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Author: Zhaoyuan WAN
WAN Zhaoyuan analyses how Chinese intellectuals conceived of the relationship between ‘science’ and ‘religion’ through in-depth examination of the writings of Kang Youwei, a prominent political reformer and radical Confucian thinker, often referred to by his disciples as the ‘Martin Luther of Confucianism’.
Confronted with the rise of scientism and challenged by the Conflict Thesis during his life among adversarial Chinese New Culture intellectuals, Kang maintains a holistic yet evolving conception of a compatible and complementary relationship between scientific knowledge and ‘true religion’ exemplified by his Confucian religion ( kongjiao). This close analysis of Kang’s ideas contributes to a richer understanding of the history of science and religion in China and in a more global context.
Apocalypticism, Messianism, and Utopianism through the Ages
In times of crises, be it about climate change, the pandemic corona virus, or democratic struggles, there is an unwaning interest worldwide in the end of times and related themes such as apocalypticism, messianism, and utopianism. This concerns scholarship and society alike, and is by no means limited to the religious field.
The present volume collates essays from specialists in the study of apocalyptic and eschatological subjects. With its interdisciplinary approach, it is designed to overcome the existing Euro-centrism and incorporate a broader perspective to the topic of end time expectations in the Christian Middle Ages as well as in East Asia and Africa.
Contributors include: Gaelle Bosseman, Wolfram Brandes, Matthias Gebauer, Jürgen Gebhardt, Vincent Goossaert, Klaus Herbers, Matthias Kaup, Bernardo Bertholin Kerr, Thomas Krümpel, Richard Landes, Zhao Lu, Rolf Scheuermann, and Julia Eva Wannenmacher.
In: Endowment Studies
Author: Sarah Epping

Abstract

Between 1910 and 1917, the Students’ Christian Association of the University of Michigan sent out six alumni to go to Basra, Iraq, to do what they perceived to be humanitarian work. This study looks at the various fundraising mediums used by the organizers of this so-called “Michigan in Arabia” venture to convince potential donors to give the necessary funds. By analyzing these sources this study shows how a campus organization that ostensibly aimed to help the inhabitants of Basra instead functioned to cultivate Americans’ interests in the potential of this Persian Gulf city as a base for furthering U.S. power in the Middle East. It is important to study this short-lived U.S. engagement in Iraq because by cultivating incipient U.S. imperialism in the region, the Michigan venture provides a historical foundation for the emergence of U.S. economic, political, and strategic interests in Iraq in the long run.

In: Endowment Studies

Abstract

This article explores aspects of Middle Eastern and North African (mena) Jewry in the first half of the twentieth century through their engagement with philanthropy. Specifically, this article demonstrates how many urban Jewish communities in mena adopted and adapted Western European philanthropic structures to fit the needs of their local communities by engaging with multiple public spheres (Jewish, Arab, imperial) that were, at times, in conflict with each other. By highlighting the transnational nature of mena Jewry in the twentieth century, this article demonstrates the importance of philanthropic networks as an articulation of power and social status. Finally, this piece suggests that local Jewish philanthropic initiatives can act as a prism by which we understand power structures within transnational religious networks.

In: Endowment Studies
Author: Astrid Meier

Abstract

The aim of this article is to highlight the political uses of the legal concept of waqf in a confrontation between an Orthodox and a Catholic institution during the initial phase of the schism within the Church of Antioch. The Monastery of St Catherine at Mount Sinai confronted the hospice of the Franciscans in the court of the Chief Judge of the province of Damascus in 1145/1733. The legal aspects of the lawsuit are an interesting example of the use of the Ottoman judiciary by non-Muslims, but in order to understand the political implications of the case, it needs to be analysed in the broader context of the religious and political tensions of the time. Therefore, a sketch of the history of both monasteries and their endowments is supplemented with a chapter on the role of Sylvestros, Patriarch of Antioch, in Damascus and an examination of the French and Spanish interests within this Ottoman context.

In: Endowment Studies
Author: Mina Ibrahim

Abstract

This contribution endeavors to show that building and administrating Coptic charitable associations according to the laws of the Egyptian Ministry of Social Affairs (mosa) does not mean allying with or challenging one of the two institutions that claim control over the Coptic Christian ethics of giving in Egypt: the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate and the Egyptian government. Especially since my interlocutors are simultaneously integral subjects of the waqf properties (endowments, i.e. the parishes) administered by the institutional Church, they are less interested in negotiating a true definition of such a practice. Beyond the power dynamics that have played out over the orthodoxy of religious practices and that are intensively analyzed in existing literature, I argue that maintaining relations with the two official entities that govern Christian charity in Egypt invites thinking about interactions developed within the context of a heavenly community. Instead of focusing on the competition of who holds and authorizes the better form of the Coptic Christian tradition of khidma (service), I suggest that the interactions with this divine community are sometimes intertwined with overlooked invisible and inaudible meanings of dissent and activism among members of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East.

In: Endowment Studies

Abstract

This contribution aims to look through a common lens at two important components of early modern Ottoman society, namely the endowment system and the institution of slavery. The relationship and intersections of these two fields will be examined on the basis of Istanbul’s court records from the second half of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, in order to pursue the question of where and how (manumitted) slaves could benefit from endowments. The examination of individual cases found in the court records provides information about possible ways in which (former) slaves took on different roles and benefited from the charitable intentions of the founders of endowments.

In: Endowment Studies
Tracing Their Paths, Reassessing Their Goals
This book collects fifteen essays and book sections about the Jesuits in India written over a period of more than thirty years. Many of these pieces, unavailable for years, now appear together for the first time. The essays open a window on the 450-year Jesuit history in India, from Roberto de Nobili in the seventeenth century to the leading Jesuit scholars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The volume looks back into this long missionary history, but Clooney’s eye is also on the question of relevance today: How ought interreligious learning take place in the twenty-first century?

“Western Jesuit Scholars in India is a fascinating collection of studies of 17th-21st century Jesuit writings in and about classical India. By his methods and questions, Francis Clooney, Indologist and Jesuit theologian, exposes certain aporias and deficiencies latent in Indology. It concludes with a notable proposal of an interfaith sensibility.”
Gérard Colas, Directeur de recherche émérité, Centre National de la Recherche scientifique, Paris

“Francis X. Clooney’s Western Jesuit Scholars in India is that of a humanist. He is not only a studious and assiduous reader of texts in languages and intellectual idioms that few scholars are capable of untangling, but is also committed to finding deep human and spiritual connections, detecting the intellectual empathies and affinities that the Jesuit missionaries had labored to bring out in their writings over half a millennium. With a clear and engaging pen, impressive erudition, and intellectual humility before the truly difficult task, Clooney studies what is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating chapters in Jesuit intellectual history, the encounter with Indian philosophical and textual traditions. Seekers of knowledge and cultural understanding of all stripes will find in this book plenty of wisdom, some surprises, and a large historical canvas stretching from Italy to India and back, and beyond.”
Ines G. Županov, Senior Fellow, Centre d’études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud, CNRS, Paris
In: Western Jesuit Scholars in India