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In Theologising with the Sacred ‘Prostitutes’ of South India, Eve Rebecca Parker theologises with the Dalit women who from childhood have been dedicated to village goddesses and used as ‘sacred’ sex workers. Parker uses ethnographic, anthropological, theological, hermeneutical and historical research and analysis in order to critically engage with the lived religiosity and daily struggles of the dedicated women, known as devadāsīs. In doing so, she works towards an Indecent Dalit Liberation Theology that challenges systems of oppression and cultures of impunity, including casteism, sexism, classism and a history of socio-political and religious marginalisation. The result is a profound theologising of struggle and resistance with the sexual narratives of the oppressed.
Volume Editors: Martha Frederiks and Dorottya Nagy
World Christianity publications proliferate but the issue of methodology has received little attention. World Christianity: Methodological Considerations addresses this lacuna and explores the methodological ramifications of the World Christianity turn. In twelve chapters scholars from various academic backgrounds (anthropology, religious studies, history, missiology, intercultural studies, theology, and patristics) as well as of multiple cultural and national belongings investigate methodological issues (e.g. methods, use of sources, choosing a unit of analysis, terminology, conceptual categories,) relevant to World Christianity debates. In a closing chapter the editors Frederiks and Nagy converge the findings and sketch the outlines of what they coin as a ‘World Christianity approach’, a multidisciplinary and multiple perspective approach to study Christianity/ies’ plurality and diversity in past and present.
In: Journal of Religion and Demography

Abstract

This article investigates the fertility of female immigrants to Europe in relation to the characteristics of individual women (n=1,667), their countries of origin in Africa, Asia and Latin-America (n=68) and the European country where they reside (n=22), using the European Social Survey (ESS) collected between 2010 and 2017 (rounds 5 to 8). Many immigrants have fertility outcomes that converge towards the native fertility of their country of residence in Europe, a surprisingly strong factor. Immigrants from Muslim countries have higher fertility, though, and they compress their fertility over fewer years than immigrants from Christian countries. Multivariate estimates indicate that the effects of fertility rates and religious composition of countries of origin and individual religiousness are of similar magnitude for post-migration fertility rates. The highest fertility outcomes are found among highly religious immigrants from Muslim countries migrating to relatively high fertility countries in Europe at an early fertile age.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography
Author: Daniel L. Chen

Abstract

This paper builds and tests a model of marriage as an incomplete contract that arises from asymmetric virginity premiums and examines whether this can lead to social inefficiencies. Contrary to the efficient households hypothesis, women cannot prevent being appropriated by men once they enter marriage if they command lower marriage market opportunities upon divorce. Because men cannot or do not commit to compensating women for their lower ex post marriage market opportunities, marriage is an incomplete contract. Men may seek to lower women’s ex ante “market wages” in order to induce entry into joint production. Inefficient or abusive marriages are less likely to separate. Equalizing virginity premiums may reduce domestic and non-domestic violence.

Female circumcision and prices women pay doctors to appear virgin before marriage in many countries suggest asymmetric virginity premiums continue to exist. Evidence from China and the US suggest asymmetric virginity premiums persist over economic development. Asymmetric virginity premiums are strongly positively correlated with female but not male virginity premiums. I use variation in religious upbringing to help estimate the effect of virginity premiums on gender violence in the US. The OLS relationship between virginity premiums and female reports of forced sex may be biased downwards if shame is associated with abuse and this shame is greater for women with higher virginity premiums. But the OLS relationship for males might not be biased downwards. Asymmetric virginity premiums are positively correlated with men forcing sex on women and paying women for sex. The model complements a growing empirical literature on inefficient households and human rights abuses, visible manifestations of female appropriability across time and space.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

Abstract

This article offers analysis of religious affiliation for 18 categories of religion for the globe and six continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Northern America, and Oceania. Estimates of religious affiliation are made for four dates, 1970, 2000, 2020, and projections for 2030. Annual average growth rates are provided for two 30-year periods, 1970–2000 and 2000–2030. These global and continental tables are aggregated from country data in the World Religion Database.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

Abstract

There is lack of studies of global variation in religious affiliation alongside environmental change worldwide. The aim of the current study is to help fill this gap by exploring variation in religious affiliation alongside environmental change worldwide. We study this relationship by analysing religious affiliation, a variety of environmental stressors and environmental outcomes.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography
Charles Taylor and Zen Buddhism in the West
In Reimagining Zen in a Secular Age André van der Braak offers an account of the exciting but also problematic encounter between enchanted Japanese Zen Buddhism and secular Western modernity over the past century, using Charles Taylor’s magnum opus A Secular Age as an interpretative lens.

As the tenuous compromises of various forms of “Zen modernism” are breaking down today, new imaginings of Zen are urgently needed that go beyond both a Romantic mystical Zen and a secular “mindfulness” Zen. As a Zen scholar-practitioner, André van der Braak shows that the Zen philosophy of the 13th century Zen master Dōgen offers much resources for new hermeneutical, embodied, non-instrumental and communal approaches to contemporary Zen theory and practice in the West.
In: Reimagining Zen in a Secular Age
In: Reimagining Zen in a Secular Age