Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John
Mouradgea d’Ohsson and His Masterpiece
Carter Vaughn Findley
Material Remains and Textual Foundations
Edited by Paul L. Gareau, Spencer Culham Bullivant and Peter Beyer
Tim Karis and Johanna Buss
This conclusion summarises and compares the two preceding case studies: “Secular Voices on Air: The British Debate on Thought for the Day” (Tim Karis) and “The Understanding of dharmanirapekṣa (“secular”) in the Nepali Online Newspaper Nagarik” (Johanna Buss).
The understanding of what is “sacred” and needs protection from alleged “trivialising” or “profaning” is obviously diverse. Especially in cases of severe dissent this is negotiated in public, including increasingly in digital journalistic contexts.
This article discusses media oppositions to an alleged “trivializing” of Hindu deities in the usa. It contextualizes and analyzes with coding techniques press releases from the website of Rajan Zed, president of the Nevada based Universal Society of Hinduism and the Indo-American Leadership Confederation. The article highlights that and how these press releases, each addressing a specific case of a purported trivialization of Kali, are utilized to propagate specific objectives and interpretations of Hinduism. The article presents an analysis of the verbal content of the online press releases, contextualizes this by discussing the subtext of the verbal expressions, and thus exemplifies that and how digital journalistic contexts contribute to current negotiations of religious identity and authority.
This paper analyzes the different constructions, interpretations and understandings of authority in the German journalistic press coverage in spring 2013, when Benedict xvi declared his resignation from the papal office, and the following time until his successor – Pope Francis – was elected. Pope Benedict’s resignation was an occasion that caused a stir in the journalistic field. The pope, the highest religious authority of the Roman Catholic Church, had brought his own power up to discussion. The opportunity was favourable for the journalistic, secular media to start an extensive critique and deconstruction of the Pope’s religious authority – but surprisingly enough, this did not happen. So, how and to whom is religious authority ascribed in the German press discourse? In this article I argue that the secular German press discourse not only refrains from deconstructing traditional religious authority, but reinforces it on various levels.
Tim Karis and Johanna Buss
The joint introduction explores the history of academic understanding of “the secular” within the field of Religious Studies. We also introduce our two case studies.
Xenia Zeiler and Judith Stander-Dulisch
The term “sacred” has a long history, but this introduction demonstrates that the concept of a contrast between the sacred or holy and the profane or trivial arose only at the beginning of the 20th century. A shared characteristic of definitions of the sacred or holy is that they are something special which is separated from the profane or trivial world. In the research discourse, sacred is not just a critical but also a controversial term.
In our two case studies, we set out to analyze how meaning is ascribed to the semantic field “sacred”. Building on Laclau’s concept of empty signifiers (Laclau 1996) and the understanding that sacred and related terms of the lexical/semantic field are not stable but have ever-changing meanings, we explore how the semantic field is filled in academic and contemporary journalistic contexts.