• Gandhi’s View on Judaism and Zionism in Light of an Interreligious Theology

      Ephraim Meir (MDPI AG, 2021-06-01)
      This article describes Gandhi’s view on Judaism and Zionism and places it in the framework of an interreligious theology. In such a theology, the notion of “trans-difference” appreciates the differences between cultures and religions with the aim of building bridges between them. It is argued that Gandhi’s understanding of Judaism was limited, mainly because he looked at Judaism through a Christian lenses. He reduced Judaism to a religion without considering its peoplehood dimension. This reduction, together with his political endeavors in favor of the Hindu–Muslim unity and with his advice of <i>satyagraha</i> to the Jews in the 1930s determined his view on Zionism. Notwithstanding Gandhi’s problematic views on Judaism and Zionism, his <i>satyagraha</i> opens a wide-open window to possibilities and challenges in the Near East. In the spirit of an interreligious theology, bridges are built between Gandhi’s <i>satyagraha</i> and Jewish transformational dialogical thinking.
    • Gender and Folk-Religion in Western China: A Case Study of the Tu of Qinghai

      Haiyan Xing; Gerald Murray (MDPI AG, 2019-09-01)
      This paper deals with analysis of gender issues in an ethnic religious system in Western China, the religion of the Tu ethnic group. We focused on gender in Tu religion, which entailed documenting gender dynamics in three major ethnographic domains that have been present in religious systems around the world and through time: spirit beliefs, rituals, and specialists. Though examined gender dynamics as they occur among the Tu in all three of these niches, we found that in the Tu spirit world, there are major male and female spirits who are viewed as having equal status and equal power over the weather. However, in the domain of ritual specialists, the gender situation changes. As for gender-differentiation in rituals, we found practices that excluded women from entering temples and from participating in public emergency rituals associated with weather crises. In addition, we have attempted to identify the multiple causal factors that that may have affected the evolution of Tu.
    • Gender and Race in Ministry Leadership: Experiences of Black Clergywomen

      Kimberly Nelms Smarr; Rachelle Disbennett-Lee; Amy Cooper Hakim (MDPI AG, 2018-11-01)
      Despite the increase of seminary training, Black clergywomen continuously undergo subjugation, degradation, and humiliation in ministry leadership due to gender and race bias by clergymen. This article reports the findings of a qualitative study that examined the experiences of Black clergywomen regarding obstacles in ministry leadership and how these clergywomen ascribed meaning to their experiences. The two primary research questions were, “What are the experiences of Black clergywomen regarding obstacles in ministry leadership?„ and “How do Black clergywomen attribute meaning to their experiences regarding obstacles in ministry leadership?„ The results of the study indicated that bias of gender exists among clergymen; however, the Black clergywomen learned to embrace the experiences and learned from them. The conclusion of this article includes a discussion regarding the practical implications of the education of clergymen and clergywomen, and the re-evaluation of the perception of Black clergywomen and their experiences. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of Black clergywomen pertaining to challenges in clergy leadership and to explore how Black clergywomen attributed meaning to their experiences regarding challenges in ministry leadership.
    • Gender and Space during Guatemala’s Holy Week: An Ethnographic Account

      Karen Ponciano (MDPI AG, 2019-01-01)
      At midnight of Sunday, 9 April 2017, the Sunday known as Palm Sunday during Holy Week (<i>Semana Santa</i>), the streets of Guatemala City were packed with parishioners, passers-by, and strollers watching the procession of Jesús Nazareno de los Milagros, “<i>King of the Universe</i>”. The procession’s itinerary takes almost eighteen hours to complete and it is one of the most popular processions among Catholics in Guatemala. What was I, a female anthropologist taking notes and pictures, doing as part of the entourage of the image of Jesus? The question is not gratuitous because this specific space, namely, the entourage itself, is reserved exclusively for male bearers, the so-called <i>cucuruchos. </i>This ethnographic incursion took place within the framework of an ongoing research project on the construction of gender subjectivities in urban religious spaces in Guatemala City, a project that attempts to answer larger questions on the various processes of subject formation within religious spaces. In this article, however, I will focus exclusively on the construction of gender subjectivities during the celebration of the Holy Week in Guatemala City. This paper discusses how a religious space can be analyzed as a “place of encounter” that will intensify social relations coming from beyond, and going beyond, the processional space itself.
    • Gender and Superstition in Modern Chinese Literature

      Gal Gvili (MDPI AG, 2019-10-01)
      This article offers a new perspective on the study of the discourse on superstition (<i>mixin</i>) in modern China. Drawing upon recent work on the import of the concept “superstition” to the colonial world during the 19th century, the article intervenes in the current study of the circulation of discursive constructs in area studies. This intervention is done in two ways: first, I identify how in the modern era missionaries and Western empires collaborated in linking anti-superstition thought to discourses on women’s liberation. Couched in promises of civilizational progress to cultures who free their women from backward superstitions, this historical connection between empire, gender and modern knowledge urges us to reorient our understanding of superstition merely as the ultimate other of “religion” or “science.” Second, in order to explore the nuances of the connection between gender and superstition, I turn to an archive that is currently understudied in the research on superstition in China. I propose that we mine modern Chinese literature by using literary methods. I demonstrate this proposal by reading China’s first feminist manifesto, <i>The Women’s Bell</i> by Jin Tianhe and the short story <i>Medicine</i> by Lu Xun.
    • Gender Attitudes in Religious Schools: A Comparative Study of Religious and Secular Private Schools in Guatemala

      Darin M. Mather (MDPI AG, 2018-07-01)
      This study assesses the effect that private religious schools have on gender attitudes in students. Using data collected from twenty-one private schools in Guatemala, gender attitudes are assessed using latent class analysis. The results indicate that students’ gender attitudes can be categorized into three distinct profiles. These are non-egalitarian, publicly egalitarian, and generally egalitarian. Subsequent analysis reveals that religious schools and specific religious beliefs are correlated with different gender attitude profiles. For instance, Catholic school students are more likely to be generally egalitarian than students in evangelical or secular schools, and biblical literalists are most likely to be publicly egalitarian. Overall, this research highlights the need to develop new conceptual models to provide more accurate and nuanced descriptions of gender attitudes. It also provides new insight into correlations between religious schools and religious beliefs and gender attitudes formation.
    • Gender Equality in and on Tibetan Buddhist Nuns’ Terms

      Padma’tsho (Baimacuo); Sarah Jacoby (MDPI AG, 2020-10-01)
      Gender equality and feminism are often cast as concepts foreign to the Tibetan cultural region, even as scholarship exploring alliances between Buddhism and feminism has grown. Critics of this scholarship contend that it superimposes liberal discourses of freedom, egalitarianism, and human rights onto Asian Buddhist women’s lives, without regard for whether/how these accord with women’s self-understandings. This article aims to serve as a corrective to this omission by engaging transnational feminist approaches to listen carefully to the rhetoric, aims, and interpretations of a group of Tibetan nuns who are redefining women’s activism in and on their own terms. We conclude that their terms are not derivative of foreign or secular liberal rights-based theories, but rather outgrowths of Buddhist principles taking on a new shape in modern Tibet.
    • Gendering Dance

      Anjali Gera Roy (MDPI AG, 2020-04-01)
      A single paragraph of about 200 words maximum. For research articles, abstracts should give a pertinent overview of the work. We strongly encourage authors to use the following style of structured abstracts, but without headings: (1) Background: Place the question addressed in a broad context and highlight the purpose of the study; (2) Methods: Describe briefly the main methods or treatments applied; (3) Results: Summarize the article’s main findings; and (4) Conclusions: Indicate the main conclusions or interpretations. The abstract should be an objective representation of the article, it must not contain results which are not presented and substantiated in the main text and should not exaggerate the main conclusions.
    • Geoffrey Hill’s “Hard-Won Affirmation”: The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy

      Paul J. Contino (MDPI AG, 2016-12-01)
      Sir Geoffrey Hill, long hailed as Britain’s greatest living poet, was devoted to remembering the deceased, those forgotten in the debased din of mass culture—some of them worthy of our emulation, others edifying by their “folly” or “criminality” (Paris Review interview). Hill’s recent death, on 30 June 2016, presents an apt time to remember his own life-work. In its act of memorial as homage, The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy marks a departure for Hill: whereas his earlier work often rests in ambiguity, Péguy labors through the ambiguity—through characteristically antiphonal tones of voice, rhythms, and images—and concludes in affirmation, a note of hope, which points in the direction of some of his later work. Through all of his complexity, Péguy’s life—like Hill’s poem—conforms to a kenotic, Christological pattern and is thus worthy of our emulation.
    • Geopolitics and Identity-Making in US Diasporic Chinese Churches

      Shirley Lung (MDPI AG, 2018-12-01)
      Using ethnographic and interview data, my paper analyzes how geopolitical relationship manifest at the community level in Chinese America Responding to Lien Pei-Te’s call to meaningfully disaggregate among the commonly “lumped together Chinese Americans”, I draw upon the experiences of specific groups of Chinese immigrants to the US, post-1949 migrants to Taiwan, pre-1949 migrants to Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Chinese, in order to understand how boundary drawing occurs in their various communities but also consider how the act of being “lumped together” itself in the US context complicates identity formation. The year 1949 marks the communist victory in the PRC as well as the inaugural year of the Kuomingdang (KMT)-led Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan. Carved out of these historical events, the contemporary social relations among these groups persist after their migration to the US, but they manifest differently in various domains of practice, including religious ones. As political relationships among states reorganizes their social relations, the religious site offers what Carolyn Chen calls a “moral vocabulary” to articulate, contemplate, and, in some cases, justify these divides. Even within a Christian context, messages of inclusivity are not universal but redefined according to the political and social contexts. By not assigning a singular definition to Christian thought, my paper makes way for a theorization of an intersectional Christian identity.
    • Geopolitics of Catholic Pilgrimage: On the Double Materiality of (Religious) Politics in the Virtual Age

      Petr Kratochvíl (MDPI AG, 2021-06-01)
      This article explores geopolitical aspects of Catholic pilgrimage in Europe. By exploring the representations of pilgrimage on Catholic social media, it shows that the increasing influence of the virtual is accompanied by a particular reassertion of the material aspects of pilgrimage. Two types of Catholic pilgrimage emerge, each with a particular spatial and political orientation. The first type of pilgrimage is predominantly politically conservative, but also spatially static, focusing on objects, be they human bodies or sacred sites. The second type is politically progressive, but also spatially dynamic, stressing pilgrimage as movement or a journey. The classic Turnerian conceptualization of a pilgrimage as a three-phase kinetic ritual thus falls apart, with liminality appropriated by the progressive type and aggregation almost entirely taken over by the conservative, apparitional pilgrimage. As a result, pilgrimage has once again become a geopolitical reflection of the broader ideological contestation both within Christianity and beyond.
    • Geopolitics of Papal Traveling: (Re)Constructing a Catholic Landscape in Europe

      Mariano P. Barbato (MDPI AG, 2020-10-01)
      For the popes, traveling has developed into a key instrument for mobilizing masses, spreading messages, and shaping public Catholic identities. Traveling ranks high within the papal efforts to (re)construct a Catholic landscape in Europe. Thus, comparing the European travel schedules of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis in the context of their global journeys can help to understand their different conceptualizations of Europe. While both popes share the focus on Marian shrines, mass events, Parliamentary addresses, and interfaith encounters that has been established by their predecessors, their geopolitical strategies differ completely. Benedict XVI placed visits to major European nations and regions at the center of his travel schedule and tried to strengthen a historical Catholic identity. Francis shifted the focus of papal traveling to other continents and approached Europe from the periphery. He has visited the European institutions in Strasbourg and tried to shape an interreligious public identity of Europe.
    • George Jeffreys: Pentecostal and Contemporary Implications

      William K Kay (MDPI AG, 2018-02-01)
      The life and work of the Welsh evangelist George Jeffreys resulted in the planting of two denominations in the UK between 1915 and 1962, when he died. The Elim churches continue to this day to be one of the larger classical Pentecostal denominations in the UK, while the Bible Pattern Fellowship dispersed on Jeffreys’ death. The disputes that led to Jeffreys’ departure from Elim were said to have arisen from his adherence to British Israel doctrine, though his supporters believed they arose from his championing of local church ownership and democracy. This paper considers sociological and other reasons for Jeffreys’ remarkable success in the interwar years and his eventual departure from a denomination he founded. It concludes by reflecting on topics (such as the importance of debate and law) that have relevance for contemporary Pentecostalism.
    • Gertrude Stein and the Metaphysical Avant-Garde

      Dana Tanner-Kennedy (MDPI AG, 2020-03-01)
      When American metaphysical religion appears onstage, it most often manifests in the subject matter and dramaturgies of experimental theater. In the artistic ferment of the 1960s and 1970s counterculture, theater-makers looked both to alternative dramaturgies and alternative religions to create radical works of political, social, and spiritual transformation. While the ritual experiments of European avant-garde artists like Artaud and Grotowski informed their work, American theater-makers also found inspiration in the dramas of Gertrude Stein, and many of these companies (the Living Theatre and the Wooster Group, most notably) either staged her work or claimed a direct influence (like Richard Foreman). Stein herself, though not a practitioner of metaphysical religion, spent formative years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at Radcliffe under the tutelage of William James. Cambridge, at the turn of the twentieth century, was a hotbed of spiritualism, theosophy, alternative healing modalities, and James, in addition to running the psychology lab in which Stein studied, ran a multitude of investigations on extrasensory and paranormal phenomena. This article traces a web of associations connecting Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, and liberal Protestantism to Gertrude Stein and landscape dramaturgy to the midcentury avant-garde, the countercultural religious seeking of the 1960s and 1970s, and the Off-Off-Broadway movement.
    • “Getting Along” in Parkchester: A New Era in Jewish–Irish Relations in New York City 1940–1970

      Jeffrey S. Gurock (MDPI AG, 2018-06-01)
      The history of conflict between New York City’s Irish Americans and east European Jews dates back to the close of the 19th century. They disputed over jobs, union memberships, housing, and frequently over politics. These conflicts crescendoed exponentially in the decade or more of the Great Depression in Gaelic neighborhoods, now more than ever, the word on the street was that the Jews were taking over. The rhetoric and organizations of Michigan-based radio preacher Father Charles Coughlin gave voice and activism to local frustrations. However, in 1940, within a new neighborhood built in the Bronx that attracted a majority of Irish and a large proportion of Jews, there was no organized anti-Semitism, no outbursts of violence, or even significant complaints that more callow Jews were being roughed up in the streets or play areas. If animosities existed, negative feelings were kept within families and were not expressed in daily youthful encounters. Why life in Parkchester was so different is the conceit of this study. Its community history from 1940–1970s constituted a turning point in their previously-contested ethnic group relationship while what went on as Jews and the Irish ‘got along’ marks off the limits of conviviality of that time.
    • Giorgio Agamben—A Modern Sabbatian? Marranic Messianism and the Problem of Law

      Piotr Sawczyński (MDPI AG, 2019-01-01)
      The article analyzes the influence of the kabbalistic doctrine of Sabbatianism on the messianic philosophy of Giorgio Agamben. I argue against Simon Critchley that Agamben’s critique of the sovereign law is not inspired by Marcion’s idea of the total annihilation of law but by Sabbatai Zevi’s project of deactivating its repressive function. I further argue that Agamben also adopts the Sabbatian idea of Marranic messianism, which makes him repeatedly contaminate the Jewish tradition with foreign influences. Although this strategy is potentially fruitful, it eventually leads Agamben to overemphasize antinomianism and problematically associate all Jewish-based messianism with the radical critique of law. In the article, I demonstrate that things are more complex and even in the openly antinomian works of Walter Benjamin—Agamben’s greatest philosophical inspiration—Jewish law is endued with some emancipatory potential.
    • Giovan Battista Codronchi’s <i>De morbis Veneficis ac Veneficiis</i> (1595). Medicine, Exorcism and Inquisition in Counter-Reformation Italy

      Fabiana Ambrosi (MDPI AG, 2019-11-01)
      The physician Giovan Battista Codronchi (1547−1628) is a key figure of sixteenth-century medicine. A study of his main work <i>De morbis veneficis ac veneficiis</i> (1595) and his letters sent to the Congregation of the Index in Rome (1597) can teach us much about the interrelation between medicine and religion in Counter-Reformation Italy. Using Codronchi as a prism, this article uncovers a complex picture in which themes such as the production of demonological texts at the height of the European witch-hunt, the related debate about the roles of physicians and exorcists, and the influence of physicians on the development of the Index of Forbidden Books are interrelated.
    • Giqatilla’s Philosophical Poems on the Hebrew Vowels: Poetry, Philosophy, and Theology in Giqatilla’s <i>Ginnat Egoz</i> and <i>Sefer ha-Niqqud</i>

      Federico Dal Bo (MDPI AG, 2021-07-01)
      In the present paper, I will examine Yosef ben Abraham Giqatilla’s philosophical poems on the Hebrew vowels that are included in his three early works on “punctuation:” the third section from the larger <i>Ginnat Egoz</i> (“The Nut Garden”), the longer version of <i>Sefer ha-Niqqud</i> (“The Book of Punctuation”), and a short version of the latter. Scholarship on the chronology of these three texts has been inconclusive. I will argue that a textual comparison of Giqatilla’s philosophical poems and an analysis of their paratextual function allow for a solution, and therefore a possible chronology of their composition.
    • Give Them Christ: Native Agency in the Evangelization of Puerto Rico, 1900 to 1917

      Angel Santiago-Vendrell (MDPI AG, 2021-03-01)
      The scholarship on the history of Protestant missions to Puerto Rico after the Spanish– tendencies of the missionaries in the construction of the new Puerto Rican. There is no doubt that the main missionary motif during the 1890s was indeed civilization. Even though the Americanizing motif was part of the evangelistic efforts of some missionaries, new evidence shows that a minority of missionaries, among them Presbyterians James A. McAllister and Judson Underwood, had a clear vision of indigenization/contextualization for the emerging church based on language (Spanish) and culture (Puerto Rican). The spread of Christianity was successful not only because of the missionaries but also because native agents took up the task of evangelizing their own people; they were not passive spectators but active agents translating and processing the message of the gospel to fulfill their own people’s needs based on their own individual cultural assumptions. This article problematizes the past divisions of such evangelizing activities between the history of Christianity, mission history, and theology by analyzing the native ministries of Adela Sousa (a Bible woman) and Miguel Martinez in light of the teachings of the American missionaries. The investigation claims that because of Puerto Rican agents’ roles in the process of evangelization, a new fusion between the history of Christianity, mission history, and theology emerged as soon as new converts embraced and began to preach the gospel.
    • Givenness, Saturation, and the Self: A Phenomenology of Christian Initiation

      William C. Woody (MDPI AG, 2021-08-01)
      Phenomenology holds great promise yet underdeveloped potential for ritual studies and liturgical theology. As phenomenology has indeed taken a “theological turn” and the contentiousness of such an approach abates, questions remain as to what insights, concepts, and language phenomenology can offer to deepen our understanding of Christian ritual practices. Specifically with respect to rituals of initiation, does phenomenology open new avenues of appreciation for the sacrament of baptism, to enrich and to deepen the faithful’s experience of these rituals? This article considers insights afforded by a phenomenological approach to the sacrament, in particular with regard to adult baptism and the catechumenate in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), the rite of reception and sacramental initiation into the Roman Catholic Church. Considered through such lenses, a phenomenology of baptism promises to open new avenues of ritual understanding, theological appreciation, and depth of prayer. Drawing primarily from the work of Jean-Luc Marion, this article also considers prominent critiques of his work to articulate a phenomenology of baptism as an experience of givenness and reception, of identity formation within and through an ecclesial community, and of prayerful preparation for Christian neophytes.