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Naomi S.S. Jacobs

In Delicious Prose: Reading the Tale of Tobit with Food and Drink, Naomi S.S. Jacobs explores how the numerous references to food, drink, and their consumption within The Book of Tobit help tell its story, promote righteous deeds and encourage resistance against a hostile dominant culture. Jacobs’ commentary includes up-to-date analyses of issues of translation, text-criticism, source criticism, redaction criticism, and issues of class and gender. Jacobs situates Tobit within a wide range of ancient writings sacred to Jews and Christians as well as writings and customs from the Ancient Near East, Ugarit, Greece, Rome, including a treasure trove of information about ancient foodways and medicine.

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Edited by Elena Namli, Jayne Svenungsson and Alana M. Vincent

In response to the grim realities of the present world Jewish thought has not tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concrete, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies.
The purpose of this book is to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to what Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multifaceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.

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Gerdien Bertram-Troost and Siebren Miedema

In the Netherlands both state and denominational schools are fully financed by the government. This is the basis for the Dutch pillarised educational system, with separate schools (Protestant, Roman Catholic and state schools) divided along religious lines. Due to processes of secularisation and multiculturalism, the formal identity of schools in the pillarised educational system no longer represents the religious identity of teachers nor of pupils and their parents. There are different kinds of religious education in schools. How religious education in school takes shape is only partly related to the official (religious) identity of a certain school. Given the public discussions on the Dutch educational system and the role religion plays or should play in schools, it is important to question what the effects are of these different kinds of religious education in schools. On the basis of two empirical studies we conclude that it is not possible to point clearly to the effects of different kinds of religious education on pupils. The family background and the role religion plays in the pupil’s live cannot be ignored.

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Edited by Stella El Bouayadi-van de Wetering and Siebren Miedema

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Edited by Stella El Bouayadi-van de Wetering and Siebren Miedema

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Nabil Alsamaloty and Stella El Bouayadi-van de Wetering

This chapter deals with deviance and guidance of the youth and the influence of friends and modern media. After an overview of the main theories on deviance: Structural Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionis, and Conflict Theory, the authors summarize the research that Nabil Alsamaloty has conducted on deviance among Egyptian young people and possible explanations he found for this deviance. He concentrates mostly on the theories of Sutherland (criminal behavior is learned), the Strain Theory of Robert K. Merton (criminal behavior as a result of deprivation) and social and economic forces (extreme poverty). He also stresses, however, the undeniable influence of modern media (literature, television and film). In addition, he focuses on the lack of love, appraisal and guidance from adults and adult institutions (e.g. parents’ schools and teachers). The authors state that parents and institutes should invest more in sound religious education for the children and pupils to guide them the right way in society and that, despite what is claimed by Western politicians and thinkers, Islam is a religion that stimulates human rights and tolerance.

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Hussein Bashir Mahmoud and Stella El Bouayadi-van de Wetering

This chapter gives an overview of religious education in Egypt. This is pre-dominantly Islamic, but there is also Christian religious education to serve the Christian minority. Education in Egypt is predominantly public, and religious education is compulsory. There is an Islamic and Christian variant of religious education for the Muslim and Christian pupils respectively. A quite extensive overview of the goals and content of Islamic religious education is added that shows that religious education in Egypt is both modern (it helps young people to recognize the Islam view of current ideas and issues and plays an active part in implementing human values, ethics, and culture) and traditional since it goes back to old Islamic sources and books. Tolerance among people of different religious groups is an important ethical value in the Egyptian Islamic education curriculum and is taught in the lessons.

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Arslan Karagül

This paper elaborates on Islamic religious education in the Dutch context by emphasizing the effects of different kinds of Islamic religious education in both primary and secondary schools. Viewing the situation from a historical background with respect to religious education, the author searches for an effective religious education between principles and practice and also explores the lack of clarity on the concept of "religious" and the pluriform system of education in the Netherlands. By comparing the models of religious education, he analyses the strengths and weaknesses of effective Islamic education in the future.

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Goedroen Juchtmans

This paper argues that the communicative approach on religious education overlooks the multifaceted role that religion plays in the everyday life of many families and for that reason it will fail to fully identify the way families pass on their beliefs. To obtain a more multilayered analysis of Christian education at home, this paper therefore proposes an ethnographic analysis of home rituals in Dutch families with a Christian background from an alternative approach, i.e. the ritual expert perspective. This analysis shows how women are still the ones most responsible for Christian educational tasks at home and how their ritual expertise consists of revising the appropriation of their own childhood rituals, which is directed to mediating the acred in a multifaceted and creative way.