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Open access

The Christian Right and Refugee Rights

The Border Politics of Anti-communism and Anti-discrimination in South Korea

Angie Heo


This article examines how the language and logics of the Christian Right in South Korea contributed to the propagation of anti-asylum sentiment during the Yemeni refugee crisis in 2018. By analyzing the Christian Right's historical origins in anti-communism and its moral opposition to anti-discrimination law, it shows how the anti-asylum movement owed much of its support to a conservative Protestant view of international refugee rights, seen through the lens of minority rights at home. Ultimately, it argues that overlaps between religious and national ideologies of anti-communism activate conservative Protestant linkages between moral boundaries and border security.

Open access

Critical Thin

Haunting Sufis and the Also-Here of Migration in Berlin

Omar Kasmani


This article delves into the spectral and affective reserves of Zikr, the Sufi exercise of godly remembrance. It explores how performances of religious longing broaden the moral experience of a post-migrant Berlin by offering contemporary believers critically thin zones of hypersocial contact with Islamic holy figures. Zikr emerges as a key interface of felt and material worlds: through acts of remembrance, subliminal figures and migrant inheritances are made contemporaneous while suppressed civic-political matters find a spectral, more-than-visual presence in Berlin. Sufi haunting thus achieves, amid enduring conditions of migration, a provisional positioning of the not-here and the not-now as an also-here. Such remembrance affords migrants a greater awareness of being distinctly historical as well as the critical means to look past conditions of the present.

Open access

Sarah M. Hillewaert


This article contemplates the construction of sharedness that underlies the success of alternative lifestyle communities in Eastern Africa. In Kenya, a new tourism niche market that focuses on yoga, mindfulness, and alternative medicine is flourishing. Tourists travel to East Africa to practice yoga, but also to introduce local communities to ‘alternative lifestyles’. By considering Western and Kenyan practitioners’ discourses about the benefits of alternative healing, mindfulness, and yoga, I explore the significance of sharedness to the emergence of communities that are structured around not just physical practice, but also an envisioned joint purpose. I argue that discursively constructing shared purpose, in the face of seemingly evident differences, is central to Western expats’ validation and commercialization of these initiatives. I also demonstrate that local participants equally, although along different lines, feel compelled to construct a particular kind of sharedness to justify their yoga practice to themselves and their own communities.

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How the Bible Works

Russian Baptist Faith as Text

Igor Mikeshin


This article is about Russian Baptists’ perception of their faith as a text. I argue that they practice their lived faith by interiorizing the language of the Russian Synodal Translation of the Bible as their ‘language of reasoning’. I support this claim by analyzing two aspects of faith: as an act of conversion and as a process of living a Christian life. To illustrate the mechanism of sustaining faith, I use the case of a rehabilitation ministry for addicted people to unpack narratives of conversion, gender order, and family life. Biblical literalism is the basis of the Russian Baptist faith narrative, and in this article I scrutinize the mechanism of its construction.

Open access

Johannes Quack


How should instructors conceptualize an introductory course on the academic study of religion? This article combines an abstract and broader review of different conceptualizations of such courses with hands-on discussions of two exemplary teaching models. The ‘case study model’ applies different approaches within the study of religion to a single case study in order to exemplify and compare their potentials and limitations. The ‘monograph model’ illustrates how an ethnography is used as a reference point for a discussion of the history of and current strands within the study of religion. Both models are particularly well suited to facilitate the combination of an overview of key themes, approaches, terms, and scholars with a close study of the intricate and captivating empirical reality of ‘lived religion(s)’.

Open access


Communities Reimagining Sharedness in Belief and Practice

Sarah Hillewaert and Chantal Tetreault


In this introduction, we bring together diverse anthropological considerations of community, belonging, and belief to argue for a reconsideration of the notion of ‘sharedness’ that often underlies these concepts. Scholars have long critiqued the use of ‘community’ for its broad application and vagueness, and most now recognize communities to be newly emerging rather than pre-existing. Despite this critical approach to scholarly uses of ‘community’, forms of unity often continue to be viewed as undergirded by a seemingly more self-evident idea of sharedness, in practice, belief or purpose. In this special section, we question this self-evidency to focus on how sharedness itself needs to be discursively and semiotically co-constructed and fostered by people who imagine themselves as belonging to communities of apparent mixed beliefs and practices. We propose that a focus on discourse and semiosis can provide insights into the innovative ways in which individuals negotiate, co-construct, and enact sharedness.

Open access


Place, Horizon, and Imaginary

Sondra L. Hausner and Simon Coleman

Perhaps it is no coincidence that as we approach two years of a COVID-adjusted world, this volume of Religion and Society turns its sights to horizons, imaginaries, and lenses of legibility. What does this new world look like, and from what vantage point might we best approach it? And how might these new ways of seeing imply new ways of acting in community, in concert, over time, and across space—or how might we see our old ways of acting anew?

Open access

Laura L. Cochrane


How do people create their religious selves and a religious culture through their everyday practices and discourses? This article examines residents of two rural daaras (Sufi religious communities) in Senegal and their focus on labor and tolerance as religious practice. It uses concepts of tradition, performativity, and citation to trace the themes of labor and tolerance through historical, political, and present-day applications in Senegal. How do common ways of talking about and practicing labor and tolerance unite a religiously diverse population, both in the daaras and more broadly in Senegal? The daaras’ shaykh and residents cite Murid teachings to inform their practices and discussions of labor and tolerance, and have developed the daaras to consciously embed those values in everyday life. These shared practices and discourses form a cultural milieu in which people intentionally participate in the interests of a unified community that can work toward both spiritual and environmental purposes.

Open access


Diana L. Eck

Diana L. Eck, John Stratton Hawley, Rahul Mehrotra, and Sondra L. Hausner

The study of religion is a challenge. It means trying to understand the energies and visions that have created, undergirded, and sometimes disrupted the great civilizations and cultures of the world. It means studying the history and diversity of the ways people have shaped worlds of meaning in response to or relation to what they may call the ‘transcendent’, or in response to science and technology, or in response to other traditions of meaning. It means studying the many ways people have given an account of the transcendent and the ways some traditions have gotten along quite well without an understanding of the transcendent. It means studying the symbolic, interpretive, scriptural forms over which traditions of faith and practice have argued through the centuries and continue to argue today. It means studying the construction of words like ‘religion’, ‘faith’, ‘tradition’, ‘theology’, and ‘spirituality’.

Open access

Javier Jiménez-Royo, Josh Bullock, Maïa Guillot, Caleb Carter, Evgenia Fotiou, Anna Clot-Garrell, Essi Mäkelä, Andrés Felipe Agudelo, Diana Espírito Santo, Kristina Wirtz, Joana Martins, Jon Bialecki, Joel Robbins, Richard Baxstrom, and Victor Roudometof

CANTÓN-DELGADO, Manuela, et al., Evangelical Gypsies in Spain: “The Bible Is Our Promised Land, 290 pp., bibliography, index. Lexington Books, 2020. Hardback, $95.00. ISBN 9781498580939.

COTTER, Christopher R., The Critical Study of Non-Religion: Discourse, Identification and Locality, 264 pp., illustrations, notes, references. London: Bloomsbury, 2020. Hardback, $115.00. ISBN 9781350095243.

CUNHA, Ana Stela, and Edemar MIQUETA, dirs., Mandou me chamar, eu vim!, 2021. Documentary film, Portuguese, color, 61 min. Sponsored by IBRAM (Brazilian Institute of Museums) and SYNC Cultural.

DAHL, Shayne, and Satoshi WATANABE, dirs., The Buddha Mummies of North Japan, 2017. Documentary film, color, 20 min.

FAUSTO, Carlos, Art Effects: Image, Agency, and Ritual in Amazonia, 420 pp., photographs, illustrations, maps, tables, references, index. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2020. Hardback, $80.00. ISBN 9781496220448.

FEDELE, Anna, and Kim E. KNIBBE, eds., Secular Societies, Spiritual Selves? The Gendered Triangle of Religion, Secularity and Spirituality, 254 pp., illustrations, references, index. London: Routledge, 2020. eBook, $49.00. ISBN 9780815349754.

FERARO, Shai, and Ethan DOYLE WHITE, eds., Magic and Witchery in the Modern West: Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the ‘Triumph of the Moon, 278 pp., references, index. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. eBook, $70.00. ISBN 9783030155490.

GARZÓN VALLEJO, Iván, Rebeldes, románticos y profetas: La responsabilidad de sacerdotes, políticos e intelectuales en el conflicto armado colombiano, 212 pp., references. Bogotá: University of La Sabana and Ariel, 2020. Kindle, $4.99. ISBN 9789584287168.

HALPERIN, David J., Intimate Alien: The Hidden Story of the UFO, 304 pp., illustrations, notes, index. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020. Hardback, $26.00. ISBN 9781503607088.

OCHOA, Todd Ramón, A Party for Lazarus: Six Generations of Ancestral Devotion in a Cuban Town, 336 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Oakland: University of California Press, 2020. Hardback, $85.00. ISBN 9780520315983.

PALMISANO, Stefania, and Nicola PANNOFINO, Contemporary Spiritualities: Enchanted Worlds of Nature, Wellbeing and Mystery in Italy, 180 pp., figures, tables, references, index. New York: Routledge, 2021. Kindle, $44.00. ISBN 9780429019722.

ROBBINS, Joel, Theology and the Anthropology of Christian Life, 208 pp., references, index. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. Hardback, $35.00. ISBN 9780198845041.

SILVIO, Teri, Puppets, Gods, and Brands: Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan, 290 pp., illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2019. Paperback, $35.00. ISBN 9780824881160.

YELLE, Robert A., and Lorenz TREIN, eds., Narratives of Disenchantment and Secularization: Critiquing Max Weber's Idea of Modernity, 272 pp., notes, bibliography, index. London: Bloomsbury, 2021. Hardback, $115.00. ISBN 9781350145641.