Globalisation is a multidimensional process, involving both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, playing out simultaneously within the domains of economy, politics, technology—particularly media and information communication technology (ICT)—culture and environmental change. By contrast, the spread of knowledge that transforms global Islamic authority in heterogeneous forms, challenging conventional understandings, location and mode of articulation of authority, is considered to be a distinct process. This paper attempts to investigate the role of knowledge in the construction of globalised Islamic authority in Islam. It explores the evolution of Islamic authority vis-à-vis the rapidly developing network of interconnections and interdependencies. Focusing on identifying the element of consensus (ijmā) in sustaining and upholding religious authority in Islam, the paper examines how modernist critiques of consensus take various forms in light of what modernists consider to be “true” and how they see the challenges and opportunities of global transformations. While shedding light on a growing fragmentation and decentralisation of religious authority in the Muslim world, this paper argues that the authoritative religious knowledge was established and sustained down to 18th century when new methods of interpretation emerged challenging the authoritative corpus of religious structures. Consideration is also given to the causes, spectrum, and effects of increasingly diverse, and disjointed transformations of religious authority in Muslim societies, the outcome of which is a spectacularly wild growth of interpretation.
The purpose of this article is to examine and evaluate Michel Foucault’s use of John Chrysostom’s (c. 349–407 CE) views on marriage and sexuality, as it is expounded in Foucault’s fourth volume of Histoire de la sexualité, Les aveux de la chair (2018). The following question is asked: does Foucault have anything new and relevant to say to current scholarship of John Chrysostom, especially in terms of his views about sexuality and marriage? The article brings Foucault’s contribution into dialogue with more or less current scholarship of Chrysostom. The study first examines the sources Foucault used for Chrysostom, and then critically delineates and assesses Foucault’s argument regarding marriage in John Chrysostom. In the analysis of Foucault’s reading of Chrysostom’s marital ethic, attention is given to three central aspects present in the chapter, “Le devoir des époux” (“The Duty of the Spouses”). First, the links Foucault establishes between the micro-politics of sexuality (and the domus or private life) and the macro-politics of the Christian Empire is discussed. Second, it is asked how Foucault reconstructs Chrysostom’s marital ethic as a type of technē for the married life, including how Foucault attempts to deconstruct the dichotomy between marriage and virginity. Finally, the study analyses how Foucault interprets Chrysostom’s view of the conjugal relationship as one based on the rights of property ownership and debt.
In this review article, Graeme Smith, A Short History of Secularism, is reviewed with its main arguments regarding secularisation debate. A radical reconsideration of secularism and its social history, starting with the Greeks and continuing to modernity and the contemporary period, are offered by this book. The book’s attempt to construct a historical narrative of Christianity is an essential contribution to literature. It highlights the changes Christianity is exposed to as it moved across Europe and different mindsets that influenced people during this period. Students who are interested in studies in pastoral psychology, religion, and secularism are the primary audience for this monograph. However, anyone interested in the secularism debate will find it interesting.
This article discusses the relationship between religious satire and Christian theology to explore the possibility of satiric theology. It takes its departure from the proclamation of the cross (cf. 1 Cor 1:27) to demonstrate that the Crucified Christ can be a source for satire. To accomplish this, Paul Simpson’s analysis of satire is used to analyse the notorious crucifixion scene of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Subsequently, by way of Stanley Hauerwas’s theorising of irony, it is argued that satiric theology is theology in iconoclastic fashion. Hence, satiric theology supplies alternative comical stories to estrange people from the familiar and challenge misconceptions, thereby offering a valuable contribution to theological debate and Christian practice.
This essay examines the relationship between the biblical prophets and prophetic poetry in terms of the “shamanic complex.” First, a short characterization is given of the phenomenon of shamanism in archaic societies, shamanic techniques and alternate states of consciousness, as well as the social, cultural, and political role of shamanic figures. Second, the similarity between shamanism and biblical prophecy is considered. Third, the figure of First Isaiah as presented in the eponymous book in the Hebrew Bible is analyzed in terms of the shamanic complex and shamanic poetics as to aspects of his initiation as prophet and represented features of his actions as prophet.
Although supporters of transhumanism present their agenda as a secular movement that specifically challenges the basic ontological and ethical premises of Christian metaphysics, there are also techno-progressive thinkers who claim that Christians should endorse a moderate version of biotechnological human enhancement. The main objective of this essay is to scrutinise this claim by outlining the relationship between transhumanism and Christian anthropology from the perspective of Joseph Ratzinger’s thought. The order of this analysis is constituted by three steps: first, I will critically analyse Benedikt Paul Göcke’s main arguments in favor of a Christian transhumanism; secondly, I will discuss the normative foundation of the techno-progressive agenda with regard to Ratzinger’s/Benedict XVI’s critique of the modern concept of freedom and its anthropological implication – the technological “new man”; finally, I will refer the notion of the posthuman to Ratzinger’s theo-evolutionary image of Jesus Christ as the “man of the future.”