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Abstract

On the basis of Martin Luther’s theologia crucis in the Heidelberg Disputation (1518), the Lutheran concept of law in the 20th Century is examined. Luther’s distinction of religious and civil dimension of law with its religious restriction to a convicting function regarding the sin is received in the Luther-Renaissance of the 1920 and 1930s. The sample of Emanuel Hirsch (1888–1972) gives insight into the deeply ambivalent character of the Lutheran concept of law before World War II which combined a profound theory of Christian subjectivity with a theory of state promoting German nationalism in opposition to western democracy. The moderate theology of Wolfgang Trillhaas (1903–1995) reflecting the experience of the Nazi-Regime de-potentializes the Lutheran prejudice against the law in order to achieve new democratic perspectives on the notion of law in dogmatics and ethics. Thus, an affirmative position is established despite a remaining ambivalence in contemporary Lutheran Protestantism.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

This article examines the challenges which arise for Catholic canon law from the collision with secular law and the law of other religious communities. It begins by looking at the conditions provided by canon law itself in order to meet these challenges. Subsequently it addresses the specific challenges posed by secular law, especially human rights, and its general influence. Finally, it discusses the challenges posed by religious pluralism, first clarifying the church’s legal relationship with other religious communities and then addressing the very specific question of why church law also applies to non-members in certain cases. The conclusion is that catholic canon law is better equipped to face the current challenges than other religious laws. Nevertheless, there are fruitful tensions and inevitable breaks.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

The article demonstrates a concept of state, society and politics coined by contemporary Greek religious philosopher Christos Yannaras. The concept derives from two sources: on the one hand from the criticism of the modern cataphatic forms of state and society and on the other hand from the apophatic character of the Greek polis. With this creative critical synthesis, based on the apophatic attitude, Yannaras produces a conception of a new polity, contributing to the liberation of the human subject from various aspects of alienation in the cataphatic systems.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

This paper tackles the question of how to handle the phenomenon of “religion” by widely secularized judicial systems by analyzing the “Equal Liberty”-concept from legal scholars Eisgruber and Sager. While they assume that everything worth protecting is already covered by existing anti-discrimination laws, freedom of expression and association, and judge the right to religious freedom as itself discriminatory, this paper considers how this right can be part of an emancipatory human rights approach, which helps us think beyond an antagonistic relationship between religious freedom and other human rights.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

In the following review article, we aim to summarize the current research progress in the field of evolutionary and behavior genetics studies on human religiousness and religious behavior. First, we provide a brief (and thus incomplete) overview of the historical discussions and explain the genetic basis of behavior in general and religious behavior in particular, from twin studies to molecular data analysis. In the second part of the paper, we discuss the potential evolutionary forces leading to human religiousness and human religious behavior, emphasizing the emergence of “axial age” and the so called “big gods” in the relatively recent history of humans.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

Developments in the Islamic world outside of the MENA region traditionally receive little scientific attention. Contrary to this trend, this article focuses on current debates on and developments in the methodology of Islamic Law in Indonesia that are intertwined with the larger process referred to as ‘indigenization of Islam’ in the Southeast Asian country. The pluralistic nature of law in Indonesia leaves room for a rather theoretical and non-juridical discussion of fiqh and enables a renewed exploration of Islamic Law. While easily perceived as a purely religious endeavor, this process comprises important political, social, and religious components and aims at balancing out religious and legal demands and Indonesian culture. By taking various documents and multiple perspectives on Islamic Law into account, this article illustrates the emergence of a genuinely Indonesian Islam and proves how elements of indigenization, globalization, and universalization characterize the process.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

In the last century and a half, modern legal ideas and institutions have more or less found their way into traditional Muslim societies. The translation and transmission of foreign ideas, notions, and concepts into the Islamic context brought about a crisis, which has led to the evaluation of a field of discourse over modernity. The current paper seeks to explain the modifications of the legal language and concepts within the constitutional experience of the Islamic world during the 19th and 20th centuries, by reference to Reinhart Koselleck’s “space of experience” and the “horizon of expectation”. For this purpose, the essay deals with the development of the modern concept of “equality” and some related notions, such as “justice” and “fairness”, with a focus on selected source texts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman-Turkish.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

In the last few years, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has increased its influence over the legislation of the Russian Federation. The ROC transports the ‘divine’ meanings onto secular legal standards, and the state takes over the substantive message of the relevant canon laws. The Russian leadership admitted the establishment of a symphonic relationship with the ROC between 2009 and 2018 in connection with the pontificate of Patriarch Kirill. The “spirit of symphony” stretches even to the new redaction of the Russian Constitution (2020) that speaks about “the faith in God, transmitted by the ancestors” (Art. 671.2), and defines and protects marriage as a heterosexual union (Art. 72.1ж 1). Although the church faces certain opposition to its anti-abortion stance, it has managed to lobby some pro-life reservations in procedural law. Besides, the recent close cooperation with the State Duma promises a further rapprochement between the ROC and the Russian state.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

The claim that Talmudic law is a religious legal system has long been, and continues to be, put forward by both traditional scholars of Jewish law and contemporary academic researchers. The question of whether Talmudic law is a religious legal system most certainly did not engage the Sages of the Talmud, but addressing it will help us grasp the nature of Talmudic law. Furthermore, juxtaposing Talmudic law to Biblical law will help us delineate the concept of religious law, and shed light on certain developments in the evolution of Jewish law.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

The Orthodox Christianity had in some respects divergent development from that of the West, which also resulted in several conceptions that might have had an impact on the contemporary legal situations in the predominantly Orthodox countries. In this contribution we aim at examining the impact of two major points of divergence. One is the cooperative Church–state separation, that is sometimes dubbed as the symphonia of the two. Another set of concepts that arguably marked Orthodox church’s understanding of the rule of law, at least in its internal procedures, is the principle of leniency (oikonomia). It allows for an interpretation of the laws in the interest of the person to which those are to be applied. We want to investigate which pieces of legislation might have been affected by these considerations and whether contemporary challenges of the legal system in Serbia can be traced to some of the Orthodox doctrines. We conclude that while the contemporary Church–state relationship, as envisioned in the corresponding law of the country, demonstrates many traits that can be traced to the symphonia tradition, there is hardly any evidence that would support the claim that the decision-making processes in Serbian courts were marked by conscious application of the principle of oikonomia.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society