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Abstract

Since 9/11 Jürgen Habermas has paid considerable attention to religion in the public sphere. He has described contemporary Western societies as ‘post-secular’, arguing that believers and non-believers should show a mutually cooperative attitude and engage in complementary learning processes. Although public theologians have urged for policies that would encourage such collaboration, public administration scholars and practitioners seem to have completely neglected this call. In this article we inquire into the possibility of a ‘post-secular public administration’, which grants a more significant place to beneficial forms of religion in modern societies. By presenting a case study on Street Pastors in the British night-time economy we offer an example of both a post-secular religious contribution to the public sphere, as envisaged by Habermas, and a piece of post-secular empirical social science research. Finally, we critically assess Habermas’ post-secular turn within the context of a cross-narrative between public theology and public administration.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

The mutual relationship between demography and religion is explored in this paper through a comparison of the two largest Jewish populations worldwide: the U.S. and Israel. Special attention is devoted to the younger adult population – the Millennials – operationalized here as ages 18 to 29 and divided into three sub age groups. Data come from the Pew Research Center’s surveys of Jewish Americans in 2013 and of Israelis in 2015. After a short review of the main demographic differences between the two Jewish populations, the paper focuses on the multiple possible meanings and contents of Jewishness. The paper explores age-related differences regarding indicators of contemporary Jewish identity: religiosity, peoplehood and nationalism. We discover that young Jewish adults – the Millennials – in Israel and in the U.S., especially those 18–21 years old, are more likely than their elders to view their Jewishness mainly as a matter of religion rather than as a culture or ethnicity. Emerging similarities and differentials between Jews in Israel and in the U.S. are interpreted in the light of general theories of demographic change and religious identification, and are related to specific events and developments that have affected Jews in the two countries and their mutual relationships.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

The Hindu population in Bangladesh declined from 22% to 9% from 1951–2011. This paper analyses longitudinal data from the Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System for 1989–2016 to quantify the role of fertility, mortality, and international migration in explaining differential growth rates between Muslims and Hindus. The Hindu population has been growing at a slower rate than adherents of other religions, resulting in a decline in their relative share in the national population. Hindus have lower fertility, higher mortality and higher international out-migration rates than Muslims. According to this analysis, between 1989 and 2016, 54% of lower Hindu growth may be attributable to international out-migration; 41% is attributable to lower fertility, and 5% is attributable to higher mortality. The contribution of migration has declined over time and in last 20 years, lower fertility of Hindus was the primary contributing factor (over 70%) to their declining share of the country’s population.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

Indonesia – home to the world’s largest Muslim population – is an ethnically diverse archipelago with sizeable non-Muslim communities. There is a dearth of demographic study on how religions shape patterns of marriage partnerships in Indonesia. We use full enumeration data from the 2010 Indonesian Population Census to examine the incidence, regional variation, pairing patterns, and socio-demographic correlates of interreligious marriage (irm). We derived a subset of over 47 million co-resident heads of household and their spouses from the 2010 Census. About 228,778 couples (0.5%) were enumerated as having different faiths at the time of the Census. Rates of irm are higher in ethnically diverse provinces. Such findings are likely to underestimate the prevalence of interreligious marriage due to existing regulations and norms that effectively discourage irm, and the associated practice of pre-marital conversions. Our multivariate analysis focused on three provinces with the highest rates of irm: Jakarta, North Sumatra, and West Kalimantan. In Jakarta and North Sumatra, the likelihood of irm is higher among non-Muslims and among those at the higher end of the education spectrum. In these provinces, the likelihood of irm is lower among younger birth cohorts, supporting speculation about stronger institutional barriers against irm over time. This is the first study attempting to derive national and regional estimates of patterns of irm in Indonesia. Given the increasing polemics related to irm and the Indonesian Marriage Law, setting out this research is an important initial step for further study of this issue.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

We present estimates of how Muslim populations in Europe increased between 2010 and 2016 and projections of how they will continue to grow under three migration scenarios. If all migration were to immediately and permanently stop – a “zero migration” scenario – the Muslim population of Europe still would be expected to rise from the current level of 4.9% to 7.4% by the year 2050 because Muslims are younger (by 13 years, on average) and have higher fertility (one child more per woman, on average) than other Europeans. A second, “medium” migration scenario assumes all refugee flows stopped as of mid-2016 but that recent levels of “regular” migration to Europe will continue. Under these conditions, Muslims could reach 11.2% of Europe’s population in 2050. Finally, a “high” migration scenario projects the record flow of refugees into Europe between 2014 and 2016 to continue indefinitely into the future with the same religious composition (i.e., mostly made up of Muslims) in addition to the typical annual flow of regular migrants. In this scenario, Muslims could make up 14% of Europe’s population by 2050. Refugee flows around 2015, however, were extremely high and already have begun to decline as the European Union and many of its member states have made refugee policy changes.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

The following tables represent the results of analysis of data on religion for all of the countries of the world which appear in the World Religion Database (Johnson and Grim 2008). These data are collected at the national level from a number of sources including censuses, surveys, polls, religious communities, scholars, and others.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography
A Unity Only God Wants
In Racial Integration in the Church of Apartheid Marthe Hesselmans uncovers the post-apartheid transformation of South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church. This church once constituted the religious pillar of the Afrikaner apartheid regime (1948-1994). Today, it seeks to unite the communities it long segregated into one multiracial institution. Few believe this will succeed. A close look inside congregations reveals unexpected stories of reconciliation though. Where South Africans realize they need each other to survive, faith offers common ground – albeit a feeble one. They show the potential, but also the limits of faith communities untangling entrenched national and racial affiliations. Linking South Africa’s post-apartheid transition to religious-nationalist movements worldwide, Hesselmans offers a unique perspective on religion as source of division and healing.

Abstract

Expressions of anger can be observed all over South Africa and by individuals and groups from different social, economic and racial backgrounds. In this article the argument is advanced that such expressions of anger can be expressions of love and signs of hope showing that people still care. Therefore, anger should not be avoided, but instead be embraced and channelled for positive ends. This article furthermore develops an argument in favour of the celebration of angry liturgies and the preaching of angry sermons as an integral part of the on-going road towards reconciliation and healing after apartheid in general and in particular it reflects on sermons preached in Afrikaans Reformed churches in South Africa on the theme of anger between 2010 and 2015. By means of content analysis, and specifically Grounded Theory, the collected sermons were analysed and a homiletical theory for praxis regarding angry preaching developed. In conclusion the theory for praxis is presented as homiletical route markers for angry preaching as one way of liturgically embracing and meaningfully channelling anger.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article deals with a theological approach to the issue of climate change and examines some of the misconceptions found within Christianity with regards the environment. These distortions of understanding can be traced back to the way in which salvation is articulated and perceived. In the circumstances it becomes a pressing public task to consider the key biblical conceptions of salvation. Of critical significance is how the salvific tradition is understood to be corporate rather than individualistic. That is so right from the beginning of Israel’s redemptive history and carries through the biblical material to include God’s redemptive work in Christ which is itself extended through to the rest of creation. The current mitigation measures (and their limitations) with regards to climate change are critically evaluated alongside these salvific claims.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology