Special Issue "Fashion/Religion Interfaces"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anna-Mari Almila
Website
Guest Editor
Research Fellow in Sociology of Fashion, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, 20 John Prince's Street, London W1G 0BJ, UK
Interests: Cultural sociology of fashion, fashion and space, dress and materiality, Islamic fashion, fashion and social stratification, fashion and social theory, fashion and globalization, history of fashion studies, historical sociology of fashion, fashion in late life, sociology of wine, wine and gender

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Call for papers for a special edition: Fashion/Religion Interfaces

The complex interconnections between religious beliefs and fashion in clothing have been increasingly recognised by researchers, journalists and fashion producers. At the same time, fashion has begun to be a force that can shape religious communities and create debates, often of a controversial nature, within and between faiths. This special issue will explore these matters, focusing on sartorial fashion/religion interfaces in their diverse and multiple forms across the world today.

Fashion scholarship has long claimed that no-one exists fully outside of fashion systems. Yet many religious believers, especially those with more conservative mindsets, think that they are not influenced by secular and commercial fashion trends. So, who is right? At the same time, some religiously-oriented individuals may embrace fashion fully, while others might seek to balance fashionability with religious precepts and forms of conduct. Which sorts of balancing and mediating are occurring across the world today, among different religious groups in diverse locations? Which social and cultural forces and contexts shape these balancing acts? What are the differences between religiously-oriented dress practices in ‘home’ countries and in diasporic contexts? How are these matters bound up with globalization processes?

Most scholarly attention on fashion/religion interfaces has been on women’s dress practices, but what about men? In what ways do dynamics to do with sexualities, ethnicities, classes, disabilities, and other social factors impact on religiously-aware dress choices?

While the major scholarly and political focus has recently been on the relations between Islam and fashion, especially in terms of veiling, people with other religious affiliations must also make choices regarding fashion and dress issues. Papers focusing on any religion and belief system, and on any geographical (and/or virtual) location, are welcomed for this special edition. Articles comparing different religious and/or sectarian groups are also invited.

Contributions are sought from diverse disciplinary and inter-disciplinary backgrounds across the social sciences and humanities. Papers which report novel empirical findings, and innovate in theoretical and methodological terms, are particularly encouraged. 

Dr. Anna-Mari Almila
Guest Editor

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. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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

  • fashion
  • clothes
  • dress
  • religion
  • faith
  • beliefs
  • globalization

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction: Fashion/Religion Interfaces
Religions 2020, 11(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11030133 - 16 Mar 2020
Abstract
The complex interconnections between religious beliefs and fashion in clothing have been increasingly recognised by researchers, already since the ‘new veiling’ phenomenon spread across the Muslim world in the 1970s (El-Guindi 1981, 1999; MacLeod 1987, 1992), and especially since the extreme politicisation of [...] Read more.
The complex interconnections between religious beliefs and fashion in clothing have been increasingly recognised by researchers, already since the ‘new veiling’ phenomenon spread across the Muslim world in the 1970s (El-Guindi 1981, 1999; MacLeod 1987, 1992), and especially since the extreme politicisation of the Muslim veil in the 2000s and 2010s (Haddad 2007) [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fashion/Religion Interfaces)
Open AccessArticle
Invisible Dress: Weaving a Theology of Fashion
Religions 2019, 10(7), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10070419 - 05 Jul 2019
Abstract
This article establishes the framework for a (Christian) theology of fashion, the development of which comes under a research project set up between Luxembourg (Luxembourg School of Religion & Society) and Paris (Collège des Bernardins). The text is structured around three areas: the [...] Read more.
This article establishes the framework for a (Christian) theology of fashion, the development of which comes under a research project set up between Luxembourg (Luxembourg School of Religion & Society) and Paris (Collège des Bernardins). The text is structured around three areas: the first reveals how theology can accommodate in its field of thought both the idea of dress (also viewed in terms of its materiality) and the way in which modern society experiments with it: fashion. For as much as theological discourse, particularly Christian, might have shown itself to be critical regarding modern day fashion, it has nevertheless failed to come up with any real theological reflection on the subject. The second area aims to explore responsible ethics for fashion. Often moralising, the attitude of Christian theology needs to give way to an ethical and—vitally—ecological analysis of the effects of fashion in today’s world. Clothing might still cover people’s bodies, but the issue is not restricted to an individual moral point of view, and extends to the social rules of an ethic that is also one of environmental responsibility. Finally, the totally new perspective that I adopt for outlining these areas requires the aesthetics of dress and fashion to be addressed from a theological point of view. For all its rich history, theological aesthetics has hardly ever concerned itself with developing an aesthetic discourse for dress and fashion, other than for liturgical and religious attire. Once these three new research perspectives have been discussed, I want to outline another field of study, in itself extremely fertile: a treasure trove of metaphors and analogies that would be very useful in theological thinking, adding to its inventory terms originating in the uncovering and stripping away of old ways of thinking that no longer convey in contemporary language the mystery that it is meant to clothe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fashion/Religion Interfaces)
Open AccessArticle
Catwalk Catholicism: On the Ongoing Significance of Federico Fellini’s Ecclesiastical Fashion Show
Religions 2019, 10(9), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10090520 - 09 Sep 2019
Abstract
In Fellini-Roma (1972), the film director Federico Fellini includes a sequence about an imaginary ecclesiastical fashion show, a display of ever more outlandish clerical clothing designs. Fellini brought together various elements that, in conventional cultural coding, do not seem to fit together: secular [...] Read more.
In Fellini-Roma (1972), the film director Federico Fellini includes a sequence about an imaginary ecclesiastical fashion show, a display of ever more outlandish clerical clothing designs. Fellini brought together various elements that, in conventional cultural coding, do not seem to fit together: secular fashion design and catwalks, and Catholic practice and ceremonial. The sequence juxtaposes and intermingles these apparent incompatibles. Surprisingly little scholarly attention has been paid to the nature and significance of this sequence. Yet it is complex, being simultaneously satirical and empathetic, as well as camp and carnivalesque. The paper reaches back in time, reviewing the history of Catholic vestments, to show that the sequence also dramatizes the fact that sartorial fashion and Church garb have overlapped and informed each other historically. The appeal of the sequence for various types of audience has been enhanced in the internet age, and the paper considers how it has become an increasingly ubiquitous reference-point for the fashion industry, bloggers, and cultural critics, especially when the latter want to thematize controversies about male homosexuality in the Church today. Fellini’s presentation of catwalk Catholicism is both a rich object of scholarship, and a multivalent vehicle used by actors for various contemporary purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fashion/Religion Interfaces)
Open AccessArticle
From Protestant Peasant Dress to Gay Pride T-Shirt: Transformations in Sartorial Strategy Amongst the körtti Movement in Finland
Religions 2019, 10(6), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10060351 - 29 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper looks into the 200-year history of a particular Christian dress form in Finland, namely the körtti dress. Emerging from a declining peasant dress style, this supposedly unchanging and fossilised signifier of a revivalist Protestant movement has in fact gone through numerous [...] Read more.
This paper looks into the 200-year history of a particular Christian dress form in Finland, namely the körtti dress. Emerging from a declining peasant dress style, this supposedly unchanging and fossilised signifier of a revivalist Protestant movement has in fact gone through numerous transformations influenced by both socio-political and religious trends as well as fashion-driven and materially-ordained factors. From the analysis emerge four key factors that influence how dress strategies are formulated and enacted within a religious movement: (1) how vulnerable or institutionalised the movement is; (2) how it is viewed by those external to it; (3) how the members of the movement want themselves to preserve or change the movement and its public image; (4) and how external fashion processes infiltrate the tastes and sensibilities of the members. It is concluded that elements considered ‘traditional’, ‘modern’, ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ may all be present at the same time in a dress phenomenon, indicating that fashion’s association with modern secularity is not as clear-cut as is sometimes thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fashion/Religion Interfaces)
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Open AccessArticle
The Veiling Issue in 20th Century Iran in Fashion and Society, Religion, and Government
Religions 2019, 10(8), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10080461 - 01 Aug 2019
Abstract
This essay focuses on the Iranian woman’s veil from various perspectives including cultural, social, religious, aesthetic, as well as political to better understand this object of clothing with multiple interpretive meanings. The veil and veiling are uniquely imbued with layers of meanings serving [...] Read more.
This essay focuses on the Iranian woman’s veil from various perspectives including cultural, social, religious, aesthetic, as well as political to better understand this object of clothing with multiple interpretive meanings. The veil and veiling are uniquely imbued with layers of meanings serving multiple agendas. Sometimes the function of veiling is contradictory in that it can serve equally opposing political agendas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fashion/Religion Interfaces)
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Open AccessArticle
The New Religion-Based Work Ethic and Cultural Consumption Patterns of Religiously Conservative Groups in Turkey
Religions 2019, 10(10), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100541 - 20 Sep 2019
Abstract
This study discusses two religious elements of culture emerging within various religiously conservative groups in Turkey. The first is concerned with the building of a religious work ethic, framing work life with Islamic morals and norms. The second involves religiously oriented consumption patterns [...] Read more.
This study discusses two religious elements of culture emerging within various religiously conservative groups in Turkey. The first is concerned with the building of a religious work ethic, framing work life with Islamic morals and norms. The second involves religiously oriented consumption patterns among these groups, which generate a faith-driven dimension of culture in capitalist consumer society. The study deals with how and why these two religious-cultural dimensions arose, and what forms they take in contemporary Turkey. These forms operate in the background of dress and fashion concerns of the aforesaid groups, influencing clothing styles and consumption patterns, as well as being linked to the capitalist-Islamic work ethic. The study demonstrates how consumption styles have changed in line with transformations in the class structure of the groups in question. It examines the extent to which, with the development of new religious ethic and consumption styles compatible with capitalist economic order, interpretations of Islam have shaped and organized the economic and cultural fields in Turkey. We argue that there is a mutually formative relationship between economy, religion, and culture. In that relationship, religion, which paves the way for forming a class-based religious perspective in keeping with a capitalist system, undertakes an active role in shaping an economic sphere and cultural activities in everyday life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fashion/Religion Interfaces)
Open AccessArticle
Dressed to Marry: Islam, Fashion, and the Making of Muslim Brides in Brazil
Religions 2019, 10(9), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10090499 - 23 Aug 2019
Abstract
This article explores the dress practices of Muslim women in Brazil, focusing on the ways through which they choose, prepare, use, and talk about their wedding garments. The aim is to understand how religiously oriented women interpret the Islamic normative codes concerning the [...] Read more.
This article explores the dress practices of Muslim women in Brazil, focusing on the ways through which they choose, prepare, use, and talk about their wedding garments. The aim is to understand how religiously oriented women interpret the Islamic normative codes concerning the coverage of the female body when managing their appearance, particularly when “special celebrations” such as wedding rituals are involved. How do they combine bridal fashion trends with religious orientations? Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and personal interviews, this analysis stresses that the desired aesthetic of Muslim women’s marital garments unfolds a search for a modest authenticity through which “Brazilian culture”, “female beauty”, and Islam are mobilized. In conclusion, the study points to the dynamic ways through which this specific encounter of religion and fashion produce an aesthetic based on a degree of improvisation and creativity, since the Islamic fashion industry is absent in the Brazilian market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fashion/Religion Interfaces)
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