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Joseph Drexler-Dreis

Abstract

This essay develops a response to the historical situation of the North Atlantic world in general and the United States in particular through theological reflection. It offers an overview of some decolonial perspectives with which theologians can engage, and argues for a general perspective for a decolonial theology as a possible response to modern/colonial structures and relations of power, particularly in the United States. Decolonial theory holds together a set of critical perspectives that seek the end of the modern/colonial world-system and not merely a democratization of its benefits. A decolonial theology, it is argued, critiques how the confinement of knowledge to European traditions has closed possibilities for understanding historical encounters with divinity, and thus possibilities of critical reflection. A decolonial theology reflects critically on a historical situation in light of faith in a divine reality, the understanding of which is liberated from the monopoly of modern/colonial ways of knowing, in order to catalyze social transformation.

Ariela Keysar and Sergio DellaPergola

The mutual relationship between demography and religion is explored in this paper through a comparison of the two largest Jewish populations worldwide: the U.S. and Israel. Special attention is devoted to the younger adult population – the Millennials – operationalized here as ages 18 to 29 and divided into three sub age groups. Data come from the Pew Research Center’s surveys of Jewish Americans in 2013 and of Israelis in 2015. After a short review of the main demographic differences between the two Jewish populations, the paper focuses on the multiple possible meanings and contents of Jewishness. The paper explores age-related differences regarding indicators of contemporary Jewish identity: religiosity, peoplehood and nationalism. We discover that young Jewish adults – the Millennials – in Israel and in the U.S., especially those 18–21 years old, are more likely than their elders to view their Jewishness mainly as a matter of religion rather than as a culture or ethnicity. Emerging similarities and differentials between Jews in Israel and in the U.S. are interpreted in the light of general theories of demographic change and religious identification, and are related to specific events and developments that have affected Jews in the two countries and their mutual relationships.

M. Moinuddin Haider, Mizanur Rahman and Nahid Kamal

The Hindu population in Bangladesh declined from 22% to 9% from 1951–2011. This paper analyses longitudinal data from the Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System for 1989–2016 to quantify the role of fertility, mortality, and international migration in explaining differential growth rates between Muslims and Hindus. The Hindu population has been growing at a slower rate than adherents of other religions, resulting in a decline in their relative share in the national population. Hindus have lower fertility, higher mortality and higher international out-migration rates than Muslims. According to this analysis, between 1989 and 2016, 54% of lower Hindu growth may be attributable to international out-migration; 41% is attributable to lower fertility, and 5% is attributable to higher mortality. The contribution of migration has declined over time and in last 20 years, lower fertility of Hindus was the primary contributing factor (over 70%) to their declining share of the country’s population.

Noryamin Aini, Ariane Utomo and Peter McDonald

Indonesia – home to the world’s largest Muslim population – is an ethnically diverse archipelago with sizeable non-Muslim communities. There is a dearth of demographic study on how religions shape patterns of marriage partnerships in Indonesia. We use full enumeration data from the 2010 Indonesian Population Census to examine the incidence, regional variation, pairing patterns, and socio-demographic correlates of interreligious marriage (irm). We derived a subset of over 47 million co-resident heads of household and their spouses from the 2010 Census. About 228,778 couples (0.5%) were enumerated as having different faiths at the time of the Census. Rates of irm are higher in ethnically diverse provinces. Such findings are likely to underestimate the prevalence of interreligious marriage due to existing regulations and norms that effectively discourage irm, and the associated practice of pre-marital conversions. Our multivariate analysis focused on three provinces with the highest rates of irm: Jakarta, North Sumatra, and West Kalimantan. In Jakarta and North Sumatra, the likelihood of irm is higher among non-Muslims and among those at the higher end of the education spectrum. In these provinces, the likelihood of irm is lower among younger birth cohorts, supporting speculation about stronger institutional barriers against irm over time. This is the first study attempting to derive national and regional estimates of patterns of irm in Indonesia. Given the increasing polemics related to irm and the Indonesian Marriage Law, setting out this research is an important initial step for further study of this issue.

Conrad Hackett, Marcin Stonawski, Michaela Potančoková, Phillip Connor, Anne Fengyan Shi, Stephanie Kramer and Joey Marshall

We present estimates of how Muslim populations in Europe increased between 2010 and 2016 and projections of how they will continue to grow under three migration scenarios. If all migration were to immediately and permanently stop – a “zero migration” scenario – the Muslim population of Europe still would be expected to rise from the current level of 4.9% to 7.4% by the year 2050 because Muslims are younger (by 13 years, on average) and have higher fertility (one child more per woman, on average) than other Europeans. A second, “medium” migration scenario assumes all refugee flows stopped as of mid-2016 but that recent levels of “regular” migration to Europe will continue. Under these conditions, Muslims could reach 11.2% of Europe’s population in 2050. Finally, a “high” migration scenario projects the record flow of refugees into Europe between 2014 and 2016 to continue indefinitely into the future with the same religious composition (i.e., mostly made up of Muslims) in addition to the typical annual flow of regular migrants. In this scenario, Muslims could make up 14% of Europe’s population by 2050. Refugee flows around 2015, however, were extremely high and already have begun to decline as the European Union and many of its member states have made refugee policy changes.

Todd Johnson and Peter F. Crossing

The following tables represent the results of analysis of data on religion for all of the countries of the world which appear in the World Religion Database (Johnson and Grim 2008). These data are collected at the national level from a number of sources including censuses, surveys, polls, religious communities, scholars, and others.

Editor-in-Chief Stephan van Erp

Brill Research Perspectives in Theology covers state of the art analyses and critical studies in major and emerging fields in systematic, practical, historical, and intercultural theology. It provides the most up-to-date research written by a leading theologian in the area. Each issue consists of up to 100 pages, including an extensive, annotated bibliography. Topics range from theologians and specific periods in the history of theology to recent trends and themes in contemporary theology, from confessional traditions to methodological debates, from classic doctrinal themes to current developments in theology and society. Brill Research Perspectives in Theology is an invaluable resource for scholars wishing to draw on the latest theological research, as well as a dynamic resource for teaching and for students of theology and related fields.

published issues:
Paul Hedges, Comparative Theology. A Critical and Methodological Perspective
Joshua M. Moritz, The Role of Theology in the History and Philosophy of Science
Colby Dickinson, Continental Philosophy and Theology
Andrew Prevot, Theology and Race

forthcoming a.o.:
Animal Theology
Analytic Theology
Theology and Migration
Theology of Religions

Reading the Bible across Contexts

Luke’s Gospel, Socio-Economic Marginality, and Latin American Biblical Hermeneutics

Series:

Esa J. Autero

In Reading the Bible Across Contexts Esa Autero offers a fresh perspective on Luke’s poverty texts. In addition to an historical reading, he conducted an empirical investigation of two Latin American Bible reading groups – one poor and the other affluent – to shed light on Luke’s poverty texts. The interaction between historical reading and present-day readings demonstrates the impact of socio-economic status on biblical hermeneutics and sheds new light on Luke’s views on wealth and poverty. At the same time Esa Autero critically examines liberation theologian’s claim that poor are privileged biblical interpreters.

Mission and Money

Christian Mission in the Context of Global Inequalities 

Series:

Edited by Mari-Anna Auvinen-Pöntinen and Jonas Adelin Jørgensen

Mission and Money; Christian Mission in the Context of Global Inequalities offers academic discussion about the mission of the Church in the context of contemporary economic inequalities globally, challenging the reader to reconsider mission in the light of existing poverty, and investigating how economic structures could be challenged in the light of ethical and spiritual considerations. The book includes contributions on the subjects of poverty and inequality from the theologians, economists and anthropologists who gave keynote presentations at the European Missiological Conference (IAMS Europe) that took place in April 2014 in Helsinki, Finland. This conference was a major step forward in terms of discussion between missiologists and economists on global economic structures and their influence on human dignity.

Contributors are: Mari-Anna Auvinen-Pöntinen, Stephen B. Bevans, Jonathan J. Bonk, Ulrich Duchrow, Jonas Adelin Jørgensen, Vesa Kanniainen, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Tinyiko Sam Maluleke, Gerrie Ter Haar, Evi Voulgaraki-Pissina, Mika Vähäkangas, Felix Wilfred.