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.
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.
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.