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Religion and Conflict Attribution

An Empirical Study of the Religious Meaning System of Christian, Muslim and Hindu Students in Tamil Nadu, India


Francis-Vincent Anthony, Christiaan (Chris) Hermans and C.J.A. (Carl) Sterkens

Religion can play a dual role with regard to conflict. It can promote either violence or peace. Religion and Conflict Attribution seeks to clarify the causes of religious conflict as perceived by Christian, Muslim and Hindu college students in Tamil Nadu, India. These students in varying degrees attribute conflict to force-driven causes, namely to coercive power as a means of achieving the economic, political or socio-cultural goals of religious groups. The study reveals how force-driven religious conflict is influenced by prescriptive beliefs like religious practice and mystical experience, and descriptive beliefs such as the interpretation of religious plurality and religiocentrism. It also elaborates on the practical consequences of the salient findings for the educational process.

Sins and Sinners

Perspectives from Asian Religions


Edited by Phyllis Granoff and Koichi Shinohara

Asian religious traditions have always been deeply concerned with "sins" and what to do about them. As the essays in this volume illustrate, what Buddhists in Tibet, India, China or Japan, what Jains, Daoists, Hindus or Sikhs considered to be a "sin" was neither one thing, nor exactly what the Abrahamic traditions meant by the term. "Sins"could be both undesireable behavior and unacceptable thoughts. In different contexts, at different times and places, a sin might be a ritual infraction or a violation of a rule of law; it could be a moral failing or a wrong belief. However defined, sins were considered so grave a hindrance to spiritual perfection, so profound a threat to the social order, that the search for their remedies through rituals of expiation, pilgrimage, confession, recitation of spells, or philosophical reflection, was one of the central quests of the religions studied here.

Christianity in Early Modern Japan

Kirishitan Belief and Practice


Ikuo Higashibaba

When the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier introduced Catholic Christianity to Japan in 1549, it developed quickly in the country. The Japanese called this new religious movement and its believers Kirishitan. This volume explores the popular religious life and culture of the native adherents, which have been so often ignored in conventional studies of Christianity in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Japan.
Subjects included are lay missionaries, followers’ engagement in symbols and rituals, Japanese catechism, and apostasy, underground practice, and martyrdom under persecution.
This book provides fascinating new information about the faith and practice of the Japanese followers, and expands the horizon of historical studies of Japanese Christianity. It will be an important source for students of Japanese studies, religious history, and studies of cross-cultural interaction.


Lawrence C. Reardon


During the first three decades of the People’s Republic, Communist Party elites pursued a revolutionary political, economic, and social paradigm, whose long-term goal was to develop a strong national security, ensure prosperity, and strengthen the Party’s comprehensive control of the state. Elites eliminated all foreign religious connections, which were replaced with Party-approved religious organizations. The adoption of the techno-economic paradigm in the 1980s created high economic growth rates as well as widespread corruption that threatened Party’s legitimacy. In response, the Communist Party adapted the revolutionary social paradigm and initiated a moral re-armament campaign. Elites used traditional religions and beliefs to strengthen moral standards and to supplement the state’s social welfare role. Elites however were less trusting of foreign religions, because of their complicated history, their continued foreign connections, and their non-sanctioned religious practices. As long as elites retain the revolutionary social paradigm and its emphasis on Party primacy, elites will continue to favour traditional religions and beliefs while discriminating against foreign religions and heterodox religious movements.


Melanie Barbato

, which was developed during the enlightenment period, based on the historically contingent separation of faith and reason. In Indian culture, the intelligent mind never had to distance itself from religious belief. The acceptance of religious pluralism in India has therefore to be examined in another

Comparative Theology

A Critical and Methodological Perspective


Paul Hedges

contemporary scholarship in the study of religion has increasingly shown this distorts particular religious traditions. Belief, or creedal statements, may not be a central feature. Again, they may not have a priesthood, or indeed any form of leadership, that looks like what we would traditionally envisage a


Melanie Barbato

, some teachings can be identified as fundamental tenants of Buddhist philosophy. One of these is the doctrine of non-self ( anātman or Pali anatta ), which stands in opposition to the Hindu belief in an eternal soul, and, on a more philosophical level, is directed against the assumption of universals

A Secret History

Tosaka Jun and the Kyoto Schools


Katsuhiko Endo

who have emotionally lost all of their belief in both the dictatorship of the proletariat and the explicit domination of the bourgeoisie.” Let us explore how Uno’s 1946 article and other work related this “democracy of the middle class” to wartime Japan’s “assertion of regional autonomy aimed at an


Viren Murthy

that until the late 1920s, French academics attempted to develop a humanism based on Neo-Kantianism, which was inextricably connected to a view of progress as it existed in the West. 9 Among the elements of this trend was a belief in progress and science, which entailed certain epistemological and