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Author: Mirella Klomp
In what is often considered ‘a society “after God”’, millions of Dutch participate annually in a public multi-media performance of Christ's Passion. What to make of this paradox? In Playing On: Re-staging the Passion after the Death of God, Mirella Klomp offers a theological analysis of this performance and those involved in it. Working in an interdisciplinary fashion and utilizing creative interludes, she demonstrates how precisely this production of Jesus' last hours carves out a new and unexpected space for God in a (post-)secular culture. Klomp argues compellingly that understanding God's presence in the Western world requires looking beyond the church and at the public domain; that is the future of practical theology. She lays out this agenda for practical theology by showing how the Dutch playfully rediscover Christian tradition, and – perhaps – even God.
Travelling ideas and shared practices of secularism in decolonising South and Southeast Asia.
Author: Clemens Six
To what extent was the evolution of secularism in South and Southeast Asia between the end of the First World War and decolonisation after 1945 a result of transimperial and transnational patterns? To capture the diversity of twentieth-century secularisms, Clemens Six explores similarities resulting from translocal networks of ideas and practices since 1918. Six approaches these networks via a framework of global intellectual history, the history of transnational social networks, and the global history of non-state institutions. Empirically, he illustrates his argument with three case studies: the reception of Atatürk’s reforms across Asia and the Middle East; translocal women’s circles in the interwar period; and private US foundations after 1945.
Author: Zhange Ni
In this selective overview of scholarship generated by The Hunger Games—the young adult dystopian fiction and film series which has won popular and critical acclaim—Zhange Ni showcases various investigations into the entanglement of religion and the arts in the new millennium. Ni introduces theories, methods, and the latest developments in the study of religion in relation to politics, audio/visual art, new media, material culture, and popular culture, whilst also reading The Hunger Games as a story that explores the variety, complexity, and ambiguity of enchantment. In popular texts such as this, religion and art—both broadly construed, that is, beyond conventional boundaries—converge in creating an enchantment that makes life more bearable and effects change in the world.
Author: Sage Elwell
This slim volume offers a thematic exploration of religion and the digital arts. Over the course of six brief sections, this extended essay examines identity and community, authority and authenticity, word and image, ritual and practice, body and space, and myth and faith. Each of these paired sets is explored in concert with technologically inflected correlates. For instance, identity and community are paired with avatars and networks. These twin concepts provide the thematic anchor of each section. Each section looks at four works of digital art with each work employing digital technology in a unique way. The works include virtual and augmented reality pieces, 3D printed sculptures, digital photography, and digitally enabled performance pieces and installations and span the late 1990s to the present. This essay is an introduction to religion and the digital arts and, while no single conclusion can be drawn from such an expansive and diverse field, the reassertion of the religious and theological importance of the body and emotions in the face of digital technology emerges as a recurrent theme.
Quakeriana Latina: Quaker texts in Latin from the 1670s juxtaposes translations of texts written in Latin by arguably the finest early Quaker theologians, George Keith and Robert Barclay. A commentary provides philological, historical, and theological perspectives. The works by Keith are two substantial letters to German polymath and Christian Kabbalist, Baron Christian Knorr von Rosenroth. The chief concerns of these letters are Christian appropriation of concepts from Jewish mysticism and eschatology. In the year before Keith began this correspondence, Barclay wrote his Animadversiones, a response to an attack from the Dutch Calvinist, Nikolaus Arnold, on his Theses Theologicae. Thus, both writers illustrate how a Quaker might write to a non-Quaker, even non-British, audience, one in a persuasive tone, and the other in a more polemical mode. Together, these texts cast new light on Quakerism in the 1670s.
Russian Orthodoxy and Secularism surveys the ways in which the Russian Orthodox Church has negotiated its relationship with the secular state, with other religions, and with Western modernity from its beginnings until the present. It applies multiple theoretical perspectives and draws on different disciplinary approaches to explain the varied and at times contradictory facets of Russian Orthodoxy as a state church or as a critic of the state, as a lived religion or as a civil religion controlled by the state, as a source of dissidence during Communism or as a reservoir of anti-Western, anti-modernist ideas that celebrate the uniqueness and superiority of the Russian nation. Kristina Stoeckl argues that, three decades after the fall of Communism, the period of post-Soviet transition is over for Russian Orthodoxy and that the Moscow Patriarchate has settled on its role as national church and provider of a new civil religion of traditional values.
In Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism, W. Paul Williamson takes a critical look at the sociohistorical emergence of fundamentalism and examines how historians constructed popular, though questionable, conceptions of the movement that have dominated decades of empirical research in psychology. He further analyzes the notions of militancy and anti-modernity as valid characterizations of fundamentalism and examines whether fundamentalism, as a Christian Protestant phenomenon, is useful in labelling global forms of religious extremism and violence. In observing the lack of theory-driven research, the publication offers theories that situate fundamentalism as a social psychological phenomenon as opposed to some personal predisposition. Students and scholars of fundamentalism will discover Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism to be a provocative study on the topic.
In Westeuropa begann die Reformation mit innertheologischen Disputen und entwickelte sich dann rasch zu einer die Gesellschaften insgesamt verändernden revolutionären Kraft, die enorme Auswirkungen auf das religiöse Leben, die politische Landkarte, Kultur und Wissenschaft zeitigte.
Auf den russischen Kulturraum wirkte die Reformation sowohl als religiöse wie auch als intellektuelle Macht ein, insbesondere aber durch ihre Anmutung kultureller und gesellschaftlicher Modernität, wie sie etwa Zar Peter I. durch seine „Kulturrevolution von oben“ seinem Lande aufprägen wollte. Vor allem seit petrinischer Zeit lassen sich Wirkungen der Reformation in Form von russischen Anverwandlungen feststellen, die – so das Konzept des Bandes – umso sprechender werden, wenn sie Wirkungsformen im westeuropäischen Kulturraum vergleichend gegenübergestellt werden.
This work brings the fields of Christian theologies of atonement and reconciliation and Liberal Quaker theology into dialogue, and lays the foundation for developing an original Liberal Quaker reconciliation theology. This dialogue focuses specifically on the metaphorical language employed to describe the relationship of interdependence between humans and God, which both traditions hold as integral to their conceptions of human and divine existence. It focuses on these areas: the sin of human division and exclusion; atonement and reunification of humans and God as a response to sin; and the metaphors Liberal Quaker use to describe this interdependent relationship, specifically the metaphor of Light. This unique approach develops an original model of reconciliatory interdependence between humans and God that is rooted in both Christological and Universalist Liberal Quaker metaphorical and theological categories and utilizes the Liberal Quaker language of God as interdependent Light towards a new theology.
Author: Chee-Beng Tan
Based on long-term ethnographic study, this is the first comprehensive work on the Chinese popular religion in Malaysia. It analyses temples and communities in historical and contemporary perspective, the diversity of deities and Chinese speech groups, religious specialists and temple services, the communal significance of the Hungry Ghosts Festival, the relationship between religion and philanthropy as seen through the lens of such Chinese religious organization as shantang (benevolent halls) and Dejiao (Moral Uplifting Societies), as well as the development and transformation of Taoist Religion. Highly informative, this concise book contributes to an understanding of Chinese migration and settlement, political economy and religion, religion and identity politics as well the significance of religion to both individuals and communities.