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Religions, Volume 11, Issue 8 (August 2020) – 51 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This study analyzes cross-cultural research of values, beliefs, and morality. The paper begins with a summary of the modern history of cross-cultural research, then systematically reviews major empirical studies published since 2010. The reviewed publications are geo-tagged, and the map displays publications counts by country. Even within these multi-national studies, the density of attention is unequal: Northern America and Western Europe receive considerably more attention than all other world regions. Moreover, within under-studied world regions, particular countries receive unequal attention, such as China and India in Asia, Brazil in Latin America, and South Africa in Africa. Additionally, trends in the theories and operationalizations of the constructs of belief, morality, and values are summarized. View this paper
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Essay
Community and Naming: Lived Narratives of Early African American Women’s Spirituality
Religions 2020, 11(8), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11080426 - 18 Aug 2020
Viewed by 917
Abstract
Through the story of Francis Sistrunk, nineteenth century enslaved and later freedwoman in east central Mississippi, this essay illustrates that, despite few surviving written narratives of early black women’s spirituality, their experiences can emerge from the silences. Much like paleontologists who recreate narratives [...] Read more.
Through the story of Francis Sistrunk, nineteenth century enslaved and later freedwoman in east central Mississippi, this essay illustrates that, despite few surviving written narratives of early black women’s spirituality, their experiences can emerge from the silences. Much like paleontologists who recreate narratives of the past through fossils, in the present world of literary studies, we have the advantage of an expanse of resources that, when pieced together, can convey voices from the past to the present. This includes resources such as extant oral and written communal and family narratives, generational ideals and practices, digitized records from official and personal documents, and the recent emergence of DNA technology that provides its own narratives. From the earliest arrivals to the Americas, African diasporic populations maintained an understanding of community and spirit as an integrated oneness empowered through the word, particularly in the word-act of naming. Francis’ story reveals that this spiritual ethos was a generative source, not only for survival, but for some black women it was a mechanism for inscribing their presence, their narratives, and their legacies for future generations. Francis Sistrunk’s story re-emerges through the mining of sources such as these, and reveals that enslaved black women reached for and seized power where they found it to preserve the record of their existence and humanity and to record the story of their enslavers’ injustices. Full article
Article
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Practitioners’ Views on Bell-Ringing Practice in Contemporary Society in New South Wales (Australia)
Religions 2020, 11(8), 425; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080425 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
For centuries, religious buildings have been using bells to call the faithful to prayer. Bell-ringing activity on church premises does not serve a purely religious function, however, as people in the community may perceive this activity secularly, attributing their own meanings and significances [...] Read more.
For centuries, religious buildings have been using bells to call the faithful to prayer. Bell-ringing activity on church premises does not serve a purely religious function, however, as people in the community may perceive this activity secularly, attributing their own meanings and significances towards these sounds. If bell ringing (or the actual sound) were found to have great significance to a specific community, denomination, or a regionality bracket, this may have future implications in any management of these resources. There is a need to hear the voices of the actual practitioners and their perceptions regarding what they, their congregations, and their host communities feel. This paper represents the first large-scale assessment of the views of practitioners of five major Christian denominations with regards to bell-ringing practice and its role in contemporary society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music, Sound, and the Sacred)
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Article
Unique Ethical Insights Gained from Integrating Gradual Practice with Sudden Enlightenment in the Platform Sutra—An Interpretation from the Perspective of Daoism
Religions 2020, 11(8), 424; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080424 - 17 Aug 2020
Viewed by 754
Abstract
Since sudden enlightenment in the Platform Sutra is over-emphasized and gradual practice is comparatively ignored by quite a number of scholars, this article is primarily intended to illustrate that for Huineng, gradual practice and sudden enlightenment are practically integrated, which has profound ethical [...] Read more.
Since sudden enlightenment in the Platform Sutra is over-emphasized and gradual practice is comparatively ignored by quite a number of scholars, this article is primarily intended to illustrate that for Huineng, gradual practice and sudden enlightenment are practically integrated, which has profound ethical implications. Furthermore, it goes a step further to explore how gradual practice is made possible, by using original material in the text and by introducing relevant theory from Daoism. It also addresses the question about transcendence of morality that some scholars raise. Through exploring the topics of virtue and knowledge in Huineng’s thought with the help of Daoist wisdom, I aim to show that, as sudden enlightenment is accompanied by gradual practice, virtue together with knowledge appear hand in hand in a “perfect” form, which also strengthens the feature of perfection revealed in Huineng’s ethical doctrine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Chinese Religious Ethics)
Article
Religion at the Margins: Resistance to Secular Humanitarianism at the Rohingya Refugee Camps in Bangladesh
Religions 2020, 11(8), 423; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080423 - 16 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
This paper joins the growing body of work on Human Rights and Religion and examines the impacts of religious practices in protecting the socioeconomic and cultural rights of Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh. Based on an empirical study at eight different camps in Kutupalong, [...] Read more.
This paper joins the growing body of work on Human Rights and Religion and examines the impacts of religious practices in protecting the socioeconomic and cultural rights of Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh. Based on an empirical study at eight different camps in Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, this article documents how the refugees, through different Islamic religious activities and practices, protect their cultural identities, negotiate with the local governing agents, and maintain solidarity with the host communities in their camp lives. This article also describes how, in these camps, many secular humanitarian projects often get challenged, resisted, or rejected by the refugees since those fail to address their networked relations with religion. Drawing from a rich body of literature in forced migrations, socioeconomic human rights, and religious studies in the Global South, this article investigates how religion and religious activities cushion the refugees from different forms of marginalization that are often engendered by secular development agencies. This article further offers several insights for practitioners and policymakers to ensure socioeconomic and cultural integration in human rights activities in refugee camps in the Global South. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Human Rights: Complementary or Contrary?)
Article
Religiosity of Polish Catholics in the UK: Attitude towards Faith, Affiliation, Membership and Religious Practices
Religions 2020, 11(8), 422; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080422 - 16 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1091
Abstract
This paper is based on sociological quantitative studies carried out in 2019 on a sample of 620 Polish Catholics living in London, Swindon, or Oxford. Those studies and their findings are limited only to those Catholics who make up the communities around major [...] Read more.
This paper is based on sociological quantitative studies carried out in 2019 on a sample of 620 Polish Catholics living in London, Swindon, or Oxford. Those studies and their findings are limited only to those Catholics who make up the communities around major Polish institutions in the UK, such as Polish parishes, Saturday schools, and community houses. The goal of this paper is to describe selected aspects of Polish migrants’ religiosity in the new social and cultural milieu. What we focus on here is how Poles themselves describe their faith, how they understand and evaluate their membership of parishes or other religious communities, and how they approach religious practices, especially Sunday Mass attendance. We address the following questions: how do the Poles living abroad describe their attitudes towards faith? How many of them are active members of Polish parishes? What do their religious practices and membership of other community organisations look like? How do specific factors affect the results across these areas? Full article
Article
The Politics of Purity, Disgust, and Contamination: Communal Identity of Trotter (Pig) Sellers in Madina Zongo (Accra)
Religions 2020, 11(8), 421; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080421 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
The interplay of food, people, and market in the multi-religious and multi-ethnic neighborhood of Madina Zongo, Accra, results to some extent in food exchange. In a plural setting like Madina Zongo, an important aspect of their co-existence is the sharing of food; in [...] Read more.
The interplay of food, people, and market in the multi-religious and multi-ethnic neighborhood of Madina Zongo, Accra, results to some extent in food exchange. In a plural setting like Madina Zongo, an important aspect of their co-existence is the sharing of food; in so doing people claim their identities and mark boundaries; consequently, food in this sense becomes a potential for conflict. My primary aim in this paper is to focus on pig feet (trotter) sellers by drawing attention to their conflicting experiences and encounters in selling trotter. Pig feet (trotter) is a commodity that comes through a global network and is considered haram and unclean by Muslims. Actions by religious practitioners, thereby, play a pivotal role in provoking these experiences and, for this reason, it is prone to triggering tensions. In this paper, I explore the embodied encounters between these traders in the market (inhabited by people of different religious traditions) and, to some extent, the buyers and how this triggers religious sensibilities and at the same time evokes strong responses among those frequenting the space (e.g., market women and customers) and those (trotter sellers) who live in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods. In my analysis on tensions and pollution, I take into consideration groundworks by authors such as Mary Douglas’ Purity and Danger, Sara Ahmed’s and Deborah Durham’s notion of disgust and the anthropology of imagination, and inspired works on materiality such as the Latourian Actor-Network Theory (ANT) which draws attention to the agency of the non-human. This paper studies how religiously contested and so-called “contaminated” foodstuffs such as pig feet (trotter) result in boundary-making practices among members of the market and Zongo community. I argue that ideas of purity are influenced largely by cultural and religious convictions which seems not to be compromised by religious practitioners. The paper also investigates strategies people/sellers develop to negotiate these social relations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Material Religion and Violent Conflict)
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Article
The Guilt Phenomenon. An Analysis of Emotions Towards God in Highly Religious Adolescents and Young Adults
Religions 2020, 11(8), 420; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080420 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
In his model of religiosity, Huber postulates a “qualitative leap” between the groups of the “religious” and the “highly religious”. Correspondingly, the data from the Empirica Youth Survey 2018 underline that the topic of guilt and forgiveness is in itself only really present [...] Read more.
In his model of religiosity, Huber postulates a “qualitative leap” between the groups of the “religious” and the “highly religious”. Correspondingly, the data from the Empirica Youth Survey 2018 underline that the topic of guilt and forgiveness is in itself only really present in the “highly religious”. Thus, this article aims to provide a detailed analysis of the relation between emotions towards God and the centrality of religiosity. One of the results of the exploratory factor analysis concludes that emotions towards God comprise three aspects within Protestant “highly religious” adolescents and young adults: a factor for positive emotions, one for negative emotions, and a third for emotions of guilt, release and fear. In this article, we focus on the factor that drives the experience of guilt (and release and fear) and conclude that it is a phenomenon only found within the “highly religious” and not the “religious” Protestant adolescents and young adults. We explicitly incorporate the journal’s main foci in two regards: First, we focus on the particularities of the group of “highly religious” people as identified by the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS) along with the interactions between the theoretical concept of centrality of religiosity and the content of religiosity. Secondly, we briefly compare “highly religious” with “religious” adolescents and young adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research with the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS))
Article
Islam in Australia: A National Survey of Muslim Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents
Religions 2020, 11(8), 419; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080419 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5285
Abstract
This article presents the findings of a national survey on Islam in Australia based on responses of 1034 Muslim Australian citizens and permanent residents. Knowing what Muslim Australians think about Islam in relation to Australian society is essential for a more informed understanding [...] Read more.
This article presents the findings of a national survey on Islam in Australia based on responses of 1034 Muslim Australian citizens and permanent residents. Knowing what Muslim Australians think about Islam in relation to Australian society is essential for a more informed understanding about Islam and Muslims needed to address misinformation, Islamophobia, and extremism. The findings presented in this article include typologies of Muslims; sources of influence concerning Islam; interpretations of the Qur’an; perspectives on ethical, social, and theological issues; issues of concern; social connections and sense of belonging; views on various Muslim-majority countries; and perspectives concerning political Islam, including jihad, caliphate, and shariah. While respondents’ understandings, interpretations, and expressions of Islam overall align with values and principles of equality, human rights, social cohesion, and social justice, a minority were found to understand and interpret Islam in ways that reflect the influence of late 20th and early 21st century ideas associated with Islamist political ideology, and a smaller sub-group were found to have views that could be considered extreme. This article discusses these findings in relation to the early 21st century time-period factors and the Australian social context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic and Muslim Studies in Australia)
Article
The Overview Effect and the Ultraview Effect: How Extreme Experiences in/of Outer Space Influence Religious Beliefs in Astronauts
Religions 2020, 11(8), 418; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080418 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4484
Abstract
This paper, based mainly on astronauts’ first-person writings, historical documents, and my own ethnographic interviews with nine astronauts conducted between 2004 and 2020, explores how encountering the earth and other celestial objects in ways never before experienced by human beings has influenced some [...] Read more.
This paper, based mainly on astronauts’ first-person writings, historical documents, and my own ethnographic interviews with nine astronauts conducted between 2004 and 2020, explores how encountering the earth and other celestial objects in ways never before experienced by human beings has influenced some astronauts’ cosmological understandings. Following the work of Timothy Morton, the earth and other heavenly bodies can be understood as “hyperobjects”, entities that are distributed across time and space in ways that make them difficult for human beings to accurately understand, but whose existence is becoming increasingly detectable to us. Astronauts in outer space are able to perceive celestial objects from vantages literally unavailable on earth, which has often (but not always) had a profound influence on their understandings of humanity, life, and the universe itself. Frank Wright’s term, the “overview effect”, describes a cognitive shift resulting from seeing the Earth from space that increases some astronauts’ sense of connection to humanity, God, or other powerful forces. Following NASA convention (NASA Style Guide, 2012), I will capitalize both Earth and Moon, but will leave all quotations in their original style. The “ultraview effect” is a term I introduce here to describe the parallel experience of viewing the Milky Way galaxy from the Moon’s orbit (a view described reverently by one respondent as a “something I was not ready for”) that can result in strong convictions about the prevalence of life in the universe or even unorthodox beliefs about the origins of humanity. I will compare Morton’s ideas about humanity’s increased awareness of hyperobjects with Joye and Verpooten’s work on awe in response to “bigness”, tying both to astronauts’ lived experiences in order to demonstrate the usefulness of ethnographic data in this context, discuss how human experiences in outer space might influence religious practices and beliefs, and suggest that encounters with hyperobjects hold the potential to be socially beneficial. Full article
Article
Models and Methods for Confirmation Catechesis in Catholic Youth Ministry
Religions 2020, 11(8), 417; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080417 - 13 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1624
Abstract
This article will briefly address the origins of confirmation and the current approaches to adolescent confirmation. Moreover, the article discusses the two predominant models of confirmation in the Catholic Church in the United States and the predominant methods for adolescent confirmation in Catholic [...] Read more.
This article will briefly address the origins of confirmation and the current approaches to adolescent confirmation. Moreover, the article discusses the two predominant models of confirmation in the Catholic Church in the United States and the predominant methods for adolescent confirmation in Catholic parishes and in youth ministry settings. Finally, the article delineates three proposed methods for confirmation catechesis in Catholic youth ministry. The hope is that these three methods will help Catholic youth ministers and/or confirmation coordinators in their important work of providing confirmation catechesis with teenagers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Youth & Young Adult Ministry)
Article
Hinduism, Ecological Conservation, and Public Health: What Are the Health Hazards for Religious Tourists at Hindu Temples?
Religions 2020, 11(8), 416; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080416 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1910
Abstract
This exploratory ethnographic study aims to understand the visitation experience and to identify health hazards at pilgrimage sites in India. Specifically, this research aims to assess the tourism potential of holy Hindu temple sites located along well-known pilgrimage routes. During our fieldwork, we [...] Read more.
This exploratory ethnographic study aims to understand the visitation experience and to identify health hazards at pilgrimage sites in India. Specifically, this research aims to assess the tourism potential of holy Hindu temple sites located along well-known pilgrimage routes. During our fieldwork, we visited several of the most significant Hindu temples in India. Framed by a critical ethnography lens, our study used unstructured interviews with local stakeholders, as well as observations and reflexive notes. The findings revealed that most of the temples have serious safety, hygiene, accessibility, and environmental issues. A lack of action could lead to serious consequences for locals and tourists. For example, important for tourism, warnings of pandemics have been sounded over the years, and disease pandemics originating in India may only be a matter of time. We propose some immediate solutions and areas for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Ecological Conservation, and Public Health)
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Article
Religious Values and Young People: Analysis of the Perception of Students from Secular and Religious Schools (Salesian Pedagogical Model)
Religions 2020, 11(8), 415; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080415 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
In a secularised and postmodernist social context, young people are increasingly distanced from religious beliefs. Nevertheless, in schools with a religious character, the main contents of the faith continue to be transmitted through the ideology and the pedagogical model. The objective of this [...] Read more.
In a secularised and postmodernist social context, young people are increasingly distanced from religious beliefs. Nevertheless, in schools with a religious character, the main contents of the faith continue to be transmitted through the ideology and the pedagogical model. The objective of this study is to analyse the influence of the type of school on the perception of religious values. The “Adaptive Values Test” instrument was used on a sample of 456 students from secular and religious schools (Salesian) in the province of Seville during the 2018–2019 academic year. The consideration of religious values in Salesian students is also specifically analysed. The results obtained show that young people studying in schools with religious pedagogical models have a more positive view of faith than the students from secular schools. However, the rejection of the ecclesial institution occurs in students from secular schools and, to a lesser extent, in students from religious schools, becoming a common factor of distancing from religion. Young people studying in religious Salesian schools reflect significant gender differences in the perception of religious values. In these students, the exploratory factor analysis reflects three main factors, the key aspects of faith being valued more than the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences)
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Article
The Feminization of Love and the Indwelling of God: Theological Investigations Across Indic Contexts
Religions 2020, 11(8), 414; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080414 - 12 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1111
Abstract
Our essay is a thematic exploration of the malleability of idioms, imageries, and affectivities of Hindu bhakti across the borderlines of certain Indic worldviews. We highlight the theological motif of the feminine-feminised quest of the seeker (virahiṇī) for her divine beloved [...] Read more.
Our essay is a thematic exploration of the malleability of idioms, imageries, and affectivities of Hindu bhakti across the borderlines of certain Indic worldviews. We highlight the theological motif of the feminine-feminised quest of the seeker (virahiṇī) for her divine beloved in some Hindu expressions shaped by the paradigmatic scriptural text Bhāgavata-purāṇa and in some Punjabi Sufi articulations of the transcendent God’s innermost presence to the pilgrim self. The leitmotif that the divine reality is the “intimate stranger” who cannot be humanly grasped and who is yet already present in the recesses of the virahiṇī’s self is expressed with distinctive inflections both in bhakti-based Vedānta and in some Indo-Muslim spiritual universes. This study is also an exploration of some of the common conceptual currencies of devotional subjectivities that cannot be straightforwardly cast into the monolithic moulds of “Hindu” or “Muslim” in pre-modern South Asia. Thus, we highlight the essentially contested nature of the categories of “Hinduism” and “Indian Islam” by indicating that they should be regarded as dynamic clusters of constellated concepts whose contours have been often reshaped through concrete socio-historical contestations, borrowings, and adaptations on the fissured lands of al-Hind. Full article
Article
Religious Festival Marketing: Distinguishing between Devout Believers and Tourists
Religions 2020, 11(8), 413; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080413 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Customer classification is an integral part of marketing planning activities. Researchers have struggled to classify “pilgrims” and “tourists” because these groups overlap to a large extent in terms of their identities while participating in religious activities/sightseeing. To achieve sustainable tourism development for the [...] Read more.
Customer classification is an integral part of marketing planning activities. Researchers have struggled to classify “pilgrims” and “tourists” because these groups overlap to a large extent in terms of their identities while participating in religious activities/sightseeing. To achieve sustainable tourism development for the region with rich religious and cultural characteristics, the present article outlines a process for analyzing the motivation of participants attending religious festival of Mazu in Taiwan and then classifies religious festival participants according to their motivations. Using cluster sampling, a total of 280 responses were obtained and analyzed. The results revealed four different motivation categories: Fun traveler, devout believer, cultural enthusiast, and religious pragmatist. The study concludes that while festivalgoers are influenced by secularization to some extent, the original doctrine of the religion epitomized in the festivals fundamentally retains the essence and spirit of its religious rituals. The findings may have a significant value for the development of religious tourism marketing as it offers a foundation for future research seeking to develop regional cultural and religious sightseeing attractions sustainably. Full article
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Article
Suffering the Sons of Eve: Animal Ethics in al-Maʿarrī’s Epistle of the Horse and the Mule
Religions 2020, 11(8), 412; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080412 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1733
Abstract
In the year 1021 CE, blind author and skeptic Abū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (d. 1057 CE) wrote Risālat al-ṣāhil wa-l-shāḥij (The Epistle of the Horse and the Mule), a winding prose work populated by animal characters who talk about poetry, grammar, riddles, and Syrian [...] Read more.
In the year 1021 CE, blind author and skeptic Abū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (d. 1057 CE) wrote Risālat al-ṣāhil wa-l-shāḥij (The Epistle of the Horse and the Mule), a winding prose work populated by animal characters who talk about poetry, grammar, riddles, and Syrian society on the eve of the crusades. Traditionally forgotten as a source for al-Maʿarrī’s pacifism, and his vegan worldview, the Ṣāhil lets readers see his thinking on animals more than most other works. After a brief survey of animals in Islam, which shows a mainstream desire for balance between human and non-human needs, as well as exceptional cases that strongly uphold animals as subjects per se and which stand as key inter-texts for al-Maʿarrī, this paper considers how the Ṣāhil champions non-human creatures through images of animal cruelty deployed to shock readers into compassion, and through poetry and popular sayings (amthāl) recast in a zoocentric mold. It, therefore, advocates with more fervor than anthropocentric Islamic writings on animals, such as Kalīlah wa-Dimnah or the letters of the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ. However, this happens in a way that makes it hard to pin down the sources of al-Maʿarrī’s thought. Furthermore, al-Maʿarrī seems to contradict himself when, for example, he employs literal meaning when it comes to animal justice, even as he avoids literalism in other contexts. This calls his concern for animals into question in one sense, but in another, it affirms such concern insofar as his self-contradictions show an active mind working through animal ethics in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Islam)
Article
Knowledge and Learning of Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding in an Indonesian Islamic College Sample: An Epistemological Belief Approach
Religions 2020, 11(8), 411; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080411 - 10 Aug 2020
Viewed by 985
Abstract
Epistemological beliefs are the basis of how someone acquires knowledge and are used as a guide for behavior in everyday life. For religious fundamentalists, however, their belief in religious knowledge is very strong, causing them to negate different opinions and ideas. Since the [...] Read more.
Epistemological beliefs are the basis of how someone acquires knowledge and are used as a guide for behavior in everyday life. For religious fundamentalists, however, their belief in religious knowledge is very strong, causing them to negate different opinions and ideas. Since the radicalization process is closely related to the education process, two important epistemological concepts of belief about knowledge and belief about learning need to be tested to analyze the extent to which these two factors might be predictors of an individual’s tendency towards religious fundamentalism. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of epistemological beliefs on the religious fundamentalism of Muslim millennial youth. By using a simple random sampling method, data collection was conducted by distributing Likert-scale questionnaires to 195 Muslim undergraduate students at an Islamic institute in Kudus, Central Java. Data were analyzed using structural equation modelling (SEM). The results showed that the proposed model was appropriate and eligible for hypothesis testing (p = 138, goodness of fit index (GFI) = 0.965, adjusted goodness of fit index (AGFI) = 0.934, Tucker–Lewis index (TLI) = 0.978 and root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.040). Furthermore, statistical analysis shows that epistemological beliefs in the form of beliefs about knowledge (critical ratio (C.R) = 4585 and p = 0.000) and beliefs about learning (C.R = 3202 and p = 0.001) have significant and positive effects on religious fundamentalism. These results highlight the importance of developing the concept of critical thinking in learning and inclusiveness-oriented education to eradicate religious fundamentalism among millennials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intercultural Education and Religions)
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Article
Exploratory Analysis of the Relationship between Happiness and Religious Participation within China
Religions 2020, 11(8), 410; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080410 - 08 Aug 2020
Viewed by 981
Abstract
Although the positive relationship between religion and happiness has aroused heated debate, empirical studies on this are limited in the Chinese cultural context. Furthermore, there is a lack of heterogeneity analysis concerning this influence. This paper aims to address this gap in the [...] Read more.
Although the positive relationship between religion and happiness has aroused heated debate, empirical studies on this are limited in the Chinese cultural context. Furthermore, there is a lack of heterogeneity analysis concerning this influence. This paper aims to address this gap in the existing literature. Using the Chinese General Social Survey data from 2015 for empirical analysis, the results show that people with religious beliefs have an increased probability of feeling very happy. This positive association does not exist in urban and eastern groups, but it still holds up in other remaining sub-samples (i.e., rural group). This study further finds that the effect of religiosity on happiness varies by different religious identification. Muslims are more likely to feel very happy compared with non-Muslims, but people of the Christian faith do not rate themselves higher on the happiness scale than non-Christians. Moreover, the results also reveal that religious involvement is significantly and positively related to happiness. Specifically, vulnerable groups are more likely to perceive themselves to be happier from continuous religious participation, whereas advantaged groups do not. This is because vulnerable groups generally have a lack of social security, and religious practices provide them with social support among their members. They therefore can enjoy larger and denser social networks. These are vital mechanisms for them to cope with stress and risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Mental Health: Antecedents and Consequences)
Article
Islamic Education: An Islamic “Wisdom-Based Cultural Environment” in a Western Context
Religions 2020, 11(8), 409; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080409 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2207
Abstract
As the number and types of Islamic schools in a Western context have increased, so too have the questions on their purpose and impact in pluralistic Western societies. Amid this increasingly complex environment, questions are raised, both internally and externally, to determine the [...] Read more.
As the number and types of Islamic schools in a Western context have increased, so too have the questions on their purpose and impact in pluralistic Western societies. Amid this increasingly complex environment, questions are raised, both internally and externally, to determine the nature of Islamic educational goals, schools’ knowledge and pedagogical practices. Analysis in this paper draws on multiple sources of data: classical and contemporary literature on education in Islam; the Department for Education (DfE) school census and the Office for Standards in Education; Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted); and empirical case-study data extracted from the author’s PhD thesis on diversity in Islamic schools in Britain conducted during 2008–2012 and subsequently revised during 2018–2019 by following up emergent themes. This paper argues for a need to develop an “Islamic wisdom-based culture” promoting action (‘amal) which nurtures the holistic growth of learners in ethical areas (akhlāq), aesthetics (dhawq/jamāl) and develops a sense of freedom (huriyyah). By doing so, the paper draws primarily on Bennabi’s analysis of the role of culture (thaqāfah) in the civilisation cycle, Ibn-Khaldūn’s analysis of freedom and dignity in educational practice embedded in his discussion of the meanings of humanity) Al-insāniyyah) and Gadamer’s analysis of “practical wisdom”. Firstly, it contextualises Islamic schooling in Britain into a neoliberal pluralistic context. The wisdom inherent in Islamic education is explored through critical dialogue during the process of learning and action. The discussion then considers three key elements of “wisdom-based cultural environment” for Islamic education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Critical Perspectives on Islamic Education)
Article
Terraforming Religious Consciousness: Race as a Signifier in New World Religious Cosmogony
Religions 2020, 11(8), 408; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080408 - 07 Aug 2020
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Abstract
What is the connection between race and religious diversity? This question has emerged as particularly important in recent times, following heightened discussions on racial justice, equity, and the organization of society with regard to racial oppression. The terms race and religious diversity imply [...] Read more.
What is the connection between race and religious diversity? This question has emerged as particularly important in recent times, following heightened discussions on racial justice, equity, and the organization of society with regard to racial oppression. The terms race and religious diversity imply distinct points of contact that have within them diverse perspectives and worldviews, that carry with them assumed foundational understandings of the world and unexamined understandings of how the universe functions. This article explores the connection between race and religious diversity by discussing the physical and intellectual landscape and by raising concerns about the historical and religious-symbolic background of the Atlantic World. This background assumes the fact that the Atlantic World is more than just a historical phenomenon. Instead, the formation and operation of the Atlantic World reveals the construction of a cosmogony that informs racial (social/relational) and religious discourse (imagination/intellectual). The Atlantic World cosmogony arose from the conquest of the Americas by European interests, resulting in a terraforming process that adapted the New World to European sensibilities. The story of the Atlantic World cosmogony and the terraforming of the Americas serve as two points of reflection that call for assessing the connection of race and religious diversity. Concomitantly, considering the foreground of the Atlantic World cosmogony and terraforming opens the possibility of resituating the way we critically approach the discourse on race and religious diversity, allowing for communities to candidly express efforts to move beyond the history of the effects generated by the conquest of the Americas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racism and Religious Diversity in the United States)
Article
Liturgy and Landscape—Re-Activating Christian Funeral Rites through Adaptive Reuse of a Rural Church and Its Surroundings as a Columbarium and Urn Cemetery
Religions 2020, 11(8), 407; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080407 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
We present the design research for the adaptive reuse of the St. Odulphus church as a columbarium in the village of Booienhoven (BE). Surrounded by agriculture, the site is listed as a historic rural landscape. The small neoclassical church is no longer in [...] Read more.
We present the design research for the adaptive reuse of the St. Odulphus church as a columbarium in the village of Booienhoven (BE). Surrounded by agriculture, the site is listed as a historic rural landscape. The small neoclassical church is no longer in use for traditional Catholic services and is abandoned. Positioned on an isolated “island”, it has the appropriate setting to become a place to remember and part from the dead. Instigated by the municipality, and taking into account the growing demand for cremation, we present topological research on three different liturgical and spatial levels: 1/the use of the church interior as a columbarium and for (funeral) celebration, 2/the transformation of the “island”, stressing the idea of “passage” and 3/the layering of the open landscape reactivating the well-spring and its spiritual origins. Based on the reform of the funeral rite after Vatican II, we propose a layered liturgy that can better suit the wide variety of funeral services in Flanders today, while at the same time respecting its Catholic roots. Rather than considering the reuse of the church a spiritual loss, we believe that it can offer the opportunity to reinforce and open up the traditional, symbolic and ritual meaning of the Christian liturgy to the larger community. As such, this case is an excellent example of how, in exploring new architectural and liturgical questions, religious sites can be transformed into contemporary places for spirituality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Ritual Fields Today)
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Editorial
Ecological Perspectives on Religion and Positive Youth Development
Religions 2020, 11(8), 406; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080406 - 07 Aug 2020
Viewed by 917
Abstract
A positivist orientation that marginalized the study of religion and spirituality in social science research has limited both its scope and focus. Given a primarily cognitive orientation to this inquiry, children, adolescents, and emerging adults were typically not the focus of research. More [...] Read more.
A positivist orientation that marginalized the study of religion and spirituality in social science research has limited both its scope and focus. Given a primarily cognitive orientation to this inquiry, children, adolescents, and emerging adults were typically not the focus of research. More recently, the scope of research has been broadened to emphasize the need to understand contextual and developmental nuances, which are increasingly being reflected in a range of research designs, methods, and samples. The burgeoning scholarship on the role of religion and spirituality in the development of youth during this particularly formative developmental period has begun to shed light on how religion promotes and challenges positive youth development. While this expanding focus has begun to describe youth’s developmental experiences, the deep interconnections between individual youth, religious and spiritual systems, and the contexts and relationships in which youth develop remain understudied. This special issue on the role of religion and spirituality on positive youth development asserts the import of exploring ecological perspectives and influences when studying the role of religion and spirituality in the development of diverse youth and draws from interdisciplinary and lifespan perspectives to continue mapping the terrain of this area of study and ways to navigate it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Perspectives on Religion and Positive Youth Development)
Review
How Does Religion Affect Giving to Outgroups and Secular Organizations? A Systematic Literature Review
Religions 2020, 11(8), 405; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080405 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Although religious giving represents the largest sector of charitable giving in the US, its overall impact on social welfare has been questioned, pointing to the possibility that the majority of funding might stay within the religious community, with little benefit to outgroups or [...] Read more.
Although religious giving represents the largest sector of charitable giving in the US, its overall impact on social welfare has been questioned, pointing to the possibility that the majority of funding might stay within the religious community, with little benefit to outgroups or secular charity. Despite multiple studies showing a positive relationship between religion and secular and outgroup giving, some empirical findings show a negative or non-significant relationship. By employing a systematic literature review, the current study explores theories and empirical evidence to provide an integrative framework that identifies the mechanisms and directions through which religion affects giving to outgroups and secular organizations. The study also compares the major five religious traditions and giving to outgroups and secular organizations. The study finds that religious teachings, norms, values, social network, and private rituals, determine the direction of the relationship between religion and giving to outgroups and secular organizations. The study concludes that, despite the dominant positive relationship between religion and giving to outgroup and secular organizations, there remains heterogeneity among the studies based on their location, operationalization of religion and secular giving, and methodology used. The study also poses some implication questions and points out future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Understandings of Religiosity and Generosity)
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Article
Islamic Studies in Australian Islamic Schools: Learner Voice
Religions 2020, 11(8), 404; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080404 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1910
Abstract
This paper provides insight into senior secondary learners’ views on Islamic Studies (IS) in three large Australian Islamic schools. This study offers a ‘dialogic alternative’ of ‘speaking with’ rather than ‘speaking for’ learners in Islamic educational research, planning, and renewal within K-12 Islamic [...] Read more.
This paper provides insight into senior secondary learners’ views on Islamic Studies (IS) in three large Australian Islamic schools. This study offers a ‘dialogic alternative’ of ‘speaking with’ rather than ‘speaking for’ learners in Islamic educational research, planning, and renewal within K-12 Islamic schools. The study privileges learners’ voice and enables an insight to their experience with one of the most important features of Islamic schools—Islamic Studies. Using phenomenology as a methodological framework, learner voice was elicited through focus groups where 75 learners (years 10, 11, and 12) provided information describing their experience with Islamic Studies. Thematic content analysis of the textual data suggests that learners’ dissatisfaction far outweighs their satisfaction with Islamic Studies. The findings of this paper can benefit Islamic schools in Australia and other Western contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Critical Perspectives on Islamic Education)
Article
Does Religious Belief Affect Volunteering and Donating Behavior of Chinese College Students?
Religions 2020, 11(8), 403; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080403 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Limited research has been conducted in mainland China to explore the relationship between religious belief and prosocial behaviors such as volunteering and charitable donation. This study aims to investigate whether and how religious belief affects Chinese college students’ charitable giving and volunteering. Based [...] Read more.
Limited research has been conducted in mainland China to explore the relationship between religious belief and prosocial behaviors such as volunteering and charitable donation. This study aims to investigate whether and how religious belief affects Chinese college students’ charitable giving and volunteering. Based on a survey of 1992 college students from five universities in Shanghai, the authors found that religious belief has a positive influence on charitable giving. Moral norms and family income level are also significant influencing factors in college students’ donation behavior. Religious belief does not affect volunteering frequency. Instead, volunteering intensity is affected by political status, social norms exerted by friends and families and volunteering motivations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Understandings of Religiosity and Generosity)
Article
All Mixed up: Multi/Racial Liberation and Compassion-Based Activism
Religions 2020, 11(8), 402; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080402 - 06 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1277
Abstract
This paper seeks to identify pathways of liberation amidst contemporary challenges faced by those who identify as multiracial by re-imagining various approaches to confronting racial oppression through compassion-based activism. The primary question of this study focuses on how compassion (as broadly understood by [...] Read more.
This paper seeks to identify pathways of liberation amidst contemporary challenges faced by those who identify as multiracial by re-imagining various approaches to confronting racial oppression through compassion-based activism. The primary question of this study focuses on how compassion (as broadly understood by and across the world’s spiritual traditions) might sustain, invigorate, or be adapted to aid the struggle for racial justice in the United States. This paper begins with reviewing theories from critical mixed race studies and brings them into dialogue with the eight themes of compassion-based activism. The results of this interdisciplinary study provide both the promises and challenges to a compassion-based approach when it comes to multi/racial liberation and proposes a reinterpretation that centers multi/racial experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Racism and Religious Diversity in the United States)
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Article
Visible Religion and Populism: An Explosive Cocktail
Religions 2020, 11(8), 401; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080401 - 05 Aug 2020
Viewed by 977
Abstract
Populism frequently uses the visibility of religious majorities and minorities as polemically charged references in the political controversy about cultural identity. Visible signs are evoked as positive identity markers and representations of the fiction of a homogenous society. The visibility of religions coming [...] Read more.
Populism frequently uses the visibility of religious majorities and minorities as polemically charged references in the political controversy about cultural identity. Visible signs are evoked as positive identity markers and representations of the fiction of a homogenous society. The visibility of religions coming from an immigration background is more likely to be attacked as an invasion of foreigners who do not fit in the frame of an imagined authentic model of cultural unity. As the debates on the construction of mosques and minarets in European cities show, Islam becomes a synonym of differences perceived as problematic. Depending on the political agenda, invisible and quiet religions are preferred to the visible and politically more demanding ones. However, the opinions for or against a high degree of visibility are not necessarily shared within the religious communities. Their members can ask for discrete individual practices or for a strong collective presence in the public sphere. Populist discourses try to argue against manifestations of ostentatious visibility and use this fight as a platform for identity-driven propaganda that is interested in the exclusion of those who are considered as the threat to the well-being of the “people”. The visibility of religion thesis has to be dealt with carefully in the context of right-wing populism because of the toxic effects of all kinds of identity politics in the political as well as in the religious sphere. The conventional implications of the public–private split must be rearticulated in a context in which secularism is challenged by the return of visible religion and by the emergence of political ideologies playing with the fire of strong and exclusivist identity claims that are in conflict with ideals of tolerance, pluralism, and diversity management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Visibility of Religion and Its Impact)
Article
The Bodily Discourse in Modern Chinese Buddhism—Asceticism and Its Presentation in Buddhist Periodicals
Religions 2020, 11(8), 400; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080400 - 04 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1110
Abstract
This article focuses on accounts of bodily asceticism published in Buddhist periodicals in Republican China (1912–1949) in order to explore the mentality and motivation of publicly presenting this seemingly fanatic and backward tradition in an era marked by modernization. By zeroing in on [...] Read more.
This article focuses on accounts of bodily asceticism published in Buddhist periodicals in Republican China (1912–1949) in order to explore the mentality and motivation of publicly presenting this seemingly fanatic and backward tradition in an era marked by modernization. By zeroing in on practices of self-immolation, bodily mutilation, and blood writing, as presented in periodicals advocating either reform or preservation of Buddhist tradition, the article reveals that Buddhists with different visions for the modern form of Chinese Buddhism, despite their multifaceted responses, reached a consensus: ascetic practices were part of the tradition worthy of preservation and a strong testament of Buddhist morality. Arguments and eulogies about specific cases, preserved in these periodicals, made Buddhist asceticism an integral part of Chinese Buddhism’s modern transformation, which contributes to the rethinking of religion and modernity discourse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism and the Body)
Article
Global Studies of Religiosity and Spirituality: A Systematic Review for Geographic and Topic Scopes
Religions 2020, 11(8), 399; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080399 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
This paper advances the global study of religiosity by conducting a systematic review of the geographic scope, religious traditions, levels of analysis, and topics investigated within contemporary scientific studies of religion, paying particular attention to intersections with generosity. The analysis builds upon a [...] Read more.
This paper advances the global study of religiosity by conducting a systematic review of the geographic scope, religious traditions, levels of analysis, and topics investigated within contemporary scientific studies of religion, paying particular attention to intersections with generosity. The analysis builds upon a meta-analysis of 30 years of scientific studies of religion that was published ten years ago and engages a similar framework to analyze the most recent ten years of research on religiosity and spirituality. Specifically, this analysis codes for the potential for Western-centrism, Christian-centrism, and congregational-centrism, all while attending to ways to study the potential intersection between religiosity and generosity, especially during the formative youth development life stage. Two data sources inform this analysis: the international data catalog of the Association for Religious Research Archives (ARDA) and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (JSSR). The results indicate that centrism remains, though perhaps to a lesser extent than in the previous decades, with the notable exception of a remaining inequality in the geographic scope. Implications for research are discussed, including practical implications to implementing a better geo-tagging process to more overtly identify the scope of data and make U.S. scope less implicit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Understandings of Religiosity and Generosity)
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Article
Navigating Voyages in Real and Religious Life: The Big-Dipper Belief and Shipbuilding in Premodern China
Religions 2020, 11(8), 398; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080398 - 03 Aug 2020
Viewed by 903
Abstract
Sailors in premodern China performed various types of rituals to pray for safe voyages. This article investigates a unique seven-dot image discovered from shipwrecks dated to thirteenth- and fourteenth-century China. Comparing the seven-dot image with the Big-Dipper image in premodern navigation maps, this [...] Read more.
Sailors in premodern China performed various types of rituals to pray for safe voyages. This article investigates a unique seven-dot image discovered from shipwrecks dated to thirteenth- and fourteenth-century China. Comparing the seven-dot image with the Big-Dipper image in premodern navigation maps, this article demonstrates that the seven-dot image represents the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper in premodern China was both an essential, practical guidance in maritime voyages and a religious symbol that the faithful believed could prolong the human’s lifespan and command the element of water. The dual function of the Big Dipper endowed the Big-Dipper images in ships with a dual meaning and made it particularly auspicious. The Big Dipper’s practical function prompted the carvers to present the image accurately, making it distinctive from other Big-Dipper images in the religious context. Full article
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Article
Religion, Science, and Space Exploration from a Non-Western Perspective
Religions 2020, 11(8), 397; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel11080397 - 03 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1152
Abstract
Religion and science are often set up as polar opposites in Western philosophical and religious discourse and seen as representing different epistemological perspectives that juxtapose rationality with faith. Space exploration is largely viewed as a scientific and engineering problem and, thus, has tended [...] Read more.
Religion and science are often set up as polar opposites in Western philosophical and religious discourse and seen as representing different epistemological perspectives that juxtapose rationality with faith. Space exploration is largely viewed as a scientific and engineering problem and, thus, has tended to set aside the issue of religion as it relates to human movement off-planet. However, as we have moved increasingly toward the idea of colonization of the Moon and Mars, social scientists and philosophers have increasingly come to recognize that human movement into space also needs to be understood as a social phenomenon. As a social phenomenon, there is an inherent necessity to consider how religion may play a role in or influence the process of human exploration and settlement of space. However, what do we mean when we say “religion?” One of the fundamental problems of thinking about the relationship between religion, science, and space exploration is that the meaning of the word religion is rarely well-defined. Do we mean faith-based religions such as Christianity or Islam? Or do we mean practice-based religions such as Shinto and some forms of Buddhism? This paper will explore the question of religion and science from the perspective of Japanese religions as a way of problematizing the manner in which we think about and define religion as it relates to the practice of space exploration. Full article
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