For scholars of religion and others interested in the practice, pedagogy, history, and theory of religious studies.
Though many studies of contemporary Buddhist literature exist, such studies often limit their purview to canonised, ‘high-brow’ authors. In this article, I read Janwillem van de Wetering’s The Japanese Corpse, a detective novel, for how it portrays Zen Buddhism. I show that The Japanese Corpse portrays Zen as non-dualist and amoral: good and bad a…[Read more]
An attempt to think about authorial strategies of dislocation and relocation in 1 Peter. First presented at a conference on Early Christianity and its urban environment held at St. Mary’s University in Twickenham, England, 2015.
Sounding Islam provides a provocative account of the sonic dimensions of religion, combining perspectives from the anthropology of media and sound studies, as well as drawing on neo-phenomenological approaches to atmospheres. Using long-term ethnographic research on devotional Islam in Mauritius, Patrick Eisenlohr explores how the voice, as a site…[Read more]
This thesis compares the recent rise and decline of two political uses of cultural tradition, one in India and one in Singapore. In India, the thesis examines the Hindutva (Hindu-ness) movement, which became influential in the 1980s and 1990s. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which leads India’s current coalition government, arose from the Hindutva m…[Read more]
This dissertation examines the idea of ethical revaluation — taking things we normally see as good for our flourishing and seeing them as neutral or bad, and vice versa — in the Mahāyāna Buddhist thinker Śāntideva. It shows how Śāntideva’s thought on the matter is more coherent than it might otherwise appear, first by examining the consistency…[Read more]
Theology and Pop Culture is currently seeking contributions for a potential edited volume of essays on theology and the life, music, and films of Prince Rogers Nelson. Essays should be written for academics, but avoid jargon in order to be accessible for the layperson. Abstracts due July 16, 2018, details…[Read more]
In Along an African Border, anthropologist Sónia Silva examines how the Angolan refugees living in Zambia during the Angolan civil war used their divination baskets to cope with daily life in a new land. To many people, these baskets are capable of thinking, hearing, judging, and responding. They communicate by means of small articles drawn in…[Read more]
As cestas de adivinhação de Angola, da Zâmbia e da República Democrática do Congo tornaram-se mundialmente conhecidas pelo seu fascinante conteúdo: várias dezenas de peças imbuídas de simbolismo. Vidas em Jogo apresenta este simbolismo em acção. As cestas de adivinhação, transformadas em oráculos, são entendidas pelos seus utilizadores c…[Read more]
n her article, Silva considers the significance of similarity and polythetic classification in ritual practice and ritual theory. Inspired by Wittgenstein’s concept of family resemblances and his descriptive method, and building on the work of R. Grimes, R. Needham, and, J. Z. Smith, Silva bring out the similarities among three different types o…[Read more]
The statements of researchers on the topic of basket divination and the statements of basket diviners in northwest Zambia, Africa, do not fully agree. While researchers rightly stress the importance of observation, analysis and interpretation in basket divination, going so far as to describe diviners as scientists, they fail to recognize that…[Read more]
In this article, the author explores basket divination, a technique found in Zambia and neighboring countries, as a form of material religion. Mores specifically, the author shows that in basket divination the idea of objectivity (objective knowledge) is directly associated with the materiality of the oracle used for divining. In the Luvale…[Read more]
This chapter on witchcraft in northwest Zambia shows that forms of asking and giving may be deployed to suspend suspicion about the motives of others, even as they possess the potential to kill. When a woman asks a witch for a gift of salt to flavor her food, the witch feigns generosity but forces that woman to join the coven in recompense. In…[Read more]
Instead of asking what evil is, let us see where evil takes us. Based on many conversations on the topic of witchcraft in northwest Zambia, Africa—conversations in which witchcraft is presented from the perspective of the bewitched—the concept of evil takes us to a ghastly realm of destruction and transfiguration where the discourse of mor…[Read more]
Reification, fetishism, alienation, mastery, and control – these are some of the key concepts of modernity that have been battered and beaten by postmoderns and nonmoderns alike, with Bruno Latour, a nonmodern, discarding them most recently. Critical of this approach, which creates a rift between moderns and nonmoderns, the author engages in d…[Read more]
Sónia Silva is an Associate Professor of anthropology at Skidmore College. Drawing on ethnographic ﬁeldwork in Zambia, as well as museum work in Europe and the USA, Silva’s research deals with materiality, material religion, the notion of the fetish, ritual and religion, divination, witchcraft, violence, and museums. Silva is the author of Alon…[Read more]
The internet has changed the ways human beings connect and understand one another. Through the use of social media, people find themselves immersed in a digital environment consisting of various practices and behaviors. As Christianity continues to negotiate the often tricky relationship it has with digital experience, what philosophical and…[Read more]
Patrick Eisenlohr deposited The politics of diaspora and the morality of secularism: Muslim identities and Islamic authority in Mauritius in the group Religious Studies on Humanities Commons 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Previous work on inter-ethnic coexistence in Mauritius has portrayed secularism as the only possible site of the national, which is at the same time described as clearly separated from religious traditions. In contrast, focusing on understandings of secularism among Mauritian Muslims in the context of a politics of diasporic ‘ancestral c…[Read more]
This is one of a series of film reviews of Black Panther (2018), directed by Ryan Coogler.
Rebecca Ruth Gould deposited “Ijtihād against Madhhab: Legal Hybridity and the Meanings of Modernity in Early Modern Daghestan,” Comparative Studies in Society and History (2015) in the group Religious Studies on Humanities Commons 2 months, 2 weeks ago
This article explores the interface of multiple legal systems in early modern Daghestan. By comparing colonial engagements with legal plurality with indigenous genres of Daghestani legal discourse, I aim to shed light on the plurality of legal systems that preceded as well as informed legal discourse under colonialism. The Daghestani turn to…[Read more]
An essay on why foot washing (washing of the saints’ feet) should remain a valuable practice for Original Free Will Baptists and Christianity. In this essay, I explore the ministerial implications foot washing has for identity formation, tradition, and community building. I suggest that foot washing is a visible and physical reminder of what our…[Read more]
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