Handbook of Hinduism in Europe portrays and analyses how Hindu traditions have expanded across the continent, and presents the main Hindu communities, religious groups, forms, practices and teachings. The Handbook does this in two parts, Part One covers historical and thematic topics which are of importance for understanding Hinduism in Europe as a whole and Part Two have articles on Hindu traditions in every country in Europe. Hindu traditions have a long history of interaction with Europe, but the developments during the last fifty years represent a new phase. Globalization and increased ease of communication have led to the presence of a great plurality of Hindu traditions. Hinduism has become one of the major religions in Europe and is present in every country of the continent.
Islam in Post-communist Eastern Europe: Between Churchification and Securitization Egdūnas Račius reveals how not only the governance of religions but also practical politics in post-communist Eastern Europe are permeated by the strategies of churchification and securitization of Islam. Though most Muslims and the majority of researchers of Islam hold to the view that there may not be church in Islam, material evidence suggests that the representative Muslim religious organizations in many Eastern European countries have been effectively turned into ecclesiastical-bureaucratic institutions akin to nothing less than ‘national Muslim Churches’. As such, these ‘national Muslim Churches’ themselves take an active part in securitization, advanced by both non-Muslim political and social actors, of certain forms of Islamic religiosity.
The Critique of Religion and Religion’s Critique: On Dialectical Religiology, Dustin J. Byrd compiles numerous essays honouring the life and work of the Critical Theorist, Rudolf J. Siebert. His “dialectical religiology,” rooted in the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, especially Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Leo Löwenthal, and Jürgen Habermas, is both a theory and method of understanding religion’s critique of modernity and modernity’s critique of religion. Born out of the Enlightenment and its most important thinkers, i.e. Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, religion is understood to be dialectical in nature. It contains within it both revolutionary and emancipatory elements, but also reactionary and regressive elements, which perpetuate mankind’s continual debasement, enslavement, and oppression. Thus, religion by nature is conflicted within itself and thus stands against itself. Dialectical Religiology attempts to rescue those elements of religion from the dustbin of history and reintroduce them into society via their determinate negation. As such, it attempts to resolve the social, political, theological, and philosophical antagonisms that plague the modern world, in hopes of producing a more peaceful, justice-filled, equal, and reconciled society. The contributors to this book recognize the tremendous contributions of Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert in the fields of philosophy, sociology, history, and theology, and have profited from his long career. This book attempts to honour that life and work.
Contributors include: Edmund Arens, Gregory Baum, Francis Brassard, Dustin J. Byrd, Denis R. Janz, Gottfried Küenzlen, Mislav Kukoč, Michael, R. Ott, Rudolf J. Siebert, Hans K. Weitensteiner, and Brian C. Wilson.
Focusing on Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, “Religious Education and the Anglo-World” historiographically examines the relationship between empire and religious education. In each case the analysis centres on the foundational moments of publicly funded education in the mid- to late-nineteenth centuries when policy makers created largely Protestant systems of religious education, and frequently denied Roman Catholics funding for private education. Secondly, the period from 1880 to 1960 during which campaigns to strengthen religious education emerged in each context. Finally, the era of decolonisation from the 1960s through the 1980s when publicly funded religious education was challenged by the loss of Britishness as a central ideal, and Roman Catholics found unprecedented success in achieving state aid in many cases. By bringing these disparate national literatures into conversation with one another, the essay calls for a greater transnational approach to the study of religious education in the Anglo-World.
Thomas D. Hamm (Earlham College) argues that a self-conscious, liberal Quakerism emerged in North America between 1790 and 1920. It had three characteristics. The first was a commitment to liberty of conscience. The second was pronounced doubts about orthodox beliefs, such as the divinity of Christ. Finally, liberal Friends saw themselves as holding beliefs fully consistent with early Quakerism. Stirrings appeared as early as the 1790s. Hicksite Friends in the 1820s, although perceiving themselves as traditionalists, manifested all of these characteristics. When other Hicksites took such stances in even more radical directions after 1830, however, bitter divisions ensued. Orthodox Friends were slower to develop liberal thought. It emerged after 1870, as higher education became central to the Gurneyite branch of Orthodox Quakerism, and as some Gurneyites responded to influences in the larger society, and to the changes introduced by the advent of revivalism, by embracing modernist Protestantism.
Geographical and demographic approaches to leaving religion seek to understand processes of religious conversion and change across space and the human lifecycle. Geographical approaches have considered how structural shifts – such as those associated with social modernisation, communism and secularisation – have brought about large-scale departures from religion. Recently, these approaches have become more granular, and have considered the ways in which space can be a mediator and outcome of religious activity. Demographic approaches have considered how the propensity to leave religion intersects with life events, human development and other forms of population profiling. As such, they attempt to predict when individuals are likely to leave religion, but do not necessarily explain why.
Leaving religion has not been considered as a topic of historical inquiry apart from conversion until recently. As in the study of conversion, the historiographical consideration of leaving religion faces a number of theoretical problems and challenges. Medieval historiography has often approached leaving religion in negative terms as an element of heresy, apostasy, and unorthodox deviance, while historiography of the early modern period, often as part of a critique of medieval religiosity, has approached the subject in positive terms as an example of the rise of reason through secularism and skepticism. This chapter traces the historical schools and methods over the last century that have approached leaving religion in both positive and negative terms, viewing it through the lens of culture, language, political history, and literary form.
This article explores apostasy from Buddhism and addresses circumstances that have caused monastics and lay people leaving Buddhism. The focus is mainly on Theravada, the oldest form of Buddhism, and shows that sanctions against apostasy are absent in the Buddhist canonical texts. In spite of that, sanctions against people who leave Buddhism has developed in the Buddhist traditions. The article deals with monastics who have left or been expelled from the Buddhist congregation (sangha) because of not conforming to the tradition; consequences of female ordination (bhikkhuni ordination) and effects of conversion to Christianity after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.