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Abstract

The English writer John Michell (1933–2009) occupied a significant position within British alternative religion. Michell’s manifold books revolve around his life-long aim to re-enchant the English landscape and launch a new golden age. Michell was a devoted Traditionalist and is widely considered the founding father of the vast field of British Earth Mysteries. Associated groups embrace speculative theories of the earth, claiming the existence of telluric (dragon) energies. As Michell’s impact on such groups is widely acknowledged, within the context of Earth Mysteries, this article centers on cerealogy and the Dragon Environmental Network as examples in exploring Michell’s discursive and enduring influence.

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

In feminist research on religion, women and gender, the concepts of “lived religion” as well as “agency as doing religion” take a prominent place. Both include an intersubjective and mostly partial perspective. However, against the background of current developments concerning a global religious right, the paper argues for the inclusion of a critical perspective through the methodology of a double critique that includes both an analysis of power relations that marginalize women in religious groups and an analysis of women’s reproduction of gendered as well as racialized power relations. This argument is embedded in the complexity of post-secular feminist research including research on women, gender and religion, feminist critiques of secularism (and of anti-Muslim discourses), feminist, queer and trans theologies, and research on the religious right and their anti-feminist politics. The paper suggests to take feminist theologies and feminist spiritualities/religious practices as reference point for such an analysis.

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

Since the 2000s there has been a group of prominent scholars in China embracing the political views of Carl Schmitt. They are aware of the dangerous side of his thought but have provided reasonable analysis in relation to the Chinese social situation. Outlining their discussions, this article will depict the phenomenon with a focus on Schmitt’s controversial political theology. That will be compared with the thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Although their political alignments were opposed to each other, the theoretical structure of their thinking reveals striking similarities. This article will thus articulate the theological reasons that allow for the differences between their ideas and actions and will produce a reflection on the contemporary situation in China. It is not due to the theoretical structure, but to the image of the sovereign embraced, that the stances of the two thinkers differed. From this we may draw implications from a public theological discussion for constructing a democratic society in the context of China.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

The Kenyan post-election violence of 2007 deepened the ethnic differences that have been growing for the past decades after independence. While the August 2022 elections revealed political maturity, the October 2017 re-elections indicated that the hostility was not a settled issue. Kenyan churches in the post-democratic space have courted with political alliances along ethnic blocs. Additionally, some of the protestant churches in Kenya such as Presbyterian, Methodist and Friends, are largely monoethnic despite their long history. To what extent can these churches follow the biblical vision of a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic church? This topic has generated theological interest yet few have assessed the role of the youth in ethnic reconciliation. This article will 1) survey the issue of ethnicity and the church; 2) offer a biblical-theological reflection on ethnicity, and 3) suggest how an inclusive-congregational youth ministry model can revitalize ethnic reconciliation in the church and by extension, society.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

Ever since the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation in 1991, the Bible has become foundational in the public of life, and often cited in public debates. This article employs symbolic power as an analytical tool to examine Sumaili’s state theology of the Bible which politicized and reduced the Bible in the public into a state apparatus for defining, shaping, and determining the meaning and content for governing Zambia. It proposes a Pentecostal public theology of the people’s Bible as a site of struggle against politics of dehumanization, oppression, exploitation, and systematic inequalities.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Free access
In: International Journal of Public Theology
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Abstract

The Samoan election of 2021 provoked a constitutional crisis. It brought to an end sixty years of political stability that had been determined by the interweaving of democratic ideals with indigenous cultural values and Christian principles. The election had led to a tie on the night and led to various legal appeals, protests and the reluctance of the Prime Minister of more than twenty years refusing to stand down. With one exception – the Roman Catholic Archbishop – the churches were silent, ‘lost for words’. The crisis happened at a time when the first wave of localized and contextual public theologies were beginning to appear in theological research. Their particular focus was on a range of other issues (mainly due to timing). Their emergence, nevertheless, invites a consideration of what such a public theology might look like in a society where there is no history of a prophetic voice and the cultural system of fa’aSamoa relies upon a principle of respect (which was violated during the crisis).

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

Military chaplains are involved in the moral formation of military personnel. They have to do justice to the internal perspective on morality of their religion, while honouring the plurality of perspectives. The objective of this article is to examine how the contribution of military chaplains to the moral formation of military personnel can be substantiated from a Protestant theological perspective. We first discuss Tillich’s Protestant principle, which functions as a starting point and criterion in the moral discourse. We then show how Bonhoeffer combines a view of reality inspired by faith and a serviceable attitude towards reality. Finally, we focus on the role of theology and the role of the military chaplain as theologian in the moral formation of military personnel with the ideas of Volf and Croasmun. We conclude that Protestant theological perspectives on morality are vital to the moral formation of military personnel.

In: International Journal of Public Theology