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Edited by Johann P. Arnason, Shmuel N. Eisenstadt and Björn Wittrock

The overarching theme of the book is the historical meaning of the Axial Age, commonly defined as a period of several centuries around the middle of the last millennium BCE, and its cultural innovations. The civilizational patterns that grew out of this exceptionally creative phase are a particularly rewarding theme for comparative analysis.
The book contains essays on cultural transformations in Ancient Greece, Ancient Israel, Iran, India and China, as well as background developments in the core civilizations of the Ancient Near East. An introductory section deals with the history of the debate on the AxialAge, the theoretical questions that have emerged from it, and the present state of the discussion.
The book will be useful for comparative historians of cultures and religions, as well as for historical sociologists interested in the comparative analysis of civilizations. It should also help linking the fields of classical, biblical and Asian studies to broader interdisciplinary debates within the humanities sciences.

Rational Theology in Interfaith Communication

Abu-I-Husayn al-Basri's Mu'tazili Theology among the Karaites in the Fatimid Age

Series:

Wilferd Madelung and Sabine Schmidtke

Rational speculative theology (kalam) in early Islam was represented most distinctly by the theological school of the Mu‘tazila. Founded in Basra in the early 8th century, the school soon became predominant in theological scholarship and discourse and remained so until the early 11th century. The Mu‘tazila held that the basic truths of theology, such as the existence of God and the nature of His attributes and justice, are entirely subject to rational proof without the benefit of scriptural revelation. Only after these basic truths have been established can the veracity of scripture be proved by reason, and the primacy of reason must also maintained in the interpretation of scripture. Mu‘tazili theology naturally appealed to rationally inclined theologians of other scriptural religions and provided a suitable basis for inter-faith communication in the Islamic world. In Judaism Mu‘tazili thought was adopted to varying degrees from the 9th century on and reached a peak during the tenth century.
The Mu‘tazili world view and rational theology was facing increasing competition and criticism from philosophy of Greek origin, which claimed to provide the only scientific world view based on cogent logical demonstration independent of religious beliefs. Study of the philosophical sciences was mostly shunned in religious scholarship, but was an integral part of the education of the medical profession. Among Qadi ‘Abd al-Jabbar’s disciples in Rayy was for some time a young physician trained in the philosophical sciences, Abu l-Husayn al-Basri (d. 1044), who challenged some of his teaching in his lectures and went on to compose a massive critical review of the arguments and proofs used in kalam. His theological works were generally ignored among the Mu‘tazila and handed down among students of medicine. Only a century later his teaching was revived and espoused by the Mu‘tazili scholar Mahmud b. al-Malahimi in Khorezm in Central Asia and gained recognition as a school of Mu‘tazili theology.
The present study presents evidence that Abu l-Husayn’s theology was immediately registered and controversially debated in the Karaite community under the Fatimid caliphate. The study is based on source material preserved in Genizahs and now dispersed in libraries around the world.

Series:

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.

Series:

Edited by David O. Moberg and Joanne Marie Greer

The purpose of this book is to provide an outlet for original research articles examining the role and value of religious and spiritual constructs across the social sciences. The aim of the series is to include an international and interfaith voice to this research dialogue. An effort is made to be interdisciplinary and academically eclectic.
The articles in each volume represent a wide array of perspectives and research projects. Most of the articles report the findings of quantitative or qualitative investigations, but some deal with methodology, theory, or applications of social science studies in the field of religion, and some are applied, demonstrating the relevance of the social sciences to religious organizations and their clergy.
The value of the volume is that it gives to researchers in this area a broad perspective on the issues and methods of religious research across a spectrum of academic disciplines. The aim of the book is to stimulate a creative, integrative dialogue that will enhance interdisciplinary research.

Series:

Edited by Joanne Marie Greer and David O. Moberg

The purpose of this book is to provide an outlet for original research articles examining the role and value of religious and spiritual constructs across the social sciences. The aim of the series is to include an international and interfaith voice to this research dialogue. An effort is made to be interdisciplinary and academically eclectic.
The articles in each volume represent a wide array of perspectives and research projects. Most of the articles report the findings of quantitative or qualitative investigations, but some deal with methodology, theory, or applications of social science studies in the field of religion, and some are applied, demonstrating the relevance of the social sciences to religious organizations and their clergy.
The value of the volume is that it gives to researchers in this area a broad perspective on the issues and methods of religious research across a spectrum of academic disciplines. The aim of the book is to stimulate a creative, integrative dialogue that will enhance interdisciplinary research.

Series:

Edited by Monty Lynn and David O. Moberg

The purpose of this book is to provide an outlet for original research articles examining the role and value of religious and spiritual constructs across the social sciences. The aim of the series is to include an international and interfaith voice to this research dialogue. An effort is made to be interdisciplinary and academically eclectic.
The articles in each volume represent a wide array of perspectives and research projects. Most of the articles report the findings of quantitative or qualitative investigations, but some deal with methodology, theory, or applications of social science studies in the field of religion, and some are applied, demonstrating the relevance of the social sciences to religious organizations and their clergy.
The value of the volume is that it gives to researchers in this area a broad perspective on the issues and methods of religious research across a spectrum of academic disciplines. The aim of the book is to stimulate a creative, integrative dialogue that will enhance interdisciplinary research.

Series:

Edited by Joanne Marie Greer and David O. Moberg

The purpose of this book is to provide an outlet for original research articles examining the role and value of religious and spiritual constructs across the social sciences. The aim of the series is to include an international and interfaith voice to this research dialogue. An effort is made to be interdisciplinary and academically eclectic.
The articles in each volume represent a wide array of perspectives and research projects. Most of the articles report the findings of quantitative or qualitative investigations, but some deal with methodology, theory, or applications of social science studies in the field of religion, and some are applied, demonstrating the relevance of the social sciences to religious organizations and their clergy.
The value of the volume is that it gives to researchers in this area a broad perspective on the issues and methods of religious research across a spectrum of academic disciplines. The aim of the book is to stimulate a creative, integrative dialogue that will enhance interdisciplinary research.

Series:

Edited by David O. Moberg and Joanne Marie Greer

The purpose of this book is to provide an outlet for original research articles examining the role and value of religious and spiritual constructs across the social sciences. The aim of the series is to include an international and interfaith voice to this research dialogue. An effort is made to be interdisciplinary and academically eclectic.
The articles in each volume represent a wide array of perspectives and research projects. Most of the articles report the findings of quantitative or qualitative investigations, but some deal with methodology, theory, or applications of social science studies in the field of religion, and some are applied, demonstrating the relevance of the social sciences to religious organizations and their clergy.
The value of the volume is that it gives to researchers in this area a broad perspective on the issues and methods of religious research across a spectrum of academic disciplines. The aim of the book is to stimulate a creative, integrative dialogue that will enhance interdisciplinary research.

Series:

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.

Religious Polemics in Context

Papers presented to the Second International Conference of the Leiden Institute for the Study of Religions (LISOR) held at Leiden, 27-28 April 2000  

Series:

Edited by Theo Hettema and Christine Kooi

Studies in Theology and Religion,11

Polemics, as “the art or practice of disputation or controversy”, is a living issue in matters of religion, and is a major object of research for scholars in religious studies and theology. The second international conference of the Leiden Institute for the Study of Religions (LISOR), held at Leiden in April 2000, was devoted to the subject of Religious Polemics in Context, aiming at a further exploration of the notion of religious polemics, together with the unfolding of a wide variety of case-studies from various religious traditions. The volume contains most of the papers read at the conference, and offers contributions on general issues (e.g., by M. Dascal), as well as on particular topics in the fields of history of religion (e.g., Islam), ancient Israel and early Christianity, the history of Christianity, and the social sciences of religion. An annotated bibliography is added to this collection, which may stimulate a further study of the topic.