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As China is being increasingly integrated into the global economy, more and more Chinese people live transnational lives and practice religion globally. So far scholarship of the relationship between religion and globalization in the Chinese religious field has primarily been set in the historical context of the encounter between Western Christian missionaries and local Chinese agents, and little is known about a global Chinese religious field that is in the making. The Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion volume 11: Chinese Religions Going Global seeks to challenge the dichotomous ordering of the western global and the Chinese local, and to add a new perspective for understanding religious modernity globally. Contributors from four continents who represent a range of specialisms apply social scientific methods in order to systematically research the globalization of Chinese religions.
This edited collection, Intersecting Religion and Sexuality: Sociological Perspectives, outlines what an intersectional analysis can offer research into religion and sexuality. It draws on various research projects which focus on different facets of this topic, such as queer sexualities, unmarried motherhood and heterosexuality, to explore how religion and sexuality intersect with each other, and with other identities such as ethnicity, gender and social class. Given the predominantly heteronormative nature of many religious traditions, marginality, power dynamics and inequalities are central to these interrogations. Intersectionality is an important theoretical lens through which to explore identities that are variously impacted by particular power dynamics and axes of privilege and disadvantage.
Author: Mirella Klomp
In what is often considered ‘a society “after God”’, millions of Dutch participate annually in a public multi-media performance of Christ's Passion. What to make of this paradox? In Playing On: Re-staging the Passion after the Death of God, Mirella Klomp offers a theological analysis of this performance and those involved in it. Working in an interdisciplinary fashion and utilizing creative interludes, she demonstrates how precisely this production of Jesus' last hours carves out a new and unexpected space for God in a (post-)secular culture. Klomp argues compellingly that understanding God's presence in the Western world requires looking beyond the church and at the public domain; that is the future of practical theology. She lays out this agenda for practical theology by showing how the Dutch playfully rediscover Christian tradition, and – perhaps – even God.
Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 31: A Diversity of Paradigms showcases two approaches to the socio-scientific study of religion. It includes a special section within which authors draw on data collected about congregational life in the Australian National Church Life Surveys (from 1991 to present). These studies give voice to minority groups and children. While findings include the strengths of ethnic diversity and the positive experiences of young churchgoers, they also highlight that full inclusion in local church life is far from being realized. A second section explores the application of feminist approaches within the sociology of religion. In their struggle for equality for women, feminist scholars developed methodologies to challenge the marginality of any ‘othered’ group. This section showcases how use of these methods challenges hierarchies within knowledge.
The Distribution of Wealth and the Making of Social Relations in Northern Nigeria
Author: Dauda Abubakar
In ‘They Love Us Because We Give Them’ Zakāt, Dauda Abubakar describes the practice of Zakāt in northern Nigeria. Those who practice this pillar of Islam annually deduct Zakāt from their wealth and distribute it to the poor and needy people within their vicinity, mostly their friends, relatives and neighbours.
The practice of giving and receiving Zakāt in northern Nigeria often leads to the establishment of social relations between the rich and needy. Dauda Abubakar provides details of the social relationship in the people’s interpersonal dealings with one another that often lead to power relations, high table relations etc. The needy reciprocate the Zakāt they collect in many ways, respecting and given high positions to the rich in society.
Money, Pride, and Soul-Searching
Author: Yuting Wang
Handbook of Hinduism in Europe portrays and analyses how Hindu traditions have expanded across the continent, and presents the main Hindu communities, religious groups, forms, practices and teachings. The Handbook does this in two parts, Part One covers historical and thematic topics which are of importance for understanding Hinduism in Europe as a whole and Part Two has chapters on Hindu traditions in every country in Europe. Hindu traditions have a long history of interaction with Europe, but the developments during the last fifty years represent a new phase. Globalization and increased ease of communication have led to the presence of a great plurality of Hindu traditions. Hinduism has become one of the major religions in Europe and is present in every country of the continent.
Russian Orthodoxy and Secularism surveys the ways in which the Russian Orthodox Church has negotiated its relationship with the secular state, with other religions, and with Western modernity from its beginnings until the present. It applies multiple theoretical perspectives and draws on different disciplinary approaches to explain the varied and at times contradictory facets of Russian Orthodoxy as a state church or as a critic of the state, as a lived religion or as a civil religion controlled by the state, as a source of dissidence during Communism or as a reservoir of anti-Western, anti-modernist ideas that celebrate the uniqueness and superiority of the Russian nation. Kristina Stoeckl argues that, three decades after the fall of Communism, the period of post-Soviet transition is over for Russian Orthodoxy and that the Moscow Patriarchate has settled on its role as national church and provider of a new civil religion of traditional values.
In Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism, W. Paul Williamson takes a critical look at the sociohistorical emergence of fundamentalism and examines how historians constructed popular, though questionable, conceptions of the movement that have dominated decades of empirical research in psychology. He further analyzes the notions of militancy and anti-modernity as valid characterizations of fundamentalism and examines whether fundamentalism, as a Christian Protestant phenomenon, is useful in labelling global forms of religious extremism and violence. In observing the lack of theory-driven research, the publication offers theories that situate fundamentalism as a social psychological phenomenon as opposed to some personal predisposition. Students and scholars of fundamentalism will discover Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism to be a provocative study on the topic.
The Dispute over Israel's Holiest Jewish Site, 1967–2000
The Western Wall—Judaism’s holiest site—occupies a prominent position in contemporary Jewish and Israeli discourse, current events, and local politics. In The Western Wall: The Dispute over Israel's Holiest Jewish Site, 1967–2000, Kobi Cohen-Hattab and Doron Bar offer a detailed exploration of the Western Wall plaza’s evolution in the late twentieth century. The examination covers the role of archaeology in defining the space, the Western Wall’s transformation as an Israeli and Jewish symbol, and the movement to open it to a variety of Jewish denominations. The book studies the central processes and shifts that took place at the Western Wall during the three decades that followed the Six-Day War—a relatively short yet crucial chapter in Jerusalem's extensive history.