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Ralph L. Piedmont

A wide range of research and review articles are presented. Topic areas include mental and physical health, personality correlates of spirituality, validity evidence for the ASPIRES, and the role of religious values on socio-political attitudes. Also included in this volume are studies examining women's issues surrounding body image and disordered eating. Another paper addresses Christian Serpent handlers, a very understudied group, and the legal, religious, and moral issues surrounding this practice. There is also a special section, edited by Dr. Christopher Boyatzis, that addresses specific issues around adolescant spirituality. This volume provides a diverse snapshot of cutting edge research in the field across multiple disciplines. Readers will come away with an appreciation for the broad interests that characterize this field and the fascinating empirical findings that continue to draw professional interest in numinous constructs.

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Edited by Christopher Hartney and Daniel Tower

This volume significantly advances the academic debate surrounding the taxonomy and the categorisation of ‘indigenous religion’. Developing approaches from leading scholars in the field, this edited volume provides the space for established and rising voices to discuss the highly problematic topic of how indigenous 'religion' can be defined and conceptualised. Constructing the Indigenous highlights the central issues in the debate between those supporting and refining current academic frameworks and those who would argue that present thinking remains too dependant on misunderstandings that arise from definitions of religion that are too inflexible, and from problems caused by the World Religion paradigm. This book will prove essential reading for those that wish to engage with contemporary discussions regarding the definitions of religion and their relations to the indigenous category.

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Emma Wild-Wood

Christianity and migration have greatly influenced society and culture of sub-Saharan Africa, yet their mutual impact is rarely studied. Through oral history research in north eastern Congo (DRC), this book studies the migration of Anglicans and the subsequent reconfiguring of their Christian identity. It engages with issues of religious contextualisation, revivalism and the rise of Pentecostalism. It examines shifting ethnic, national, gender and generational expressions, the influence of tradition, contemporanity, local needs and international networks to reveal mobile group identities developing through migration. Borrowing the metaphor of 'home' from those interviewed, the book suggests in what ways religious affiliation aids a process of belonging. The result is an original exploration of important themes in an often neglected region of Africa.

The Unheard Prayer

Religious Toleration in Shakespeare's Drama

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Joseph Sterrett

Titus shoots his arrows bearing petitions for justice to the gods; Claudius asks ‘what form of prayer can serve my turn?’; Lear wishes he could crack the vault of heaven with his prayers. Again and again, Shakespeare dramatises the scenario of the unheard prayer, in which the one who prays does so full well in the knowledge that no one is listening, interested, or even there at all. The scenario is keyed to the anxieties that surrounded the act of praying itself, so full as it was with controversy, the centrepiece of sectarian dispute over what was good and bad religion. This study reads the unheard prayer scenario as itself an appeal for a vision of tolerance, unobtainable perhaps, but nevertheless desired and imagined.

Series:

Calvin L. Smith

This interdisciplinary study breaks new ground by exploring relations between Protestants (mainly Pentecostals) and the Sandinistas in revolutionary Nicaragua, which to date have received scant attention. It challenges the view that most Protestants supported the Sandinistas (in fact, the majority vigorously opposed them) and establishes why many believed Nicaragua was heading towards communism or totalitarianism. Meanwhile, the Sandinistas expressed irritation with Pentecostalism’s otherworldliness and support for Israel. Pentecostals were harassed, even brutally repressed in the northern highlands, leading many to join the Contras. That a minority of Protestants supported the Sandinistas caused further problems.
Pentecostals and Sandinistas were ideological rivals offering an alternative vision to the poor: revolution or revival. As Pentecostalism exploded, a collision between the two was inevitable.

Religion on the Move!

New Dynamics of Religious Expansion in a Globalizing World

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Edited by Afe Adogame and Shobana Shankar

How do religions spread in today’s world, where Christian missions have lost influence and modern nations have replaced colonial empires? Religions on the Move is a collection of essays charting new religious expansions. Contemporary evangelists may be Nigerian, Korean, Brazilian or Congolese, working at the grassroots and outside the mainstream in Pentecostal, reformist Islamic, and Hindu spiritual currents. While transportation and media provide newfound mobility, the mission field may be next door, in Europe, North America, and within the “South,” where migrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America settle. These essays, using perspectives from religious studies, ethnography, history and sociology, show that immigrants, women, and other disempowered peoples transmit their faiths from everywhere to everywhere, engaging in globalization from below.

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Edited by Esther Peperkamp and Malgorzata Rajtar

The radical process of religious change in eastern Germany poses a real challenge to social researchers. Common explanations view either the socialist past or larger scale processes of modernization to be the cause of eastern German secularization, but fail to address historical contingencies and individual agency. This book focuses on the interplay between local bureaucracies and individual lives. Contextualizing individual choices is essential in order to gain insight into how religious meaning is produced, reproduced, contested, discontinued, and disrupted. Bringing together the disciplines of anthropology, history, political science, and sociology, what unites the articles is their qualitative approach. The collection of articles lays out an impressive mosaic of the religious and the secular in the GDR and contemporary eastern Germany.

Contributors are Irene Becci, Anja Frank, Uta Karstein, Anna Körs, Esther Peperkamp, Małgorzata Rajtar, Thomas Schmidt-Lux, Nikolai Vukov, Kirstin Wappler, and Monika Wohlrab-Sahr.

Women and Miracle Stories

A Multidisciplinary Exploration

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Edited by Anna Korte

This book contains a multidisciplinary collection of studies on women in miracle stories found in texts ranging from religious classics to contemporary literary fiction. Miracle stories are a genre of great importance for the study of women's religious inheritance and for the historical and cultural understanding of women as 'makers of faith'. Miracle stories are very generally speaking more open to popular religion and culture than, for instance, doctrinal and official ecclesiastical texts, and as such, they can be of special interest to the study of women's lives and religious aspirations. Remarkably, up till now this genre has not been looked at from this point of view. This book aims to open this field for further research by presenting case studies from diverse angles and disciplines.
Some of the questions this book tries to answer are: What do miracle stories specifically tell us about women? Are there some (types of) miracles that are in particular related to (certain groups of) women? What do these stories tell us about women as performers and/or subjects of miracles? What can be said about the social function and religious meaning of miracles by specifically looking at the way certain groups of women are practising and experiencing miracles? By including research on miracle stories in contemporary fiction written by women this book also wants to acknowledge and research the disputed status of 'miracles' as well of 'women' in our present society which is moving from modernity to post-modernity.

Please note that Women and Miracle Stories is previously published by Brill in hardback (ISBN 90 04 16681 8, still available).

Series:

Ute Hüsken

The present volume is entirely dedicated to the investigation of the implications and effects of breaking ritual rules, of failed performances and of the extinction of ritual systems.
While rituals are often seen as infallible mechanisms which ‘work’ irrespective of the individual motivations of the performers, it is clearly visible here that rituals can fail, and that improper performances do in fact matter. These essays break new ground in their respective fields and the comparative analysis of rituals that go wrong introduces new perspectives to ritual studies. As the first book-length study on ritual mistakes and failure, this volume begins to fill a significant gap in the existing literature. Contributors include: Claus Ambos, Christiane Brosius, Johanna Buss, Burckhard Dücker, Christoph Emmrich, Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin, Maren Hoffmeister, Ute Hüsken, Brigitte Merz, Axel Michaels, Karin Polit, Michael Rudolph, Edward L. Schieffelin, Jan A.M. Snoek, Eftychia Stavrianopoulou, and Jan Weinhold.

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René Holvast

Spiritual Mapping is a U.S. Evangelical and Neo-Pentecostal movement (1989-2005), which developed its own religious technique to wage a 'spiritual' war against unseen non-human beings. These 'spirits' were identified along the lines of geographical territories and put on a map, whence 'Spiritual Mapping'. Its intended function was to boost the numerical growth of Christianity. This book offers a comprehensive historical-descriptive approach of both the movement and the concept, with special attention for theological and anthropological concepts. Its historical roots, relation with Argentina, self-understanding and critics are being described. The reader is presented with a unique insight into Spiritual Mapping as an expression of Americanism, as well as the socio-political concept of Manifest Destiny and U.S. religious marketing.