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Laura Rediehs

Abstract

Quakerism emerged in the seventeenth century, during a time when philosophical debates about the nature of knowledge led to the emergence of modern science. The Quakers, in some conversation with early modern philosophers, developed a distinctive epistemology rooted in their concept of the Light Within, which functioned as a special internal sense giving access to divine insight. The Light Within provided illumination both to properly understand the Bible and to ‘read’ the Book of Nature. This epistemology can be thought of as an expanded experiential empiricism that integrates our ethical and religious knowledge with our scientific knowledge. This epistemology has carried through in Quaker thought to the present day and can be helpful in the context of today’s epistemological crisis.

Maria Kennedy

Abstract

This work is a sociological study of Quakers, which investigates the impact that sectarianism has had on identity construction within the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland. The research highlights individual Friends’ complex and hybrid cultural, national and theological identities, mirrored by the Society’s corporate identity. This publication focuses specifically on examples of political and theological hybridity. These hybrid identities resulted in tensions that impact on relationships between Friends and the wider organisation. How Friends negotiate and accommodate these diverse identities is explored. It is argued that Irish Quakers prioritise ‘relational unity’ and have developed a distinctive approach to complex identity management. It is asserted that in the two Irish states, ‘Quaker’ represents a meta-identity, which is counter-cultural in its non-sectarianism, although this is more problematic within the organisation. Furthermore, by modelling an alternative, non-sectarian identity, Quakers in Ireland contribute to building capacity for transformation from oppositional, binary identities to more fluid and inclusive ones.

Sufism East and West

Mystical Islam and Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Modern World

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Edited by Jamal Malik and Saeed Zarrabi-Zadeh

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Francois Soyer

In Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories in the Early Modern Iberian World: Narratives of Fear and Hatred, François Soyer offers the first detailed historical analysis of antisemitic conspiracy theories in Spain, Portugal and their overseas colonies between 1450 and 1750. These conspiracy theories accused Jews and conversos, the descendants of medieval Jewish converts to Christianity, of deadly plots and blamed them for a range of social, religious, military and economic problems. Ultimately, many Iberian antisemitic conspiracy theorists aimed to create a ‘moral panic’ about the converso presence in Iberian society, thereby justifying the legitimacy of ethnic discrimination within the Church and society. Moreover, they were also exploited by some churchmen seeking to impose an idealized sense of communal identity upon the lay faithful.

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Edited by Ignacio Gallup-Diaz and Geoffrey Plank

Quakers and Native Americans examines the history of interactions between Quakers and Native Americans (American Indians). Fourteen scholarly essays cover the period from the 1650s to the twentieth century. American Indians often guided the Quakers by word and example, demanding that they give content to their celebrated commitment to peace. As a consequence, the Quakers’ relations with American Indians has helped define their sense of mission and propelled their rise to influence in the U.S. Quakers have influenced Native American history as colonists, government advisors, and educators, eventually promoting boarding schools, assimilation and the suppression of indigenous cultures. The final two essays in this collection provide Quaker and American Indian perspectives on this history, bringing the story up to the present day.

Contributors include: Ray Batchelor, Lori Daggar, John Echohawk, Stephanie Gamble, Lawrence M. Hauptman, Allison Hrabar, Thomas J. Lappas, Carol Nackenoff, Paula Palmer, Ellen M. Ross, Jean R. Soderlund, Mary Beth Start, Tara Strauch, Marie Balsley Taylor, Elizabeth Thompson, and Scott M. Wert.

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Marthe Hesselmans

In Racial Integration in the Church of Apartheid Marthe Hesselmans uncovers the post-apartheid transformation of South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church. This church once constituted the religious pillar of the Afrikaner apartheid regime (1948-1994). Today, it seeks to unite the communities it long segregated into one multiracial institution. Few believe this will succeed. A close look inside congregations reveals unexpected stories of reconciliation though. Where South Africans realize they need each other to survive, faith offers common ground – albeit a feeble one. They show the potential, but also the limits of faith communities untangling entrenched national and racial affiliations. Linking South Africa’s post-apartheid transition to religious-nationalist movements worldwide, Hesselmans offers a unique perspective on religion as source of division and healing.

Josef van Ess

Edited by Gwendolin Goldbloom

Theology and Society is the most comprehensive study of Islamic intellectual and religious history, focusing on Muslim theology. With its emphasis on the eighth and ninth centuries CE, it remains the most detailed prosopographical study of the early phase of the formation of Islam. Originally published in German between 1991 and 1995, Theology and Society is a monument of scholarship and a unique scholarly enterprise which has stood the test of time as an unparalleled reference work.

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Ronald Suleski

In this exciting book, Ronald Suleski introduces daily life for the common people of China in the century from 1850 to 1950. They were semi-literate, yet they have left us written accounts of their hopes, fears, and values. They have left us the hand-written manuscripts ( chaoben 抄本) now flooding the antiques markets in China. These documents represent a new and heretofore overlooked category of historical sources.
Suleski gives a detailed explanation of the interaction of chaoben with the lives of the people. He offers examples of why they were so important to the poor laboring masses: people wanted horoscopes predicting their future, information about the ghosts causing them headaches, a few written words to help them trade in the rural markets, and many more examples are given. The book contains a special appendix giving the first complete translation into English of a chaoben describing the ghosts and goblins that bedeviled the poor working classes.

Patrons of the Old Faith

The Catholic Nobility in Utrecht and Guelders, c. 1580–1702

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Jaap Geraerts

Patrons of the Old Faith is the first full-length study on the Catholic nobility in the Dutch Republic. Based on a detailed prosopographical analysis and through the examination of their marriage strategies, interaction with Protestants, religiosity and contributions to the Holland Mission, Jaap Geraerts shows how the behaviour of the Catholic nobility was highly distinctive and differed from their co-religionists and Protestant peers as it was influenced by a specific set of noble and Catholic values. Due to the synthesis of their noble and confessional identities, the Dutch Catholic nobility in Utrecht and Guelders acted as patrons of their faith and were instrumental for the survival of Catholicism in the Dutch Republic.

The Market and the Oikos

The Relationship between Religion and Capitalism in Modern China

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Hans Derks

Probably the most fundamental relationship in human history is that of the Market versus the Oikos (= the authoritarian ruled house, family, household or the State). Its main features and elements are analysed and newly defined as are its relations with town–country antagonisms or capitalism, nation, race, religion, and so on. Because it concerns a rather universal relationship, the definitions of the relevant elements are developed over time (from ancient Greeks to Nazi contexts) and place (in the West and the East, particularly China). Max Weber is chosen as our “sparring partner,” starting with his popular analysis of the relationship of capitalism and religion in the West and of Chinese society in the East