Special Issue "Ethnographies of Worldviews/Ways of Life"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Professor Ann Taves

Professor of Religious Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3130, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Unusual experiences; emergent movements; theory and method in the study of religion\s and other worldviews
Guest Editor
Dr. Michael Kinsella

Religion, Experience, Mind Lab, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3130, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Supernatural folklore; vernacular religion; religion and medicine

Special Issue Information

Folklorists, anthropologists, and sociologists have devoted much attention to a range of groups with religion-like qualities that are often marginalized or ignored in the study of religion. To include a wider range of these seemingly religion-like groups, both spiritual (e.g., occult, metaphysical, paranormal, magical) and/or secular (e.g., environmental, humanistic, therapeutic, ideological), some scholars advocate a more expansive definition of religion. As an alternative, we suggest and would like to test the value of a broader rubric: worldviews and ways of life. We define a worldview as a complex set of representations related to “big questions”, such as (1) ontology (what exists? what is real?), (2) epistemology (how do we know what is true?), (3) axiology (what is the good that we should strive for?), (4) praxeology (what actions should we take? what path should we follow?), and (5) cosmology (where do we come from and where are we going?), that define and govern a way of life. To govern a way of life, a worldview does not necessarily have to be highly elaborated or rationalized or even explicitly articulated. It may be expressed in practice (enacted), represented (in objects), articulated (in speech), recounted (in story), and textualized (in writing). We invite submissions that tease out the worldviews and ways of life expressed in a group or groups, as well as in the interactions between groups, to test what advantages and disadvantages this broader rubric might have to offer.

Prof. Dr. Ann  Taves
Dr. Michael Kinsella
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • vernacular religion

  • folk belief

  • alternative spirituality

  • worldviews

  • ideology

  • ethnography

  • social movements

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Worldview Analysis in a Comparative Context: Fishing for Data in Muddy Waters
Religions 2018, 9(9), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090261
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
Drawing on the five-fold revision of the concept of “worldview” offered by the issue editors, I investigate whether some nonreligious modes of cultural production might be profitably investigated using such a typology. In my comparative study of religious and secular sustainability-oriented social movements
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Drawing on the five-fold revision of the concept of “worldview” offered by the issue editors, I investigate whether some nonreligious modes of cultural production might be profitably investigated using such a typology. In my comparative study of religious and secular sustainability-oriented social movements I offered skeletal definitions of the categories “religion” and “sustainability,” and suggested ways in which public deployments of such terms might offer fertile ground for collaboration between individuals and groups with different value sets. In more recent work among particular rock music and festival scenes, I have found it necessary to offer a dramatically different understanding of the category “religion.” In a sort of thought experiment, I imagine whether the revised concept of “worldview” might be applicable, and indeed whether it offers some advantage over the category “religion.” My conclusions are that in general, in some cases the category of worldview may have some advantages, but it may also gloss over or ignore important cultural contestations over terms such as religion, and at best underplay important affective activators of belonging and identity. The notion of “ways of life,” or “lifeways” may offer a term which avoids some ethnocentric impositions, but would require greater elaboration to be broadly useful to ethnographers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnographies of Worldviews/Ways of Life)
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Open AccessArticle Shamanism in Contemporary Norway: Concepts in Conflict
Religions 2018, 9(7), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9070223
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
To choose a terminology for an investigation of shamanism in contemporary Norway is not entirely without problems. Many shamans are adamant in rejecting the term religion in connection with their practices and choose broader rubrics when describing what they believe in. When shamanism
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To choose a terminology for an investigation of shamanism in contemporary Norway is not entirely without problems. Many shamans are adamant in rejecting the term religion in connection with their practices and choose broader rubrics when describing what they believe in. When shamanism was approved as an official religion by the Norwegian government in 2012, the tensions ran high, and many shamanic practitioners refused to accept the connection between religion and shamanism. This chapter provides an account of the emic categories and connections used today by shamanic entrepreneurs and others who share these types of spiritual beliefs. In particular, the advantages and disadvantages of the term religion and how it is deployed on the ground by shamans in Norway will be highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethnographies of Worldviews/Ways of Life)
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