Evolution, Cognition, and the History of Religion: A New Synthesis comprises 41 chapters that push for a new way of conducting the study of religion, thereby, transforming the discipline into a genuine science of religion. The recent resurgence of evolutionary approaches on culture and the increasing acknowledgement in the natural and social sciences of culture’s and religion’s evolutionary importance calls for a novel epistemological and theoretical framework for studying these two areas. The chapters explore how a new scholarly synthesis, founded on the triadic space constituted by evolution, cognition, cultural and ecological environment, may develop. Different perspectives and themes relating to this overarching topic are taken up with a main focus on either evolution, cognition, and/or the history of religion.
Historically, all societies have used comparison to analyze cultural difference through the interaction of religion, power, and translation. When comparison is a self-reflective practice, it can be seen as a form of comparatism. Many scholars are concerned in one way or another with the practice and methods of comparison, and the need for a cognitively robust relativism is an integral part of a mature historical self-placement. This volume looks at how different theories and practices of writing and interpretation have developed at different times in different cultures and reconsiders the specificities of modern comparative approaches within a variety of comparative moments. The idea is to reconsider the specificities, the obstacles, and the possibilities of modern comparative approaches in history and anthropology through a variety of earlier and parallel comparative horizons. Particular attention is given to the exceptional role of Athens and Jerusalem in shaping the Western understanding of cultural difference.
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History 12 (CMR 12) covering the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas in the period 1700-1800 is a further volume in a general history of relations between the two faiths from the 7th century to the early 20th century. It comprises a series of introductory essays and also the main body of detailed entries which treat all the works, surviving or lost, that have been recorded. These entries provide biographical details of the authors, descriptions and assessments of the works themselves, and complete accounts of manuscripts, editions, translations and studies. The result of collaboration between numerous leading scholars, CMR 12, along with the other volumes in this series, is intended as a basic tool for research in Christian-Muslim relations.
Section Editors: Clinton Bennett, Luis F. Bernabe Pons, Jaco Beyers, Emanuele Colombo, Karoline Cook, Sinéad Cussen, Lejla Demiri, Martha Frederiks, David D. Grafton, Stanisław Grodź, Alan Guenther, Emma Gaze Loghin, Gordon Nickel, Claire Norton, Reza Pourjavady, Douglas Pratt, Radu Păun, Charles Ramsey, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Mehdi Sajid, Cornelia Soldat, Karel Steenbrink, Ann Thomson, Carsten Walbiner
The relationship between religion and dance is as old as humankind. Contemporary methods for studying this relationship date back a century. The difference between these two time frames is significant: scholars are still developing theories and methods capable of illuminating this vast history that take account of their limited place within it.
A History of Theory and Method in the Study of Religion and Dance takes on a primary challenge of doing so: overcoming a conceptual dichotomy between “religion” and “dance” forged in the colonial era that justified western Christian hostility towards dance traditions across six continents over six centuries. Beginning with its enlightenment roots, LaMothe narrates a selective history of this dichotomy, revealing its ongoing work in separating dance studies from religious studies. Turning to the Bushmen of the African Kalahari, LaMothe introduces an ecokinetic approach that provides scholars with conceptual resources for mapping the generative interdependence of phenomena that appear as “dance” and/or “religion.”
L’Hymnaire manichéen chinois offre un ensemble de 25 hymnes destinées à la pratique de la religion manichéenne par la Section des Auditeurs. Mis au jour à Dunhuang (actuel Gansu) au début du 20ème siècle, après être resté enfoui dans une cache pendant quelque douze siècles, ce rouleau écrit en langue chinoise, comprend plusieurs hymnes transcrites de diverses langues courantes en Asie centrale à l’époque de sa rédaction.
Cette traduction apporte une vision nouvelle de la Religion de Lumière, telle qu’elle se vit adoptée par les Chinois, ainsi que de l’ampleur du message du prophète iranien Mani (216-276), aspirant à une portée universelle et destiné à relier entre eux les hommes de tous horizons de par le monde, quelque soit leur origine, leur langue ou leur histoire.
L’Hymnaire manichéen chinois presents a collection of twenty-five hymns that were intended for the Manichean religious practice of the class of Auditors. The scroll, which came to light in the early twentieth century in the province of Dunhuang (modern Ganzu) after lying buried for around twelve centuries, contains several hymns transcribed from a variety of languages that were current in Central Asia during the epoch of its redaction. This translation provides a new perspective on the Religion of Light as it was adopted in China, and on the wide reach of the message of the Iranian prophet Mani (216-276) that aimed at universal scope and was meant to unite people from all parts of the world, of whatever origin, language and history.
Converts in the Dead Sea Scrolls examines the meaning of the term
gēr in the Dead Sea Scrolls. While often interpreted as a resident alien, this study of the term as it is employed within scriptural rewriting in the Dead Sea Scrolls concludes that the
gēr is a Gentile convert to Judaism. Contrasting the
gēr in the Dead Sea Scrolls against scriptural predecessors, Carmen Palmer finds that a conversion is possible by means of mutable ethnicity. Furthermore, mutable features of ethnicity in the sectarian movement affiliated with the Dead Sea Scrolls include shared kinship, connection to land, and common culture in the practice of circumcision. The sectarian movement is not as closed toward Gentiles as has been commonly considered.
For the writers and artists in
In-Between Identities: Signs of Islam in Contemporary American Writing, contemporary Muslim American identity is neither singular nor fixed. Rather than dismiss the tradition in favor of more secular approaches, however, all of the figures here discover in Muhammad’s revelation resources for affirming such uncertainty. For them, the Qur’anic notion of a divine “sign” validates creation, even that creativity born of contrasting if not competing assumptions about identity. To develop this claim, individual chapters in the book discuss Muslim faith in the work of poets Naomi Shihab Nye, Kazim Ali, Tyson Amir and Amir Sulaiman; novelists Mohja Kahf, Rabih Alameddine, and Willow Wilson; illustrator Sandow Birk; playwright Ayad Akhtar; and the online record of the
30 Mosques in 30 Days project.
The traditions and institutions that we call religions abound with references to the supernatural: ancestral spirits, karma, the afterlife, miracles, revelation, deities, etc. How are students of religion to approach the behaviors, doctrines, and beliefs that refer to such phenomena, which by their very nature are supposed to defy the methods of empirical research and the theories of historical scholarship? That is the question of methodological naturalism.
The Question of Methodological Naturalism offers ten thoughtful engagements with that perennial question for the academic study of religion. Contributors include established senior scholars and newer voices propounding a range of perspectives, resulting in both surprising points of convergence and irreconcilable differences in how our shared discipline should be conceptualized and practiced.
Martin Buber: His Intellectual and Scholarly Legacy is a collection of contemporary reflections on one of the most pivotal figures of modern Jewish thought. Born in Austria and reared in Galicia, Buber (1878-1965) became a spiritual representative of Judaism in German culture before emigrating to Jerusalem on the brink of the Shoah. His prolific writings on matters spanning the Hebrew Bible and New Testament to Hasidism and Zionism inspired diverse audiences throughout the world. In this volume, Sam Berrin Shonkoff has curated an illuminating array of essays on Buber’s thought by leading intellectuals from five different countries. Their treatments of Buber’s dialogues with Christianity, politics, philosophy, and Judaism exhibit Buber’s ramified legacy and will surely stimulate fruitful discussion in our own time.
The Rites Controversies in the Early Modern World is a collection of fourteen articles focusing on debates concerning the nature of “rites” raging in intellectual circles of Europe, Asia and America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The controversy started in Jesuit Asian missions where the method of accommodation, based on translation of Christianity into Asian cultural idioms, created a distinction between civic and religious customs. Civic customs were defined as those that could be included into Christianity and permitted to the new converts. However, there was no universal consensus among the various actors in these controversies as to how to establish criteria for distinguishing civility from religion. The controversy had not been resolved, but opened the way to radical religious scepticism.
Contributors are: Claudia Brosseder, Michela Catto, Gita Dharampal-Frick, Pierre Antoine Fabre, Ana Carolina Hosne, Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, Giuseppe Marcocci, Ovidiu Olar, Sabina Pavone, István Perczel, Nicholas Standaert, Margherita Trento, Guillermo Wilde and Ines G. Županov.