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.
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”.
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.
Publisher: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier
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.
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
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.
The article provides a thematized discussion of the development of the historiography of European monasticism in northern Europe (north Atlantic, North Sea to the Baltic). Whilst it does not offer a comprehensive overview of the field, it discusses the significance of major currents and models for the development of monastic history to the present day. From focusing on the heritage of history writing “from within”—produced by the members of religious communities in past and modern contexts—it examines key features of the historiography of the history of orders and monastic history paradigms in the context of national and confessional frameworks. The final section of the article provides an overview of the processes or musealization of monastic heritage and the significance of monastic material culture in historical interpretations, both academic and popular.
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Buddhist art became the focus of discussion when Japanese scholars began to construct Korean art history as an academic discipline. This paper presents a case study of how a particular Buddhist site, Mount Nam in Kyŏngju, was recognized, researched, and represented during the colonial period (1910–1945). By analyzing representative Japanese publications on the subject, I argue that there existed disconnection between the colonial government and the site-researchers. I re-evaluate the conventional narrative that the colonizers regarded Buddhist statues as “art” removed from their original religious setting. This paper reveals a more layered picture of the early years of historical discourse on the so-called Buddha Mountain and Buddhist sculptures of Korea.
This article focuses the epistemological processes through which a thirteenth-century Spanish Crucifix in less than pristine condition transformed from an obscure rural Catholic devotional into an art commodity and celebrated work of medieval art now exhibited at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester (MAG) in Rochester, New York. By situating the Spanish Crucifix within the nascent art historical epistemology and museum movement in the late eighteenth to early twentieth century, this article offers a case study in how religious material culture becomes embedded in capitalistic systems as products or commodities, yet suggests the ways that critical religious studies approaches might enhance our understanding of religious material culture in fine arts museums.
In the early postwar era, from 1945 to 1960, Americans confronted a dilemma that had never been faced before. In the new atomic age, which opened with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945, they now had to grapple with maintaining their faith in a peaceful and prosperous future while also controlling their fear of an apocalyptic future resulting from an atomic war. Americans’ subsequent search for reassurance translated into a dramatic increase in church membership and the rise of the evangelical movement. Yet, their fear of an atomic war with the Soviet Union and possible nuclear apocalypse did not abate. This article discusses how six post-apocalyptic science fiction novels dealt with this dilemma and presented their visions of the future more important, it argues that these novels not only reflect the views of many Americans in the early Cold War era, but also provide relevant insights into the role of religion during these complex and controversial years to reframe the belief that an apocalypse was inevitable.