In the following article, I aim to provide an insight into the Islamic understanding of death as perceived by a typical Indonesian Muslim family in South Sumatra. The discussion on what it means to die a good death is used as a central theme to introduce the Islamic rituals and practices surrounding death. I pay special attention to the signs observed by the members of the family while accompanying the dying person and examine how these are grounded in the particular religioscape of South Sumatra. The article is written at the crossroad of area studies and Islamic theology.
Palestine of the 1920s was a country in transformation. Arabs and Jews were striving to build their separate national communities on the same land amid a bitter rivalry between them, under a recently installed colonial government that had its own geostrategic interests. The mighty earthquake that inflicted death and devastation on the country in July 1927 confronted all of these actors at an early stage of advancing their respective agendas, and presented a serious test to all of them. The article examines the quake’s impact on the Palestinians, the dual Jewish community (Zionist and “old yishuv”), Arab-Jewish relations, and the country’s British imperial administration, and scrutinizes their respective handling of the challenge. Employing the natural disaster as a prism, it sheds a focused light on the dilemmas and choices of these actors at that early phase of Palestine’s mandatory history
When compared to its relative success in the Southern and Western parts of Nigeria, Seventh-Day Adventism (S.D.A.) had some difficulties in establishing its mission in the North from the 1930s onward. This paper argues that there were three reasons why S.D.A. missionaries found the North difficult. First, the S.D.A. joined the Christian missionary scene in Nigeria rather late. Second, due to colonial politics, which did not favor the proselytizing aims of Christian missionaries in the North, Adventist missionaries did not find it easy to immediately establish a mission. Third, the difficult beginnings in northern Nigeria can also be attributed to the relationship between S.D.A. missionaries and other mission bodies, which tended towards rivalry, as a result of the “spheres of influence” established by the colonial government.
The worrisome growth of nationalism and ethnicism worldwide emphasizes the distance between state and nation, geographical borders, and the sense of a shared common project, which is at the heart of nation-building. The problem is not new, as the ancient writings of Israel testify. The question of what constitutes Israelite identity is central to post-exilic books, where exclusive-isolationistic and inclusive attitudes are clearly contraposed.
Against this background, the paper explores the relationship between identity construction and nation-building, through an intercultural reading of Isaiah 56–66. Furthermore, it examines the relevance of the literary unit for contemporary Ghanaian society where ethnic divisions seem to compromise nation-building and development. The text challenges Ghanaian Christians to employ a language of inclusion; to recognize the ‘other’ as a specific message of God; to go beyond accidental attributes such as ethnicity, gender, or race, to discover the image and likeness of God reflected in her/his countenance.