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Russian Orthodoxy and Secularism surveys the ways in which the Russian Orthodox Church has negotiated its relationship with the secular state, with other religions, and with Western modernity from its beginnings until the present. It applies multiple theoretical perspectives and draws on different disciplinary approaches to explain the varied and at times contradictory facets of Russian Orthodoxy as a state church or as a critic of the state, as a lived religion or as a civil religion controlled by the state, as a source of dissidence during Communism or as a reservoir of anti-Western, anti-modernist ideas that celebrate the uniqueness and superiority of the Russian nation. Kristina Stoeckl argues that, three decades after the fall of Communism, the period of post-Soviet transition is over for Russian Orthodoxy and that the Moscow Patriarchate has settled on its role as national church and provider of a new civil religion of traditional values.

Abstract

Russian Orthodoxy and Secularism surveys the ways in which the Russian Orthodox Church has negotiated its relationship with the secular state, with other religions, and with Western modernity from its beginnings until the present. It applies multiple theoretical perspectives and draws on different disciplinary approaches to explain the varied and at times contradictory facets of Russian Orthodoxy as a state church or as a critic of the state, as a lived religion or as a civil religion controlled by the state, as a source of dissidence during Communism or as a reservoir of anti-Western, anti-modernist ideas that celebrate the uniqueness and superiority of the Russian nation. Kristina Stoeckl argues that, three decades after the fall of Communism, the period of post-Soviet transition is over for Russian Orthodoxy and that the Moscow Patriarchate has settled on its role as national church and provider of a new civil religion of traditional values.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Politics
Author: Joanna Dales

Abstract

Many Quakers who reached maturity towards the end of the nineteenth century found that their parents’ religion had lost its connection with reality. New discoveries in science and biblical research called for new approaches to Christian faith. Evangelical beliefs dominant among nineteenth-century Quakers were now found wanting, especially those emphasising the supreme authority of the Bible and doctrines of atonement whereby the wrath of God is appeased through the blood of Christ. Liberal Quakers sought a renewed sense of reality in their faith through recovering the vision of the first Quakers with their sense of the Light of God within each person. They also borrowed from mainstream liberal theology new attitudes to God, nature and service to society. The ensuing Quaker Renaissance found its voice at the Manchester Conference of 1895, and the educational initiatives which followed gave to British Quakerism an active faith fit for the testing reality of the twentieth century.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Quaker Studies
In Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism, W. Paul Williamson takes a critical look at the sociohistorical emergence of fundamentalism and examines how historians constructed popular, though questionable, conceptions of the movement that have dominated decades of empirical research in psychology. He further analyzes the notions of militancy and anti-modernity as valid characterizations of fundamentalism and examines whether fundamentalism, as a Christian Protestant phenomenon, is useful in labelling global forms of religious extremism and violence. In observing the lack of theory-driven research, the publication offers theories that situate fundamentalism as a social psychological phenomenon as opposed to some personal predisposition. Students and scholars of fundamentalism will discover Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism to be a provocative study on the topic.

Abstract

Although psychology of religion has amassed a significant empirical literature on religious fundamentalism, it largely has ignored the sociohistorical context within which Protestant fundamentalism arose and has relied uncritically upon such popular notions as militancy, anti-modernism, and global fundamentalism in much of its research. This monograph will critically review sociohistorical reconstructions of fundamentalism that have heavily influenced the views of society and psychologists; discuss problematic concepts that emerged from those reconstructions; and highlight theories based on the social dynamics of fundamentalism. Focus on these issues will underscore the need for a critical review of empirical research, which is reserved for a second monograph.

In: Conjectures and Controversy in the Study of Fundamentalism
Author: Rhiannon Grant

Abstract

This publication explores the changes and continuities in liberal Quaker theology over the long twentieth century (1895 to 2019) in multiple English-speaking Quaker communities around the world. A close analysis is conducted of Quaker theologising through multiple modes: formal, corporate methods; material produced by individuals and small groups within Quaker communities; and writing by individuals and small groups working primarily within academic or ecumenical theological settings. It is concluded that although liberal Quaker theology is diverse and flexible, it also possesses a core coherence and can meaningfully be discussed as a single tradition. At the centre of liberal Quaker theology is the belief that direct, unmediated contact with the Divine is possible and results in useful guidance.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Quaker Studies
Author: Thomas D. Hamm

Abstract

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.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Quaker Studies
This work brings the fields of Christian theologies of atonement and reconciliation and Liberal Quaker theology into dialogue, and lays the foundation for developing an original Liberal Quaker reconciliation theology. This dialogue focuses specifically on the metaphorical language employed to describe the relationship of interdependence between humans and God, which both traditions hold as integral to their conceptions of human and divine existence. It focuses on these areas: the sin of human division and exclusion; atonement and reunification of humans and God as a response to sin; and the metaphors Liberal Quaker use to describe this interdependent relationship, specifically the metaphor of Light. This unique approach develops an original model of reconciliatory interdependence between humans and God that is rooted in both Christological and Universalist Liberal Quaker metaphorical and theological categories and utilizes the Liberal Quaker language of God as interdependent Light towards a new theology.
In: Handbook of Leaving Religion
Authors: Lily Kong and Orlando Woods

Abstract

Geographical and demographic approaches to leaving religion seek to understand processes of religious conversion and change across space and the human lifecycle. Geographical approaches have considered how structural shifts – such as those associated with social modernisation, communism and secularisation – have brought about large-scale departures from religion. Recently, these approaches have become more granular, and have considered the ways in which space can be a mediator and outcome of religious activity. Demographic approaches have considered how the propensity to leave religion intersects with life events, human development and other forms of population profiling. As such, they attempt to predict when individuals are likely to leave religion, but do not necessarily explain why.

In: Handbook of Leaving Religion