This article describes three different readings of the creation story of Eve and Adam, occurring over the life span of Henny Dons, a Protestant Christian and first-wave feminist in early-twentieth-century Norway. I discuss her changing understandings of this creation account over the course of her life. More broadly I explore her approach to biblical reading (as receiving, arranging, and iterating) and how this shaped her as a religious feminist subject. I argue that what is going on in her iterated re-readings is not fully captured by the frame of self-cultivation. Rather, this religious feminist subject shows us a series of woman-word operations that receive and arrange a variety of material and discursive entities together in a circuit of “being created woman.”
Religious studies of Rwanda typically focus on Christianity’s involvement before, during, and after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, also referred to as the Rwandan Genocide. Rwanda’s postgenocide reconstruction has witnessed new and changing political and social commitments by previously established religious organisations such as the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Adventist Churches. The Rwandan government has taken a more progressive stance on divisions of power and religious institutions, and the promotion of religious freedoms that has benefitted the domestic Muslim population. This essay examines how Judaism, a previously unknown religion in the region, is impacting Rwandan identity formation. Jewish identity is increasingly being tied to the nation’s own reconstructed identity, with a strong focus on historical persecution, rebuilding after genocide, and development. This essay suggests that Rwandan identity and religious studies should include the ever-growing ties with Jews and Israel to better understand its political and social reconstruction since 1994.
Germany is hailed as a successful model of facing difficult pasts. Based on ethnographic research in civic education, this article situates Holocaust commemoration within German secularism. It brings together memory, Palestine and African-American studies to articulate how Holocaust memory manages an enduring crisis of citizenship. This crisis is predicated upon the disparity between the ideal of freedom and the reality of ethno-religious difference. The article demonstrates how Holocaust memory has been institutionally folded into secular time leading to a more liberal nation-state. It further explores memorial sites as extensions of secular governance, but also spaces in which embodied forms of memory, such as the Palestinian experience of catastrophe enter and desire an extension of this humanity. This notion of humanity co-produces the figure of the “anti-human.” This figure is enabled by an older strand of antisemitism and has an “afterlife” in the real or imagined body of the “Palestinian-Muslim troublemaker.”
The Jew and the Muslim are historically among the primary figures of alterity in Europe, the constitutive outsiders who have shaped what Europe is, notably around questions of conflict, migration and integration. However, on the ground contemporary Jewish and Muslim communities have often been at the forefront of critical engagement with these questions, for example with regard to the Mediterranean migration crisis and heightened societal security concerns. This introduction sets out the main questions and themes of this volume.
Building upon an ethnographic study of initiatives in Jewish-Muslim dialogue in the UK, I explore the way Muslim participants in such initiatives conceptualise the position of their community in the UK in relation to that of their Jewish co-citizens. I argue that while at first blush my Muslim interlocutors appear to read their community, in some historical time-frames, as being in a position of relative disadvantage in comparison to that of their Jewish counterparts, further analysis of their understanding of the positionalities of British Jews and British Muslims reveals a theorization that conveys a strong sense of solidarity with British Jewish citizens and unequivocally conceptualizes them as a political minority. I also suggest that these comparative reflections on the minority condition bear a productive potential for drawing public attention to specific challenges that different minority groups face.
The Mexican city of Catemaco is famous for its diversity of African-American religious traditions. Although Santería was originally shaped in Cuba, the local Mexican versions show not only a variety of references regarding their origins and influences, ranging from West Africa and Cuba to local indigenous traditions, but also (re)interpretations of historically and geographically diverse contents. Based on interview data gathered during field research in 2017, this article outlines the different hybrid (re)configurations of African-Mexican Santería in Catemaco by tracing the changes made by the practitioners in order to adapt existing traditions. The corresponding adaptation processes include beliefs, practices, lore and material assets. Under a critical perspective, concepts of transnationalism, syncretism and glocalization are discussed, focussing on the dynamics between local and global aspects of Santería in Catemaco and shedding light on the processes of inclusion, exclusion and the shift of boundaries.
The introduction of the editor explains research context and research objectives of the topic, highlights the most important insights and demonstrates relations among the contributions collected in the volume. The papers, written by young and senior researchers, on the one hand, discuss aspects of truth and various modes of deception like insincerity, whitewashing, or bullshit, all of which set forth destructing forces and eroding democratic processes. On the other hand, the papers address phenomena of dissolving and eroding the reliability of collective efforts to maintain truth and sanctions on deception, especially when they are linked to dangerous reductionist movements and hermetic subgroups which systematically prevent the efforts of peacebuilding measures and make anti-democratic movements settle to an extent that endangers cohesion and collective identity within Europe.
The aim of this essay is to elaborate structural epistemological and ethical equivalences between mysticism and psychoanalysis. This allows us to make the central concerns of mysticism accessible to contemporary secular thought. The article is driven by two intentions: on the one hand, not to misunderstand mysticism as a moral enterprise of self-perfection, and on the other hand, to oppose the contemporary “guiding culture” of enjoyment with an ethics of desire.
In this philosophical essay, I intend to understand hermeneutics as a philosophical tradition that favors the idea of exchange and impropriety over the ideas of ownership and identity. To this end, I will explore the mythological figure of Hermes, the Greek god that was the patron of merchants, travelers, translators, and also of thieves. Attending to the idea of robbery, and opposing the notion of use against the one of ownership, I argue that a philosophy that focus on interpretation and on texts leads to acknowledge that there is nothing proper to anything nor anyone, but that propriety is but the outcome of a negotiation, of an exchange, of mutual dis-appropriations.