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Religions, Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2020) – 61 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): How humans and the divine are brought into communion with each other often has a material character. Food and meals frequently play an important role. Sometimes the deity is consumed by humans, while sometimes humans are eaten by the deity. This explores divine–human communion and consumption in the work of Ignatius of Antioch, an early Christian bishop. According to him, the body is of key importance: he is eaten by wild animals in the Roman arena. This martyrdom is the way in which Ignatius hopes to enter into perfect communion with the divine. His body thus becomes, in its annihilation, an instrument of divine–human communion. As he suffers martyrdom, Ignatius’ ideas about the body and the divine are subversive: through Ignatius’ theological imagination, the punishment of his body is transformed into a means of achieving his goal in life: attaining to God. View this paper
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Article
“His Soul Is Weeping inside That He Cannot Bury the Dead as before.” Plague and Rebellion in Debrecen (Hungary), 1739–1742
Religions 2020, 11(12), 687; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120687 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 574
Abstract
This is a historical anthropological study of a period of social and religious tensions in a Calvinist city in the Kingdom of Hungary in the first half of the 18th century. The last and greatest plague epidemic to devastate Hungary and Transylvania between [...] Read more.
This is a historical anthropological study of a period of social and religious tensions in a Calvinist city in the Kingdom of Hungary in the first half of the 18th century. The last and greatest plague epidemic to devastate Hungary and Transylvania between cca. 1738 and 1743 led to a clash of different opinions and beliefs on the origin of the plague and ways of fighting it. Situated on the Great Hungarian Plain, the city of Debrecen saw not only frequent violations of the imposed lockdown measures among its inhabitants but also a major uprising in 1739. The author examines the historical sources (handwritten city records, written and printed regulations, criminal proceedings, and other documents) to be found in the Debrecen city archives, as well as the writings of the local Calvinist pastors published in the same town. The purpose of the study is to outline the main directions of interpretation concerning the plague and manifest in the urban uprising. According to the findings of the author, there was a stricter and chronologically earlier direction, more in keeping with local Puritanism in the second half of the 17th century, and there was also a more moderate and later one, more in line with the assumptions and expectations of late 18th-century medical science. While the former set of interpretations seems to have been founded especially on a so-called “internal” cure (i.e., religious piety and repentance), the latter proposed mostly “external” means (i.e., quarantine measures and herbal medicine) to avoid the plague and be rid of it. There seems to have existed, however, a third set of interpretations: that of folk beliefs and practices, i.e., sorcery and magic. According to the files, a number of so-called “wise women” also attempted to cure the plague-stricken by magical means. The third set of interpretations and their implied practices were not tolerated by either of the other two. The author provides a detailed micro-historical analysis of local events and the social and religious discourses into which they were embedded. Full article
Article
Negotiating Gendered Religious Space: Australian Muslim Women and the Mosque
Religions 2020, 11(12), 686; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120686 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
Women’s presence and role in contemporary mosques in Western countries is contested within and outside Muslim communities, but research on this topic is limited and only a few studies consider women’s roles inside mosques in Australia. There is a complex intersection of gender [...] Read more.
Women’s presence and role in contemporary mosques in Western countries is contested within and outside Muslim communities, but research on this topic is limited and only a few studies consider women’s roles inside mosques in Australia. There is a complex intersection of gender and religion in public sacred spaces in all religious communities, including Muslim communities. Women’s role in these spaces has often been restricted. They are largely invisible in both public sacred spaces and in public rituals such as congregational prayers. Applying a feminist lens to religion and gender, this article explores how a mosque as a socially constructed space can both enable and restrict Australian Muslim women’s religious identity, participation, belonging and activism. Based on written online qualitative interviews with twenty Muslim women members of three Australian Muslim online Facebook groups, this article analyses the women’s experiences with their local mosques as well as their views on gender segregation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic and Muslim Studies in Australia)
Article
Qawwali Routes: Notes on a Sufi Music’s Transformation in Diaspora
Religions 2020, 11(12), 685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120685 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1133
Abstract
In recent years, alongside the concurrent rise of political Islam and reactionary state policies in India, Sufism has been championed as an “acceptable” form of Islam from neoliberal perspectives within India and the Western world. Sufism is noted as an arena of spiritual/religious [...] Read more.
In recent years, alongside the concurrent rise of political Islam and reactionary state policies in India, Sufism has been championed as an “acceptable” form of Islam from neoliberal perspectives within India and the Western world. Sufism is noted as an arena of spiritual/religious practice that highlights musical routes to the Divine. Among Chishti Sufis of South Asia, that musical pathway is qawwali, a song form that been in circulation for over seven centuries, and which continues to maintain a vibrant sonic presence on the subcontinent, both in its ritual usage among Sufis and more broadly in related folk and popular iterations. This paper asks, what happens to qawwali as a song form when it circulates in diaspora? While prominent musicians such as the Sabri Brothers and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan exposed audiences in the West to the sounds of qawwali, in recent years, non-hereditary groups of musicians based in the US and UK have begun to perform songs from the qawwali repertoire. In the traditional setting, textual meaning is paramount; this paper asks, how can performers transmute the affective capacity of qawwali in settings where semantic forms of communication may be lost? How do sonic and metaphorical voices lend themselves to the circulation of sound-centered meaning? Through a discussion of the Sufi sublime, this paper considers ways sonic materials stitch together the diverse cloth of the South Asian community in diaspora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music, Sound, and the Sacred)
Article
The Endless Metamorphoses of Sacrifice and Its Clashing Narratives
Religions 2020, 11(12), 684; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120684 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 523
Abstract
This paper sets out (1) to provide an affirmative genealogy that shed light on the different forms taken by sacrifice, the origins of its various conceptual layers and the various social practices from which they come; (2) to analyze the initial conceptual layer [...] Read more.
This paper sets out (1) to provide an affirmative genealogy that shed light on the different forms taken by sacrifice, the origins of its various conceptual layers and the various social practices from which they come; (2) to analyze the initial conceptual layer proposed by Marcel Mauss and Henri Hubert and followed by Marcel Hénaff based on farming societies; (3) to analyze the rise of the anti-sacrificial narrative and its main landmarks, the problems of victims and the responses given by René Girard and Talcott Parsons; and finally (4) to analyze the dynamic tension between the tragic-apocalyptic narrative and the defensive-progressive narrative in modern times, and the main landmarks of each one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Sacrifice in the Secular Age)
Article
Hindi Adaptation of Centrality of Religiosity Scale
Religions 2020, 11(12), 683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120683 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 604
Abstract
Although religiosity is part and parcel of life of most Indians, no standardized scale is available in local language which can make findings comparable with other countries’. This study aims to present the adaptations required in the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS, CRSi-20) [...] Read more.
Although religiosity is part and parcel of life of most Indians, no standardized scale is available in local language which can make findings comparable with other countries’. This study aims to present the adaptations required in the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS, CRSi-20) for the Indian population. Additionally, the study aimed to compare the religiosity as assessed by using CRS among healthy subjects and those with first-episode depression. CRS was translated to Hindi by following the methodology suggested by the World Health Organization. During the process of translation, the scale was adapted to suit to the sociocultural milieu of India. The adapted Hindi version of the scale was used in 80 healthy subjects and 80 patients with first-episode depression. During the process of translation, 14 out of 20 items required adaptations to suit the religious practices in India. The adaptation primarily involved elaboration on certain aspects of religious services and practices, keeping in mind the polytheistic religious beliefs in India. When the adapted Hindi version of CRS was used in both the study groups, there was no significant difference between the two groups, in terms of CRS total scores (t = 1.12; p = 0.26). In terms of various domains of CRS, a significantly higher score was observed in the depression group for the ideology domain (t = 2.02; p = 0.04 *), whereas the healthy group had a significantly higher score for the domain of public practice (t = 2.90; p = 0.004 **). Use of CRS in the Indian context requires some adaptations to suit the religious practices. There are minor differences in the religiosity of patients with depression and healthy subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research with the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS))
Article
Religious Values in Liberal Democracy
Religions 2020, 11(12), 682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120682 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 597
Abstract
Religious values neither wholly threaten nor wholly reinforce the stability of liberal democracy. This depends upon how they may be interpreted and applied. The recent influence of Christian nationalists, who would promote a specific interpretation of Christianity as the only legitimate basis for [...] Read more.
Religious values neither wholly threaten nor wholly reinforce the stability of liberal democracy. This depends upon how they may be interpreted and applied. The recent influence of Christian nationalists, who would promote a specific interpretation of Christianity as the only legitimate basis for public policy, and of those who would elevate religious liberty above all other rights, does not promote pluralism. Although people should be able to live out their religious commitments, it is the state, not individuals or private organizations, that must draw the line between the free exercise of religion and the civil rights of those who may be adversely affected by the religious exercise of others. First, religious rights may threaten other rights, particularly when reinforced with public funds. Second, religion makes valuable contributions to pluralism when it protects the conscientious beliefs and practices of individuals and of minority religious groups. Finally, concerning LGBT civil rights, individual religious believers should be accommodated as much as possible, but their organizations should be required to arrange for others without objections to provide services that are sought. Religion’s greatest contribution occurs when it is allied with movements that enhance individual rights, including but not limited to the free exercise of religion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Promise or Threat? Religious Presence in Civil Society)
Article
Autoethnography: A Potential Method for Sikh Theory to Praxis Research
Religions 2020, 11(12), 681; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120681 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1100
Abstract
The application of autoethnographic research as an investigative methodology in Sikh studies may appear relatively novel. Yet the systematic analysis in autoethnography of a person’s experience through reflexivity and connecting the personal story to the social, cultural, and political life has synergy with [...] Read more.
The application of autoethnographic research as an investigative methodology in Sikh studies may appear relatively novel. Yet the systematic analysis in autoethnography of a person’s experience through reflexivity and connecting the personal story to the social, cultural, and political life has synergy with the Sikh sense-making process. Deliberation (vichhar) of an individual’s experience through the embodied wisdom of the Gurū (gurmat) connecting the lived experience to a greater knowing and awareness of the self is an established practice in Sikhi. This article explores autoethnography as a potential research method to give an academic voice to and capture the depth of the lived experiences of Sikhs: first, by articulating the main spaces of synergy of autoethnography with gurmat vichhar; second, discussing common themes such as inclusivity of disregarded voices, accessibility to knowledge creation, relational responsibility, and integrity in storytelling common to both autoethnography and gurmat vichhar. In conclusion, the autoethnographic approach has the means to illuminate nuances in understanding Sikhi that is transformative and familiar to the ancestral process of how Sikhs have made sense of themselves and the world around them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Sikh Traditions and Heritage)
Article
Vulnerable Masculinities? Gender Identity Construction among Young Undocumented Sikh Migrants in Paris
Religions 2020, 11(12), 680; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120680 - 19 Dec 2020
Viewed by 687
Abstract
This paper discusses the impact of immigration policies on the ways young undocumented Sikh migrants in Paris negotiate their masculinity. The current criminalization of labor migration from the global South in Europe is disrupting long established patterns of upward mobility through international migration, [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the impact of immigration policies on the ways young undocumented Sikh migrants in Paris negotiate their masculinity. The current criminalization of labor migration from the global South in Europe is disrupting long established patterns of upward mobility through international migration, that entailed remitting money home, getting married and reuniting with one’s family in the host country and moving up the socio-professional ladder from low-paid jobs to self employment. Instead, the life of an increasing number of Sikh migrants in France and elsewhere is marked by irregular status and socio-economic vulnerability. In this context, undocumented Sikh migrants try to assert their gender identity in multiple ways, characterized by homosociality, the importance of manual labor, specific forms of male sociability marked by the cultivation of their body, while remaining firmly grounded in a Sikh/Panjabi religious universe through seva (voluntary service) and gurdwara attendance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Gender and Sikh Traditions)
Article
Seng Zhao’s The Immutability of Things and Responses to It in the Late Ming Dynasty
Religions 2020, 11(12), 679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120679 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Seng Zhao and his collection of treatises, the Zhao lun, have enjoyed a particularly high reputation in the history of Chinese Buddhism. One of these treatises, The Immutability of Things, employs the Madhyamaka argumentative method of negating dualistic concepts to demonstrate [...] Read more.
Seng Zhao and his collection of treatises, the Zhao lun, have enjoyed a particularly high reputation in the history of Chinese Buddhism. One of these treatises, The Immutability of Things, employs the Madhyamaka argumentative method of negating dualistic concepts to demonstrate that, while “immutability” and “mutability” coexist as the states of phenomenal things, neither possesses independent self-nature. More than a thousand years after this text was written, Zhencheng’s intense criticism of it provoked fierce reactions among a host of renowned scholar–monks. This paper explores Zhencheng’s main points as well as the perspectives and motives of his principal adversaries in order to shed light on the nature of philosophical discourse during the late Ming dynasty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/Philosophies)
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Article
Doctrinal and Physical Marginality in Christian Death: The Burial of Unbaptized Infants in Medieval Italy
Religions 2020, 11(12), 678; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120678 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1245
Abstract
The burial of unbaptized fetuses and infants, as seen through texts and archaeology, exposes friction between the institutional Church and medieval Italy’s laity. The Church’s theology of Original Sin, baptism, and salvation left the youngest children especially vulnerable to dying unbaptized and subsequently [...] Read more.
The burial of unbaptized fetuses and infants, as seen through texts and archaeology, exposes friction between the institutional Church and medieval Italy’s laity. The Church’s theology of Original Sin, baptism, and salvation left the youngest children especially vulnerable to dying unbaptized and subsequently being denied a Christian burial in consecrated grounds. We here present textual and archaeological evidence from medieval Italy regarding the tensions between canon law and parental concern for the eternal salvation of their infants’ souls. We begin with an analysis of medieval texts from Italy. These reveal that, in addition to utilizing orthodox measures of appealing for divine help through the saints, laypeople of the Middle Ages turned to folk religion and midwifery practices such as “life testing” of unresponsive infants using water or other liquids. Although emergency baptism was promoted by the Church, the laity may have occasionally violated canon law by performing emergency baptism on stillborn infants. Textual documents also record medieval people struggling with where to bury their deceased infants, as per their ambiguous baptismal status within the Church community. We then present archaeological evidence from medieval sites in central and northern Italy, confirming that familial concern for the inclusion of infants in Christian cemeteries sometimes clashed with ecclesiastical burial regulations. As a result, the remains of unbaptized fetuses and infants have been discovered in consecrated ground. The textual and archaeological records of fetal and infant burial in medieval Italy serve as a material legacy of how laypeople interpreted and sometimes contravened the Church’s marginalizing theology and efforts to regulate the baptism and burial of the very young. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Death in the Margins)
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Article
In Praise of God: Sport as Worship in the Practice and Self-Understanding of Elite Athletes
Religions 2020, 11(12), 677; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120677 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 763
Abstract
The relationships between sport and religion have been examined from a number of perspectives, and parallels between sporting activity and worship are often observed, positively or negatively. Elite sports participants often perform religious gestures and many speak of their sporting performance in terms [...] Read more.
The relationships between sport and religion have been examined from a number of perspectives, and parallels between sporting activity and worship are often observed, positively or negatively. Elite sports participants often perform religious gestures and many speak of their sporting performance in terms of their religious faith, including the assertion that it constitutes an act of worship. The authors begin by considering the nature of Christian worship, examining worship as a phenomenon, key biblical and theological ideas, the relationship of worship to sacred places and times, and the relation of worship to everyday life. The self-understanding of elite athletes of faith is then considered, as articulated in interviews collected over several years with one of the authors and in other published statements. This data is then mapped back on to the previously considered ideas of worship. The article suggests that, while the correspondence may not be complete or exact, there is good reason to take seriously the claims of elite athletes of faith that their sporting performance should be regarded as an act of worship. Full article
Article
Models of Disability as Models of First Contact
Religions 2020, 11(12), 676; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120676 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Because humanity is a young technological species, any extraterrestrials we meet will inevitably be more advanced than we are. The realization that we are no longer dominant in our sphere of influence will inevitably cause spiritual cultural and even economic trauma as we [...] Read more.
Because humanity is a young technological species, any extraterrestrials we meet will inevitably be more advanced than we are. The realization that we are no longer dominant in our sphere of influence will inevitably cause spiritual cultural and even economic trauma as we come to terms with the new reality. The question we should endeavor to answer before this happens is: what direction will this trauma take and how can we prepare in advance to minimize harm as we adjust to this? Disability studies offer several models of how one advantaged group understands and interacts with a less advantaged group. These include the medical, social, moral/religious, economic, charity, and limits models, and each lays out a unique way of understanding situations where one group has a strong perceived or real advantage over another. Exploring these models can give us a sense of the possible variation that might occur upon first contact. Such an exploration is relevant both to how ET might perceive us and how we might begin to conceptualize ourselves in that new situation. As with most seemingly theoretical forays into astrobiology, this work has implications for the present as it interrogates how disabled and abled humans interact and negotiate power and how we understand one another. Full article
Article
Knowing God in Eastern Christianity and Islamic Tradition: A Comparative Study
Religions 2020, 11(12), 675; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120675 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 658
Abstract
The currently existing type of dialogue of Western and Eastern cultures makes a philosophical exploration of Christianity and Islam compelling as they are fundamental monotheistic religions capable of ensuring the peaceful interaction of various ethnic cultures in the age of deepening secularization. The [...] Read more.
The currently existing type of dialogue of Western and Eastern cultures makes a philosophical exploration of Christianity and Islam compelling as they are fundamental monotheistic religions capable of ensuring the peaceful interaction of various ethnic cultures in the age of deepening secularization. The present analysis of the philosophical and epistemological teachings of the Greek Byzantine Church Fathers and the thinkers of classical Arab-Islamic culture aims at overcoming stereotypes regarding the opposition of Christianity and Islam that strongly permeate both scholarly theorizing and contemporary social discourses. The authors scrutinize the epistemological principles of the exoteric and esoteric knowledge of the Islamic Golden Age and the apophatic and cataphatic ways of attaining the knowledge of God in Early Christianity. Special attention is paid to the analysis of the concepts of personal mystical comprehension of God in Sufism (fanā’) and in Christianity (Uncreated Light). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion in the Contemporary Transformation Society)
Article
Religious Connotations in Spanish and English Forenames: A Contrastive Study
Religions 2020, 11(12), 674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120674 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Names are a subject which concerns us all. Although in recent times the interest in them has grown, until now, most of the research carried out on names in both England and Spain has been devoted to the exploration of surnames and place [...] Read more.
Names are a subject which concerns us all. Although in recent times the interest in them has grown, until now, most of the research carried out on names in both England and Spain has been devoted to the exploration of surnames and place names. The Bible states that man was created by God on the sixth day with the ability to name. The main purpose of this study was to examine the religious connotations suggested to a group of 425 participants from the metropolitan districts of Murcia (Spain) and Leeds (England) in a list of forenames. A questionnaire with two versions, Spanish and English, was used as the data source in the form of an interview. A mixed methods research was adopted. The findings reveal that, apart from being a stronger influence, the presence of religion was more varied in the metropolitan district of Murcia than in that of Leeds. In addition, only in the former was there a statistically significant relationship between these two socio-demographic and academic factors, age and educational level and religious connotations. Based on the above considerations, we can begin feeling the story behind names. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/Philosophies)
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Article
The Relationship between Psycholinguistic Features of Religious Words and Core Dimensions of Religiosity: A Survey Study with Japanese Participants
Religions 2020, 11(12), 673; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120673 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Previous studies have reported that religious words and religiosity affect mental processes and behaviors. However, it is unclear what psycholinguistic features of religious words (e.g., familiarity, imageability, and emotional aspects) are associated with each dimension of personal religiosity (intellect, ideology, public practice, private [...] Read more.
Previous studies have reported that religious words and religiosity affect mental processes and behaviors. However, it is unclear what psycholinguistic features of religious words (e.g., familiarity, imageability, and emotional aspects) are associated with each dimension of personal religiosity (intellect, ideology, public practice, private practice, and experience). The purpose of this study was to examine whether and how the above-mentioned psycholinguistic features of religious words correlate with each of the core dimensions of religiosity. Japanese participants evaluated four psycholinguistic features of twelve religious words using a 5-point Semantic Differential scale for familiarity and imageability and a 9-point Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) scale for emotional valence and emotional arousal. The participants also rated their own religiosity using the Japanese version of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (JCRS). The results of the study revealed that (1) the scales measuring the psycholinguistic features of religious words were statistically reliable; (2) the JCRS was reliable; (3) the familiarity, emotional valence, and emotional arousal of religious words and each mean dimensional score of the JCRS score correlated positively with each other; and (4) highly religious people had higher familiarity and higher emotional arousal to religious words than non-religious people, whereas highly religious people had higher emotional valence to religious words in comparison with non-religious and religious people. In addition, religious people had higher familiarity to religious words than non-religious people. Taken together, these findings suggest that psycholinguistic features of religious words contribute to the detection of religiosity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research with the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS))
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Editorial
Introduction to Special Issue: Contemporary Critical Perspectives on Islamic Education
Religions 2020, 11(12), 672; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120672 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 464
Abstract
This special issue focuses on critical perspectives in the emerging field of Islamic education globally [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Critical Perspectives on Islamic Education)
Article
Comparing Nurses’ and Patients’ Comfort Level with Spiritual Assessment
Religions 2020, 11(12), 671; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120671 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 637
Abstract
This paper presents and compares similarities and differences between nurses’ and patients’ reports on comfort levels with spiritual assessment. Spiritual care is a part of nurses’ professional responsibilities; however, nurses continue to report that they are poorly prepared for this. There is limited [...] Read more.
This paper presents and compares similarities and differences between nurses’ and patients’ reports on comfort levels with spiritual assessment. Spiritual care is a part of nurses’ professional responsibilities; however, nurses continue to report that they are poorly prepared for this. There is limited research on patients’ expectations or perspectives on spiritual care. For the original mixed-method, two-phased study, a 21-item survey with 10 demographic variables, and some open-ended questions related to the comfort level of assessing/being assessed in the spiritual domain were distributed to 172 nurses and 157 hospitalised patients. SPSS was used to analyse and compare the results from nurses and patients; thematic analysis was used to examine the open-ended questions. Nurses reported a higher high degree of comfort with spiritual assessment than patients reported towards being assessed spiritually. Both nurses and patients saw respect and trust as key to building a relationship where open questions related to spirituality can be used as a helpful way to assess patients spiritually. Increased understanding of the best approach toward a patient must be based on the beliefs, values, and practices of that patient so that spiritual care can be individually tailored, and nurses can help patients move along the path to healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality in Healthcare—Multidisciplinary Approach)
Article
Afghan-Hazara Migration and Relocation in a Globalised Australia
Religions 2020, 11(12), 670; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120670 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
This study examines a set of unique isolated lived-experiences to offer some general observations concerning Afghan-Hazara migration, relocation, and individuation in Australia. Culture may have the appearance of immutability. However, like any social formation, it is produced, reproduced, and contested through time. Everyone [...] Read more.
This study examines a set of unique isolated lived-experiences to offer some general observations concerning Afghan-Hazara migration, relocation, and individuation in Australia. Culture may have the appearance of immutability. However, like any social formation, it is produced, reproduced, and contested through time. Everyone is an individual, and while we speak of the impact and culture, lived-experience is very different. People always have choices they can make about what lessons they might derive from experiences. If one faces discrimination within the realm of the state, which is historically well documented where Hazaras are concerned, one begins looking for alternative pathways to advancement. These include personalised networks in religious communities, education, and business entrepreneurship. The study analyses the fluid nature of belief systems, and the multiplicity of ways lived-experience shapes individuation and reshapes identity through pathways to advancement in a globalising Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic and Muslim Studies in Australia)
Article
Yoga and White Public Space
Religions 2020, 11(12), 669; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120669 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
This article connects recent work in critical race studies, museum studies, and performance studies to larger conversations happening across the humanities and social sciences on the role of performance in white public spaces. Specifically, I examine the recent trend of museums such as [...] Read more.
This article connects recent work in critical race studies, museum studies, and performance studies to larger conversations happening across the humanities and social sciences on the role of performance in white public spaces. Specifically, I examine the recent trend of museums such as the Natural History Museum of London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, to name but a few, offering meditation and wellness classes that purport to “mirror the aesthetics or philosophy of their collections.” Through critical ethnography and discursive analysis I examine and unpack this logic, exposing the role of cultural materialism and the residue of European imperialism in the affective economy of the museum. I not only analyze the use of sound and bodily practices packaged as “yoga” but also interrogate how “yoga” cultivates a sense of space and place for museum-goers. I argue that museum yoga programs exhibit a form of somatic orientalism, a sensory mechanism which traces its roots to U.S. American cultural-capitalist formations and other institutionalized forms of racism. By locating yoga in museums within broader and longer processes of racialization I offer a critical race and feminist lens to view these sorts of performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music, Sound, and the Sacred)
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Addendum
Addendum: Parker, Murray, and Dirk H.R. Spennemann. 2020. For Whom the Bell Tolls: Practitioners’ Views on Bell-Ringing Practice in Contemporary Society in New South Wales (Australia). Religions 11: 425
Religions 2020, 11(12), 668; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120668 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 504
Abstract
The authors would like to make the following corrections in relation to the published paper (Parker and Spennemann 2020) [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music, Sound, and the Sacred)
Article
Divine Love as the Reason for Creation in Islam—An Exploration of Nursi’s Epistles of Light
Religions 2020, 11(12), 667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120667 - 13 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1060
Abstract
This paper aims to answer the question “why did God create the world” by examining Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s magnum opus, the The Epistles of Light (Risale-i Nur), to demonstrate that, from a Nursian perspective, divine love is the raison d’etre [...] Read more.
This paper aims to answer the question “why did God create the world” by examining Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s magnum opus, the The Epistles of Light (Risale-i Nur), to demonstrate that, from a Nursian perspective, divine love is the raison d’etre for the creation of the world. The first section will investigate the notion of divine love as reflected in the wider Muslim scholarly literature. This will be followed by a discussion on the theology of divine names, with special attention to Nursi’s perspective, illustrating the critical role that this concept plays in Nursian theology particularly as it relates to cosmic creation. The third section will explore the metaphysics of love, the important implications of God’s love in the creation of the world, and its role as the driving force for the dynamism and activities within the structure of the universe. The Qur’anic presentation of love, maḥabba, as well as the significance of the reciprocal nature of love between God and humankind will be explored next. The final section will shed light on the synergy between divine love and the Qur’anic notion of ibtilā, trial and tribulation, to demonstrate its instrumentality in man’s spiritual journey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Theologies)
Article
Hallowed Haunts: The National African American Museum as Sacred Space
Religions 2020, 11(12), 666; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120666 - 13 Dec 2020
Viewed by 633
Abstract
This paper uses Stephen Best’s None Like Us and Charles H. Long’s Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion to redescribe the notion of sacred space in light of the national African American museum. After highlighting religion and the museum’s [...] Read more.
This paper uses Stephen Best’s None Like Us and Charles H. Long’s Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion to redescribe the notion of sacred space in light of the national African American museum. After highlighting religion and the museum’s mutual Romantic origins, it underscores the invisible institution of slave religion as a modern counterpoint that is harrowingly evocative of the indeterminacy of human meaning-making. The national African American museum, represented by offerings from the Smithsonian Institution and the Equal Justice Initiative, operates as a social technology for working through the tensions of history. “Hallowed Haunts” examines its function as a matrix of haunting, where a variety of multi-sensory experiences lead visitors into a participatory reckoning with the legacy of slavery, one through which they determine how to face the challenges and potential opportunities that await them. As such, the national African American museum exemplifies Long’s thesis of sacred space as human centers, a metonym for the places humans visit for orientation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Slave Religion: Histories and Horizons)
Essay
Rational Shari’ah: Ahmad Qabel’s Reformist Approach
Religions 2020, 11(12), 665; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120665 - 12 Dec 2020
Viewed by 632
Abstract
This article introduces the late Ahmad Qabel (1958–2012), a new figure among contemporary Iranian religious reformers. Qabel, a progressive mujtahid, proposed the creative theory of Shari’at-e ’Aqlani in order to reform stagnant Shari’ah rules and align the application of legal norms and [...] Read more.
This article introduces the late Ahmad Qabel (1958–2012), a new figure among contemporary Iranian religious reformers. Qabel, a progressive mujtahid, proposed the creative theory of Shari’at-e ’Aqlani in order to reform stagnant Shari’ah rules and align the application of legal norms and precepts with the space-time considerations of modern life. Critical of the superficiality of traditional jurists, who led into abeyance the progressive rational praxis within classical Shi’i theology and jurisprudence, Qabel revived and employed these rational principles in his novel method of ijtihad. This paper has four sections: first, there will be a short biographical sketch of Ahmad Qabel. The second section surveys the trajectory of the development of Shi’i fiqh in order to set the backdrop for Qabel’s arguments. Then, I will discuss some of the major rational principles which constitute the heart of Qabel’s methodology. In the last section, the practical results of Qabel’s Shari’at-e ’Aqlani are presented through some of his unconventional fatwas, which, though solidly based within the Shari’ah, took on controversial topics such as women’s rights, religious minorities, jihad, and Islamic government. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Many Faces of Contemporary Post-Islamism)
Article
Deconversion Processes in Adolescence—The Role of Parental and Peer Factors
Religions 2020, 11(12), 664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120664 - 11 Dec 2020
Viewed by 660
Abstract
The phenomenon of abandonment of faith, which in psychology is referred to as deconversion, is observed today. Deconversion is particularly widespread in young people. In this paper we examine the parents’ religiosity, parents’ care, and social support as potential predictors of deconversion in [...] Read more.
The phenomenon of abandonment of faith, which in psychology is referred to as deconversion, is observed today. Deconversion is particularly widespread in young people. In this paper we examine the parents’ religiosity, parents’ care, and social support as potential predictors of deconversion in adolescents. Specifically, we aimed to analyse whether or not parents’ religiousness, individual differences in childrens’ attachment to their parents, and received support from family, friends, and significant others differentiate adolescents in deconversion processes. The hypotheses were tested on a sample of 232 adolescents in a cross-sectional study, which applied three scales. The Adolescent Deconversion Scale, Parental Bonding Instrument, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. The results showed that adolescents having both caring and religious parents are less prone to abandon faith and to moral criticism than those having caring but not religious parents or those having religious but not caring parents. The low social support group was more likely to abandon faith and moral criticism than moderate or high social support groups. Regression analyses revealed that deconversion in adolescence is negatively predicted by the mother’s care and friends’ support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Conversion)
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Article
Courses Preferences and Occupational Aspirations of Students in Australian Islamic Schools
Religions 2020, 11(12), 663; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120663 - 10 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Course selection by year 11 and 12 students exert a significant influence on occupational outcomes of young people. While many studies have been conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) across a broad spectrum of schools, not much is known about [...] Read more.
Course selection by year 11 and 12 students exert a significant influence on occupational outcomes of young people. While many studies have been conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) across a broad spectrum of schools, not much is known about this aspect in relation to Islamic School students. In this research, data was collected on student course choice from nine randomly selected Islamic schools across Australia. For the first time, the results reveal the most prevalent course clusters studied by students are Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) aligned courses. Mathematics and sciences followed by legal and business studies sit at the peak of the course hierarchy. Long-held views and anecdotal evidence that suggest Arabic and Islamic Studies feature prominently in course selection proved to be unfounded. Preference for these courses are shown to be very low. Vocational Education & Training (VET) courses do not feature prominently in Islamic school curriculums to the disadvantage of students who may wish to pursue non-academic careers instead of opting for university inspired career paths. Professionally, medicine, engineering, law and business (in that order) are the most preferred occupations. We also find a conspicuous gender-based difference regarding course selection and occupational aspirations. Full article
Article
Controversies, Complexities and Contexts: Teaching Islam through Internal Feminist Critique of the Religion
Religions 2020, 11(12), 662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120662 - 09 Dec 2020
Viewed by 622
Abstract
In what ways can teaching Islam through controversial issues be useful in religious education? Can it serve to counter problems of representation of Islam, and what are the benefits and possible pitfalls of adopting such an approach? In this article, I will explore [...] Read more.
In what ways can teaching Islam through controversial issues be useful in religious education? Can it serve to counter problems of representation of Islam, and what are the benefits and possible pitfalls of adopting such an approach? In this article, I will explore the use of Muslim internal feminist critique of conservative and patriarchal interpretations of women’s religious leadership in Islam as a controversial issues approach to teaching Islam in non-confessional religious education. The approach can be relevant for students in upper-secondary religious education, but also in teacher education. Building on secondary research documenting the problems of teaching Islam in non-confessional religious education in the Nordic countries as well as research on Muslim feminism spanning over a decade, this article investigates the didactic potentials and challenges that adopting the controversial issues approach may hold for teaching Islam. The main argument of this article is that the internal feminist debate on Islam provides an alternative entry to teaching Islam. It provides didactic resources and tools for understanding the discursive aspects of Islam, i.e., how Islam is conceived, interpreted, debated and practiced by Muslims, which in turn highlight power aspects and authority that are central to the production of religious knowledge. Consequently, the controversial issues approach may serve to counter certain “grand narratives” that seem to permeate current representations of Islam in religious education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Controversial Issues and Religion)
Article
The Converging of the Ways?—What Sabbath Practice Can Teach Us about Jewish-Christian and Intra-Religious Relations Today
Religions 2020, 11(12), 661; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120661 - 09 Dec 2020
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Given the tenuous relationship Christians have had with Jews over the centuries, not to mention division among Christianity on points of doctrine and practice, a contemporary examination of the Sabbath could be an opportunity to bring Jews and Christians into further dialogue with [...] Read more.
Given the tenuous relationship Christians have had with Jews over the centuries, not to mention division among Christianity on points of doctrine and practice, a contemporary examination of the Sabbath could be an opportunity to bring Jews and Christians into further dialogue with each other, not on the basis of a shared written text, but rather the living texts of religious experience. However, a review of the literature reveals a scarcity of empirical research on the Sabbath, especially how religious professionals practice Sabbath as exemplars in their spheres of influence. In this study, I, therefore, offer a comparative description of my findings with respect to two practical theological studies I conducted on Shabbat/Sabbath practice, one with American pulpit rabbis and the other Seventh-day Adventist pastors. As a practical theological project, I offer a theological reflection of the data, followed by implications for theological (re)construction and revised praxis for the Church and Jewish-Christian relations. Full article
Article
Sports Chaplaincy, Theology and Social Theory Disrupting Performance-Based Identity in Elite Sporting Contexts
Religions 2020, 11(12), 660; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120660 - 09 Dec 2020
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Existing literature on the work of sports chaplains has focused primarily on practitioner accounts of chaplaincy with elite athletes. While these narratives provide useful descriptions of personal experience and practical application, they are largely devoid of theoretical grounding. This paper seeks to address [...] Read more.
Existing literature on the work of sports chaplains has focused primarily on practitioner accounts of chaplaincy with elite athletes. While these narratives provide useful descriptions of personal experience and practical application, they are largely devoid of theoretical grounding. This paper seeks to address this imbalance by proposing the need for sports chaplains to have a more critical understanding of sport and its relational dynamics. We begin by problematizing some of the historical assumptions underpinning elite sport, especially in relation to identity formation. We then explore some of the moral dilemmas which may be experienced by Christian athletes who inhabit contemporary sporting contexts. In line with the work of established sociological scholars, we then move to a critical analysis of performance-based identity and how an understanding of sociological concepts and ideas might assist chaplains in their work with elite athletes. The paper concludes by identifying sports chaplains as key figures in the disruption of performance-based identity. Full article
Article
Cosmogenesis, Complexity, and Neo-Natural Faith in the Context of Astrobiology
Religions 2020, 11(12), 659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120659 - 08 Dec 2020
Viewed by 639
Abstract
It is fair to say that religion, and in particular the ways in which some Christian and Islamic thinkers have again begun to encroach on the domain of science (e.g., global warming, the teaching of evolution), has caused a great deal of consternation [...] Read more.
It is fair to say that religion, and in particular the ways in which some Christian and Islamic thinkers have again begun to encroach on the domain of science (e.g., global warming, the teaching of evolution), has caused a great deal of consternation within the scientific and philosophical communities. An understandable reaction to these developments is to reject out of hand even the slightest taint of religion in these fields—a position that has now attained the status of orthodoxy, at least in the western world. This is curious on its face, given the fact that religion has clearly provided a sense of meaning and purpose for most of our fellow humans as long as there have been humans pondering such things. Moreover, it is probably not necessary, provided one is very careful what sort of faith one endorses. Thus, the basic question I wish to address here, albeit in a very preliminary fashion, is whether it may be possible to delineate a form of faith that can inspire and guide humanity without the metaphysical baggage that causes conflict with epistemically conservative disciplines like science. To that end, I examine one recent thread within cosmology that views the universe as creative in the sense that it is biased towards the production of ever-increasing complexity at its edges. If that is true, it gives those so inclined permission, as it were, to view the creation of complexity (including human culture and its products) as a moral good (perhaps even an imperative) without the assumption of supernatural entities with mysterious motives and goals. After arguing that there is indeed logical space for such a faith that does not impinge on the essential commitments of either science or philosophy (properly conceived) I will examine its potential use in framing some of the emerging debates concerning space exploration. The prospect of humanity venturing beyond our homeworld in the near future offers an excellent case study of this “neo-naturalism” in action for two basic reasons. First, it seems likely that such a massive and complex undertaking needs a motivational source beyond mere discovery and expansion. Second, a neo-natural faith may influence how we go about this, and not always in ways those steeped in more traditional approaches to religion would predict. Full article
Article
Popular Piety and Devotion to Parish Patrons in Poland and Spain, 1948–98
Religions 2020, 11(12), 658; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11120658 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 663
Abstract
This paper will show the dynamics of change in the celebration of the parish patron’s day at the turn of several decades (before and after the Second Vatican Council) at a Marian shrine in Poland and the cult of Cross from Monjardin in [...] Read more.
This paper will show the dynamics of change in the celebration of the parish patron’s day at the turn of several decades (before and after the Second Vatican Council) at a Marian shrine in Poland and the cult of Cross from Monjardin in Spain. It will refer to various forms of ritual which are manifestations of popular piety: cultural expressions, services, prayers and songs which form part of the veneration of Our Lady of Sorrows, Chełmno and the Cross in Villamayor de Monjardin. The article will also examine the different ways in which these feasts were celebrated during the period and the impact they had on the religious life of pilgrims. The study will be based on written sources: memories, diaries, newspaper clippings, and historical studies which are instrumental in demonstrating the transformation of how the parish patron’s day was celebrated over time. Full article
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