Approaching Religion

ISSN: 1799-3121

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  1.  6
    ISKCON and Intelligent Design.Måns Broo - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (2):4-17.
    Bhaktivedanta Swami, the founder of ISKCON, had a complex relationship with science and modernity, and many of his followers have consequently allied themselves with various kinds of critiques of the modern project. A favourite enemy has been Darwin’s theory of evolution. This article undertakes a close reading of the book Rethinking Darwinism, written by a Danish member of the society, Leif A. Jensen, and published by the movement’s official publishing house, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in 2010. Contextualising the book within the (...)
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  2.  1
    Chabad on Ice.Mercédesz Viktória Czimbalmos & Riikka Tuori - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (2):38-58.
    The article examines the Finnish branch of Chabad Lubavitch as a fundamentalist and charismatic movement that differs from other branches of ultra-Orthodox Judaism in its approaches to outreach to non-observant Jews. Whilst introducing the history of Chabad Lubavitch in Finland and drawing on historical and archival sources, the authors locate the movement in a contemporary context and draw on 101 semi-structured qualitative interviews of members of the Finnish Jewish communities, who either directly or indirectly have been in contact with representatives (...)
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  3.  2
    One of the Most Important Questions That Human Beings Have to Understand.Susanne Olsson & Jonas Svensson - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (2):59-76.
    In the present article, the authors argue that the study of Salafism as a contemporary Islamic new religious movement could benefit from an analytical perspective separating fundamentalism into the modes of inferentialism and deferentialism. The basics of these concepts are outlined and discussed in relation to different aspects of contemporary Salafism as well as in relation to previous tendencies in Islamic history. As a case study, the authors employ the concept in an analysis of a contemporary Swedish Salafi discourse on (...)
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  4.  5
    Salafi Sufism?Simon Sorgenfrei & Simon Stjernholm - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (2):77-91.
    The aim of this article is to analyse a local expression of the transnational Ahbash Sufi movement in light of recent scholarship on the relationship between Salafism and Sufism as well as Islamic neo-traditionalism. Some researchers have reacted against a dichotomous relationship between fundamentalism and Sufism, instead suggesting a continuum and a mutual interdependence. We aim to contribute to a developed understanding of the process whereby some Sufi actors go on the attack against their Islamic foes by publicly and loudly (...)
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  5.  1
    Soft Charisma as an Impediment to Fundamentalist Discourse.Karen Swartz & Olav Hammer - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (2):18-37.
    The Anthroposophical Society in Sweden is, in the view of many of its members, going through tough times. Times of crisis and the search for a collective identity often inspire the formation of ideological rifts within a larger religious community. One way of responding to challenges is by turning to doctrines and texts stemming from a purportedly pristine past for guidance – in other words, by developing a fundamentalist discourse. A striking fact about the Anthroposophical Society, in Sweden as well (...)
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  6.  1
    Mapping the Geography of Choirs in Sweden.Per Göransson - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):77-97.
    The geography of choirs has seldom received attention in human geography and even less so in a Swedish context. This article analyses the geography of choirs in Sweden by focusing on choir members in the Church of Sweden. Sweden offers an interesting case of choral geography because of the Church of Sweden’s geographical presence, the number of choir members, and the role of religion in contemporary Swedish society. An intimation of the contemporary significance is that the Church of Sweden has (...)
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  7.  4
    How Dare You Think Divergently!Visa Helenius - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):36-54.
    Freethinking seems to be desirable because the human being is seen as an independently thinking being. However, as is well known, freethinking should not be taken for granted: ideological indoctrination, manipulation and propaganda, inter alia, are versatile tools for rulers and, in consequence, regularly repeated phenomena. One of the most drastic intellectual turning points in history occurred in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the incontestable religious world view of European civilization changed along with early modern science and the Age (...)
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  8.  1
    Dance as an Agency of Change in an Age of Totalitarianism.Laura Hellsten - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):55-76.
    This article identifies two different paths where the amnesia described by Hannah- Arendt and the fragmentation identified by Willie James Jennings of our historical past has distorted how people today view dan-cing. I set out how the Christian entanglement with colonial powers has impacted on people’s abilities to relate to their bodies, lands and other creatures of the world. I describe how the colonial wound of Western society forms the basis of the loneliness and alienation that totalitarianism inculcates. After this, (...)
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  9.  3
    Lived Religion and Mystical Experiences.Katarina Johansson - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):132-148.
    This article discusses and argues for a ‘new’ and inclusive umbrella concept for varieties of experiences that have been called, inter alia, religious, spiritual, existential, paranormal, extraordinary or inexplicable. The umbrella concept to be explored is seen as a means of capturing one kind of ‘lived religion’ in contemporary society and simultaneously expanding the field of the sociology of religion. The discussion is theoretical and anchored in contemporary theories and traditions in sociology of religion, but it is also of pragmatical, (...)
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  10.  1
    Change in the Researcher’s Position in the Study of Shamanism.Jaana Kouri & Elina Hytönen-Ng - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):117-131.
    Since the 1960s, shamanism has become one of the landmarks for a new way of life and a more respectful relationship of humans with nature in the Western world. Both researchers and practitioners regard the foundation of shamanism as being animism – an understanding of the connection of all living beings. The role of the community is highlighted in shamanism as the shaman is expected to work for his community. Shamanistic techniques vary according to the society or place where it (...)
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  11.  1
    ‘No “Wise” Men or Women but Real Doctors!'.Karolina Kouvola - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):98-116.
    Magical healers and physicians were among those who provided healing in the medical market of pre-modern Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia. Using newspaper texts published in the region about local occurrences of magical healing as source material, this article examines through discourse analysis how magical healing was stigmatized in public discourse at the turn of the twentieth century. Two main discourses that stigmatize magical healing are evident from the data: the religious and enlightenment discourses. These show the power relations involved in the condemnation (...)
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  12.  2
    Religion and Cultural Change.Anni Maria Laato, Minna Opas & Ruth Illman - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):1-3.
    The current issue of Approaching Religion is based on a summer school and conference arranged in Åbo/Turku, Finland, in June 2021, with the theme ‘Religion and Cultural Change’. The event was organized jointly by the Polin Institute for Theological Research, the Centre for the Study of Christian Cultures, and the Donner Institute for Research in Religion and Culture. The aim was to bring together doctoral candidates and researchers from various academic fields who engage with the study of religion, such as (...)
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  13.  1
    Digitizing the Field of Women’s Islamic Education.Maria Lindebæk Lyngsøe - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):184-200.
    This article builds on fieldwork conducted in 2019 and 2020 and examines the implications of Covid-19 lockdown for the engagement of Danish Muslim women in Islamic educational activities. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari and Larkin, it displays how technological infrastructure influences religious practice and the constitution of religious space. For the women engaged in Islamic education, the forced use of digital-media technologies unmoored conditions for being at activities, reorganized time and space, and changed conditions for relating to communities. As home (...)
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  14.  1
    Many Voices in a Muslim Self.Teemu Pauha - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):201-217.
    Previous research has demonstrated that young European Muslims relate to religion and religious authority differently from their parental generation. While traditional ‘ulama are not about to become obsolete, they are nevertheless increasingly forced to defend their status against competitors. Furthermore, the relationship between many young Muslims and established religious authority is marked by ambivalence and complexity. In this article, I suggest the dialogical self theory as a fruitful approach to conceptualizing the religious identities and authorities of young European Muslims. To (...)
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  15.  1
    Supernatural Punishment, Spiritual Violence and the Gospel of Matthew.Mikko Pisilä - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):18-35.
    Spiritual violence is a modern concept expressing the abusive aspects of religion. This article observes the potential for spiritual violence within the rhetoric of the Gospel of Matthew, a principal text of the dominant world religion. Utilizing the supernatural punishment hypothesis of religion as a theoretical background, this cross-disciplinary analysis opens perspectives on the use of religious power in the past and the present.
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  16.  2
    Puzzle and Politics of Historical Reconstruction.Anders Runesson - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):4-17.
    This essay focuses on the topic of the emergence of Christianity and Judaism as related but distinct religious traditions, as an example of a process of religious and cultural change, which has had an enormous impact on Western and other societies around the world. At the heart of this question lies what appear to be contradictions between normative practices in antiquity and those we know of today, leading us to consider the historical and hermeneutical issue of continuity and change over (...)
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  17.  7
    Public Opinion on Freedom of Religion (and its Limitations) in Penitentiary Establishments in the Light of International Regulations.Olga Sitarz, Anna Jaworska-Wieloch & Jakub Hanc - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):165-183.
    The issue of religious freedom while serving a sentence of imprisonment often occupies scientists from around the world. Basically, they agree that a prisoner, regardless of the act for which he or she has been convicted, has the right to religious freedom. Problems are posed, however, by the question of delimiting this freedom, especially at the level of the right to practise a chosen religion during prison isolation. The decisions of international tribunals and national courts are not uniform owing to (...)
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  18.  2
    I Try Not to Save My Soul, but to Understand It.Polina Vrublevskaya - 2022 - Approaching Religion 12 (1):149-164.
    This article presents a comparative study of the experiences of young adults on a spiritual quest in cultural and religious contexts where they have not yet been properly studied, that is Lutheran Finland, Roman Catholic Poland and Orthodox Russia. The study seeks to contribute to the further refinement of the concept of spiritual quest in order to enhance its utility and applicability across different cultural and religious contexts. The analysis revealed several aspects inherent in spiritual quest but which can be (...)
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