Search Results

Abstract

This paper handles the question concerning the factors that control the degree of adaptability of a transplanted religion spread in a culturally alien context. It will be argued that the assumed superiority of both one's religion and one's culture are decisive factors for the willingness to adapt or to refuse adaptation. The theoretical issues will be illustrated by the adoption of Buddhism by its early German followers. Thus, the paper gives a brief survey of the historical development of the adoption of Buddhism in Germany. Characteristics of the early phases will be outlined as well as the state of affairs of Buddhism in Germany in the 1990's. Most remarkable is Buddhism's rapid growth which increased the number of Buddhist centres and groups fivefold since the mid 1970's.On the basis of this historic description a particular line of interpreting Buddhist teachings, that of a rational understanding, is outlined. The analysis of this adoption of Buddhism seeks to show that early German Buddhists interpreted and moulded Buddhist teachings in such a way as to present it as being in high conformity with Western morals and culture. This high degree of adapting Buddhist teachings led to an interpretation which can be characterized as a ‘Buddhism in Protestant shape.’ Buddhism was used as a means of protest against the dominant religion, that of Christianity, but at the same time its proponents took over many forms and characteristics of the religion criticized most heavily.

In: Numen
In: Numen

Abstract

Religions that are involved in processes of migration face a double challenge: they need to adapt to the new environment due to the different socio-cultural and legal setting; at the same time, a faithful maintenance of ritual practice, religious concepts, worldview, and norms is a prerequisite for the continuation of the very tradition, warding off assimilation. Recent scholarship in social and cultural studies subsumed these processes under the newly 'discovered' term of diaspora. This article employs the term to analyse aspects of religious dynamics caused by constraints of living home away from home. We adopt the neologism “templeisation” introduced by Vasudha Narayanan studying Hindu immigrants from India in the USA, in order to scrutinise incipient changes among Hindu Tamils from Sri Lanka in continental Europe. Templeisation points to a decisive shift of religious observance and ritual practice from the home to the temple, accompanied by a shift in authority away from women and mothers to men and priests. Are these shifts also observable for the Tamil Hindu diaspora in Germany and Switzerland?

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
In: World Religions and Multiculturalism
In: South Asians in the Diaspora

Abstract

Since the early 1990s, in Switzerland numerous interreligious dialogue initiatives came into being. Usually, the initiatives assemble more or less the same spectre of religious traditions but, for various reasons, are far from reflecting the entire range of the religious landscape as mapped by academic Religious Studies. The contribution analyses the emergence and composition of different interreligious dialogue initiatives, based on interviews with key persons, and elaborates on the function of gatekeepers of these dialogue initiatives for representing local and national religious diversity. Furthermore, the chapter scrutinises the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion and highlights the specific understanding of ‘legitimate’ religion reproduced in these initiatives. It argues that the notion of ‘world religions’ coined in the late 19th century with underlying normative implications structure the limitation and power imbalance of interreligious dialogue initiatives usually not contemplated by its promotors and administrators.

In: The Critical Analysis of Religious Diversity

Developmental changes of blood oxygen pressure are instrumental for the regulation of blood oxygen affinity (via ATP/2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) concentration) and carbonic anhydrase (CA) synthesis in red cells of chick embryos. Hypoxia is the physiological stimulus for the coordinated onset of synthesis of CA and 2,3-DPG in late chick embryos, whereas the higher blood oxygen pressure prevailing in early—and midterm embryos suppresses CA and 2,3-DPG synthesis and increases red cell ATP. This mechanism guarantees flexible adaption of the oxygen affinity to the prevailing oxygen pressure. At least two hormonal effectors seem to be involved in the PO2-dependent regulation: (a) a heat-labile, low molecular weight compound of embryonic chick plasma that stimulates CA and 2,3-DPG synthesis and (b) an antagonistically-acting, short-lived metabolite present in the blood of normoxic and hyperoxic embryos, whose activity/concentration should be reduced with falling PO2. While the identity of the CAII inducer is not yet known, extracellular ATP is a likely candidate for the role of antagonist. In vitro it depresses CAII synthesis via activation of phospholipase C, and—by a different transduction pathway—stimulates net synthesis of ATP and downregulation of 2,3-DPG levels.

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution