62 research outputs found

    The Origins of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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    Presents the history of the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, focusing on the prior status of human rights in international law and the cultural/ideological aspects of the debates surrounding its adoption. This chapter shows both the Western origin of the core human rights concepts and the positive-law nature of the Universal Declaration. it also shows that the cultural issues were present from the very start of the modern human rights era

    Essay: Religion and Globalization

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    Sociologists of religion have usually treated globalization as a cause of religious developments, which is not false. Religion also, however, affects globalization in four ways. 1) It contributes to new ways of conceiving of the global field. 2) It contributes to \u27glocalization\u27, which is the increased heterogeneity that globalization brings. 3) It both highlights and shapes power relations in new ways, including South-South connections. 4) It sheds new light on sacred processes outside of religious organization. Each of these is a fruitful area for study

    Spiritual Healing Among the American Followers of a Japanese New Religion: Experience as a Factor in Religious Motivation

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    Observers of the new religions in Japan and America have often argued that these religions attract followers who want a supportive and authoritative group to which they can belong. People unable to find fulfillment in mainstream religious or secular life, the argument goes, may turn to new religions as compensation. In them, they gain social ties and a coherent view of the world they previously lacked. This study, based on ethnographic research at the San Francisco mission of Sekai Kyusei-kyo (Church of World Mes-sianity) in the mid-1970s, argues that the situation is much more complex. Members reported being attracted to the church not primarily by social ties and ideology, but by their experience of the group\u27s main religious practice: a form of spiritual healing called johrei. A specific experience seems to have been a key part of their religious motivation. This experience is not the whole story, though. While members regarded johrei as central, their interpretations of it varied with their cultural backgrounds. Second-generation Japanese Americans, older white spiritualists and young counter-cultural whites each incorporated johrei and church teachings into the cultural/ideological frameworks that they brought to the church on conversion. While experience was not apprehended raw , the church cannot be said to have given them a coherent view they lacked; nor were inadequacies in their prior socio-cultural situations key to their choices. Religious as well as social factors played a role

    Cultural Context and the Definition of Religion: Seeing with Confucian Eyes

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    Established definitions of religion reflect Euro-American history, which treats religion as largely a matter of beliefs embedded in formal organizations. Confucian approaches to religion are much different. This article explores these approaches to identify aspects of religion that Confucian approaches reveal but that Western notions hide

    Understanding Medjugorje: A Khaldunian Approach to a Marian Apparition

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    Medjugorje’yi Anlamak: Meryem Ana’nın Görünmesi Hadisesine İbn Halduncu Bir Yaklaşım [Alternative Title] Sociologists have generally treated the reports of the Marian apparitions at the Bosnian village of Medjugorje (starting in 1981) as religious phenomena. The later eruption of war in that region, on the other hand, was cast as an ethnic conflict – albeit one that split on supposedly religious lines. This discursive divide stems from the standard sociological treatment of ‘religion’ and ‘ethnicity’ as being fundamentally different sorts of things. In the standard view, “religion” has to do with beliefs and organizations, while ‘ethnicity’ is a matter of tribal, ultimately biological, heritage. Unlike Western sociologists, Ibn Khaldun famously applied the same conceptual resources to religion and to ethnicity, seeing them both as potential sources of “groupfeeling”. Both could sustain group identities in the face of conflict and change, and in the same way. This article evaluates the Khaldunian approach by placing “the miracles at Medjugorje” in the context of southwestern Bosnia’s locally constituted ‘ethnic’ identities. It tracks the complex ways in which both religion and ethnicity were used to heighten group divisions. It ultimately concludes, however, that the Khaldunian approach does not adequately capture the dynamics of either the ‘miracles’ or of the instrumentalism that drove the Bosnian conflict. Öz: Sosyologlar, Bosna-Hersek’in Medjugorje köyünde meydana gelen Meryem Ana’nın görünme olayına dair bildirilenleri (1981 yılında başlamış olan) genellikle dini hadiseler olarak ele alır. Bu bölgede daha sonra patlak veren savaş diğer taraftan etnik bir çatışma olarak biçimlendirilmiştir ve aynı zamanda iddialara göre dini çizgiler üzerinden ayrım gösterir. Bu söylemsel ayrım, ‘din’ ve ‘etnisite’ kavramlarının esas olarak farklı türler olarak ele alınmalarından kaynaklanır. Bu tarz bir ele alış, alışagelmiş sosyolojik bir mahiyet taşır. Standart bakış açısından ele alındığında, “din” inançlar ve örgütlerle ilişkiliyken, ‘etnisite’ kabileye aittir; nihayetinde biyolojik ve kalıtımsaldır. Batılı sosyologların aksine, İbn Haldun, herkesin çok iyi bildiği üzere aynı kavramsal kaynakları din ve etnisiteye uygulamış; her ikisini de “grup hissiyatı”nın olası kaynakları olarak görmüştür. Her ikisi de çatışma ve değişiklik anlarında grup kimliklerinin sürdürülmesini sağlayabilir ve bunu aynı şekilde yapar. Bu makalede “Medjugorje’de yaşanan mucizeler” güneybatı Bosna’nın yerel olarak teşkil edilmiş ‘etnik’ kimlikleri bağlamına yerleştirilmiş ve bu doğrultuda Ibn Haldun’a ait yaklaşım değerlendirilmiştir. Bu değerlendirme, hem din hem de etnisitenin grup arasındaki ayrımları arttırmak için kullanılan karmaşık yolları izlenmektedir. Ibn Haldun’a ait yaklaşımın ‘mucizelerin’ ya da Bosna çatışmasını yönlendiren enstrümantalizmin dinamiklerini yeterli şekilde yakalamadığı sonucuna varılmıştır

    Families and Religions: An Anthropological Typology

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    This chapter outlines a typology of relationships between religious ideas and family structures, based on the work of anthropologist Mary Douglas. It illustrates that typology with descriptions of the religious and family differences between Nepalese Hindus, Nepalese Buddhists, and Coast Miwok Indians. It ends with some suggestions about how the typology might be used to analyze North American religionshttps://inspire.redlands.edu/oh_chapters/1041/thumbnail.jp

    Networks, Homes, or Congregations: Exploring the Locus of Immigrant Religiosity

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    The sociology of religion in the United States has considerable experience with the study of immigrant religion. Unfortunately, the assimilationist model that has dominated this study is only partly relevant to contemporary transnational migrations. This chapter assesses the latest version of this assimilationist model, R. Stephen Warner’s “new congregationalism”. While rightly focusing attention on the role that local congregations play in adjusting immigrants to American life, this approach underplays two key aspects of contemporary immigrant religiosity: 1) the transnational religious networks that make immigration no one-way street; and 2) the importance of non-churched religious practices, with their implications for the sustenance of religious identity. These two structural matters, along with the issue of race, question the completeness of the new congregationalism as a paradigm for under- standing immigrant religion. They also throw doubt on any point of view that focuses primarily on religion’s role in adjusting immigrants to their host societies.https://inspire.redlands.edu/oh_chapters/1043/thumbnail.jp

    Transforming Religion: Religious Change and the Emergence of Interdisciplinary Scholarship

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    This article queries the history of the study of religion, asking three sociological questions. First, I briefly visit the history of the definition of ‘religion’, to see what that tells us about the circumstances out of which the study of religion emerged. Second, I look at the changing organizational location of the study of religion, specifically as it has moved from churches to the academy. I shall ask such questions as: What has been the effect or influence of this changed location on the identities and loyalties of those doing the studying? How has this changed the questions such scholars ask? How have these new questions reflected religious change? And how, perhaps, have they changed religion merely by being posed? Third, I explore another set of questions that parallels this one, though from a cultural rather than from an organizational perspective: What has been the effect or influence of changed cultural identities and loyalties on the study of religion? How have these changed scholars’ questions? And what has been the relationship between these changed questions and religious change? For brevity, the article focuses these questions on the definitional, organizational and cultural correlates of some of the major views of what is happening to religion at the end of the 20th century

    The Sociology of Religion in a Post-Colonial Era: Towards Theoretical Reflexivity

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    This article makes two points. First, it argues that sociology, like all knowledge, is shaped, though not determined, by its historical-cultural origins. Early sociology arose in 19th-century Europe and its core concepts were shaped by that era—both in what they reveal about society and what they hide. We now realize this, so we sociologists of religion need to examine our inherited concepts to understand those concepts’ limitations. We also need to include an analysis of the way the current historical-cultural situation shapes sociology today. This is the theoretical reflexivity called for in the title. Second, the article argues that expanding sociology’s conceptual canon to include insights from other historical-cultural locations is more than just an ethical matter. It is also epistemological. Sociology does not make progress unless it includes insights from as many standpoints as possible. This does not mean that all insights are equal. It does mean that all have the potential to improve sociological understanding. Whether or not they actually do so is a matter for the scientific process to decide

    A Sociologist Re-reads Niebuhr\u27s \u27Christ and Culture\u27

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    An analysis of H. Richard Niebuhr\u27s Christ and Culture, from the point-of-view of contemporary sociology of religion
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