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In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
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Abstract

For the novelty, the research fields of Artificial Intelligence and Theological Anthropology are creatively confronted with each other, especially the emerging ideas of perfection, salvation, mind and corporeality in comparison with the verbatim meaning of theos and logos. For this purpose, both fields of research, which – historically marked – became virulent at about the same time in (ca. 1960s), are theoretically framed, systematically introduced, and classified. Afterwards, a text-critical appraisal is made based on current European institutional publications on Artificial Intelligence regarding concepts, representations and ways of speaking about the hu_man, about der mensch being beyond neuronal networks. Commonalities and challenges through the juxtaposition and found synergies are not only making a valuable contribution to subjecting concepts of hu_mankind for a sustainable relecture. Furthermore, it provides relevant insights and findings about the positioning of the new technology within (ethical) discourses about human dignity and rights, as well philosophical debates about freedom.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

This article argues that the lack of comprehensive scholarly treatments of how the OT speaks about God’s knowability has to do with the complexity of the topic and the diversity of how the OT addresses it. It shows the diverse ways of how previous scholars have approached the OT statements and assumptions about God’s knowability (and the knowledge of God), clarifies how these statements and assumptions are related to each other, and gives some ideas about possible directions of future research.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author:

Abstract

In John 20:11–18, Mary Magdalene meets Jesus after his death. She turns around twice, a double gesture that has puzzled New Testament scholars. In this article, I offer a performative reading of Mary Magdalene’s turns based on Judith Butler’s theory of gesture and the literary inventory of ancient recognition scenes. I argue that the double gesture does not emphasize the difference between a physical and an inner status of recognition. Instead, it is conceived as a non-identical repetition or quotation. It points to other turnings and other duplicities. Both turns are part of a performative process that unfolds the new identities of the main characters after their separation. Mary is not portrayed as a misunderstanding disciple who needs two turns to recognize Jesus, but as part of a reciprocal process that mirrors Jesus’ double appearance and the text’s double layers of meaning.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

The study transcends borders to challenge conventional narratives about religious tolerance and fundamentalism. Leveraging a Fuzzy-Hybrid Approach, we delve into the multifaceted realities of eight diverse nations: Germany, Cyprus, the United States, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, and Kenya. Our innovative analysis unveils surprising complexities, shattering stereotypes and painting a nuanced picture of religious beliefs. Germany emerges as a beacon of tolerance, boasting the highest tolerance levels with the lowest fundamentalism. However, the stark reality for citizens of Lebanon, Kenya, and Palestine reveals a landscape of lower tolerance and higher fundamentalism. This study delves deeper, using quantile regression models to expose the intricate interplay between religious tolerance, individual socioeconomic factors like education and religious discrimination, and even views on the death penalty. Our findings challenge simplistic assumptions, revealing intricate relationships between tolerance and fundamentalism across diverse contexts.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author:

Abstract

This study delves into triggers and transformative effects of exceptional experiences among Camino de Santiago pilgrims. Analyzing 32 travelogues, we identify triggers like exposure to natural beauty and visits to sacred sites, leading to emotional shifts characterized by heightened unity and love. These experiences influence moral and cognitive frameworks, fostering heightened spirituality, wisdom, and detachment. “Experience of deep calm and reconciliation” improves relationships, “Experience of interconnectedness” enhances intuition in decision-making, and “Cathartic experiences” encourage vulnerability expression, fostering connection. Supported by a survey of 501 pilgrims, our findings highlight the frequency and transformative impact of these experiences on a diverse pilgrim population.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author:

Abstract

The complex relations between Hebrew Bible interpretation and the discipline of the Philosophy of Religion were last discussed in detail a decade ago (Gericke 2012). In the years that followed, the associated literature was seen as samples of a recent return to philosophy of religion as auxiliary discourse, albeit one that had yet to obtain a clear research profile (Schmid 2019). Shortly thereafter, evidence of a variety of philosophical approaches to the HB/OT as a distinct emergent current was provided (Keefer 2022). The original contribution of this article and its objective is to supplement and compliment the related research by way of an update on the relations between the Bible and Philosophy with special attention to Philosophy of Religion.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author:

Abstract

This introduction outlines the contributions of Global Religious History, or Global History of Religion, to the issue of religious comparison. First, it argues for religious comparison as an integral part of religious studies that should not be abandoned but revised. Second, it addresses the larger framework of debates in religious studies and global history, arguing for the value of Global Religious History in avoiding Eurocentrism, but also tendencies within the postcolonial spectrum that mirror Eurocentric shortcomings. What is often perceived as a crisis in religious studies is understood here as an ongoing process of reflection and refinement that allows us to contextualize both the object of study and its researcher. Finally, this outline presents concrete elements that can inform revised approaches to religious comparison, including a genealogical method, entanglement and decentered historiography, and translingual practice. This allows us to expand our scope not only geographically, but also temporally.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

The unprecedented halt of social gatherings imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that began in the spring of 2020 highlighted the centrality of ritual participation in the Christian sense of belonging. Offering members of religious communities opportunities and instruments for sustaining their religiosity became a challenge. This time of crisis, adaptation and improvisation thus also shook what it meant to belong to a community of believers.

Based on pre-pandemic in-person observations, interviews and online ethnography in four Christian communities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, our paper maps how different approaches to ritual practices during the pandemic affected the available repertoires of belonging to Christianity. Upon discussing the relevance of Hervieu-Léger’s vital types of religiosity (the universalist and independent pilgrim and the particularist and interconnected convert) throughout the pandemic, we conclude that the traditional approach to the church as a place of dwelling, as Wuthnow labelled it, was strengthened most.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

Within the scope of global religious history, a Foucauldian genealogical critique makes “history” itself the central focus of inquiry. Genealogy is usually perceived as a methodology for historicizing general concepts within religious studies, which seemingly favours post-nineteenth-century history – something that causes discomfort among pre-colonial researchers. However, this article presents genealogy as a general starting point for any critical historiography across all historical periods, emphasizing its key characteristic as a counter-history originating from the present.

Through a case study, it demonstrates this approach’s practicality by offering a fresh perspective on the notion of an unchanging Sanskrit tradition championed by Hindu nationalists. Genealogical analysis exposes how contemporary research unwittingly reinforces this notion, while the article proposes a counter-narrative using sixteenth to eighteenth-century sources, revealing a dynamic interplay between Sanskrit and Persian scholars under Mughal rule in India. This case underscores the efficacy and adaptability of genealogical critique across all historical periods.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society