Durkheim, Emotional Energy and Visions of the Consort
Author: Louise Child
This book explores the role of altered states of consciousness in the communication of social and emotional energies, both on a societal level and between individual persons. Drawing from an original reading of Durkheimian social theorists (including Mauss, Hertz, and Hubert) and Jungian psychology, Louise Child applies this analysis to tantric Buddhist ritual and biographical material. She suggests ways in which dreams and visionary experiences (including those related to the 'subtle body') play an important and previously under-explored role in tantric understandings of the consort relationship.
Religious Transformation in Contemporary Brazil
Author: Andrew Dawson
New Era - New Religions examines new forms of religion in Brazil. The largest and most vibrant country in Latin America, Brazil is home to some of the world's fastest growing religious movements and has enthusiastically greeted home-grown new religions and imported spiritual movements and new age organizations. In Brazil and beyond, these novel religious phenomena are reshaping contemporary understandings of religion and what it means to be religious. To better understand the changing face of twenty-first-century religion, New Era - New Religions situates the rise of new era religiosity within the broader context of late-modern society and its ongoing transformation.
Engaging with Multi-Faith Singapore
Author: May Ling Tan-Chow
In our post 9/11 world where there is a growing religious fundamentalism, and when both exclusion and easy tolerance are inadequate options, this book offers a creative alternative arguing that Pentecostalism has the potential to be a peaceful harbinger of plurality. The potential lies in its spirituality - a lively pneumatology and eschatology. The eschatological Spirit is seen as orientated towards the other, crossing boundaries in redemptive embrace, transcending exclusion and easy tolerance. This book's non-Western perspective and the empirical contextual study of Singapore's multicultural and multi-faith context are unique contributions to religion and society. This is a book for students, pastors, teachers, and theologians concerned for an approach to mission that is sensitive to their context, who want to learn from a creative theological voice from what has been perhaps the largest religious movement in history, and who see the immense potential in lively theology by Christians of the Chinese diaspora who can speak to the many millions of ethnic Chinese Christians. This book will also appeal to those outside Christianity who are interested in its attempts to engage with a complex multi-ethnic and multi-religious situation such as that in Singapore.
Public Theology and Social Theory in the Work of Jürgen Moltmann
Author: Scott R. Paeth
This book investigates the intersection of theology and social theory in the work of Jürgen Moltmann. In particular, it examines the way in which his concept of the "Exodus Church" can illuminate the importance of the idea of civil society for a Christian public theology. The concept of civil society can aid in moving from the narrower category of "political theology," a term used frequently by Moltmann to emphasize the church's public commitment, to a broader understanding of theology's public task, which takes into account the plurality of ends and institutions within society. The idea of the Exodus Church enables deeper understanding of Christian ethical participation within a complex modern society.
A Complete Guide to Religious Studies
Author: John Morreall,Tamara Sonn
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
This complete overview of religious studies provides students with the essential knowledge and tools they need to explore and understand the nature of religion. Covers the early development of religion, with overviews of major and minor religions from Islam to Scientology Considers recent developments including secularization; the relationship between religion and science; and scientific studies on religion, health, and mystical experience Uses humor throughout, allowing students to remain open-minded to the subject Explains what it means to study religion academically, and considers the impact of the study of religion on religion itself Contains numerous student-friendly features including photos, maps, time lines, side bars, historical profiles, and population distribution figures Provides classroom users with a lively website,www.wiley.com/go/religiontoolkit, including questions, quizzes, extra material, and helpful primary and secondary sources
Critical Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars
Author: Roger Jackson,John Makransky
Category: Social Science
Scholars of Buddhism, themselves Buddhist, here seek to apply the critical tools of the academy to reassess the truth and transformative value of their tradition in its relevance to the contemporary world.
New Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Author: Bettina E. Schmidt,Lucy Huskinson
Publisher: A&C Black
Spirit possession is a phenomenon that often elicits a response of fear, particular in those who are ignorant of its meaning and role within its particular religious and cultural traditions. Possession by divine beings (such as spirits or gods) is, however, a key practice in religions worldwide. It is therefore important to gain an understanding of this practice in its cultural context before trying to develop a wider theory about it. This fascinating book contains several case studies that present new interpretations of spirit possession worldwide. The authors show the diversity of possible interpretations and methodological approaches that provide a new insight into the understanding of possession and trance.
Author: István Keul
In different stages in the history of South Asian religions, the term yoginī has been used in various contexts to designate various things: a female adept of yoga, a female tantric practitioner, a sorceress, a woman dedicated to a deity, or a certain category of female deities. This book brings together recent interdisciplinary perspectives on the medieval South Asian cults of the Yoginis, such as textual-philological, historical, art historical, indological, anthropological, ritual and terminological. The book discusses the medieval yoginī cult, as illustrated in early Śaiva tantric texts, and their representations in South Asian temple iconography. It looks at the roles and hypostases of yoginīs in contemporary religious traditions, as well as the transformations of yoginī-related ritual practices. In addition, this book systematizes the multiple meanings, and proposes definitions of the concept and models for integrating the semantic fields of ‘yoginī.’ Highlighting the importance of research from complementary disciplines for the exploration of complex themes in South Asian studies, this book is of interest to scholars of South Asian Studies and Religious Studies.
Author: Carl Olson
Religious Studies: The Key Concepts is an accessible, A-Z resource, defining and explaining key terms and ideas central to the study of religion. Exploring broad and recurring themes which are applicable in both eastern and western religions, cross-cultural examples are provided for each term to give a comprehensive overview of the subject. Subjects covered include: afterlife comparative religion festivals ethics gender monotheism world religions modernity pilgrimage theism secularization With cross referencing and further reading provided throughout, this book provides an inclusive map of the discipline, and is an essential reference for all students, academics and researchers.
Author: Robert S. Ellwood,Gregory D. Alles
Publisher: Infobase Publishing
Contains nearly 600 brief entries on the world's religious traditions.
Tradition, Modernity, and the Bahá’í Faith
Author: Mikhail Sergeev
In Theory of Religious Cycles: Tradition, Modernity and the Bahá’í Faith Mikhail Sergeev offers a new interpretation of the Soviet period of Russian history by developing a theory of religious cycles, which he applies to modernity and all major world religions.
Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka
Author: John Clifford Holt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Historical, anthropological, and philosophical in approach, Buddha in the Crown is a case study in religious and cultural change. It examines the various ways in which Avalokitesvara, the most well known and proliferated bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism throughout south, southeast, and east Asia, was assimilated into the transforming religious culture of Sri Lanka, one of the most pluralistic in Asia. Exploring the expressions of the bodhisattva's cult in Sanskrit and Sinhala literature, in iconography, epigraphy, ritual, symbol, and myth, the author develops a provocative thesis regarding the dynamics of religious change. Interdisciplinary in scope, addressing a wide variety of issues relating to Buddhist thought and practice, and providing new and original information on the rich cultural history of Sri Lanka, this book will interest students of Buddhism and South Asia.
Transcendence in Myth, Religion, and Science
Author: Robert M. Torrance
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Robert Torrance's wide-ranging, innovative study argues that the spiritual quest is rooted in our biological, psychological, linguistic, and social nature. The quest is not, as most have believed, a rare mystical experience, but a frequent expression of our most basic human impulses. Shaman and scientist, medium and poet, prophet and philosopher, all venture forth in quest of visionary truths to transform and renew the world. Yet Torrance is not trying to reduce the quest to an "archetype" or "monomyth." Instead, he presents the full diversity of the quest in the myths and religious practices of tribal peoples throughout the world, from Oceania to India, Africa, Siberia, and especially the Americas. In theorizing about the quest, Torrance draws on thinkers as diverse as Bergson and Piaget, van Gennep and Turner, Pierce and Popper, Freud, Darwin, and Chomsky. This is a book that will expand our knowledge—and awareness—of a fundamental human activity in all its fascinating complexity.
Ascetics in the Hindu Himalayas
Author: Sondra L. Hausner
Publisher: Indiana University Press
In this moving ethnographic portrait of Hindu renouncers--sadhus or ascetics--in northern India and Nepal, Sondra L. Hausner considers a paradox that shapes their lives: while ostensibly defined by their solitary spiritual practice, the stripping away of social commitments, and their break with family and community, renouncers in fact regularly interact with "householder" society. They form a distinctive, alternative community with its own internal structure, but one that is not located in any single place. Highly mobile and dispersed across the subcontinent, its members are regularly brought together through pilgrimage circuits on festival cycles. Drawing on many years of fieldwork, Hausner presents intimate portraits of individual sadhus as she examines the shared views of space, time, and the body that create the ground for everyday experience. Written with an extraordinary blend of empathy, compassion, and anthropological insight, this study will appeal to scholars, students, and general readers alike.
Author: Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Over the past century, Buddhism has come to be seen as a world religion, exceeding Christianity in longevity and, according to many, philosophical wisdom. Buddhism has also increasingly been described as strongly ethical, devoted to nonviolence, and dedicated to bringing an end to human suffering. And because it places such a strong emphasis on rational analysis, Buddhism is considered more compatible with science than the other great religions. As such, Buddhism has been embraced in the West, both as an alternative religion and as an alternative to religion. This volume provides a unique introduction to Buddhism by examining categories essential for a nuanced understanding of its traditions. Each of the fifteen essays here shows students how a fundamental term—from art to word—illuminates the practice of Buddhism, both in traditional Buddhist societies and in the realms of modernity. Apart from Buddha, the list of terms in this collection deliberately includes none that are intrinsic to the religion. Instead, the contributors explore terms that are important for many fields and that invite interdisciplinary reflection. Through incisive discussions of topics ranging from practice, power, and pedagogy to ritual, history, sex, and death, the authors offer new directions for the understanding of Buddhism, taking constructive and sometimes polemical positions in an effort both to demonstrate the shortcomings of assumptions about the religion and the potential power of revisionary approaches. Following the tradition of Critical Terms for Religious Studies, this volume is not only an invaluable resource for the classroom but one that belongs on the short list of essential books for anyone seriously interested in Buddhism and Asian religions.
Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion
Author: Jeffrey J. Kripal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
“Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field.” With those words in Genesis, God condemns the serpent for tempting Adam and Eve, and the serpent has shouldered the blame ever since. But how would the study of religion change if we looked at the Fall from the snake’s point of view? Would he appear as a bringer of wisdom, more generous than the God who wishes to keep his creation ignorant? Inspired by the early Gnostics who took that startling view, Jeffrey J. Kripal uses the serpent as a starting point for a groundbreaking reconsideration of religious studies and its methods. In a series of related essays, he moves beyond both rational and faith-based approaches to religion, exploring the erotics of the gospels and the sexualities of Jesus, John, and Mary Magdalene. He considers Feuerbach’s Gnosticism, the untapped mystical potential of comparative religion, and even the modern mythology of the X-Men. Ultimately, The Serpent’s Gift is a provocative call for a complete reorientation of religious studies, aimed at a larger understanding of the world, the self, and the divine.
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
The intellectual contributions of the Han (206 BCE-CE 220) have for too long received short shrift in introductory anthologies of Chinese thought. It was during the Han's unprecedented centuries-long unification of China that a canon of classical texts emerged, syncretic and scholastic trends transformed the legacy of pre-imperial philosophy, and popular religious movements shook official verities. With Mark Csikszentmihalyi's collection, readers at last have an accessible, eclectic introduction to the key themes of thought during this crucial period. Providing clear introductory essays and elegant, readable translations, Csikszentmihalyi exercises a judicious revisionism by breaking down stereotypes of philosophical orthodoxy and offering a subtler vision of cross-fertilization in thought. His juxtaposition of texts that reflect very different social milieux and their problems gives a more vivid picture of the Han than has ever before been available in an English-language collection. The result is a work that should by rights be required reading in intellectual history courses for years to come. --David Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles
An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions
Author: Daniel Merkur
Publisher: SUNY Press
Traces the use of powerful gnostic visionary techniques from Hellenistic Gnosticism and Jewish merkabah mysticism, through Muhammad, the Ismaeilis, and theosophical Sufism to medieval neoplatonism, and renaissance alchemy.
Persistence in Times of Change
Author: Jakob Horst,Annette Jünemann,Delf Rothe
Category: Political Science
The ’Arab Spring’ triggered paradigmatic shifts but, despite these changes, much in the Euro-Mediterranean region remains the same. Utilising ’Logics of Action’, an innovative theoretical framework designed to capture the complexity of political interaction in one of the fastest changing regions in the world, this book discusses developments in the region before and after the Arab Spring that can be characterised by a continuation of the norm. Expert contributors identify patterns of interaction between governmental institutions, economic entrepreneurs, religious groups and other diverse actors that withstood these historical changes and explore why these relationships have proved so robust. Connecting a unique sample of case studies on changing and persistent ’Logics of Action’ within the Euro-Mediterranean space this book provides a pivotal contribution to our understanding of political interaction between North Africa, the Middle East and the European Union. Offering a completely new perspective on the events of the ’Arab Spring’ it identifies something that seems paradoxical at first sight; persistence in times of radical change.
Places of Practice
Author: James A. Benn,Lori Meeks,James Robson
The area of Buddhist monasticism has long attracted the interest of Buddhist studies scholars and historians, but the interpretation of the nature and function of monasteries across diverse cultures and vast historical periods remains a focus for debate. This book provides a multifaceted discussion of religious, social, cultural, artistic, and political functions of Buddhist monasteries in medieval China and Japan. With contributions from leading scholars in the field, this volume explores the multiplicity of the institutions that make up "the Buddhist monastery." Drawing on new research and on previous studies hitherto not widely available in English, the chapters cover key issues such as the relationship between monastics and lay society, the meaning of monastic vows, how specific institutions functioned, and the differences between urban and regional monasteries. Collectively, the book demonstrates that medieval monasteries in East Asia were much more than merely residences for monks who, cut off from the dust and din of society and all its entrapments, collectively pursued an ideal cenobitic lifestyle. Buddhist Monasticism in East Asia is a timely contribution to the ongoing attempts to understand a central facet of Buddhist religious practice, and will be a significant work for academics and students in the fields of Buddhist Studies, Asian Studies, and East Asian Religions.