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Religions, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2011), Pages 95-215

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Research

Open AccessArticle Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Uses of the Past in Contemporary Greece
Religions 2011, 2(2), 95-113; doi:10.3390/rel2020095
Received: 15 March 2011 / Revised: 12 April 2011 / Accepted: 4 May 2011 / Published: 11 May 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article examines the use of Orthodox Christianity in the debates over the cultural heritage of contemporary Greece. Since the birth of modern Greece, Orthodox Christianity has been used as one of the foundational cultural markers for the construction of Modern Greek national
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The article examines the use of Orthodox Christianity in the debates over the cultural heritage of contemporary Greece. Since the birth of modern Greece, Orthodox Christianity has been used as one of the foundational cultural markers for the construction of Modern Greek national identity. This employment of religion is particularly evident in the case of history in its popularized format. In contemporary cultural politics, debates over the building of a mosque in Athens or the role of Orthodoxy in history textbooks offer particular illustrations of the public significance of Orthodox Christianity. This high profile role was particularly pronounced during the reign of the late Archbishop Christodoulos (1998–2008). The article suggests that the engagement and influence of the Church on public debates depends upon the nature of the affair: The Church enjoys more authority in ecclesiastical issues and is far less influential on issues of broader interest, such as geopolitical disputes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Editors Issue)
Open AccessArticle Mourning, Memorials, and Religion: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on the Park51 Controversy
Religions 2011, 2(2), 114-131; doi:10.3390/rel2020114
Received: 1 April 2011 / Revised: 30 May 2011 / Accepted: 31 May 2011 / Published: 1 June 2011
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Abstract
This article summarizes a version of the “mourning religion” thesis—derived from the work of Peter Homans and further developed and advanced by William Parsons, Diane Jonte-Pace, and Susan Henking—and then demonstrates how this thesis can shed light on the Park51 controversy. We argue
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This article summarizes a version of the “mourning religion” thesis—derived from the work of Peter Homans and further developed and advanced by William Parsons, Diane Jonte-Pace, and Susan Henking—and then demonstrates how this thesis can shed light on the Park51 controversy. We argue that the Park51 controversy represents a case of incomplete cultural mourning of an aspect of American civil religion that manifests itself in melancholic rage by means of protests, threats to burn the Qur’an (as well as actual burnings of the Qur’an), and vandalism of mosques around the United States. We explore various losses—military, economic, and symbolic—and note that these losses remain ambiguous, therefore preventing closure and productive mourning. The fact that a permanent memorial still has not been built at Ground Zero reflects, and perhaps exacerbates, this incomplete cultural mourning. Also, the fact that Freedom Tower, the building to replace the Twin Towers, is to be 1776 feet tall reflects that the losses related to 9/11 are connected to American civil religion, as 1776 is a sacred year in American history. Setting aside the ethics and the politics related to this controversy, we attempt here to understand this controversy from a psychoanalytic perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in America: Zeroing in on the Park51 Controversy)
Open AccessArticle The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy: Implications for American Islam
Religions 2011, 2(2), 132-144; doi:10.3390/rel2020132
Received: 29 March 2011 / Revised: 22 May 2011 / Accepted: 31 May 2011 / Published: 7 June 2011
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Abstract
The controversy surrounding the “ground zero mosque” is part of a larger debate about the place of Islam in U.S. public space. The controversy also reveals the ways in which the boundaries of American identity continue to be debated, often through struggles over
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The controversy surrounding the “ground zero mosque” is part of a larger debate about the place of Islam in U.S. public space. The controversy also reveals the ways in which the boundaries of American identity continue to be debated, often through struggles over who counts as a “real” American. It further demonstrates the extent to which Islam is figured as un-American and militant, and also the extent to which all Muslims are required to account for the actions of those who commit violence under the rubric of Islam. This paper will discuss how, due to the events of September 11, 2001, Muslims have engaged in a process of indigenizing American Islam. It will argue that the Park51 Islamic Community Center (or Ground Zero mosque) is a reflection of this indigenization process. It will go on to argue that projects such as the Ground Zero mosque which try to establish Islam as an important part of the American religious landscape and insist on the freedom of worship as stated in the U.S. constitution, illustrate the ideological battlefield over the place of Islam in the U.S. The paper will also examine the possible ramifications of building the Park51 Islamic Community Center including how this will shape the role that Islam plays in the socio-political lives America Muslims. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islam in America: Zeroing in on the Park51 Controversy)
Open AccessArticle Complicated Grief in the Aftermath of Homicide: Spiritual Crisis and Distress in an African American Sample
Religions 2011, 2(2), 145-164; doi:10.3390/rel2020145
Received: 10 May 2011 / Revised: 23 May 2011 / Accepted: 3 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (685 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Both grieving the loss of a loved one and using spirituality or religion as an aid in doing so are common behaviors in the wake of death. This longitudinal examination of 46 African American homicide survivors follows up on our earlier study that
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Both grieving the loss of a loved one and using spirituality or religion as an aid in doing so are common behaviors in the wake of death. This longitudinal examination of 46 African American homicide survivors follows up on our earlier study that established the relation between positive and negative religious coping on the one hand and complicated grief (CG) on the other. In the current report, we broadened this focus to determine the relation between religious coping and other bereavement outcomes, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, to establish whether religious coping more strongly predicted bereavement distress or vice versa. We also sought to determine if the predictive power of CG in terms of religious coping over time exceeded that of PTSD and depression. Our results suggested a link between negative religious coping (NRC) and all forms of bereavement distress, whereas no such link was found between positive religious coping (PRC) and bereavement outcomes in our final analyses. Significantly, only CG prospectively predicted high levels of spiritual struggle six months later. Clinical implications regarding spiritually sensitive interventions are noted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Health)
Open AccessArticle Neighbors Like Me? Religious Affiliation and Neighborhood Racial Preferences among Non-Hispanic Whites
Religions 2011, 2(2), 165-183; doi:10.3390/rel2020165
Received: 15 March 2011 / Revised: 1 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research on racial residential segregation has paid little attention to the role that social institutions play in either isolating or integrating racial and ethnic groups in American communities. Scholars have argued that racial segregation within American religion may contribute to and consolidate racial
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Research on racial residential segregation has paid little attention to the role that social institutions play in either isolating or integrating racial and ethnic groups in American communities. Scholars have argued that racial segregation within American religion may contribute to and consolidate racial division elsewhere in social life. However, no previous study has employed national survey data to examine the relationship between religious affiliation and the preferences people have about the racial and ethnic composition of their neighborhoods. Using data from the “Multi-Ethnic United States” module on the 2000 General Social Survey, this study finds that white evangelical Protestants have a significantly stronger preference for same-race neighbors than do Catholics, Jews, adherents of “other” faiths, and the unaffiliated. Group differences in preferences are largely accounted for by socio-demographic characteristics. Negative racial stereotyping and social isolation from minorities, both topics of interest in recent research on evangelical Protestants and race, fail to explain group differences in preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Understanding Personal Change in a Women’s Faith-Based Transitional Center
Religions 2011, 2(2), 184-197; doi:10.3390/rel2020184
Received: 7 June 2011 / Revised: 15 June 2011 / Accepted: 21 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (264 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An impressive research literature has emerged that identifies linkages between religion and a wide range of attitudes, behaviors, and life events. We contribute to this literature by exploring how women undergoing difficult life circumstances—such as incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, unemployment,
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An impressive research literature has emerged that identifies linkages between religion and a wide range of attitudes, behaviors, and life events. We contribute to this literature by exploring how women undergoing difficult life circumstances—such as incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, unemployment, and homelessness—use faith to cope with and change these circumstances. To address this issue we analyze semi-structured interviews with 40 residents of a faith-based transitional center for women in the Southern United States. The residents outline a narrative of change in which they distinguish between the “old self” and “new self.” The narratives also specify the role of religiosity in facilitating change, the creation of a faith-based identity, and the strategies used for maintaining change. We conclude with implications for faith-based treatment programs, local pastors and religious congregants involved in social outreach ministry, sociology of religion scholars, and policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Diffused Religion and Prayer
Religions 2011, 2(2), 198-215; doi:10.3390/rel2020198
Received: 28 March 2011 / Revised: 9 June 2011 / Accepted: 17 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is quite likely that the origins of prayer are to be found in ancient mourning and bereavement rites. Primeval ritual prayer was codified and handed down socially to become a deep-rooted feature of people’s cultural behavior, so much so, that it may
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It is quite likely that the origins of prayer are to be found in ancient mourning and bereavement rites. Primeval ritual prayer was codified and handed down socially to become a deep-rooted feature of people’s cultural behavior, so much so, that it may surface again several years later, in the face of death, danger, need, even in the case of relapse from faith and religious practice. Modes of prayer depend on religious experience, on relations between personal prayer and political action, between prayer and forgiveness, and between prayer and approaches to religions. Various forms of prayer exist, from the covert-hidden to the overt-manifest kind. How can they be investigated? How can one, for instance, explore mental prayer? These issues regard the canon of diffused religion and, therefore, of diffused prayer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available

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