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Author: Teemu Taira
This book demonstrates through methodological reflections and carefully chosen case studies a new way to conduct study of religion. It focuses on how social actors negotiate what counts as “religion” and how discourses on religion are part of the way in which contemporary societies organise themselves. The present volume draws on examples from judicial processes, media discourses, and scholarly debates related to Wiccans, Druids, and Jedi knights, among others. By analysing discourses on religion and building on, rather than rejecting, genealogical critiques of religion, Teemu Taira argues that the study of religion can be constructive and socially relevant.
Author: Nathan P. Devir
Millions of African Christians who consider themselves genealogical descendants of one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel—in other words, Jewish by ethnicity, but Christian in terms of faith—are increasingly choosing a religious affiliation that honors both of these identities. Their choice: Messianic Judaism. Messianic adherents emulate the Christians of the first century, observing the Jewish commandments while also affirming the salvational grace of Yeshua (Jesus). As the first comparative ethnography of such “fulfilled Jews” on the African continent, this book presents case studies that will enrich our understanding of one of global Christianity’s most overlooked iterations.
Ethnohistoire d’une hétérotopie au Caire (979-2021)
Author: Gaétan du Roy
Les éboueurs du Caire (les Zabbalin) se sont installés sur les pentes du Muqattam en 1970. Très vite, ils ont attiré l’attention de nombreux acteurs actifs dans le développement ou la mission religieuse : des ingénieurs égyptiens, une sœur catholique Française, et le personnage central de cette histoire, le père Samʿān, qui se lança dans une mission auprès des Zabbalin en 1974. Ce prêcheur fonda plusieurs églises connues aujourd’hui sous le nom du monastère de Saint-Samʿan-le-Tanneur, un complexe de sept sanctuaires taillés dans les falaises du Muqattam. A travers son style charismatique et ses exorcismes publics mettant en scène une lutte symbolique entre Islam et Christianisme, Samʿān est devenu l’une des figures de proue de son Eglise.

The Cairene garbage collectors (the Zabbalin) settled on the Muqattam slopes in 1970. Soon they attracted the attention of different actors involved in development and religious mission: Egyptian engineers, a French Catholic Sister and the most central character of this story, Father Samʿān, who started a mission among the Zabbalin in 1974. This preacher founded several churches, today known as the Monastery of Saint Samʿān the Tanner, a complex of seven churches carved in the Muqattam walls. Through his charismatic style of preaching and his public exorcisms symbolically staging the struggle between Christianity and Islam, Samʿān has become a figurehead of his church.
The Spatial Practices series is premised on the observation that places are inscribed with cultural meaning, not least of all in terms of collective constructions of identity. Such space-based constructions can manifest in material and immaterial, explicit and implicit forms of heritage, and they are crucial factors in the promotion of a group’s wellbeing. It is this intersection of spaces, heritage and wellbeing that the present volume takes at its object. It considers ways in which institutional spaces in their materiality as well as in their cultural inscriptions impact on the wellbeing of the subjects inhabiting them and explores how heritage comes to bear on these interrelations within specific institutions, such as prisons, hospitals or graveyards.
Muslim women’s freedom, or assumed lack thereof, has long been a Western obsession. Almost never do we ask, what does agency look like to Muslim women? Who or what do they think constrains them, and how do they challenge that? Focussing on the little-researched area of the Australian Muslim community, this book brings together for the first time diverse accounts from Australian Muslim researchers, leaders, and community workers to interrogate how Muslim women understand, experience, and fight for agency. Academic and activist, personal and political, this ground-breaking book features the people at the centre of the debate.

Contributors are Feda Abdo, Amira Aftab, Mahsheed Ansari, Fadi Baghdadi, Susan Carland, Tasneem Chopra, Mehreen Faruqi, Derya Iner, Balawyn Jones, Souha Korbatieh, Ghena Krayem, Mehal Krayem and Ayah Wehbe.
Author: Andrew Shepherd


Within the emerging field of evolutionary psychology a consensus is developing that the triggering of emotions is integral to the human response to threats. This understanding of human psychology underlies a vigorous debate within the contemporary activity of climate change communication regarding the efficacy of the emotions of fear vis-à-vis hope for mobilising human behavioural change. Noting the contours of this debate and the paucity of radical future vision casting within contemporary western political discourse, the article examines how images of terror function within the ‘Little Apocalypse’ passage in Matthew 24 and potential insights this offers to our contemporary situation. Building upon this biblical reflection, the article contends that the Christian practices of preaching and singing have significant power to shape communal imaginative visions of alternative futures. As such, these practices are critical gifts that the church can offer the environmental movement and broader society in this moment of time.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Stephen Pickard


This article examines the theological concepts of divine simplicity and the attributes of God. The purpose of this inquiry is to explore the significance of these themes for Christian/Muslim dialogue. In this sense the article is an overture to a public theology undertaken through aspects of the doctrine of God foundational for Christians and Muslims. An introduction identifies the somewhat marginal significance of theological dialogue in Christian-Muslim encounter. In doing so it considers what contribution Karl Barth might have to make to Christian-Muslim reflections on the doctrine of God. The main focus of the article examines Barth’s treatment of divine simplicity and the attributes of God. In this respect the article highlights the importance of Barth’s ethical transposition of the doctrine of divine simplicity and its implications for inter-religious engagements in the world. The article argues for a public theology which takes more seriously the relationship between theory and practice in inter-religious dialogue.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Ben Siu-pun Ho


The neologism ‘post-truth’ was declared to be ‘the word of the year’ in 2016 by the Oxford Dictionary. It came to prominence in the presidential election of that year in the United States and during the Brexit referendum. It represents the eclipse of a sense of shared objective truths and has become associated with terms like ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ – and, with reference to Covid-19, conspiracy theories. The purpose of this article is to provide a theological engagement with this phenomenon; it does so by making a distinction between two types of response in the extant literature. Moreover, it offers a critique on the basis of theories of ideology and politics and draws upon the theology of Paul Tillich to offer a constructive proposal.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Ben Myers


This article argues that theology belongs in the university not because of its relationship to the other disciplines but because of its relationship to the church. It discusses Schleiermacher’s understanding of theology as a practical science oriented towards Christian leadership in society. It argues that Schleiermacher’s account provides an illuminating perspective on the history of academic theology in Australia. Theology belongs in the university not for any internal methodological reasons but because of specific contextual conditions in societies like Australia where Christianity has exerted a large historical influence. The article concludes by arguing that the ecclesial orientation of university theology is compatible with the aims of public theology, given that service to the Christian community is a means by which the common flourishing of society can be promoted.

In: International Journal of Public Theology