Rethinking Public Religion in the Contemporary World
Author: David Herbert
This book presents the first full-length study of the relationship between religion and the controversial concept of civil society. Across the world in the last two decades of the twentieth century religions re-entered public space as influential discursive and symbolic systems apparently beyond the control of either traditional religious authorising institutions or states. This differentiation of religion from traditional institutions and entry into secular public spheres carries both dangers and possible benefits for democracy. Offering a fresh interdisciplinary approach to understanding religion in contemporary societies, this book provides an invaluable resource for students and researchers in religious studies, sociology, politics and political philosophy, theology, international relations and legal studies. Part one presents a critical introduction to the interaction between religion, modernization and postmodernization in Western and non-Western settings (America, Europe, the Middle East and India), focussing on discourses of human rights, civil society and the public sphere, and the controversial question of their cross-cultural application. Part two examines religion and civil society through case studies of Egypt, Bosnia and Muslim minorities in Britain, and compares Poland as an example of a Christian majority society that has experienced the public reassertion of religion.
Author: Helmut K. Anheier,Stefan Toepler
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Social Science
Recently the topic of civil society has generated a wave of interest, and a wealth of new information. Until now no publication has attempted to organize and consolidate this knowledge. The International Encyclopedia of Civil Society fills this gap, establishing a common set of understandings and terminology, and an analytical starting point for future research. Global in scope and authoritative in content, the Encyclopedia offers succinct summaries of core concepts and theories; definitions of terms; biographical entries on important figures and organizational profiles. In addition, it serves as a reliable and up-to-date guide to additional sources of information. In sum, the Encyclopedia provides an overview of the contours of civil society, social capital, philanthropy and nonprofits across cultures and historical periods. For researchers in nonprofit and civil society studies, political science, economics, management and social enterprise, this is the most systematic appraisal of a rapidly growing field.
Author: D.A. Carson
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Called to live in the world, but not to be of it, Christians must maintain a balancing act that becomes more precarious the further our culture departs from its Judeo-Christian roots. How should members of the church interact with such a culture, especially as deeply enmeshed as most of us have become? D. A. Carson applies his masterful touch to this problem. He begins by exploring the classic typology of H. Richard Niebuhr with its five Christ-culture options. Carson proposes that these disparate options are in reality one still larger vision. Using the Bible's own story line and the categories of biblical theology, he clearly lays out that unifying vision. Carson acknowledges the helpfulness of Niebuhr's grid and similar matrices but warns against giving them canonical force. More than just theoretical, Christ and Culture Revisited is also designed practically to help Christians untangle current messy debates on living in the world. Carson emphasizes that the relation between Christ and culture is not limited to an either/or cultural paradigm -- Christ against culture or Christtransforming culture. Instead Carson offers his own paradigm in which all the categories of biblical theology must be kept in mind simultaneously to inform the Christian worldview. While many other books on culture interact with Niebuhr, none of them takes anything like the biblical-theological approach adopted here. Groundbreaking and challenging, Christ and Culture Revisited is a tour de force.
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism Between Constructive Activism and Destructive Fanaticism
Author: Christiane Timmerman
Publisher: Peter Lang
Terror attacks against Western symbols of power, suicide terrorism in Chechnya, or bombing of abortion clinics in the United States: these are a few of the violent religious outbursts that the media never seem to stop broadcasting. While these outbursts are mostly linked to Islamic extremism, it should however be acknowledged that every religion has its own violent side. Despite all the events the media are too prompt to show us, it would be dishonest and insensible not to accept that every religion has also a potential for religious peace building and communal renewal. How, can it be explained then, that religions sometimes react violently against the society surrounding them by trying to overthrow it, while at some other times they willingly help and try to build a better world for everyone? The University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp organised an interdisciplinary summer seminar in September 2005 and gathered senior scholars - all experts in their own fields - and junior scholars - who will be the experts of tomorrow - from all over the world, to discuss these burning issues. The seminar focused on miscellaneous topics all pointing towards the question of religion and society; like literalism and the Holy texts, the ambivalence of faith-based radicalism, the psychology of religion and terrorism, nationalism and religion and religious social movements. - Publisher.
Soka Gakkai Youth and Komeito
Author: Anne Mette Fisker-Nielsen
Category: Social Science
Presenting a study of politics at grassroots level among young Japanese, this book examines the alliance between the religious movement Soka Gakkai (the 'Value-creation Society') and Komeito (the 'Clean Government Party'), which shared power with the Liberal Democratic Party from 1999 to 2009. Drawing on primary research carried out among Komeito supporters, the book focuses on the lives of supporters and voters in order to better understand the processes of democracy. It goes on to discuss what the political behaviour of young Komeito supporters tell us about the role of religious organizations, such as Soka Gakkai, in Japanese politics. Unlike most other books on politics in Japan which tend to concentrate on political elites, this book provides extremely valuable insights into political culture at the grassroots level.
Author: Ellen Lust-Okar,Saloua Zerhouni
Publisher: Lynne Rienner Pub
Category: Political Science
Political participation in authoritarian regimes is usually considered insignificant, or important only insofar as it promotes democracy. Turning this common wisdom on its head, Political Participation in the Middle East demonstrates the vitality, variety, and significance of political activism across the MENA region. Through an in-depth exploration of seven countries, the authors address how formal and informal political institutions create opportunities for participation in venues as varied as trade unions, civic associations, political parties, and elections. And, without losing sight of the fact that authoritarian regimes manipulate participation to reinforce their rule, they reveal ways in which citizens do benefit?by influencing decision-making, for example, or obtaining state resources. An engaging read for scholars and students, this work vividly illustrates how citizens matter in the politics of authoritarian regimes.
A European Perspective
Author: Silvio Ferrari,Sabrina Pastorelli
This timely volume discusses the much debated and controversial subject of the presence of religion in the public sphere. The book is divided in three sections. In the first the public/private distinction is studied mainly from a theoretical point of view, through the contributions of lawyers, philosophers and sociologists. In the following sections their proposals are tested through the analysis of two case studies, religious dress codes and places of worship. These sections include discussions on some of the most controversial recent cases from around Europe with contributions from some of the leading experts in the area of law and religion. Covering a range of very different European countries including Turkey, the UK, Italy and Bulgaria, the book uses comparative case studies to illustrate how practice varies significantly even within Europe. It reveals how familiarization with religious and philosophical diversity in Europe should lead to the modification of legal frameworks historically designed to accommodate majority religions. This in turn should give rise to recognition of new groups and communities and eventually, a more adequate response to the plurality of religions and beliefs in European society.
Migration and Religious Identity in the Modern Metropolis
Author: Alana Harris
Rescripting Religion in the City explores the role of faith and religious practices as strategies for understanding and negotiating the migratory experience. Leading international scholars draw on case studies of urban settings in the global north and south. Presenting a nuanced understanding of the religious identities of migrants within the 'modern metropolis' this book makes a significant contribution to fields as diverse as twentieth-century immigration history, the sociology of religion and migration studies, as well as historical and urban geography and practical theology.
A Sociological Introduction
Author: Alan Aldridge
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Social Science
In the new edition of this widely praised text, Alan Aldridge examines the complex realities of religious belief, practice and institutions. Religion is a powerful and controversial force in the contemporary world, even in supposedly secular societies. Almost all societies seek to cultivate religions and faith communities as sources of social stability and engines of social progress. They also try to combat real and imagined abuses and excess, regulating cults that brainwash vulnerable people, containing fundamentalism that threatens democracy and the progress of science, and identifying terrorists who threaten atrocities in the name of religion. The third edition has been carefully revised to make sure it is fully up to date with recent developments and debates. Major themes in the revised edition include the recently erupted ‘culture war’ between progressive secularists and conservative believers, the diverse manifestations of ‘fundamentalism’ and their impact on the wider society, new individual forms of religious expression in opposition to traditional structures of authority, and the backlash against ‘multiculturalism’ with its controversial implications for the social integration of ethnic and religious minority communities. Impressive in its scholarly analysis of a vibrant and challenging aspect of human societies, the third edition will appeal strongly to students taking courses in the sociology of religion and religious studies, as well as to everyone interested in the place of religion in the contemporary world.
Author: Greg Simons,David Westerlund
Category: Political Science
The increasing significance and visibility of relationships between religion and public arenas and institutions following the fall of communism in Europe provide the core focus of this fascinating book. Leading international scholars consider the religious and political role of Christian Orthodoxy in the Russian Federation, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine alongside the revival of old, indigenous religions, often referred to as 'shamanistic' and look at how, despite Islam’s long history and many adherents in the south, Islamophobic attitudes have increasingly been added to traditional anti-Semitic, anti-Western or anti-liberal elements of Russian nationalism. Contrasts between the church’s position in the post-communist nation building process of secular Estonia with its role in predominantly Catholic Poland are also explored. Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries gives a broad overview of the political importance of religion in the Post-Soviet space but its interest and relevance extends far beyond the geographical focus, providing examples of the challenges in the spheres of public, religious and social policy for all transitional countries.
Global legal perspectives
Author: Kyriaki Topidi,Lauren Fielder
This volume shows how and why legal empowerment is important for those exercising their religious rights under various jurisdictions, in conditions of legal pluralism. At the same time, it also questions the thesis that as societies become more modern, they also become less religious. The authors look beyond the rule of law orthodoxy in their consideration of the freedom of religion as a human right and place this discussion in a more plurality-sensitive context. The book sheds more light on the informal and/or customary mechanisms that explain the limited impact of law on individuals and groups, especially in non-Western societies. The focus is on discussing how religion and the exercise of religious rights may or may not empower individuals and social groups and improve access to human rights in general. This book is important reading for academics and practitioners of law and religion, religious rights, religious diversity and cultural difference, as well as NGOs, policy makers, lawyers and advocates at multicultural jurisdictions. It offers a contemporary take on comparative legal studies, with a distinct focus on religion as an identity marker.
Author: Linda Woodhead,Rebecca Catto
This book offers a fully up-to-date and comprehensive guide to religion in Britain since 1945. A team of leading scholars provide a fresh analysis and overview, with a particular focus on diversity and change. They examine: relations between religious and secular beliefs and institutions the evolving role and status of the churches the growth and ‘settlement’ of non-Christian religious communities the spread and diversification of alternative spiritualities religion in welfare, education, media, politics and law theoretical perspectives on religious change. The volume presents the latest research, including results from the largest-ever research initiative on religion in Britain, the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme. Survey chapters are combined with detailed case studies to give both breadth and depth of coverage. The text is accompanied by relevant photographs and a companion website.
Author: Abdullah Saeed
Debate on freedom of religion as a human right takes place not only in the Western world but also in Muslim communities throughout the world. For Muslims concerned for this freedom, one of the major difficulties is the 'punishment for apostasy' - death for those who desert Islam. This book argues that the law of apostasy and its punishment by death in Islamic law is untenable in the modern period. Apostasy conflicts with a variety of foundation texts of Islam and with the current ethos of human rights, in particular the freedom to choose one's religion. Demonstrating the early development of the law of apostasy as largely a religio-political tool, the authors show the diversity of opinion among early Muslims on the punishment, highlighting the substantial ambiguities about what constitutes apostasy, the problematic nature of some of the key textual evidence on which the punishment of apostasy is based, and the neglect of a vast amount of clear Qur'anic texts in favour of freedom of religion in the construction of the law of apostasy. Examining the significant challenges the punishment of apostasy faces in the modern period inside and outside Muslim communities - exploring in particular how apostasy and its punishment is dealt with in a multi-religious Muslim majority country, Malaysia, and the challenges and difficulties it faces there - the authors discuss arguments by prominent Muslims today for an absolute freedom of religion and for discarding the punishment of apostasy.
In Search of Democracy and Development in Bangladesh
Author: Dr Fahimul Quadir,Professor Yutaka Tsujinaka
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Category: Political Science
Providing much needed analytical context to explore the theoretical and empirical dimensions of the role of civil society in the democracy and development of Bangladesh, Civil Society in Asia brings together well established international authors to explore key ideas and debates from a wide range of disciplines. Through this the contributors raise intriguing questions about the prospects for liberal democracy and social development in a Muslim majority country.
Author: Callum G. Brown
The Death of Christian Britain uses the latest techniques to offer new formulations of religion and secularisation and explores what it has meant to be 'religious' and 'irreligious' during the last 200 years. By listening to people's voices rather than purely counting heads, it offers a fresh history of de-christianisation, and predicts that the British experience since the 1960s is emblematic of the destiny of the whole of western Christianity. Challenging the generally held view that secularization has been a long and gradual process beginning with the industrial revolution, it proposes that it has been a catastrophic short term phenomenon starting with the 1960's. Is Christianity in Britain nearing extinction? Is the decline in Britain emblematic of the fate of western Christianity? Topical and controversial, The Death of Christian Britain is a bold and original work that will bring some uncomfortable truths to light.
Author: Paola Cavaliere
Category: Social Science
Promising Practices explores the ways women’s participation in contemporary Japanese religious civic organizations can work as a gateway toward participatory democracy and presents new perspectives on values and social interactions that embed democracy in the everyday women’s lives.
Author: Peter Beyer
Peter Beyer, a distinguished sociologist of religion, presents a way of understanding religion in a contemporary global society - by analyzing it as a dimension of the historical process of globalization. Introducing theories of globalization and showing how they can be applied to world religions, Beyer reveals the nature of the contested category of ‘religion’: what it means, what it includes and what it implies in the world today. Written with exceptional clarity and illustrated with lively and diverse examples ranging from Islam and Hinduism to African traditional religions and new age spirituality, this is a fascinating overview of how religion has developed in a globalized society. It is recommended reading for students taking courses on sociology of religion, religion and globalization, and religion and modernity.
Religious Freedom, Education, and Parental Rights
Author: Shawn Francis Peters
Compulsory education has always been in the best interest of the state, as it fosters good citizenship and self-sufficiency. But what if a segment of society considers state education detrimental to its own values? In the late 1960s, one Wisconsin Amish community held that view and removed its children from public schools. When the state claimed truancy and took Jonas Yoder and two other parents to court, a legal battle of landmark proportions followed. Prize-winning historian Shawn Peters now offers a complete and compelling account of the Yoder case and of the tortured decision of simple Amish folk to break tradition and "go to law." He examines the breadth of First Amendment protections, the validity of compulsory school attendance, and the fundamental rights of parents and children. He also takes readers deep into the world of the Old Order Amish to show how their beliefs were often at variance with the very measures being undertaken to protect them. While most accounts of Wisconsin v. Yoder have focused on its origins and implications, Peters lays out all the facts of the case to reveal their intrinsic importance. He draws on trial transcripts and in-depth interviews with participants to fully explore the backgrounds, motivations, and strategies of the people who shaped the case-particularly the National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom and its attorney William Ball. He then describes in riveting prose how the trial unfolded, explains the impact of First Amendment jurisprudence on ordinary citizens involved, and shows how a relatively obscure dispute became a conflict of national importance. When the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 ruled in favor of the Amish, its decision was hailed by many as a victory for religious freedom but was also criticized for conferring special protection on one faith. Yoder was subsequently cited in fundamentalist Christian efforts to excuse children from public schooling, but faith-based exemption to law was ultimately defeated in other tests. Peters traces the progress of such cases into the 1990s to show how Yoder in some ways marked the beginning of the end of an era for religious liberty jurisprudence. In exploring the meaning and legacy of Yoder, Peters reveals not only the human element of a landmark case but also its continuing relevance for our times.