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Abstract

Supranational cultural institutions and communities play an interesting role in the development of abortion policy both historically and today. In this article we consider two such institutions: the Catholic Church and the European community. The church is famously antiabortion, and we describe the ways in which the Catholic position manifests itself in different countries. Conversely, almost all European countries have liberal laws that allow abortion on demand for twelve weeks of pregnancy. Italy sits at the intersection of European and Catholic identities. Italy adopted European-style liberal abortion laws early, but Italians continue to identify with the church in surveys, which is one of the causes of high levels of conscientious objection by medical professionals. Italy’s abortion policy pleases neither Catholics nor secularists. We explain this by understanding Italy’s abortion law as liberal de jure, but its culture is still heavily influenced by Catholicism, resulting in limited abortion access de facto.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

In this article we will examine how ethnicity (Russians and Russian speakers of mixed ethnic identities) and religion (Orthodoxy) interact and construct ethnoreligious identity in the case of Orthodox Christians in Lithuania. To investigate these aspects, the article will draw on data from qualitative fieldwork (2019–2021) and the analysis of articles from the official journal of the archdiocese of Vilnius and Lithuania. We argue that for the Orthodox community in Lithuania, the historically established close links of Orthodoxy with Russian Orthodox tradition and Russian identity are important today. However, a significant part of the Lithuanian Orthodox community identifies with the global (Byzantium) and/or local (Grand Duchy of Lithuania) Orthodox tradition and faces the challenge of including the Lithuanian language in religious education and practices.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Author:

Abstract

This article focuses on how the digital age has affected the Crimean Tatar religious authorities in the emerging cyber-Islamic environment. I argue that despite government restrictions, the internet remains a safe space for public debate and for challenging Muslim authorities in Crimea. I also argue that although online media have allowed traditional Muslim authorities in Crimea to improve communication within their organization and expand their audiences, they have become a platform for challenging their hierarchies, structures, ideologies, and texts. First, the structure of the Crimean Muslim community is outlined. I then describe the Crimean cyber-Islamic environment, before using social-media analysis and interviews with Muslim leaders to analyze the situation in the Crimean Tatars’ cyber-Islamic environment, with a focus on their religious authorities.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

While the prominence of neuroscience and neurotechnologies has generated intensive debates about the normative analysis of the ethical-legal challenges in public opinion and academia, these debates are relatively scarce among law and religion experts. To overcome the shortfall, this contribution describes the impact of the main neuroscientific applications on the right of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. Considering how neurosciences techniques can alter the mind, decode thoughts, and enhance cognitive functions, particularly individual thought and conscience, I suggest revising the traditional dichotomy of forum internum and forum externum of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and rethinking the protection of the forum internum, which is at risk in the Age of Neuroscience.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

This article discusses how the visual and embodied storytelling methods of the theater may be used in the formation of Islamic knowledge. Examining productions staged by young women in Oslo in the tradition of the Twelver Shia theater, taʿziyeh/shabih, during commemorative rituals, I ask: How did producers and actors perceive theater to generate knowledge? How were visual and embodied storytelling methods used in conveying religious knowledge? What kind of knowledge was generated? Inspired by theater theory and post-structuralist semiotics, the analysis shows that the theater had transformative qualities that could contribute to cultural transmission, education, and moral and spiritual development. Knowledge was produced through sensorial communication, thinking, and understanding, and was held to emerge from the spectators’ and actors’ aesthetic and affective experiences, in addition to their abilities to create emotional relations with holy protagonists and the divine. The learning outcome was therefore presented as open-ended and invited young spectators and actors to take responsibility and reflect on how to act and respond in our time.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
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In: Journal of Religion in Europe