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Religions, Volume 7, Issue 8 (August 2016) – 14 articles

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Article
The NERSH International Collaboration on Values, Spirituality and Religion in Medicine: Development of Questionnaire, Description of Data Pool, and Overview of Pool Publications
Religions 2016, 7(8), 107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080107 - 23 Aug 2016
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4690
Abstract
Modern healthcare research has only in recent years investigated the impact of health care workers’ religious and other moral values on medical practice, interaction with patients, and ethically complex decision-making. Thus far, no international data exist on the way such values vary across [...] Read more.
Modern healthcare research has only in recent years investigated the impact of health care workers’ religious and other moral values on medical practice, interaction with patients, and ethically complex decision-making. Thus far, no international data exist on the way such values vary across different countries. We therefore established the NERSH International Collaboration on Values in Medicine with datasets on physician religious characteristics and values based on the same survey instrument. The present article provides (a) an overview of the development of the original and optimized survey instruments, (b) an overview of the content of the NERSH data pool at this stage and (c) a brief review of insights gained from articles published with the questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed in 2002, after extensive pretesting in the United States and subsequently translated from English into other languages using forward-backward translations with Face Validations. In 2013, representatives of several national research groups came together and worked at optimizing the survey instrument for future use on the basis of the existing datasets. Research groups were identified through personal contacts with researchers requesting to use the instrument, as well as through two literature searches. Data were assembled in Stata and synchronized for their comparability using a matched intersection design based on the items in the original questionnaire. With a few optimizations and added modules appropriate for cultures more secular than that of the United States, the survey instrument holds promise as a tool for future comparative analyses. The pool at this stage consists of data from eleven studies conducted by research teams in nine different countries over six continents with responses from more than 6000 health professionals. Inspection of data between groups suggests large differences in religious and other moral values across nations and cultures, and that these values account for differences in health professional’s clinical practices. Full article
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Article
Self-Assertion in the Public Sphere: The Jewish Press on the Eve of Legal Emancipation
Religions 2016, 7(8), 109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080109 - 19 Aug 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Jews like Adolf Fischhof and Ludwig August Frankl were prominent participants in the revolution of 1848. Their speeches, poems, and portraits circulated in Vienna and throughout the Empire. With the suppression of the revolution, most of these prominent Jews had to either leave [...] Read more.
Jews like Adolf Fischhof and Ludwig August Frankl were prominent participants in the revolution of 1848. Their speeches, poems, and portraits circulated in Vienna and throughout the Empire. With the suppression of the revolution, most of these prominent Jews had to either leave Vienna or retreat to the private sphere. Only in the late 1850s did Jews regain their public presence, starting with the opening of the Leopoldstaedter Tempel in 1858 and the building of the Ringstrasse from 1860 onwards. Many Jews hoped that the new liberal era would grant them civil rights and legal emancipation. Jewish intellectuals and journalists supported this struggle from within and outside the growing Jewish community. An important weapon in their struggle were Jewish newspapers. These newspapers not only provided information, but also served as mouthpieces for different Jewish movements. They featured biographies with portraits (in words and images) of distinguished Jewish leaders (mostly men and a few women), which were supposed to present the social achievements of a certain group within Jewish society to a broader audience. In fact, these portraits served as a form of self-assertion for the publisher as well as for the audience. It projected the message that Jews not only merited emancipation, but also struggled for it on various levels. The paper therefore addresses questions of biography and the (Jewish) identity these portraits at once reflected and shaped. Full article
Article
Performing, Representing, and Archiving Belief: Religious Expressions among Jazz Musicians
Religions 2016, 7(8), 108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080108 - 19 Aug 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2400
Abstract
The archives of African American jazz musicians demonstrate rich sites for studying expressions of religious belief and daily religious practice in public and private arenas, in professional and personal capacities. Highlighting print material from the archives of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899–1974) and [...] Read more.
The archives of African American jazz musicians demonstrate rich sites for studying expressions of religious belief and daily religious practice in public and private arenas, in professional and personal capacities. Highlighting print material from the archives of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899–1974) and Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981), this article examines the ways that these musicians worked to articulate their beliefs in print and to make meaning of their routine practices. Ellington and Williams produced written records of their aspirations for non-clerical religious authority and leadership, novel notions of religious community, and conceptions of quotidian writing tasks as practices with devotional value in the middle decades of the twentieth century. In preparation for his Sacred Concert tours of American and Western European religious congregations, Ellington theologized about the nature of God and the proper language to address God through private hotel stationery. Following her conversion to Roman Catholicism, Williams managed a Harlem thrift shop and worked to create the Bel Canto Foundation for musicians struggling with substance abuse and unemployment. This study of the religious subjectivity of African Americans with status as race representatives employs archival historical methods in the effort to vividly approximate complex religious interiority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the Individual: Belief, Practice, and Identity)
Article
Buddhist Ritual from Syntax to Cognition: Insight Meditation and Homa
Religions 2016, 7(8), 104; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080104 - 16 Aug 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2083
Abstract
The concept of “ritual syntax” is developed by relating it to cognitive studies of ritual, providing a fuller theoretical basis. Developing theoretical grounding requires differentiating between the members of five pairs of concepts: production is not the same as analysis, syntax is not [...] Read more.
The concept of “ritual syntax” is developed by relating it to cognitive studies of ritual, providing a fuller theoretical basis. Developing theoretical grounding requires differentiating between the members of five pairs of concepts: production is not the same as analysis, syntax is not the same as semantics, ritual is not the same as the mental, cognition is not the same as the mental, and syntax is not the same as language. These distinctions help avoid overly strong interpretations of the analogy between ritual and language. A discussion of “ritual” suggests that it is best conceptualized in terms of multiple scalar characteristics with degrees of ritualization. Two Buddhist practices, insight meditation and homa, are introduced as instances for the cognitive study of ritual. Syntax involves not simply ordering of elements, but also hierarchical organization of those elements. While syntax allows sentential elements to move within a sentence, ritual tends toward invariance. Invariance seems to contradict the claim that ritual is syntactically organized. However, rituals are often modeled on ordinary activities, producing a kind of “semantic” motivation for invariance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Science and the Study of Yoga and Tantra)
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Article
Envisioning Religiously Diverse Partnership Systems among Government, Faith Communities and FBOs
Religions 2016, 7(8), 105; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080105 - 12 Aug 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2687
Abstract
Recent U.S. policy regarding faith-based organizations (FBO) envisions “partnerships with government” that include both financial and non-financial relationships. This paper explores the current nature of a three-way partnership among faith communities, FBOs and government, proposing ways that government could more effectively partner with [...] Read more.
Recent U.S. policy regarding faith-based organizations (FBO) envisions “partnerships with government” that include both financial and non-financial relationships. This paper explores the current nature of a three-way partnership among faith communities, FBOs and government, proposing ways that government could more effectively partner with faith communities and their organizations. I use data from the Faith and Organizations Project and earlier studies of refugee resettlement and social welfare supports. The paper combines research and policy literature with research findings to describe how faith communities organize social services, education, health, senior services and community development through their FBOs, differences among religions and denominations and current forms of partnerships with government. Conclusions provide policy suggestions for U.S. systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Welfare and Social Service Provision: Common Ground)
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Article
An Investigation of the Perceptions and Practices of Nursing Students Regarding Spirituality and Spiritual Care
Religions 2016, 7(8), 101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080101 - 11 Aug 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2865
Abstract
The aim of this research was to determine Turkish nursing students’ knowledge, practices and perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care and to investigate the relationship between their perceptions and their demographics. This study was a descriptive survey conducted at a nursing school providing [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to determine Turkish nursing students’ knowledge, practices and perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care and to investigate the relationship between their perceptions and their demographics. This study was a descriptive survey conducted at a nursing school providing degree-level education in the city of Manisa, in the western part of Turkey. The sample of the study consisted of the 400 nursing students. A nursing student sociodemographic form, a form on nursing students’ knowledge and practices of spirituality and spiritual care, and the Spirituality and Spiritual Care Rating Scale were used to collect the data. Half of the students could meet patients’ or individuals’ spiritual needs, and the spiritual care that they gave was most frequently listening, empathy, and psychological support. The research findings were that nursing students’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care were “sufficiently” although not “very sufficiently” defined. Being female, being in the second year of education and seeing spiritual care education as necessary were determinants of their perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care. Full article
Article
‘It’s Not the Money but the Love of Money That Is the Root of All Evil’: Social Subjection, Machinic Enslavement and the Limits of Anglican Social Theology
Religions 2016, 7(8), 103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080103 - 09 Aug 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3780
Abstract
Maurizio Lazzarato argues that contemporary capitalism functions through two central apparatuses: Social subjection and machinic enslavement. Social subjection equips individuals with a subjectivity, assigning them identities, sexes, bodies, professions, and other markers of identity, along with a sense of their own individual agency [...] Read more.
Maurizio Lazzarato argues that contemporary capitalism functions through two central apparatuses: Social subjection and machinic enslavement. Social subjection equips individuals with a subjectivity, assigning them identities, sexes, bodies, professions, and other markers of identity, along with a sense of their own individual agency within society. Machinic enslavement arises out of the growing reliance of capitalism on what Lazzarato calls “asignifying semiotics”—processes of production that function increasingly independently of human awareness or intention. Drawing on this analysis of the contemporary functioning of capitalism, this paper will explore the concepts of individuals and society at work in recent Anglican social theology. Focusing on two recent texts which attempt to give an overview of Anglican social thinking—Eve Poole’s The Church on Capitalism: Theology and the Market and Malcolm Brown’s Anglican Social Theology—it will suggest that, within the contemporary Church of England, mainstream attempts to reckon with political questions tend to understand the role of individual agency and ethical behaviour in ways which prop up existing social, political and economic structures rather than disrupting them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the Individual: Belief, Practice, and Identity)
Article
Contemplative Science and Secular Ethics
Religions 2016, 7(8), 98; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080098 - 08 Aug 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
This article argues that the emerging project of contemplative science will be best served if it is informed by two perspectives. First, attention should be paid not only to non-analytical and/or mindfulness-based practices, but to a fuller range of contemplative practices, including analytical [...] Read more.
This article argues that the emerging project of contemplative science will be best served if it is informed by two perspectives. First, attention should be paid not only to non-analytical and/or mindfulness-based practices, but to a fuller range of contemplative practices, including analytical styles of meditation. Second, the issue of ethics must be addressed as a framework within which to understand contemplative practice: both theoretically in order to understand better the practices themselves and the traditions they come from, and practically in order to understand the ways in which contemplative practices are deployed in contemporary societies. The Tibetan Buddhist Lojong (blo sbyong) tradition and secularized practices derived from it, which are now an area of study in contemplative science, are examined as a kind of case study in order to make these two points and illustrate their importance and relevance for the future of this emerging field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Science and the Study of Yoga and Tantra)
Article
The Dilemmas of Monogamy: Pleasure, Discipline and the Pentecostal Moral Self in the Republic of Benin
Religions 2016, 7(8), 102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080102 - 08 Aug 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2155
Abstract
Based on ethnographic research in the Republic of Benin, this article explores how Pentecostal teachings on marriage and the management of sexual pleasure contribute to shaping converts’ moral selves. For Pentecostals, fidelity towards God, when single and fidelity between partners, once married, is [...] Read more.
Based on ethnographic research in the Republic of Benin, this article explores how Pentecostal teachings on marriage and the management of sexual pleasure contribute to shaping converts’ moral selves. For Pentecostals, fidelity towards God, when single and fidelity between partners, once married, is presented as the ideal model of partnership to which every “Born-Again” should aspire. In the context where polygamous unions are socially accepted, Pentecostal pastors teach that a satisfactory sexual life restricted to marriage is the means of building successful monogamous unions. However, sexual satisfaction might not always guarantee marital success, especially when people face problems of infertility. The author suggests that the disciplinary regimes that these teachings promote contribute to shaping new modes of intimacy, which are compatible with societal changes but often contradict the extant social norms and ideals of reproduction. Moral dilemmas arising from this tension are the key to understanding how Pentecostal Christianity shapes the moral self. The article addresses how Pentecostals in Benin navigate and negotiate cultural continuities and discontinuities in relation to church authority and family life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the Individual: Belief, Practice, and Identity)
Article
Shmita Revolution: The Reclamation and Reinvention of the Sabbatical Year
Religions 2016, 7(8), 100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080100 - 08 Aug 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6934
Abstract
Jewish observance of shmita (alternatively spelled shemitah)—the sabbatical year, or seventh (sheviit) year—is changing. Historically rooted in agriculture, modern Jewish environmentalists are seizing upon the long-ignored environmental and social justice (tikkun olam) aspects of shmita as originally described in the five books of [...] Read more.
Jewish observance of shmita (alternatively spelled shemitah)—the sabbatical year, or seventh (sheviit) year—is changing. Historically rooted in agriculture, modern Jewish environmentalists are seizing upon the long-ignored environmental and social justice (tikkun olam) aspects of shmita as originally described in the five books of Moses, the Torah in the Hebrew Bible, the basis of Jewish law. Primary research was conducted through key-stakeholder interviews with leading American and Israeli Jewish environmentalists and thought leaders. They see shmita as a core Jewish value—one that, like Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath, has the power to transform society. Their work has brought shmita from an obscure law dealt with mainly by Israel’s Orthodox to a new Jewish ethos being discussed across the United States, Europe, Israel, and even on the floor of Knesset, Israel’s parliament. This article also describes shmita as delineated in the Torah and through the rabbinic canon of halacha (Jewish law), and explains shmita practice from biblical times to the present day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
Article
The Empire in the Provinces: The Case of Carinthia
Religions 2016, 7(8), 99; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080099 - 05 Aug 2016
Viewed by 1794
Abstract
This article examines the legacy of the Habsburg Monarchy in the First Austrian Republic, both in the capital, Vienna, and in the province of Carinthia. It concludes that Social Democracy, often cited as one of the six ingredients that held the old Empire [...] Read more.
This article examines the legacy of the Habsburg Monarchy in the First Austrian Republic, both in the capital, Vienna, and in the province of Carinthia. It concludes that Social Democracy, often cited as one of the six ingredients that held the old Empire together, took on distinct forms in the Republic’s different federal states. The scholarly literature on the post-1918 “heritage” of the Monarchy therefore needs to move beyond monolithic generalizations and toward regionally focused comparative studies. Full article
Article
Between Socialism and Feminism: Charlotte Glas (1873–1944)
Religions 2016, 7(8), 97; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080097 - 02 Aug 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
This article explores how Charlotte Glas, a founding member of the Austrian Social Democratic Party and a leading figure in the public sphere during the late imperial period, attempted to advance the cause of workers’ rights and women’s emancipation. Charged with lèse-majesté following [...] Read more.
This article explores how Charlotte Glas, a founding member of the Austrian Social Democratic Party and a leading figure in the public sphere during the late imperial period, attempted to advance the cause of workers’ rights and women’s emancipation. Charged with lèse-majesté following a public rally in 1893, and tried before a Viennese court, Glas was forced to confront both the repressive policies of the Habsburg state and the patriarchal practices of her society and her party. Ultimately, Glas chose to subordinate the fight for women’s suffrage to the broader socialist campaign for universal male suffrage. Her dilemmas as a woman, Jew and socialist were captured in the character of Therese Golowski in Arthur Schnitzler’s Der Weg ins Freie. Full article
Article
Screening Belief: The Life of Pi, Computer Generated Imagery, and Religious Imagination
Religions 2016, 7(8), 96; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080096 - 26 Jul 2016
Viewed by 5530
Abstract
Ang Lee’s The Life of Pi is based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name. The film expands upon the novel’s fantastic story through the integration of new visual metaphors that invite religious reflection, and is reinforced by religious rituals within and [...] Read more.
Ang Lee’s The Life of Pi is based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name. The film expands upon the novel’s fantastic story through the integration of new visual metaphors that invite religious reflection, and is reinforced by religious rituals within and beyond the film itself. Martel’s novel invites readers to believe Pi’s story without seeing it. Viewers of the film, by contrast, are invited to believe Pi’s story precisely because they are seeing it so vividly. Ang Lee constructs a filmic world using such elaborately developed CGI (computer-generated imagery) that the film exhibits only a vestigial relationship to the real-life animals and locations used in its creation. Indeed, it is impossible to make sense of the film’s extensive use of religious themes and rituals without understanding its use of immersive visual effects. For Ang Lee, the manufacture of a seamless, aesthetically appealing CGI world was a means of visually affirming the broadly conceived notions of interconnectedness and purpose that he borrowed from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Jewish mysticism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Film and Lived Theology)
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Article
Children’s Spiritual Lives: The Development of a Children’s Spirituality Measure
Religions 2016, 7(8), 95; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rel7080095 - 25 Jul 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3069
Abstract
Previous researchers who have studied children’s spirituality have often used narrow measures that do not account for the rich spiritual experiences of children within a multi-faith context. In the current study, we describe the initial stages of development of a children’s spirituality measure, [...] Read more.
Previous researchers who have studied children’s spirituality have often used narrow measures that do not account for the rich spiritual experiences of children within a multi-faith context. In the current study, we describe the initial stages of development of a children’s spirituality measure, in which items were derived from children’s spiritual narratives. An exploratory factor analysis of the items revealed three main factors, including Comfort (Factor 1), Omnipresence (Factor 2), and Duality (Factor 3). As rated by their parents, children from families that were more spiritual and religious had higher scores on the newly-developed measure. Limitations and future directions are discussed. Full article
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