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Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 31: A Diversity of Paradigms showcases two approaches to the socio-scientific study of religion. It includes a special section within which authors draw on data collected about congregational life in the Australian National Church Life Surveys (from 1991 to present). These studies give voice to minority groups and children. While findings include the strengths of ethnic diversity and the positive experiences of young churchgoers, they also highlight that full inclusion in local church life is far from being realized. A second section explores the application of feminist approaches within the sociology of religion. In their struggle for equality for women, feminist scholars developed methodologies to challenge the marginality of any ‘othered’ group. This section showcases how use of these methods challenges hierarchies within knowledge.
Author: Aziza Ouguir
In Moroccan Female Religious Agents: Old Practices and New Perspectives, Ouguir studies Moroccan female religious agents in particular historical women saints and Sufis, the way they constructed powerful saintly personalities that challenged the dominant conventional norms, and the way they are received by venerators and feminist Islamist activists of modern Morocco.

Through hagiographic and oral narratives, Ouguir examines the techniques religious women followed to achieve ethical self-formation and strong religious personalities that promoted them to leadership. She also examined the venerators’, murshidᾱt and Islamist feminists’ reception of women saints in their discourses. Ouguir states convincingly that Moroccan religious women agents in both Morocco’s past and present are to be highlighted for broader discourses on Muslim women and feminism.
In this volume, Stanisław Rosik focuses on the meaning and significance of Old Slavic religion as presented in three German chronicles (the works of Thietmar of Merseburg, Adam of Bremen, Helmold of Bosau) written during the time of the Christianization of the Western Slavs. The source analyses show the ways the chroniclers understood, explained and represented pre-Christian beliefs and cults, which were interpreted as elements of a foreign, “barbarian”, culture and were evaluated from the perspective of Church doctrine. In this study, individual features of the three authors are discussed– including the issue of the credibility of their information on Old Slavic religion– and broader conclusions on medieval thought are also presented.
Changes in Religious Practice in Muslim Societies
Essay on Islamization is a study of the Islamization of all Muslim societies, their conversion to orthodox Islam which, with its chapels, soldier monks and holy war, leads to fundamentalism as well as to a moral puritanism. Cherkaoui gauges the importance of this global phenomenon by analyzing the empirical data of some sixty Muslim and non-Muslim societies. He also conducts two ethnographic surveys to identify the metamorphoses of Muslim religious practices and their causes.

Among the dozen theories put forward to explain these planetary phenomena, he cites those of secularization, modernization, the religious market, the influence of the media and the policy of donors of unlimited financial resources, social mobility, geopolitical causes, the emergence of fundamentalism and the role of "proletarian" intellectuals who promote Messianism, and social pressure.
Problems, Paradoxes, and Perspectives
This volume is the first comprehensive study of the “conservative turn” in Russia under Putin. Its fifteen chapters, written by renowned specialists in the field, provide a focused examination of what Russian conservatism is and how it works. The book features in-depth discussions of the historical dimensions of conservatism, the contemporary international context, the theoretical conceptualization of conservatism, and empirical case studies. Among various issues covered by the volume are the geopolitical and religious dimensions of conservatism and the conservative perspective on Russian history and the politics of memory. The authors show that conservative ideology condenses and reworks a number of discussions about Russia’s identity and its place in the world.

Contributors include: Katharina Bluhm, Per-Arne Bodin, Alicja Curanović, Ekaterina Grishaeva, Caroline Hill, Irina Karlsohn, Marlene Laruelle, Mikhail N. Lukianov, Kåre Johan Mjør, Alexander Pavlov, Susanna Rabow-Edling, Andrey Shishkov, Victor Shnirelman, Mikhail Suslov, and Dmitry Uzlaner
Author: John Waldmeir
For the writers and artists in In-Between Identities: Signs of Islam in Contemporary American Writing, contemporary Muslim American identity is neither singular nor fixed. Rather than dismiss the tradition in favor of more secular approaches, however, all of the figures here discover in Muhammad’s revelation resources for affirming such uncertainty. For them, the Qur’anic notion of a divine “sign” validates creation, even that creativity born of contrasting if not competing assumptions about identity. To develop this claim, individual chapters in the book discuss Muslim faith in the work of poets Naomi Shihab Nye, Kazim Ali, Tyson Amir and Amir Sulaiman; novelists Mohja Kahf, Rabih Alameddine, and Willow Wilson; illustrator Sandow Birk; playwright Ayad Akhtar; and the online record of the 30 Mosques in 30 Days project.
Seen and Unseen teases out and explores how visual mediums construct visual cultures that often create limited perspectives of certain issues and groups. This volume focuses in particular on the representation of Islam and Muslims. It deals with fixed and stereotypical visual representations and explores alternative and challenging visual representations that reconstruct and dismantle existing belief systems. It approaches the topic from a vantage point of diverse multiple perspectives. Covering issues from Brunei, Iran, Egypt, and England and cyberspace, the essays in this volume examine the visual cultures of how Islam and Muslims are understood, misunderstood, misrepresented, or even embraced visually. Scholars in this volume draw on historical paintings, books and their covers, photography, and news to demonstrate the diversity and sometimes contradictory visual cultures that construct and adhere meaning to how Islam and Muslim people are seen.

Contributors: Hoda Afshar, Jared Ahmed, Syed Farid Alatas, Sanaz Fotouhi, Christiane Gruber, Layla Hendow, Raihana M.M., Bruno Starrs and Esmaeil Zeiny.
Gods, Ghosts, and People in a Post-Revolutionary Society
Author: Chongqing Wu
This book is a product of over ten years of work. It addresses intermarriage circles, transformations of customs, the rise and fall supernatural forces, power relations among gods, ghosts and people in “synchronic communities,” and tongxiangtongye (same hometown, same industry) economies based on rural sociocultural networks in the author’s native Sun Village in Putian. The author explores the details of microhistory by examining changes and continuities in everyday life to show the grand through the minute.
This exciting book possesses important theoretical significance, including reflections on binary frameworks such as state vs. society and tradition vs. modernity or revolution, along with new arguments about commonly used concepts such as “the cultural nexus of power” and “the hollowing-out of the rural.”
This volume of Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion includes a wide range of papers from a social-science perspective. The special section gives a unique insight into the rapidly growing field of psychological studies of religion in China. It draws on experts from China and the USA who met for a conference at Fuller Theological Seminary and have together compiled a collection of original research and reviews that helps to locate the current state of the discipline from a specifically Chinese perspective. Other papers in the volume examine intergenerational religious transmission and religious problem-solving styles in the USA.
The international “Atheist Bus Campaign” generated news coverage and controversy, and this volume is the first to systematically and thoroughly explore and analyze each manifestation of that campaign. It includes a chapter for each of the countries which enacted – or attempted to enact – localized versions of the original United Kingdom campaign which ran the slogan, “There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life,” prominently on public buses. Its novel focus, using a singular micro-level event as a prism for analysis, allows for cross-country comparison of legal and social reactions to each campaign, as well as an understanding of issues pertaining to the historical and contemporary status of religion and the regulation of nonreligion in various national settings.