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Jeroen Temperman

Article 20(2) of the un’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (iccpr) is an odd human rights clause. It provides that “[a]ny advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.” Accordingly, this provision does not appear to codify a fundamental right but rather a sui generis state obligation. The present article aims at providing a legal taxonomy of this international incitement clause, ultimately also answering the question as to whether, despite its unique formulation as speech prohibition, it contains a justiciable right to protection from incitement.

Arif A. Jamal and Jaclyn L. Neo

This essay introduces the Special Issue of the Journal. It discusses how changing religious demographics and heightened religious plurality are challenging existing thinking about, and patterns of, state-religion relations and the nature of the ‘secular state’. The essay briefly surveys each of the papers in the Special Issue and highlights that one of the key lessons that emerges from the papers is the importance of context. As the contexts evolve, fresh thinking and new arrangements would be needed.

Yoko Hayami

Abstract

The success story of nineteenth-century Baptist missionary work among minority ethnic groups in Burma was one well-known facet of the early beginnings of modern Protestant missions. Behind this success was the extensive travel and evangelizing work done by native Karen Christians. In the face of the unexpected speed and zeal with which the Karen converts spread the gospel, to which I apply the term “culture of evangelism”, the Baptist mission in Burma was formed through an interactive process of continual self-reformulation, negotiation, and compromise on crucial matters such as baptism, ordination, self-support, division of roles, and language use. This has had far-reaching effects in shaping the Baptist churches in Myanmar today.

Benno van den Toren and Klaas L. Bom

Abstract

This article explores the importance of “action research” and “participatory research” (ar and pr) for intercultural theology. After introducing these research strategies, it provides a theological rationale for their use in intercultural theology: (1) they move beyond false dichotomies between theoretical and practical theology; (2) they understand professional theologians as part of communities of believers; and (3) they allow for intercultural encounters which approach “the other” as partners in research rather than merely objects of research. Using the example of a research project which studies attitudes to the interface between science and Christian faith among African university students and academics, the article considers three crucial issues for the value and use of ar and pr in intercultural theology: (1) the intrinsic motivation of the partners for intercultural research projects, (2) the role of shared visions of change and (3) the question of truth implied in visions of human flourishing.1

Mona Abdel-Fadil

The Norwegian Facebook page Yes to Wearing the Cross Whenever and Wherever I Choose was initially created to protest the prohibition of the cross for nrk news anchors. Yet, many of the discussions and audience interactions transpired into heated religio-political debates with strong elements of anti-Muslim, xenophobic, anti-secular, and anti-atheist sentiments. This study aims to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the interplay between media and religion by providing new insights on the variety of ways in which media audiences may ‘add a series of dynamics to conflicts, namely, amplification, framing and performative agency, and co-structuring’ and ‘perform conflict’, as formulated by Hjarvard et al. It is argued that mediatized conflicts with inherent trigger themes, which tug at core religio-political identity issues, also tend to evoke emotional responses, which, in turn, inspire social media users to perform the conflict in ways that multiply the conflict(s).

Knut Lundby, Stig Hjarvard, Mia Lövheim and Haakon H. Jernsletten

Based on a comparative project on media and religion across Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, this article analyzes relationships between religiosity and political attitudes in Scandinavia and how these connect with attitudes regarding the representation of Islam in various media. Data comes from population-wide surveys conducted in the three countries in April 2015. Most Scandinavians relate ‘religion’ with conflict, and half of the population perceives Islam as a threat to their national culture. Scandinavians thus perceive religion in terms of political tensions and predominantly feel that news media should serve a critical function towards Islam and religious conflicts. Finally, the results of the empirical analysis are discussed in view of the intertwined processes of politicization of Islam and mediatization of religion.