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Joseph Webster

In Gamrie, an Aberdeenshire fishing village home to 700 people and six millennialist Protestant churches, global warming is more than just a 'hoax': it is a demonic conspiracy that threatens to bring about the ruin of the entire human race. Such a certainty was rendered intelligible to local Christians by viewing it through the lens of dispensationalist theology brought to the village by the Plymouth Brethren. In a play on Weberian notions of disenchantment, I argue that whereas Gamrie's Christians rejected global warming as a false eschatology, and environmentalism as a false salvationist religion, supporters of the climate change agenda viewed global warming as an apocalyptic reality and environmentalism as providing salvific redemption. Both rhetorics - each engaged in a search for 'signs of the end times' - are thus millenarian.

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Hope Chest

Demythologizing Girlhood in Kate Bernheimer’s Trilogy

Catriona McAra

The hope chest reveals itself to be a quiet, ambivalent, yet persistent motif in Kate Bernheimer’s trilogy, mimicking the narrative structures of the novels in terms of memory and prophecy. Like the contemporaneous hope chests of Dorothea Tanning

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Helmut Norpoth and Thomas Gschwend

Picking winners in electoral contests is a popular sport in Germany,

as in many places elsewhere. During the 2002 campaign for the

Bundestag, pre-election polls tracked the horse race of party support

almost daily. Election junkies were invited to enter online sweepstakes.

They could also bet real money, albeit in limited quantity, on

the parties’ fortunes on WAHL$TREET, a mock stock market run

by Die Zeit and other media. As usual, election night witnessed the

race of the networks to project the winner the second the polls

where voters had cast their ballots closed. But in 2002, there was

also one newcomer in the business of electoral prophecy: a statistical

forecast based on insights from electoral research.

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Meira Polliack

The Jewish Sages of the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods had an ambivalent attitude towards the prophet Ezekiel, which was particularly pronounced in relation to the first chapter of his Book. The visual audacity and dexterity of this chapter, which describes Ezekiel’s call to prophecy through his vision of the heavenly chariot and throne, was compared by the Sages to Isaiah’s restrained revelation (6:1–4), in their well-known saying (Babylonian Talmud, Hagigah, 13b): ‘All that Ezekiel saw Isaiah saw. What does Ezekiel resemble? A villager who saw the king. And what does Isaiah resemble? A townsman who saw the king’.

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Introduction

Ends and Beginnings

Ruy Blanes and Simon Coleman

The fact that you are reading these lines indicates that (1) issue number 4 of Advances in Research: Religion and Society has been published; and that (2) the world did not end, as expected by some, in December 2012. The buzz surrounding the Mayan calendar seemed for us as editors to be an appropriate pretext to conjure a debate concerning the intersection of religion and environmental apocalypticism. The four contributions to this debate reflect, in a critical and engaged fashion, on such intersections and their mediatization. Anna Fedele takes the Mayan calendar controversy as a starting point to argue for a history of apocalyptic prophecies in Western New Age and spiritual movements, in which prophetic success or failure have not depended on empirical confirmations. Terry Leahy draws on his research in Newcastle, Australia, to explain that apocalypticism is not exclusive to religious movements, and in fact circulates in different scientific and political spheres. Stefan Skrimshire also pursues this argument, moving beyond the caricature-filled debates between so-called latter-day prophets who campaign on environmental issues and the political orientations of environmental skeptics, and using this approach to decouple apocalypticism and prophecy. Peter Rudiak-Gould, in turn, explores cataclysmic apocalypse narratives in the context of wider expectations of moral and political change, both within and beyond the religious discourse of sin and repentance. All contributions in this section portray logics and contexts of environmental apocalypticism in sketches that overlap but also exceed religious spheres.

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Mark L. Solomon

Of the many strange, symbolic acts performed or described by the prophets of Israel, surely the most scandalous was the marriage of Hosea. For us, the scandal probably lies mainly in the way Hosea seems to have treated his wife and children – using those under his care and control as a theological object-lesson, giving his children horrible names, and possibly, depending how we read the prophecies in chapter 2, subjecting his wife to violent humiliation. For ancient and medieval authors, however, the scandal lay elsewhere – in the idea of a prophet marrying a woman of low character and, even worse, of God ordering him to do so. Classical rabbinic literature, broadly speaking, contains three responses to this scandal.

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Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, Joana Bahia, Luiz Costa, Jonathan Mair, Dolores P. Martinez, Stephan Feuchtwang, Richard Irvine, Stephen D. Glazier, Diana Espirito Santo, Simion Pop, William Dawley, Emily B. Baran, Richard Baxstrom, Anastasios Panagiotopoulos, Mette High, Amy Whitehead, Sindre Bangstad, Thomas G. Kirsch, and Ruy Llera Blanes

BUBANDT, Nils, and Martijn VAN BEEK, eds., Varieties of Secularism in Asia: Anthropological Explorations of Religion, Politics and the Spiritual, 261 pp., illustrations, index. London: Routledge, 2012. Hardback, $145. ISBN 9780415616720.

CAPONE, Stefania, Searching for Africa in Brazil: Power and Tradition in Candomblé, 336 pp., illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010. Paperback, $23.95. ISBN 9780822346364.

COURSE, Magnus, Becoming Mapuche: Person and Ritual in Indigenous Chile, 224 pp., illustrations, notes, glossary, index. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011. Paperback, $25. ISBN 9780252078231.

DAY, Abby, Believing in Belonging: Belief and Social Identity in the Modern World, 224 pp., references, index. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Hardback, £55, $99. ISBN 9780199577873.

ENDRES, Kirsten W., Performing the Divine: Mediums, Markets and Modernity in Urban Vietnam, 240 pp., bibliography, index. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2011. Paperback, £16.99, $32. ISBN 9788776940768.

FJELSTAD, Karen, and Nguyen THIHIEN, Spirits without Borders: Vietnamese Spirit Mediums in a Transnational Age, 230 pp., glossary, notes, references, index. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Hardback, $90. ISBN 9780230114937.

GEERTZ, Armin W., and Jappe Sinding JENSEN, eds., Religious Narrative, Cognition and Culture: Image and Word in the Mind of Narrative, 348 pp. Sheffield: Equinox, 2011. Paperback, £24.99, $39.95. ISBN 9781845532956.

GRIFFITH, Ezra E. H., Ye Shall Dream: Patriarch Granville Williams and the Barbados Spiritual Baptists, 207 pp., references, index. Mona: University of the West Indies Press, 2010. Paperback, $35. ISBN 9789766402433.

HAYES, Kelly E., Holy Harlots: Femininity, Sexuality, and Black Magic in Brazil, xiii, 293 pp., illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Paperback, $27.95, £19.95. ISBN 9780520262652.

KAPFERER, Bruce, Kari TELLE, and Annelin ERIKSEN, eds., Contemporary Religiosities: Emergent Socialities and the Post-Nation-State, 221 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2010. Paperback, $25, £15. ISBN 9780857451309.

LINDHARDT, Martin, ed., Practicing the Faith: The Ritual Life of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christians, 352 pp., tables, bibliography, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2011. Hardback, $95, £55. ISBN 9781845457709.

LUEHRMANN, Sonja, Secularism Soviet Style: Teaching Atheism and Religion in a Volga Republic, 292 pp., illustrations, maps, glossary, notes, references, index. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011. Paperback, $27.95. ISBN 9780253223555.

OBEYESEKERE, Gananath, The Awakened Ones: Phenomenology of Visionary Experience, xx + 622 pp., illustrations, notes, glossary, index. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Hardback, $50, £34.50. ISBN 9780231153621.

OCHOA, Todd Ramón, Society of the Dead: Quita Manaquita and Palo Praise in Cuba, 328 pp., notes, bibliography, index. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Paperback, $26.95, £18.95. ISBN 9780520256842.

PEDERSEN, Morten Axel, Not Quite Shamans: Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia, 250 pp., bibliography, glossary, index. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011. Paperback, $28.95. ISBN 9780801476204.

ROUNTREE, Kathryn, Crafting Contemporary Pagan Identities in a Catholic Society, 206 pp., figures, bibliography, index. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010. Hardback, £55, $82. ISBN 9780754669739.

WARNER, Michael, Jonathan VANANTWERPEN, and Craig CALHOUN, eds., Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, 337 pp., name index, subject index. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010. Paperback, $46.50. ISBN 9780674048577.

WERBNER, Richard, Holy Hustlers, Schism, and Prophecy: Apostolic Reformation in Botswana, 268 pp., illustrations, notes, references, index, DVD. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Hardback, $60. ISBN 9780520268531.

COLOMBANI, Hervé, dir., Nouvelle Terre Promise, 45 min., color. Paris: CNRS Images, 2008.

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‘We Must use What we Have…’

October–July 2003–April 2004

Sheila Shulman

years I began to arrive at something like a feminist understanding of biblical prophecy, rooted not in the individual prophet but rather in the force of the prophetic critique of the present. A significant part of that feminist understanding is in turn

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Shiran Avni

years. By changing ‘nine times nine’ to ‘seventy-seven’ Wieseltier links the witches’ prophecy with Joseph’s ability to interpret prophetic dreams. Another aspect of Shakespeare’s extensive use of numbers in the play appears in Lady Macbeth’s lines, for

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Peter Levine

details about our actual fellow human beings, or else we can venture into broader speculations. I think a crisis demands the ethic of close attention and intellectual humility. The Place of Prophecy I would acknowledge an important exception