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321 Research products, page 1 of 33

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  • Publication . Article . 2021
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    David R. Loy;
    Publisher: MDPI AG

    The powerful novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko combines several uncomfortable truths from the perspective of a young Native American who has returned home after World War II: the theft of Native American land, the manipulations that set poor whites against poor Indians (among others) and the effects of these lies on the hearts of white people, who tried and still try to fill up their hollowness with money, technology and patriotic war. However, as Silko emphasizes, the lies do not work. Not only have we white folk been fooling ourselves, but we also know that we have been fooling ourselves, and the consequences of our self-deceptions continue to haunt all of us. This essay is an attempt to say more about how that collective delusion functions—in particular, to understand the emptiness that patriotism never quite fills up, the hollowness that wealth and consumerism cannot glut. In order to do this, I will offer a (not “the”) Buddhist perspective, so we begin with some basic Buddhist teachings, which are quite different from the Abrahamic (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) traditions more familiar to most of us.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Angelika Neuwirth; Dirk Hartwig;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

    The article advocates a new approach to the Qur’an: To look at the text as a transcript of the earliest community’s intervention into major debates of its time. Rather than earlier textual traditions (“reception history”), particular burning theological questions that were en vogue in the epistemic space of Late Antiquity are identified as the essential trigger of particular Qur’anic proclamations. Thus, the new—Late Antique—perception of evil (epistemic troubles experienced in the innermost selves of individuals—which cropped up during the sectarian strife in Middle Mecca) is etiologically explained through the primordial rebellion of Diabolos/Iblīs. This figure is portrayed in the Qur’an as a daring “dissenter in heaven”—a dignity that he had proven in various Biblical contexts (Book of Job, Gospels, etc.) before. His main characteristic is his eloquence and logical reasoning, which has earned him the epithet of the “inventor of qiyās/syllogism” in later Islamic tradition. His Qur’anic development is projected against the backdrop of rabbinic, patristic, and poetic exegeses, which together attest the vitality of a most diversified “epistemic space of Late Antiquity”.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Guillaume Dye;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

    thirdly, it tries to exemplify the relevance of redaction criticism through examples. Two main issues are then discussed: the best way to account for the “synoptic problem” (the presence, in the Qur’ān, of variant parallel narratives), through an examination of some aspects of the Adam-Iblīs narratives (more precisely the composition of Q 2:30–38 and the nature of the relations between Q 38:71–85 and Q 15:26–43) This paper addresses methodological issues in Qur’anic studies. At first, it intends to explain, through historiographical analysis, why methods proved fruitful in biblical and New Testament studies, such as form criticism and redaction criticism, have been disregarded in Qur’anic studies and the beginning of Q 55. Two main conclusions are reached: first, the later versions of a parallel story are, in the examples discussed here, rewritings of earlier stories (namely, re-compositions based on a written version) second, sura 55 features the intervention of different authors, with two different profiles. secondly, it vindicates the application of such methods to the Qur’anic corpus

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Michelle Blohm;
    Publisher: MDPI AG

    On 25 December 1961, John XXIII convoked the Second Vatican Council with his apostolic constitution Humanae salutis, praying that God would show again the wonders of the newborn Church in Jerusalem “as by a new Pentecost”. Not six years later, in 1967, a group of students at Duquesne University in the United States prayed while on retreat for an infusion of the Holy Spirit that they might also experience the power of Pentecost. They received what they reported to be the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and out of the spiritual experiences of that retreat arose what would become an international movement known as the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. This movement, influenced by Pentecostalism, would develop its own embodied praxis of prayer that seeks a renewed encounter with the power of the Holy Spirit made manifest at Pentecost. This article analyzes the embodied prayer language of the Renewal by drawing from Louis-Marie Chauvet’s distinction between language as mediation (or, symbol) and language as tool (or, sign). It will use Chauvet’s distinction as a hermeneutic to flesh out the relationship between post-Vatican II charismatic prayer practices and their intended purpose of participating in the encounter of Pentecost.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Danielle Ross;
    Publisher: Hosted by Utah State University Libraries
    Country: United States

    This article examines how Volga-Ural Muslims narrated their encounters with the sacred spaces visited during the hajj. It examines nine accounts hajj composed from the 1690s to the 1940s, to consider how changes in international politics, Russia’s domestic politics, and the culture of Islamic learning within the VolgaUral Muslim community led to writers to revise narratives of why the sacred spaces of Mecca were sacred, how best to experience the power of these sacred spaces, and how these sacred spaces fit into the local culture of Volga-Ural Islam under Russian and Soviet rule.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Catharina Andersson;
    Publisher: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier
    Country: Sweden

    This article presents an overview of the Cistercian monasteries that were founded in Sweden in the 12th and 13th centuries. The first were Alvastra and Nydala, founded in 1143, both male monasteries. However, eventually the nunneries came to outnumber the male monasteries (7/5). The purpose of the article is also to discuss the social background of the monks and nuns who inhabited these monasteries. As for the nuns, previous studies have shown that they initially came from the society’s elite, the royal families, but also other magnates. Gradually, social recruitment broadened, and an increasing number of women from the aristocratic lower levels came to dominate the recruitment. It is also suggested that from the end of the 14th century, the women increasingly came from the burghers. The male monasteries, on the other hand, were not even from the beginning populated by men from the nobles. Their family backgrounds seem rather to be linked to the aristocratic lower layers. This difference between the sexes can most probably be explained by the fact that ideals of monastic life—obedience, equality, poverty and ban on weapons—in a decisive way broke with what in secular life was constructed as an aristocratic masculinity.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort;
    Country: Netherlands

    some caused by editing processes, while others through the process of transmission across the first centuries of Islam. During the transmission process, or the genesis of a tradition, accounts are constantly shaped and adjusted. The use of topoi forms a part of this process as well as the inclusion of motifs in different accounts. The present article will explore one of these motifs, specifically, the instruction of the Prophet Muḥammad, on his deathbed, to bring him writing materials so that he could prepare a document for his community. This motif appears in a number of accounts with different settings, characters and details on the nature of the document itself. This article examines whether there exists a direct relationship between the different accounts and, if so, what does this mean. Through this study, we will see that additional motifs have been added to this tradition during its transmission process and that some of these motifs can be attributed to regionalisation or specific transmitters. Since the earliest studies of Islam by non-Muslims were carried out, variant traditions (aḥādīth) have been regarded as a proof of forgery or editing within the ḥadīth material. Early studies have shown that variances are the result of different processes, some intentionally and others mistakenly

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Igor Pilshchikov;
    Publisher: MDPI AG

    Focused on Nikolai Gogol’s absurdist tale, “The Nose” (1835), this article is an investigation into the concealed representation of suppressed and marginalized libertine and anti-religious discourses in nineteenth-century Russian literature. The author identifies overlooked idiomatic phraseology, forgotten specificities of the Imperial hierarchy (the Table of Ranks), and allusions to religious customs and Christian rituals that would have been apparent to Gogol’s readers and shows how some were camouflaged to escape censorship in successive drafts of the work. The research builds on the approaches to Gogol’s language, imagery and plot developed earlier by the Russian Formalists, Tartu-Moscow semioticians, and a few other scholars, who revealed the latent obscenity of Gogol’s “rhinology” and the sacrilegious meaning of the tale’s very specific chronotope. The previous scholars’ observations are substantially supplemented by original findings. An integrated analysis of these aspects in their mutual relationship is required to understand what the telling details of the story reveal about Gogol’s religious and psychological crisis of the mid-1830s and to demonstrate how he aggregated indecent Shandyism, social satire, and religious blasphemy into a single quasi-oneiric narrative.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Todd Lawson;
    Publisher: MDPI AG

    The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how two distinct but deeply related literary genres, which had become especially prominent in the 7th century Nile-to-Oxus region, have left an enduring impression on the form and contents of the Quran. By saying this, it is not intended to suggest that the Quran was “influenced” by this or that extraneous or extra-textual phenomenon. Rather, it is suggested that, along the lines of the Quran’s own theory of revelation, it speaks through Muḥammad, “the language of his people” (Q14:4). Stated another away, the Quran employs themes and structures from both epic and apocalypse that would have been familiar to its audience in order to reveal and make clear its most cherished sacred truths, among which are: the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religion and the Oneness of Humanity. Epic and apocalypse, then, emerge as features of the cultural and imaginative language of the intended audience of the Quran, just as Arabic is its “linguistic” language.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Bianca J. Smith;
    Publisher: MDPI AG

    This article is a feminist ethnographic exploration of how ‘indigenous’ notions of a ‘sacred feminine’ shape Sufi praxis on the island of Lombok in the eastern part of Indonesia in Southeast Asia. I demonstrate through long-term immersive anthropological fieldwork how in her indigenous form as Dewi Anjani ‘Spirit Queen of Jinn’ and as ‘Holy Saint of Allah’ who rules Lombok from Mount Rinjani, together with a living female saint and Murshida with whom she shares sacred kinship, these feminine beings shape the kind of Sufi praxis that has formed in the largest local Islamic organization in Lombok, Nahdlatul Wathan, and its Sufi order, Hizib Nahdlatul Wathan. Arguments are situated in a Sufi feminist standpoint, revealing how an active integration of indigeneity into understandings of mystical experience gives meaning to the sacred feminine in aspects of Sufi praxis in both complementary and hierarchical ways without challenging Islamic gender constructs that reproduce patriarchal expressions of Sufism and Islam.