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Memorialising Europe

Revitalising and Reframing a 'Christian' Continent

Peter Jan Margry

In the economic and political unification process of Europe, the idea of the creation of a pan-European identity was put high on the political agenda. With the failure of this effort, the emphasis shifted to the apparently less fraught concept of 'shared cultural heritage'. This article analyses how the politically guided rediscovery of Europe's past has contributed to the creation of a 'Religion of Heritage', not only by raising up a political altar for cultural heritage, but also through the revitalisation, instrumentalisation and transformation of the Christian heritage, in order to try to memorialise and affirm a collective European identity based on its Christian past. In the context of this process, the network of European pilgrims' ways appears to have been an especially successful performative form of heritage creation, which has both dynamised Christian roots as a relevant trans-European form of civil religion that has taken shape, capitalising on the new religious and spiritual demands created by secularisation, and responded to the demand for shared - and Christian inspired - European values and meanings in times of uncertainty and crisis.

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Carrying Religion into a Secularising Europe

Montserratian Migrants' Experiences of Global Processes in British Methodism

Matthew Wood

Migrants to Europe often perceive themselves as entering a secular society that threatens their religious identities and practices. Whilst some sociological models present their responses in terms of cultural defence, ethnographic analysis reveals a more complex picture of interaction with local contexts. This essay draws upon ethnographic research to explore a relatively neglected situation in migration studies, namely the interactions between distinct migration cohorts - in this case, from the Caribbean island of Montserrat, as examined through their experiences in London Methodist churches. It employs the ideas of Weber and Bourdieu to view these migrants as 'religious carriers', as collective and individual embodiments of religious dispositions and of those socio-cultural processes through which their religion is reproduced. Whilst the strategies of the cohort migrating after the Second World War were restricted through their marginalised social status and experience of racism, the recent cohort of evacuees fleeing volcanic eruptions has had greater scope for strategies which combat secularisation and fading Methodist identity.

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Tatiana Vagramenko

landscape has developed in the region, with diverse religious domains: Orthodox Christianity, various Protestant movements, Islam, and native religious practices, including shamanism. This article examines Evangelical missionary movements among the Nenets

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Arnika Peselmann and Nicholas M. Railton

William Logan and Keir Reeves (eds), Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing with 'Difficult Heritage' (London: Routledge), 290 pp., Hb: £80.00, ISBN: 978-0-415-45449-0; Pb: £25.99, ISBN: 978-0-415-45450-6.

Liam D. Murphy, Believing in Belfast: Charismatic Christianity after the Troubles (Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press), 352 pp., Pb: US$42.00, ISBN: 978-1-59460-728-8.

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Negotiating between Shi’a and Catholic Rituals in Iran

A Case Study of Filipina Converts and Their Adult Children

Ashraf Zahedi

Religious rituals, while comforting for believers, may be uncomfortable for those who do not share their manifold meanings. Catholic Filipinas who marry Muslim Iranian men face mandatory conversion to Islam, necessitating ongoing negotiations between Christianity and Islam. My research suggests that these Filipinas held their first religion dear while participating in – for them – unpleasant Shi’a Muslims rituals. Their Filipino/Iranian children, familiar from birth with Shi’a Islam, felt at home with both religions, no matter which one they chose for themselves. The discussion of converts’ perceptions of Shi’a rituals contributes to the literature on transnational marriages and marriage migration.

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Russian Israelis and Religion

What Has Changed after Twenty Years in Israel?

Larissa Remennick and Anna Prashizky

Most former Soviet immigrants who arrived in Israel had a secular or atheistic outlook, with only a small minority leaning toward Orthodox Judaism or Christianity. To understand how 20 years of life in the ethno-religious polity of Israel have influenced their religious beliefs and practices, we conducted a survey of a national sample of post-1990 immigrants. The findings suggest that most immigrants have adopted the signs and symbols of the Jewish lifestyle. They celebrate the major religious holidays in some form, and many are interested in learning more about Jewish culture and history. We interpret these changes mainly as an adaptive response aiming at social inclusion in the Israeli Jewish mainstream rather than actually emerging religiosity. Few immigrants observe the demanding laws of kashrut and Shabbat, and even fewer attend synagogues and belong to religious communities. Their expressed attitudes toward state-religion matters reflect their ethno-nationalist stance, which is more typical for ethnic Jews than for partial or non-Jews.

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Muslim Pilgrims at the Orthodox Christian Monastery in Hadzhidimovo

Studies on Religious Anti-syncretism in the Western Rhodopes, Bulgaria

Magdalena Lubanska

This essay questions the thesis of the supposed syncretic nature of the religion of Bulgarian-speaking Muslims, an idea still espoused in Bulgarian ethnography and popular among the Rhodope Christian population. It examines the Muslim motivations for attending Christian holy places in the Rhodopes, particularly the Monastery of St George in Hadzhidimovo, to gather evidence from the actual participants. It shows that the local Muslims and Christians offer incompatible interpretations of the Muslim practice. Furthermore, it takes into account Muslim and Christian testimonies on how Muslims behave in the monastery of St George, and how their gestures are interpreted by both groups. Although the Muslim narratives betray a rather anti-syncretic attitude to Christianity, the Christians sometimes tend to see them as actual crypto-Christians. In my conclusions I stake out a position in the recent polemic between Glenn Bowman and Robert Hayden concerning the specificity of interactions between dissenters at sacred shrines.

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Missionary and Scholar

Russian Orthodox Archbishop Nil Isakovich's Perception of Tibetan Buddhism in Eastern Siberia

Anna Peck

Nil (Isakovich), bishop of the Irkutsk and Nerchinsk eparchy from 1838 to 1853, completed a major work on Tibetan Buddhism, Buddizm, razsmatrivaemyi v otnoshenii k posledovateliam ego, obitaiushchim v Sibiri (Buddhism, examined in relation to its Siberian followers), published in St. Petersburg in 1858. It was a thorough description of Buddhist doctrine, rites, and organizational structures in the Transbaikal. The bishop observed the rapid spread of Buddhism with the growth of the number of followers, clergy, and monasteries (datsan) in this area. As a Christian missionary, he tried to find out the reasons why this teaching was so powerful and influential, and why Buddhism became so popular among the Buriat population, attracting far more converts from native Shamanism than Christianity. Nil was interested in organizational aspects, hierarchical structure, Buddhist dharma, everyday rituals, and ceremonies during major holidays. Throughout his book, Nil presented his erudition and understanding of the Buddhist tradition. He used numerous sources in Tibetan, Mongolian, Latin, Russian and French. The quality of his writing varies greatly from other contemporary works of the Russian Orthodox missionaries. Unfortunately, Nil's book, published in Russian, was unknown to the majority of European scholars of that time.

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Zilka Spahić Šiljak

, Women, Religion and Politics: Impact Analysis of Religious Heritage of Judaism, Christianity and Islam on the Engagement of Women in Public Life and Politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo: International Multireligious and Intercultural Centre

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The End Point of Zionism

Ethnocentrism and the Temple Mount

Tomer Persico

tradition redemption was always a communal, indeed national, project (e.g., freedom from slavery in Egypt, return from exile to the Land of Israel), for Christianity redemption was primarily an individual deliverance from sin won through faith in Jesus