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Intercultural contributions from French-speaking Africa
For years the fact that the debate on science and religion was not related to cultural diversity was considered only a minor issue. However, lately, there is a growing concern that the dominance of ‘Western’ perspectives in this field do not allow for new understandings. This book testifies to the growing interest in the different cultural embeddings of the science and religion interface and proposes a framework that makes an intercultural debate possible. This proposal is based on a thorough study of the ‘lived theology’ of Christian students and university professors in Abidjan, Kinshasa and Yaoundé. The outcomes of the field research are related to a worldwide perspective of doing theology and a broader scope of scholarly discussions.

We analyze cohort fertility by religion and education in Latin America from periods previous to the general decline in period fertility in 1950s. We reconstruct cohort fertility and parity progression ratios of women born in 1930–1970 in a number of countries in the region, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru. Our main aim is to understand the past developments of cohort fertility in the course of fertility transition in Latin America and to assess the role of religious affiliation, as well as to understand these developments controlling for a number of socioeconomic characteristics. We also seek to grasp if religion becomes more or less important with rising school levels and human capital over time.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography
In: Journal of Religion and Demography

In most European countries more religious people have more children than the secular and are less likely to remain childless. However, in some ex-communist states this association is subdued or even inverted. This study investigates not only fertility and partnering outcomes, but also differences in the level of desire for a child. Four contrasting countries are compared: Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Georgia. We found the more religious had higher expectations that a child would bring joy into their life than the non-religious. The religious ‘nones’ tend to be very worried about the financial impact of a(nother) child and negative effect on their sex life; these concerns are much less prevalent among active Christians. In Georgia, where highly educated young people are more religious than the old, differentials by religiosity are small. History and context cause the impact of personal religiosity on fertility behavior and attitudes to be potentially divergent.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

This article offers analysis of religious affiliation for 18 categories of religion for the globe and six continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Northern America, and Oceania. Estimates of religious affilia¬tion are made for four dates, 1970, 2000, 2018, and projections for 2030. Annual average growth rates are provided for two 30-year periods, 1970–2000 and 2000–2030. These global and continen¬tal tables are aggregated from country data in the World Religion Database.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

In this paper we focus on the top 10% of income earners, and within those at the individuals with more than 1 and 50 million in assets worldwide and their religion. This is a group of people with an inherent global outlook on their activities and social lives, who often share more interests in common with people along the same scale of wealth than with many of their fellow country-people at lower levels of income. The perception of political power gained by wealthy individuals punctually observed, has been found by research to be buttressed by the more active political participation by people in the upper ranges of income distribution and increased inequality is found to increase unequal political outcomes.

The social behaviour of this group of people at the top of the global income scale drives social policy, as these citizens tend to be better educated, connected, travelled and economically and politically active than the parts of the population that are worse off.

Religion, or the lack thereof, is a global social marker that influences behaviour on many levels, often at subconscious levels shared by whole societies, such as the perception of fairness and retribution, redistribution of resources and the wider relationship of society to economic resources.

Contemplated from a global perspective, religion as a shared cultural trait across nations may be a powerful unifier of interests and driver of political and economic action to tackle global problems such as climate change, environmental degradation, global poverty alleviation and other type of global externalities. Understanding the religious make-up of the group of people most active in shaping economic and cultural decisions globally should help in finding platforms for global cooperation.

In: Journal of Religion and Demography

Abstract

Universal salvation (apokatastasis), once considered as an anathema, has recently gained a lot of currency in theological reflections. This paper will attempt to explore the possibilities for such a universal restitution of all creation using Irenaeus’ conception of the double mission of the Son and the Spirit in relation to creation as “the two hands with which God creates and perfects.” Toward this purpose, it will try to address the inherent limitations within the traditional notion of conceiving Christ as the Redeemer and the Spirit as the Sanctifier that has often resulted in a binary understanding of the role of Christ as “objective” and that of the Spirit as “subjective.” It will argue for a complementary understanding of the “twin mission” through a dialectical-chiastic pattern that will balance the subjective-objective and particular-universal aspects of the Logos and the Ruach.

In: Mission Studies

Abstract

This article argues that Emmanuel Katongole’s theology focuses on contesting conversions in African Christianity. To him, conversions that have so far taken place in much of African Christianity, especially those informed by the theology of inculturation, have not adequately emphasized the formation of critical Christian social imagination that would challenge the violent politics of the postcolonial nation-state in Africa. The article engages Katongole’s theology by showing how his understanding of conversion aligns him with a form of African Christianity which he criticizes – the neo-Pentecostal and Charismatic variety of African Christianity. It critiques Katongole’s proposal by suggesting that the social and political transformation he seeks may be enhanced by forms of conversion rooted in the theology of inculturation which he minimizes.

In: Mission Studies