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Making the Bible Belt

Making the Bible Belt upends notions of a longstanding, stable marriage between political religion and the American South. H.L. Mencken coined the term "the Bible Belt" in the 1920s to capture the peculiar alliance of religion and public life in the South, but the reality he described was only the closing chapter of a long historical process. Into the twentieth century, a robust anticlerical tradition still challenged religious foray...

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Humour and Religion: Challenges and Ambiguities

Humour and Religion highlights the importance and functioning of humour in different world religions. Exploring the major religious cultures, the book looks at more constructive aspects to the relation between humour and religion, with humour seen as a pathway to spiritual wisdom. Exploring how religions contain (implicit) references to the finitude and relativity of the human condition, and why humour and spirituality fit well toget...

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The Bishop's Utopia: Envisioning Improvement in Colonial Peru

In December 1788, in the northern Peruvian city of Trujillo, fifty-one-year-old Spanish Bishop Baltasar Jaime Martínez Compañón stood surrounded by twenty-four large wooden crates, each numbered and marked with its final destination of Madrid. The crates contained carefully preserved zoological, botanical, and mineral specimens collected from Trujillo's steamy rainforests, agricultural valleys, rocky sierra, and coastal desert. To ac...

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Immediacy and Meaning

Immediacy and Meaning seeks to approach the odd uneasiness at root in all metaphysical meaning; that the human knower attempts to mediate what cannot be mediated; that there is a pre-cognitive immemorial immediacy to Being that renders its participants irreducible, incommunicable and personal. The dilemma of metaphysics rests on the relationship between the spectator and the player, both as essential responses to the immediacy of Bei...

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Paul and Seneca in Dialogue

Paul and Seneca in Dialogue assembles an international group of scholars to compare the philosophical and theological strands in Paul and Seneca's writings, placing them in dialogue with one another. Arguably, no other first-century, non-Christian writer's thoughts resemble Paul's as closely as Seneca's, and scholars have often found value in comparing Pauline concepts with Seneca's writings. Nevertheless, apart from the occasional a...

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Dissent on the Margins

Emily B. Baran offers a gripping history of how a small, American-based religious community, the Jehovah's Witnesses, found its way into the Soviet Union after World War II, survived decades of brutal persecution, and emerged as one of the region's fastest growing religions after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. In telling the story of this often misunderstood faith, Baran explores the shifting boundaries of religious dissent, no...

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Das Heilige als Problem der gegenwärtigen Religionswissenschaft

Die Beiträge in diesem Sammelband dokumentieren die heutige Diskussion um das Heilige, ein nach wie vor unerledigtes Problem der Religionswissenschaft. Sie wurden auf zwei verschiedenen Veranstaltungen präsentiert: einerseits auf dem Panel «Das Heilige als Problem in der Religionswissenschaft: Fragen und Perspektiven» der 31. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft in Göttingen im September 2013, andererseits...

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Islam and its Past

Islam and Its Past: Jahiliyya, Late Antiquity, and the Qur'an brings together scholars from various disciplines and fields to consider Islamic revelation, with particular focus on the Qur'an. The collection provides a wide-ranging survey of the development and current state of Qur'anic studies in the Western academy. It shows how interest in the field has recently grown, how the ways in which it is cultivated have changed, how it has...

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Religions and Migrations in the Black Sea Region

This book focuses on the interconnections of religion and migration in the Black Sea region through case studies that explore shifting identities, community, and national boundaries, as well as social practices and networks. During the past few decades the Black Sea has been transformed from a largely closed region, due to the Cold War, to a bridge for human, economic, and cultural capital flows. As the region opened up, understandin...

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The European Wars of Religion

In recent years religion has resurfaced amongst academics, in many ways replacing class as the key to understanding Europe's historical development. This has resulted in an explosion of studies revisiting issues of religious change, confessional violence and holy war during the early modern period. But the interpretation of the European wars of religion still remains largely defined by national boundaries, tied to specific processes ...