the fundamentally paradoxical position of Ernst Bloch in 20th century philosophy in the light of the Marranic condition. Indebted, among others, to Jewish heritage and Christian tradition, Bloch considered himself primarily a Marxist. Bloch’s uniqueness consists in the
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The paper attempts to reassess the fundamentally paradoxical position of Ernst Bloch in 20th century philosophy in the light of the Marranic condition. Indebted, among others, to Jewish heritage and Christian tradition, Bloch considered himself primarily a Marxist. Bloch’s uniqueness consists in the stunning equiponderance of the currents he drew from. Contrary to a classic model of modern Jewish philosophy, inaugurated by Hermann Cohen, Bloch’s thinking does not allow of easy juxtaposition of “sources” with languages into which they were translated. In this sense, Bloch cannot be easily compared to Franz Rosenzweig, Emmanuel Levinas or even Walter Benjamin (although he bore some striking similarities with the latter). His position at least partly stems from a specific form of directness with which he often used these languages, composing his philosophy in quite an anachronist manner. For this reason his thinking—in itself “die Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen”, as one of his key concepts theorises—is a very modern, internally incoherent space of cross-fertilising inspirations. The paper demonstrates two levels on which Bloch’s indebtedness to Judaism might be analysed and then re-assesses his Marxist affiliations as a kind of modern faith which, in a specifically Marranic manner, seals the simultaneity of the non-simultaneous. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Marrano Phenomenon. Jewish ‘Hidden Tradition’ and Modernity)
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