In Jesus the Samaritan: Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John, Stewart Penwell examines how ethnic labels function in the Gospel of John. After a review of the discourse history between “the Jews” and “the Samaritans,” the dual ethnic labeling in John 4:9 and 8:48 are examined and, in each instance, members from “the Jews” and “the Samaritans” label Jesus as a member of each other’s group for deviating from what were deemed acceptable practices as a member of “the Jews.” The intra-textual links between John 4 and 8 reveal that the function of Jesus’s dual ethnic labelling is to establish a new pattern of practices and categories for the “children of God” (1:12; 11:52) who are a trans-ethnic group united in fictive kinship and embedded within the Judean ethnic group’s culture and traditions.
Edited by Paul L. Gareau, Spencer Culham Bullivant and Peter Beyer
Youth, Religion, and Identity in a Globalizing Context: International Perspectives investigates the ways that young people navigate the intersections of religion and identity. As part of the Youth in a Globalizing World series, this book provides a broad discussion on the various social, cultural, and political forces affecting youth and their identities from an international comparative perspective. Contributors to this volume situate the experiences of young people in Canada, the United States, Germany, and Australia within a globalized context. This volume explores the different experiences of youth, the impact of community and processes of recognition, and the reality of ambivalence as agency.
Material Remains and Textual Foundations
In A History of Water Engineering and Management in Yemen, Ingrid Hehmeyer describes the three-way relationship between water, land, and humans from ancient to medieval and premodern times. As illustrated in case studies from four sites, individual ecosystems necessitated different engineering and management approaches in order to make good use of the scarce water resources for both irrigated agriculture and domestic consumption. Material remains and written sources provide the evidence for a comprehensive examination of continuity and change; technical and managerial struggles, failures, and successes; the question of technology transfer; the impact of the religion of Islam on water use and allocation; and people’s reactions in times of severe crisis.
Mouradgea d’Ohsson and His Masterpiece
Carter Vaughn Findley
Mouradgea d’Ohsson’s Tableau général de l’Empire othoman offered the Enlightenment Republic of Letters its most authoritative work on Islam and the Ottomans, also a practical reference work for kings and statesmen. Profusely illustrated and opening deep insights into illustrated book production in this period, this is also the richest collection of visual documentation on the Ottomans in a hundred years. Shaped by the author’s personal struggles, the work yet commands recognition in its own totality as a monument to inter-cultural understanding. In form one of the great taxonomic works of Enlightenment thought, this is a work of advocacy in the cause of reform and amity among France, Sweden, and the Ottoman Empire.
A Unity Only God Wants
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.
Edited by Andrew Village and Ralph W. Hood
The general papers in Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 29 cover a range of topics including psychological type, prayer, nature and well-being, psychobiography, coping with addiction, and the role of place in spirituality. The first special section on congregational studies draws on a range of large datasets from the National Church Life Surveys in Australia. Papers examine the factors that predict individual sense of belonging in Catholic parishes as well as congregational-level aspects of vitality, collective confidence, and innovativeness. The second special section examines the Ideological Surround Model and how it can help to better understand expressions of faith related to psychological constructs such as mindfulness, fundamentalism, and the ‘Dark Triad’ of Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy.
Edited by Asbjørn Dyrendal, David G. Robertson and Egil Asprem
Conspiracy theories are a ubiquitous feature of our times. The Handbook of Conspiracy Theories and Contemporary Religion is the first reference work to offer a comprehensive, transnational overview of this phenomenon along with in-depth discussions of how conspiracy theories relate to religion(s). Bringing together experts from a wide range of disciplines, from psychology and philosophy to political science and the history of religions, the book sets the standard for the interdisciplinary study of religion and conspiracy theories.
Reflexive Religion: The New Age in Brazil and Beyond examines the rise of alternative spiritualities in contemporary Brazil. Masterfully combining late modern theory with multi-site ethnographies of the New Age, it explains how traditional religion is being transformed by processes of reflexivity, globalization and individualism. The book unveils how the New Age has entered Brazil, was adapted to local Catholic, Spiritist and psychology cultures, and more recently how the Brazilian Nova Era re-enters transnational circuits of spiritual practice. It closely examines Paulo Coelho (spiritualist novels), Projectiology (astral projection) and Santo Daime (neo-shamanism) to understand the broader “new agerization” of Christianity and Spiritualism. Reflexive Religion offers a compelling account of how the religious field is being updated under late modern conditions.
In Revelations of Ideology, G. Anthony Keddie proposes a new theory of the social function of Judaean apocalyptic texts produced in Early Roman Palestine (63 BCE–70 CE). In contrast to evaluations of Jewish and early Christian apocalyptic texts as “literature of the oppressed” or literature of resistance against empire, Keddie demonstrates that scribes produced apocalyptic texts to advance ideologies aimed at self-legitimation. By revealing that their opponents constituted an exploitative class, scribes generated apocalyptic ideologies that situated them in the same exploited class as their constituents. Through careful historical and ideological criticism of the Psalms of Solomon, Parables of Enoch, Testament of Moses, and Q source, Keddie identifies an internally diverse tradition of apocalyptic class rhetoric in late Second Temple Judaism.
Edited by Jason N. Blum
The traditions and institutions that we call religions abound with references to the supernatural: ancestral spirits, karma, the afterlife, miracles, revelation, deities, etc. How are students of religion to approach the behaviors, doctrines, and beliefs that refer to such phenomena, which by their very nature are supposed to defy the methods of empirical research and the theories of historical scholarship? That is the question of methodological naturalism. The Question of Methodological Naturalism offers ten thoughtful engagements with that perennial question for the academic study of religion. Contributors include established senior scholars and newer voices propounding a range of perspectives, resulting in both surprising points of convergence and irreconcilable differences in how our shared discipline should be conceptualized and practiced.