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Megachurches and Social Engagement

Public Theology in Practice

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Mark J. Cartledge, Sarah Dunlop, Heather Buckingham and Sarah Bremner

This book is the first detailed academic study of megachurches in the UK. In particular, it explores the nature and significance of social engagement by megachurches in the context of London. The research contains empirical case studies of two Anglican and three African diaspora Pentecostal churches. As well as exploring the range of social engagement activities provided by these churches, the study offers explanations in term of theological motivations and the influence of globalisation. Subsequently, the book outlines the importance of the findings for the relationship between church and society in the contemporary context, addressing the implications for social policy and practice. The book advances discussions in public theology, megachurch studies, Pentecostal and Charismatic studies and ecclesiology.
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Volume 10: Interreligious Dialogue

From Religion to Geopolitics

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Edited by Giuseppe Giordan and Andrew P. Lynch

Interreligious Dialogue: From Religion to Geopolitics discusses how interreligious dialogue takes place within, and is influenced by, important sociological categories and theories, such as modernity, secularization, deprivatization, social movements, and pluralism. Starting from the study of interreligious coexistence, sacred spaces, and multi-religious rituals, the book explores the patterns of interreligious governance and politics and forms of interreligious social action in European, North American, and West and South Asian contexts. The contributors to this volume apply broader theories of organizational change and planning, communication, urban neighborhood and community studies, functionalist perspectives, and symbolic interactionism, thus presenting a wide range of possibilities for sociological engagement with studies on interreligious dialogue.
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Tanya Riches

Worship and Social Engagement in Urban Aboriginal-led Australian Pentecostal Congregations: (Re)imagining Identity in the Spirit provides an ethnographic account of three Australian Pentecostal congregations with Aboriginal senior leadership. Within this Pentecostalism, Dreaming realities and identities must be brought together with the Christian gospel. Yet current political and economic relationships with the Australian state complicate the possibilities of interactions between culture and Spirit. The result is a matrix or network of these churches stretching across Australia, with Black Australian Pentecostals resisting and accommodating the state through the construction of new and ancient identities. This work occurs most notably in context of the worship ritual, which functions through ritual interaction chains to energise the various social engagement programs these congregations sustain.
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Karl Rahner, Culture and Evangelization

New Approaches in an Australian Setting

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Anthony Mellor

The situation of religious institutional diminishment in many Western countries requires new approaches to the proclamation of Christian faith. As a response to these complexities, Karl Rahner suggested a “mystagogic” approach as a future pathway for theology. A mystagogical approach seeks modes of spiritual and theological conversation which engage the religious imagination and draws upon personal experiences of transcendence and religious sensibility. In Karl Rahner, Culture and Evangelization: New Approaches in an Australian Setting, Anthony Mellor develops a reflective process of contemporary “mystagogia” describing how different fields of engagement require different patterns of mystagogical conversation. While focussing on the Australian setting, these differentiate arenas of engagement are also applicable to other cultural settings and offer fresh perspectives for evangelisation today.
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Edited by Norbert Oberauer, Yvonne Prief and Ulrike Qubaja

Approaches to legal pluralism vary widely across the spectrum of different disciplines. They comprise normative and descriptive perspectives, focus both on legal pluralist realities as well as public debates, and address legal pluralism in a range of different societies with varying political, institutional and historical conditions.

Emphasising an empirical research to contemporary legal pluralist settings in Muslim contexts, the present collected volume contributes to a deepened understanding of legal pluralist issues and realities through comparative examination. This approach reveals some common features, such as the relevance of Islamic law in power struggles and in the construction of (state or national) identities, strategies of coping with coexisting sets of legal norms by the respective agents, or public debates about the risks induced by the recognition of religious institutions in migrant societies. At the same time, the studies contained in this volume reveal that legal pluralist settings often reflect very specific historical and social constellations, which demands caution towards any generalisation.

The volume is based on papers presented at a conference in Münster (Germany) in 2016 and comprises contributions by Judith Koschorke, Karen Meeschaut, Yvonne Prief, Ulrike Qubaja, Werner de Saeger, Ido Shahar, Katrin Seidel, Konstantinos Tsitselikis, Vishal Vora and Ihsan Yilmaz.
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Imperial Villages

Cultures of Political Freedom in the German Lands c. 1300-1800

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Beat Kümin

Hundreds of rural communities tasted political freedom in the Holy Roman Empire. For shorter or longer periods, villagers managed local affairs without subjection to territorial overlords. In this first book-length study, Beat Kümin focuses on the five case studies of Gochsheim and Sennfeld (in present-day Bavaria), Sulzbach and Soden (Hesse) and Gersau (Switzerland). Adopting a comparative perspective across the late medieval and early modern periods, the analysis of multiple sources reveals distinct extents of rural self-government, the forging of communalized confessions and an enduring attachment to the empire. Negotiating inner tensions as well as mounting centralization pressures, Reichsdörfer provide privileged insights into rural micro-political cultures while their stories resonate with resurgent desires for greater local autonomy in Europe today.
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Edited by Pål Repstad

As the title suggests, Political Religion, Everyday Religion: Sociological Trends reflects upon two important trends that have recently emerged in the sociology of religion. Firstly, there is an increasing interest in the interplay between religion and politics. Religion has moved from being almost ignored by sociologists to being acknowledged – some would even say overrated – as an important political factor. Secondly, ordinary people’s everyday religion has likewise become an important topic for many researchers. In this book, James Beckford, Inger Furseth and other prominent scholars present critical discussions and empirical studies of both political and everyday religion, and the editor, Pål Repstad, shows how these two trends should enter into a closer dialogue. The book is essential for both students and experienced researchers in the sociology of religion.
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Tahera Qutbuddin

In Arabic Oration: Art and Function, a narrative richly infused with illustrative texts and original translations, Tahera Qutbuddin presents a comprehensive theory of this preeminent genre in its foundational oral period, 7th-8th centuries AD. With speeches and sermons attributed to the Prophet Muḥammad, ʿAlī, other political and military leaders, and a number of prominent women, she assesses types of orations and themes, preservation and provenance, structure and style, orator-audience authority dynamics, and, with the shift from an oral to a highly literate culture, oration’s influence on the medieval chancery epistle. Probing the genre’s echoes in the contemporary Muslim world, she offers sensitive tools with which to decode speeches by mosque-imams and political leaders today.
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The Banishment of Beverland

Sex, Sin, and Scholarship in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic

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Karen Eline Hollewand

In 1679 Hadriaan Beverland (1650-1716) was banished from the province of Holland. Why was this humanist scholar exiled from one of the most tolerant parts of Europe in the seventeenth century? To answer this question, this book places Beverland’s writings on sex, sin, and scholarship in their historical context for the first time. Beverland argued that sexual lust was the original sin and highlighted the importance of sex in human nature, ancient history, and his own society. His audacious works hit a raw nerve: Dutch theologians accused him of atheism, he was abandoned by his humanist colleagues, and he was banished by the University of Leiden.

By positioning Beverland’s extraordinary scholarship in the context of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic, this book examines how his radical studies challenged the intellectual, ecclesiastical, and political elite, providing a fresh perspective upon the Dutch Republic in the last decades of its Golden Age.
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Edited by Jeroen Temperman, T. Jeremy Gunn and Malcolm D. Evans

As the tensions involving religion and society increase, the European Court of Human Rights and the Freedom of Religion or Belief is the first systematic analysis of the first twenty-five years of the European Court's religion jurisprudence. The Court is one of the most significant institutions confronting the interactions among states, religious groups, minorities, and dissenters. In the 25 years since its first religion case, Kokkinakis v. Greece, the Court has inserted itself squarely into the international human rights debate regarding the freedom of religion or belief. The authors demonstrate the positive contributions and the significant flaws of the Court's jurisprudence involving religion, society, and secularism.