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Pilgrimage and Ambiguity: Sharing the Sacred

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ISBN: 9781907774997 Year: Pages: viii, 242 DOI: 10.26581/B.HOZA01 Language: English
Publisher: Sean Kingston Publishing Grant: The Centro Incontri Umani, Ascona
Subject: Ethnology --- Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2018-04-19 17:11:24
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‘Ambiguous sanctuaries’ are places in which the sacred is shared. These exist in almost all religions: tombs of saints, mausoleums, monasteries and shrines, a revered mountain peak, a majestic tree, a cave or special boulders in the river. This book examines this phenomenon in diverse parts of the world: in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Brazil. What these ritual spaces share is the capacity to unsettle and challenge people’s experiences and understandings of reality, as well as to provoke the imagination, allowing universes of meanings to be interlinked.The spaces discussed reveal the many different ways the sacred can be shared. Different groups may once have visited sites that are nowadays linked to only one religion. The legacy of earlier religious movements is subtly echoed in the devotional forms, rituals, symbols or narratives (hagiographies) of the present, and the architectural settings in which they take place. In some pilgrimage sites, peoples of different faiths visit and take part in devotional acts and rituals – such as processing, offering candles, incenses and flowers – that are shared. The saints to whom a shrine is dedicated can also have a double identity. Such ambiguity has often been viewed through the lens of religious purity, and the exclusivity of orthodoxy, as confusion, showing a lack of coherence and authenticity. But the openness to interpretation of sacred spaces in this collection suggests a more positive analysis: that it may be through ambiguity transcending narrow confines that pilgrims experience the sanctity and power they seek.In the engaging and accessible essays that comprise Pilgrimage and Ambiguity the contributors consider the ambiguous forces that cohere in sacred spaces - forces that move us into the inspirational depths of human spirituality. In so doing, the essays bring us closer to a deeper appreciation of how ambiguity helps to define the human condition. This collection is one that will be read and debated for many years to come. Paul Stoller, West Chester University, Pennsylvania,2013 Anders Retzius Gold Medal Laureate in AnthropologyIn a time of religious polarization, this fine collection of essays recalls that ambiguity, ambivalence and shared experience characterize the sacred as it is encountered in pilgrimages. Readers will travel through the Mediterranean, India, Pakistan and China, but also Western Europe and Amazonia, to discover saintly landscapes full of multiple meanings. Alexandre Papas, Senior Research Fellow, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris

Keywords

religion --- ambiguity --- sacred --- pilgrimage --- interfaith --- ritual

The Eternal Dissident

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ISBN: 9780520297456 9780520969797 Year: Pages: 292 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.50 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Sociology --- Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2018-05-09 11:01:53
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The Eternal Dissident offers rare insight into one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking Reform rabbis of the twentieth century, Leonard Beerman, who was renowned both for his eloquent and challenging sermons and for his unrelenting commitment to social action. Beerman was a man of powerful word and action—a probing intellectual and stirring orator, as well as a nationally known opponent of McCarthyism, racial injustice, and Israeli policy in the occupied territories. The shared source of Beerman’s thought and activism was the moral imperative of the Hebrew prophets, which he believed bestowed upon the Jewish people their role as the “eternal dissident.” This volume brings Beerman to life through a selection of his most powerful writings, followed by commentaries from notable scholars, rabbis, and public personalities that speak to the quality and ongoing relevance of Beerman’s work.

Inward Being and Outward Identity: The Orthodox Churches in the 21st Century

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ISBN: 9783038426974 9783038426981 Year: Pages: VI, 212 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2018-05-22 09:26:02
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The articles in this collection go well beyond introductions to look deeply at key dimensions of faith, theology, philosophy, liturgy, scripture, spiritual life and thinking on ecology and sexuality that together give a highly textured picture of the Orthodox Churches in the 21st century. The collapse of the Soviet Union has seen the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe emerge from persecution to rebuild the infrastructure of churches, monasteries and social services and become a powerful cultural force. In contrast, Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere are often caught in war, sectarian violence, duress and persecution. Meanwhile, in Western Europe, the Americas, Australia, parts of sub-Saharan Africa and other regions outside its traditional homelands Orthodox Christianity is taking hold as a distinct minority religion and attracting a steady stream of converts. But the faith is also struggling for its identity in cultural environments sometimes hostile to traditional Christianity. How are these churches engaged with secular society, other religions and other Christian churches? How well are Orthodox Churches listening and responding to the changing cultures they are living in? These are some of the fundamental questions being addressed here both theoretically and in case studies.

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