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Lenience in Systems of Religious Meaning and Practice

Maya Mayblin and Diego Malara

shared values, individual interiority, and physical conduct. Laidlaw’s greatest inspiration for laying down an anthropology of ethics and freedom were Indian Jains. Jains find themselves born into a religious system of extreme asceticism. To live a life

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Benjamin Grant Purzycki

Tyvan conceptions of spirit masters, their attributed domains of knowledge, and their places of devotion show signs of an adaptive function. Drawing from current research in the cognitive and evolutionary ecological studies of religion, I analyze interview data collected in the Tyva Republic during the summer of 2009 and construct an interpretation for why the ritual stone cairn (ovaa) tradition evolved and persists in Central Asia. As spirit masters in Tyva are acutely concerned with sustained costs and most ovaa that people pass are on territories of non-kin, I argue that because of the ecology of the region, the ovaa practice evolved to provide places to signal solidarity to others. Given the logic of spirit masters' concerns and ritual practice at cairns and the ecological context in which they operate, these components of traditional Tyvan religion are adaptive insofar as they foster cooperation and social bonds.

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Rachel Adler


A tradition is a centuries-long conversation about the goods and concerns of the philosophical or religious systems in which these goods and concerns inhere. LGBTQ Jews are the latest newcomers to Judaism’s conversation. Entering an established conversation places stressful demands upon incomers and veteran participants alike but enlarges and enriches the discourse. LGBTQ participants bring new topics and categories concerning gender that challenge participants of longer standing. Bringing to the existing categories and topics of the tradition experiences of which it was unaware implicitly requires that those topics be reexamined in the light of new data and situations. All this revitalizes the conversation.

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Javanese Kanuragan Ritual initiation

A Means to Socialize by Acquiring Invulnerability, Authority, and Spiritual Improvement

Jean-Marc de Grave

Kanuragan is a secret ritual initiation tied to local cosmological practices and cults used by the Javanese as a source of self-help on issues related to health, welfare, and protection. At basic levels, the practitioners of kanuragan use special entities called aji to gain strength and invulnerability. At the next level, the teaching of the master involves a specific mystical knowledge tied to the acquisition of spiritual authority. This article describes the process of transmission, the persons involved, and the role that kanuragan plays in Javanese society for security purposes and in warfare. The analysis shows how kanuragan competes with new secular and religious systems of value as well as with sorcery and new embodied practices such as sports competitions, to provide comparative insights on the formation of social categories.

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Margalit Shilo

At the turn of the twenty-first century, educated feminist religious Jewish women who regard themselves as obligated to observe Halacha and to adhere to the framework of patriarchal institutions feel torn and frustrated. They want to continue to maintain uncompromising loyalty to their families, congregations, and communities, and at the same time make exhaustive efforts to modify the Jewish religious system from within and invest it with new, egalitarian content. This article describes the emergence of Kolech—Religious Women's Forum, an organization founded by Israeli religious feminist women in 1998. Kolech aims at producing new answers to these pressing dilemmas. The article discusses the possibility of combining feminist concepts with patriarchal traditions, analyzes Kolech's strategy and newly adopted proposals, and examines Israeli attitudes toward this organization.

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Erick White

tradition of other-worldly salvation and only secondarily concerned with satisfying worldly needs and gratifications. Theravada Buddhism in particular was conceptualized as ‘accretive’, relying upon other religious systems or practices to meet non

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Dissenting from Redemption

Judaism and Political Theology

Alana M. Vincent

, 2002, 3–13. In addition to the obvious fact that these terms are descriptive of Christian attitudes towards other faiths, rather than modes of encounter between religious systems, and therefore inapt vocabulary for a non-Christian to deploy, I also

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Matthew Carey, Ida Nielsen Sølvhøj, Eve Monique Zucker, Younes Saramifar, and Louis Frankenthaler

others far less. Religious dissenters might be thought of as heretics if they think that the religious system is valuable but being practiced incorrectly. They may be infidels if they reject the religious system and believe in a different system, or they

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(Not) Becoming the Norm

Military Service by Religious Israeli Women as a Process of Social Legitimation

Elisheva Rosman-Stollman

being required to follow religious social codes or norms. This created a situation where the religious system had much control over its young men during military service, but almost no control over its young women. With social sanctions emptied of

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Battle of Cosmologies

The Catholic Church, Adat, and ‘Inculturation’ among Northern Lio, Indonesia

Signe Howell

different from (superior to) that of the rest of the population. It is also (so far) superior to that of Catholic priests. I shall argue that while Catholicism and adat (traditional religious system) may engage people according to different contexts