This book explores the role of altered states of consciousness in the communication of social and emotional energies, both on a societal level and between individual persons. Drawing from an original reading of Durkheimian social theorists (including Mauss, Hertz, and Hubert) and Jungian psychology, Louise Child applies this analysis to tantric Buddhist ritual and biographical material. She suggests ways in which dreams and visionary experiences (including those related to the 'subtle body') play an important and previously under-explored role in tantric understandings of the consort relationship.
Durkheim, Emotional Energy and Visions of the Consort
Author: Louise Child
New Era - New Religions examines new forms of religion in Brazil. The largest and most vibrant country in Latin America, Brazil is home to some of the world's fastest growing religious movements and has enthusiastically greeted home-grown new religions and imported spiritual movements and new age organizations. In Brazil and beyond, these novel religious phenomena are reshaping contemporary understandings of religion and what it means to be religious. To better understand the changing face of twenty-first-century religion, New Era - New Religions situates the rise of new era religiosity within the broader context of late-modern society and its ongoing transformation.
Religious Transformation in Contemporary Brazil
Author: Andrew Dawson
In our post 9/11 world where there is a growing religious fundamentalism, and when both exclusion and easy tolerance are inadequate options, this book offers a creative alternative arguing that Pentecostalism has the potential to be a peaceful harbinger of plurality. The potential lies in its spirituality - a lively pneumatology and eschatology. The eschatological Spirit is seen as orientated towards the other, crossing boundaries in redemptive embrace, transcending exclusion and easy tolerance. This book's non-Western perspective and the empirical contextual study of Singapore's multicultural and multi-faith context are unique contributions to religion and society. This is a book for students, pastors, teachers, and theologians concerned for an approach to mission that is sensitive to their context, who want to learn from a creative theological voice from what has been perhaps the largest religious movement in history, and who see the immense potential in lively theology by Christians of the Chinese diaspora who can speak to the many millions of ethnic Chinese Christians. This book will also appeal to those outside Christianity who are interested in its attempts to engage with a complex multi-ethnic and multi-religious situation such as that in Singapore.
Engaging with Multi-Faith Singapore
Author: May Ling Tan-Chow
This book investigates the intersection of theology and social theory in the work of Jürgen Moltmann. In particular, it examines the way in which his concept of the "Exodus Church" can illuminate the importance of the idea of civil society for a Christian public theology. The concept of civil society can aid in moving from the narrower category of "political theology," a term used frequently by Moltmann to emphasize the church's public commitment, to a broader understanding of theology's public task, which takes into account the plurality of ends and institutions within society. The idea of the Exodus Church enables deeper understanding of Christian ethical participation within a complex modern society.
Public Theology and Social Theory in the Work of Jürgen Moltmann
Author: Scott R. Paeth
This complete overview of religious studies provides students with the essential knowledge and tools they need to explore and understand the nature of religion. Covers the early development of religion, with overviews of major and minor religions from Islam to Scientology Considers recent developments including secularization; the relationship between religion and science; and scientific studies on religion, health, and mystical experience Uses humor throughout, allowing students to remain open-minded to the subject Explains what it means to study religion academically, and considers the impact of the study of religion on religion itself Contains numerous student-friendly features including photos, maps, time lines, side bars, historical profiles, and population distribution figures Provides classroom users with a lively website,www.wiley.com/go/religiontoolkit, including questions, quizzes, extra material, and helpful primary and secondary sources
A Complete Guide to Religious Studies
Author: John Morreall,Tamara Sonn
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Christian tradition has largely held three theological affirmations on the resurrection of the physical body. Firstly, that bodily resurrection is not a superfluous hope of afterlife. Secondly, there is immediate post-mortem existence in Paradise. Finally, there is numerical identity between pre-mortem and post-resurrection human beings. The same tradition also largely adheres to a robust doctrine of The Intermediate State, a paradisiacal disembodied state of existence following the biological death of a human being. This book argues that these positions are in fact internally inconsistent, and so a new theological model for life after death is required. The opening arguments of the book aim to show that The Intermediate State actually undermines the necessity of bodily resurrection. Additionally, substance dualism, a principle The Intermediate State requires, is shown to be equally untenable in this context. In response to this, the metaphysics of the afterlife in Christian theology is re-evaluated, and after investigating physicalist and constitutionist replacements for substance dualist metaphysics, a new theory called "Eschatological Presentism" is put forward. This model combines a broadly Thomistic hylemorphic metaphysics with a novel theory of Time. This is an innovative examination of the doctrine of life after death. It will, therefore, be of great interest to scholars of analytic theology and philosophy of religion.
A New Metaphysics of Afterlife for Christian Thought
Author: James T. Turner, Jr.
Spirit possession is a phenomenon that often elicits a response of fear, particular in those who are ignorant of its meaning and role within its particular religious and cultural traditions. Possession by divine beings (such as spirits or gods) is, however, a key practice in religions worldwide. It is therefore important to gain an understanding of this practice in its cultural context before trying to develop a wider theory about it. This fascinating book contains several case studies that present new interpretations of spirit possession worldwide. The authors show the diversity of possible interpretations and methodological approaches that provide a new insight into the understanding of possession and trance.
New Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Author: Bettina E. Schmidt,Lucy Huskinson
Publisher: A&C Black
In Theory of Religious Cycles: Tradition, Modernity and the Bahá’í Faith Mikhail Sergeev offers a new interpretation of the Soviet period of Russian history by developing a theory of religious cycles, which he applies to modernity and all major world religions.
Tradition, Modernity, and the Bahá’í Faith
Author: Mikhail Sergeev
This treatise argues that the quest for the spirit is not a rare mystical experience, but a frequent expression of basic human impulses, rooted in our biological, psychological and social nature. It presents the quest in the myths and religious practices of tribal people throughout the world.
Transcendence in Myth, Religion, and Science
Author: Robert M. Torrance
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Based on fieldwork in the north Indian state of Rajasthan, this book focuses on supernatural affliction - illness and misfortune ascribed to demonic spirits or ghosts and to other mystical agents, such as sorcerers and witches. The study augments and extends the existing scholarship on a range of issues, including inter alia beliefs about spirit possession, sorcery, witchcraft and the evil eye. The themes of ritual practice, especially exorcism or healing ceremonies, Hindu priests and curers, popular Hinduism and pilgrimage are discussed, and the anthropology of South Asia is explored with an emphasis on medical anthropology and Indian ethnomedicine. At a theoretical level, the book sharply contrasts with much of the literature on spirit possession or on supernatural affliction and its treatment, as the author's phenomenological orientation involves movement away from psychological or psychiatric paradigms as well as from other forms of Western rationalism that have tended to dominate scholarly work. The book thus offers fresh insights, both in terms of understanding supernatural malaise and its treatment, and in terms of the application of the approach the author engages.
Supernatural Affliction and Its Treatment in North India
Author: Dr Graham Dwyer
Category: Political Science
Scholars of Buddhism, themselves Buddhist, here seek to apply the critical tools of the academy to reassess the truth and transformative value of their tradition in its relevance to the contemporary world.
Critical Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars
Author: Roger Jackson,John Makransky
Category: Social Science
Traces the use of powerful gnostic visionary techniques from Hellenistic Gnosticism and Jewish merkabah mysticism, through Muhammad, the Ismaeilis, and theosophical Sufism to medieval neoplatonism, and renaissance alchemy.
An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions
Author: Daniel Merkur
Publisher: SUNY Press
The intellectual contributions of the Han (206 BCE-CE 220) have for too long received short shrift in introductory anthologies of Chinese thought. It was during the Han's unprecedented centuries-long unification of China that a canon of classical texts emerged, syncretic and scholastic trends transformed the legacy of pre-imperial philosophy, and popular religious movements shook official verities. With Mark Csikszentmihalyi's collection, readers at last have an accessible, eclectic introduction to the key themes of thought during this crucial period. Providing clear introductory essays and elegant, readable translations, Csikszentmihalyi exercises a judicious revisionism by breaking down stereotypes of philosophical orthodoxy and offering a subtler vision of cross-fertilization in thought. His juxtaposition of texts that reflect very different social milieux and their problems gives a more vivid picture of the Han than has ever before been available in an English-language collection. The result is a work that should by rights be required reading in intellectual history courses for years to come. --David Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
In different stages in the history of South Asian religions, the term yoginī has been used in various contexts to designate various things: a female adept of yoga, a female tantric practitioner, a sorceress, a woman dedicated to a deity, or a certain category of female deities. This book brings together recent interdisciplinary perspectives on the medieval South Asian cults of the Yoginis, such as textual-philological, historical, art historical, indological, anthropological, ritual and terminological. The book discusses the medieval yoginī cult, as illustrated in early Śaiva tantric texts, and their representations in South Asian temple iconography. It looks at the roles and hypostases of yoginīs in contemporary religious traditions, as well as the transformations of yoginī-related ritual practices. In addition, this book systematizes the multiple meanings, and proposes definitions of the concept and models for integrating the semantic fields of ‘yoginī.’ Highlighting the importance of research from complementary disciplines for the exploration of complex themes in South Asian studies, this book is of interest to scholars of South Asian Studies and Religious Studies.
Author: István Keul
“Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field.” With those words in Genesis, God condemns the serpent for tempting Adam and Eve, and the serpent has shouldered the blame ever since. But how would the study of religion change if we looked at the Fall from the snake’s point of view? Would he appear as a bringer of wisdom, more generous than the God who wishes to keep his creation ignorant? Inspired by the early Gnostics who took that startling view, Jeffrey J. Kripal uses the serpent as a starting point for a groundbreaking reconsideration of religious studies and its methods. In a series of related essays, he moves beyond both rational and faith-based approaches to religion, exploring the erotics of the gospels and the sexualities of Jesus, John, and Mary Magdalene. He considers Feuerbach’s Gnosticism, the untapped mystical potential of comparative religion, and even the modern mythology of the X-Men. Ultimately, The Serpent’s Gift is a provocative call for a complete reorientation of religious studies, aimed at a larger understanding of the world, the self, and the divine.
Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion
Author: Jeffrey J. Kripal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Historical, anthropological, and philosophical in approach, Buddha in the Crown is a case study in religious and cultural change. It examines the various ways in which Avalokitesvara, the most well known and proliferated bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism throughout south, southeast, and east Asia, was assimilated into the transforming religious culture of Sri Lanka, one of the most pluralistic in Asia. Exploring the expressions of the bodhisattva's cult in Sanskrit and Sinhala literature, in iconography, epigraphy, ritual, symbol, and myth, the author develops a provocative thesis regarding the dynamics of religious change. Interdisciplinary in scope, addressing a wide variety of issues relating to Buddhist thought and practice, and providing new and original information on the rich cultural history of Sri Lanka, this book will interest students of Buddhism and South Asia.
Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka
Author: John Clifford Holt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This book provides a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, the religion of the majority of people in India. Dr. Flood traces the development of Hindu traditions from ancient origins and the major deities to the modern world. Hinduism as both a global religion and a form of nationalism are discussed. Emphasis is given to the tantric traditions, which have been so influential; to Hindu ritual, more fundamental than belief or doctrine; and to Dravidian influences. It introduces some debates within contemporary scholarship.
Author: Gavin D. Flood
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Despite the dominance of scientific explanation in the modern world, at the beginning of the twenty-first century faith in miracles remains strong, particularly in resurgent forms of traditional religion. In Miracles, David L. Weddle examines how five religious traditions—Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam—understand miracles, considering how they express popular enthusiasm for wondrous tales, how they provoke official regulation because of their potential to disrupt authority, and how they are denied by critics within each tradition who regard belief in miracles as an illusory distraction from moral responsibility. In dynamic and accessible prose, Weddle shows us what miracles are, what they mean, and why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, they are still significant today: belief in miracles sustains the hope that, if there is a reality that surpasses our ordinary lives, it is capable of exercising—from time to time—creative, liberating, enlightening, and healing power in our world.
Wonder and Meaning in World Religions
Author: David L. Weddle
Publisher: NYU Press
They may shave their heads, don simple robes, and renounce materialism and worldly desires. But the women seeking enlightenment in a Buddhist nunnery high in the folds of Himalayan Kashmir invariably find themselves subject to the tyrannies of subsistence, subordination, and sexuality. Ultimately, Buddhist monasticism reflects the very world it is supposed to renounce. Butter and barley prove to be as critical to monastic life as merit and meditation. Kim Gutschow lived for more than three years among these women, collecting their stories, observing their ways, studying their lives. Her book offers the first ethnography of Tibetan Buddhist society from the perspective of its nuns. Gutschow depicts a gender hierarchy where nuns serve and monks direct, where monks bless the fields and kitchens while nuns toil in them. Monasteries may retain historical endowments and significant political and social power, yet global flows of capitalism, tourism, and feminism have begun to erode the balance of power between monks and nuns. Despite the obstacles of being considered impure and inferior, nuns engage in everyday forms of resistance to pursue their ascetic and personal goals. A richly textured picture of the little known culture of a Buddhist nunnery, the book offers moving narratives of nuns struggling with the Buddhist discipline of detachment. Its analysis of the way in which gender and sexuality construct ritual and social power provides valuable insight into the relationship between women and religion in South Asia today.
Author: Kim Gutschow
Publisher: Harvard University Press