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Die vorliegende Reihe möchte das Gespräch der christlichen Theologien mit nichtchristlichem Nachdenken über die letzte Wirklichkeit beflügeln und ein Forum für die sich neu entwickelnde Forschungsrichtung der Komparativen Theologie bieten. Dabei geht es darum, Wege zum Verstehen nichtchristlicher Religionen auszuloten, in denen die Verschiedenheit der je anderen Weltzugänge angemessen gewürdigt wird, ohne die Geltungsansprüche der eigenen Religion in unzulässiger Weise zu relativieren. Zugleich geht es darum, Debatten zwischen christlichen Theologien und nichtchristlichen Weltzugängen nachzuzeichnen und so ein freundschaftlich-solidarisches Ringen um die eine Wahrheit aus der Sicht verschiedener Religionen zu stärken. Und schließlich soll hermeneutisch zu einem besseren Verstehen über Religionsgrenzen hinweg beigetragen werden. Getragen sind diese Bemühungen von der Einsicht, dass das bessere Kennenlernen der anderen immer auch eine Hilfe ist, um sich selbst besser zu verstehen und das eigene Nachdenken über Gott bzw. die letzte Wirklichkeit zu vertiefen.
Um diese Ziele zu erreichen, kommen in den Beiträgen zur Komparativen Theologie Theologen und Theologinnen bzw. Gelehrte verschiedener religiöser Traditionen miteinander und mit Vertreterinnen und Vertretern der Religions- und Kulturwissenschaften ins Gespräch, um so im interdisziplinären Gespräch die religionsbezogene Forschung zu vertiefen und im Methodenspektrum zu erweitern. Dabei werden gesellschaftlich brisante und für das interreligiöse Gespräch zentrale Fragestellungen ausgewählt und theologisch bearbeitet. Der Vergleich über Religionsgrenzen hinweg soll auf diese Weise Orientierungsleistungen für Menschen heute erbringen und das dialogische Profil der Theologien schärfen.

The book series, Contributions to Comparative Theology, stimulates the conversation of theologies of different religions and provides a forum for the newly developing research field of Comparative Theology. It advances ways to fathom and understand other religions, in which the diversity of another’s religious view of the world is adequately acknowledged without impermissibly relativizing the truth claims of one's own religion. At the same time, the series portrays real debates between Christian theologies and non-Christian worldviews, showing the ways in which a friendly pursuit of the one truth can be charted without compromising the integrity of one’s own religious commitments. Finally, by working hermeneutically, this series contributes to a better understanding of the differences that lie across religious boundaries. These efforts are underlined by the awareness that getting to know each other better is also helpful to arrive at a better understanding of one’s self and to deepen one's thinking about God – or ultimate reality.
To achieve these goals, theologians of various religious traditions come together in conversation with each other and also with representatives of religious and cultural studies. In the ensuing interdisciplinary dialogue, understandings of religion are deepened and expanded as socially and religiously challenging issues and topics, particularly those that feature prominently in interreligious conversation, are investigated theologically to reveal the unique contribution that Comparative Theology can make to advancing a civil dialogue and a civic culture. Theological investigations across disciplinary and religious boundaries thus provide resources for sharpening the dialogical profile of different theologies through the medium of Comparative Theology.

Abstract

The theoretical framework presented in this article makes it possible to understand religions as constantly changing networks of actors and infrastructures that incorporate, modify, discard, and reformulate numerous “elements” in terms of specific conceptualizations often rooted in concrete contexts of application, and “structures,” i.e., larger conceptual contexts such as evolution, cosmogonies, or anthropological views of humanity, in a necessary ongoing creative process.

Such a process, and the usefulness of the tool, will be illustrated in this article through discussion of the work of Robert T. Browne, particularly his book The Mystery of Space. To date, research has assumed that Browne derives all of his theory from Theosophy. By applying the above theoretical framework and situating Browne’s work within a broader network of discourses, the article challenges this conclusion and is able to paint a more complete picture. This illustrates the usefulness of the analytical tool presented.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

This study examines the question of how religious knowledge of the Umbanda religion is transferred from Brazil to German-speaking Europe in an interreligious network. Since the personalization of the Umbandistic spirits is not familiar in the cultural context in Europe, an emotional archive through the body becomes significant. In understanding the different aspects of religion in Africa, Brazil and Europe in relation to kinship, regionality, personality and nature, which are reflected in the sacred dimension, the focus is laid on the ontological understanding of the spiritual world and its understanding of nature and human beings. The argument of a shift of attention in the Umbanda religion to a stronger focus on nature in Central Europe is based on an observation of a change of the entanglements and borders of the religious field of Umbanda in German-speaking Europe integrating a great part of psychological aspects, especially a newly-founded therapy of nature.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author:

Abstract

Since the late 2000s, Turkey has experienced de-Europeanisation, de-democratisation, and Islamist and authoritarian transformation that has also reinforced patriarchal understanding of gender relations and regressive gender norms. This study focuses on women’s freedom from religion and their liberty to decide whether to wear an Islamic veil in such a gendered socio-political climate. The online platform Yalnız Yürümeyeceksin [you will not walk alone] was born in 2018, and it anonymously publishes women’s life experiences around veiling. By examining 592 letters published between 2018 and 2020, this original study ascertains that women’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) have been disregarded against the backdrop of oppressed women’s lived histories. In doing so, the study reveals how various parties’ decisions around veiling shape women’s lives and how women’s rights and freedoms are violated vis-à-vis these decisions.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
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Abstract

The Mexican city of Catemaco is famous for its diversity of African-American religious traditions. Although Santería was originally shaped in Cuba, the local Mexican versions show not only a variety of references regarding their origins and influences, ranging from West Africa and Cuba to local indigenous traditions, but also (re)interpretations of historically and geographically diverse contents. Based on interview data gathered during field research in 2017, this article outlines the different hybrid (re)configurations of African-Mexican Santería in Catemaco by tracing the changes made by the practitioners in order to adapt existing traditions. The corresponding adaptation processes include beliefs, practices, lore and material assets. Under a critical perspective, concepts of transnationalism, syncretism and glocalization are discussed, focussing on the dynamics between local and global aspects of Santería in Catemaco and shedding light on the processes of inclusion, exclusion and the shift of boundaries.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

The introduction of the editor explains research context and research objectives of the topic, highlights the most important insights and demonstrates relations among the contributions collected in the volume. The papers, written by young and senior researchers, on the one hand, discuss aspects of truth and various modes of deception like insincerity, whitewashing, or bullshit, all of which set forth destructing forces and eroding democratic processes. On the other hand, the papers address phenomena of dissolving and eroding the reliability of collective efforts to maintain truth and sanctions on deception, especially when they are linked to dangerous reductionist movements and hermetic subgroups which systematically prevent the efforts of peacebuilding measures and make anti-democratic movements settle to an extent that endangers cohesion and collective identity within Europe.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author:

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to elaborate structural epistemological and ethical equivalences between mysticism and psychoanalysis. This allows us to make the central concerns of mysticism accessible to contemporary secular thought. The article is driven by two intentions: on the one hand, not to misunderstand mysticism as a moral enterprise of self-perfection, and on the other hand, to oppose the contemporary “guiding culture” of enjoyment with an ethics of desire.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author:

Abstract

In this philosophical essay, I intend to understand hermeneutics as a philosophical tradition that favors the idea of exchange and impropriety over the ideas of ownership and identity. To this end, I will explore the mythological figure of Hermes, the Greek god that was the patron of merchants, travelers, translators, and also of thieves. Attending to the idea of robbery, and opposing the notion of use against the one of ownership, I argue that a philosophy that focus on interpretation and on texts leads to acknowledge that there is nothing proper to anything nor anyone, but that propriety is but the outcome of a negotiation, of an exchange, of mutual dis-appropriations.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society