Handbook of Hinduism in Europe portrays and analyses how Hindu traditions have expanded across the continent, and presents the main Hindu communities, religious groups, forms, practices and teachings. The Handbook does this in two parts, Part One covers historical and thematic topics which are of importance for understanding Hinduism in Europe as a whole and Part Two have articles on Hindu traditions in every country in Europe. Hindu traditions have a long history of interaction with Europe, but the developments during the last fifty years represent a new phase. Globalization and increased ease of communication have led to the presence of a great plurality of Hindu traditions. Hinduism has become one of the major religions in Europe and is present in every country of the continent.
Islam in Post-communist Eastern Europe: Between Churchification and Securitization Egdūnas Račius reveals how not only the governance of religions but also practical politics in post-communist Eastern Europe are permeated by the strategies of churchification and securitization of Islam. Though most Muslims and the majority of researchers of Islam hold to the view that there may not be church in Islam, material evidence suggests that the representative Muslim religious organizations in many Eastern European countries have been effectively turned into ecclesiastical-bureaucratic institutions akin to nothing less than ‘national Muslim Churches’. As such, these ‘national Muslim Churches’ themselves take an active part in securitization, advanced by both non-Muslim political and social actors, of certain forms of Islamic religiosity.
The Critique of Religion and Religion’s Critique: On Dialectical Religiology, Dustin J. Byrd compiles numerous essays honouring the life and work of the Critical Theorist, Rudolf J. Siebert. His “dialectical religiology,” rooted in the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, especially Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Leo Löwenthal, and Jürgen Habermas, is both a theory and method of understanding religion’s critique of modernity and modernity’s critique of religion. Born out of the Enlightenment and its most important thinkers, i.e. Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, religion is understood to be dialectical in nature. It contains within it both revolutionary and emancipatory elements, but also reactionary and regressive elements, which perpetuate mankind’s continual debasement, enslavement, and oppression. Thus, religion by nature is conflicted within itself and thus stands against itself. Dialectical Religiology attempts to rescue those elements of religion from the dustbin of history and reintroduce them into society via their determinate negation. As such, it attempts to resolve the social, political, theological, and philosophical antagonisms that plague the modern world, in hopes of producing a more peaceful, justice-filled, equal, and reconciled society. The contributors to this book recognize the tremendous contributions of Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert in the fields of philosophy, sociology, history, and theology, and have profited from his long career. This book attempts to honour that life and work.
Contributors include: Edmund Arens, Gregory Baum, Francis Brassard, Dustin J. Byrd, Denis R. Janz, Gottfried Küenzlen, Mislav Kukoč, Michael, R. Ott, Rudolf J. Siebert, Hans K. Weitensteiner, and Brian C. Wilson.
A belief-as-benefit effect (BABE)—the positive association between well-being and religiosity/spirituality—is recurrently reported. Past BABE research has however been critiqued for predominantly utilizing unrepresentative samples, questionable psychometric measures and bivariate designs. Employing a multivariate design, I explore the incremental validity of the BABE in two community samples. Hierarchical models—initially including socio-demographic factors and religiosity/spirituality and subsequently adding trait agreeableness and conscientiousness—are used. Simple correlations confirm the BABE (with an unexceptional effect size). However the unique association observed using multivariate estimation is substantially weaker and occasionally indicates an adverse association. That cross-sectional analyses cannot establish cause is fully acknowledged. Yet, establishing cause is not the current aim; multivariate models are simply used to substantiate the cross-sectional BABE.
The recent report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life is intended to “offer a new and complementary lens with which to glean new insights into religion and public life”. The technique of cluster analysis was used on measures of religious and spiritual beliefs, yielding seven groups, two consisting primarily of nonreligious or secular individuals. There are “breadth-versus-depth” tradeoffs involved in this approach. A belief-based typology is an improvement upon a grouping that uses religious denomination, which undercounts secular individuals. But the theoretical implications of this typology for understanding secular individuals necessitate scrutiny, including how the use of meaning in life as a marker of well-being may be misleading in the case of the nonreligious.
To oppose Secularism modern Christians depend on myths about the historical development of civilization. Such as the myth of a Christian America, imagining such things as that the United States Constitution was based on Biblical Christian principles. Parallel to this myth is another about science: that the Scientific Revolution, and therefore modern science, was based on Biblical Christian principles and could not have occurred (and therefore cannot continue) without them. Necessary to this are several false claims, most particularly that ancient pagans never did and never could have made any significant scientific progress, and that Christian theology was essential to doing so. These myths are here dispelled with recourse to a survey of the actual facts of the matter.
Using Davis Buckley’s (2013) notion of “Benevolent Secularism” this article examines how the evangelical movement in Brazil, in particular, the neopentecostal movement, challenges the historical stability of relations between state and religion. Until very recently this relationship was based on cooperation between the Catholic Church and the State in the one hand and an inter-religious coalition led by Catholicism in the other. In this text, I will first discuss the concept of “benevolent secularism” and its theoretical-methodological implications. Then, I will present empiric examples to describe how Christian religions relate to politics in Brazil. Those examples will test the applicability of Buckley’s concept to represent Brazilian secularism. And, they will also demonstrate the heuristic virtues of this concept for the understanding of the impact of the evangelical modus operandi in the configuration of the secular in Brazilian society.
Focusing on Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, “Religious Education and the Anglo-World” historiographically examines the relationship between empire and religious education. In each case the analysis centres on the foundational moments of publicly funded education in the mid- to late-nineteenth centuries when policy makers created largely Protestant systems of religious education, and frequently denied Roman Catholics funding for private education. Secondly, the period from 1880 to 1960 during which campaigns to strengthen religious education emerged in each context. Finally, the era of decolonisation from the 1960s through the 1980s when publicly funded religious education was challenged by the loss of Britishness as a central ideal, and Roman Catholics found unprecedented success in achieving state aid in many cases. By bringing these disparate national literatures into conversation with one another, the essay calls for a greater transnational approach to the study of religious education in the Anglo-World.
Thomas D. Hamm (Earlham College) argues that a self-conscious, liberal Quakerism emerged in North America between 1790 and 1920. It had three characteristics. The first was a commitment to liberty of conscience. The second was pronounced doubts about orthodox beliefs, such as the divinity of Christ. Finally, liberal Friends saw themselves as holding beliefs fully consistent with early Quakerism. Stirrings appeared as early as the 1790s. Hicksite Friends in the 1820s, although perceiving themselves as traditionalists, manifested all of these characteristics. When other Hicksites took such stances in even more radical directions after 1830, however, bitter divisions ensued. Orthodox Friends were slower to develop liberal thought. It emerged after 1870, as higher education became central to the Gurneyite branch of Orthodox Quakerism, and as some Gurneyites responded to influences in the larger society, and to the changes introduced by the advent of revivalism, by embracing modernist Protestantism.