Torkel Brekke

Torkel Brekke
Oslo Metropolitan University · Department of International Studies and Interpreting

DPhil

About

62
Publications
22,515
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
260
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
170 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022051015202530
2016201720182019202020212022051015202530
2016201720182019202020212022051015202530
2016201720182019202020212022051015202530
Introduction
In spring 2021, I established a new centre of research excellence at Oslo Metropolitan University. The centre is called Diversity Studies Centre Oslo (DISCO). Our goal is to become a leading international hub for research on aspects of diversity in society. For more information can be found here: https://www.oslomet.no/en/disco
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - April 2014
University of Oxford
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (62)
Preprint
Full-text available
This article discusses religiously motivated financial behaviour among young Muslims in Finland. The aim of the article is to provide empirical knowledge of Islam-based views on rejecting interest-based loans and its implications among Finnish Muslims: What are the reasons and motivations for rejecting interest-based bank loans? Are there alternati...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates attitudes and practices regarding finance among Muslim entrepreneurs in the Nordic countries. The possible tension between an Islamic ban on interest-bearing finance and the need to make use of such services to run a business is an unexplored issue in the sociology of religion. This article asks: 1) What are the beliefs an...
Article
Full-text available
This article offers an analysis of the role of Muslim imams in family counselling in Norway based on a survey (N = 35) and in-depth interviews (N = 10) with imams. There has till now been little knowledge about these issues. We find that family counselling is an important part of the work that imams do and they have a high degree of awareness about...
Article
Full-text available
A widespread assumption in research on prejudice and hate crime is that Islamophobia and antisemitism are analogous phenomena: both travel easily across national and cultural boundaries and adapt to new contexts. This article argues that this assumption is incorrect. Islamophobia works well in very different cultural contexts and shows highly diver...
Article
Full-text available
Some Muslims believe that Islam prohibits interest-bearing finance, including bank loans. What consequences might such ideas have for the lives of Muslims in the West? More specifically, we ask: what are the attitudes and practices in financial matters for highly educated professional Muslims in the Nordic countries? And what are the consequences o...
Article
Full-text available
Artikkelen er en kort innledning til et temanummer om den politiske situasjonen i Bosnia-Hercegovina. Anledningen for temanummeret er at det i juli 2020 er 25 år siden den bosnisk-serbiske hæren inntok Srebrenica og massakrerte 8000 bosnjaker. Abstract in English: Introduction: Bosnia and Herzegovina 25 Years after Srebrenica This article is a brie...
Chapter
The introduction presents some of the most important conceptual and historical questions related to the study of modern Hinduism. It explains the historical limitations used in this volume and why we exclude a number of movements, ideas, and practices in Hinduism in order to keep the focus on what is new. It discusses the argument that Hinduism is...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has questioned the use of mosques as points of entry for research about Muslims in Europe. Part of the background has been a new emphasis on lived religion and a critique of a one-sided focus on religious institutions. We argue that some of this criticism is theoretically ill-founded and we also point out that some trends may make...
Article
Full-text available
Financial inclusion is high on the agenda for governments as well as for organizations such as the World Bank. Research has pointed out that Muslims worldwide are less included in the formal financial system than non-Muslims, but there is no knowledge about the extent to which religious norms (most importantly the ban on interest on money) lead to...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter looks at the role of Religious Teacher in the Indian Army. It is based on interviews with Indian military officers and written sources.
Research
Full-text available
This is the draft version of a chapter to be included in the edited volume Military Chaplaincy in Comparative Perspective published very soon by OUP Delhi. Comments on the chapter will be welcome.
Article
Full-text available
There has been little dialogue between academic communities studying ancient India and scholars working on violence in modern India. Part of the reason has been suspicion concerning the ideological foundations of Indology amongst social scientists and modern historians. To better understand religious violence in today’s India the historical perspec...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, I explore ideas about Muslim nationalism in two novels by Rahi Masoom Reza (1925-92). The novels are Adha Gaon [Ādhā garriv] (A village divided, 2012 [1966])1 and Os Ki Boond [Os kĭ būmd] (Dewdrop, 2010 [1970]). Reza was an Indian novelist and playwright of Shi’i origin from eastern Uttar Pradesh and is now most famous for his many...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is an overview of the Indian tradition in the ethics of war from ancient times to the modern Indian armed forces
Article
Full-text available
Sex-selective abortion is a contentious issue in some Asian countries. Recent research suggests that some Asian immigrants to the West continue this practice. A recent retrospective cohort study of live births in mothers of Indian (n = 1597) and Pakistani (n = 5617) origin suggested a skewed female-to-male sex ratio among children born in Norway. S...
Chapter
Full-text available
Sikhism originated with the religious sage Guru Nanak, who was born in Punjab in 1469 and died in 1539. Guru Nanak founded what is often known in India as a panth, that is, a path to religious realization, a new religious movement. Nanak was followed by nine Sikh gurus, the last of whom was Guru Gobind Singh, the founder of the Khalsa, or the commu...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is an exploration of the important political concepts of security and protection in Indian tradition. For several centuries the Hindu tradition has envisaged the protection of the state of its subjects as a mirror image of the protection by the head of the household for its members. The chapter starts with the classical literature, like the Ar...
Chapter
Full-text available
In these two early chapters I draw up the basic theory about fundamentalism offered in the book Fundamentalism - Prophecy and Protest in an Age of Globalisation. The key idea is that fundamentalism starts as a defensive reactions against aspects of modernisation in many religious cultures and that is mainly driven by people who are not religious ex...
Article
Full-text available
This book investigates the origins of fundamentalism, outlining its characteristics and the history of key fundamentalist movements around the world, considering examples from Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. The book argues that fundamentalism develops when modern lay religious leaders challenge the authority of secular states and tradi...
Article
Full-text available
A low female-to-male ratio has been observed in different Asian countries, but this phenomenon has not been well studied among immigrants living in Western societies. In this study, we investigated whether a low female-to-male ratio exists among Indian and Pakistani immigrants living in Norway. In particular, we investigated whether the determinati...
Article
Full-text available
I intend to show that religion was seen as an obstacle to the improvement of women’s rights in India in the debates of the Constituent Assembly during the 1940s. In order to understand this negative view of the role of religion in society, we need to understand two very different concepts of religion current in India during the period. I call these...
Article
Full-text available
Relics of Sāriputta and Moggallāna, two of the Buddha's closest disciples, were discovered by Fred. C. Maisey and Alexander Cunningham in a stūpa at Sānchī in 1851 and were re-enshrined at the same place in November 1952. The exact whereabouts of the relics between these two dates has been uncertain, partly because both Buddhists and scholars have...
Article
Full-text available
Book
Why did people in North India from the 5th century BC choose to leave the world and join the sect of the Buddha? This is the first book to apply the insights of social psychology in order to understand the religious motivation of the people who constituted the early Buddhist community. It also addresses the more general and theoretically controvers...
Article
This article is an analysis of the case of Mullah Krekar, Iraqi Kurd and former leader of Ansaral-Islam, after he returned to Norway from Iraq and the Netherlands in January 2003. In making their case for war against Iraq, the Bush administration presented Ansar allslam as a "sinister nexus" between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. To what extent did A...
Article
Full-text available
The European just war tradition makes a distinction between matters of just resort to war (jus ad bellum) and matters of just means in war (jus in bello). If one compares the just war tradition with ethical systems of other cultures, one is struck by the European concern about jus ad bellum and the lack of interest in the same in other traditions....
Article
Full-text available
This article presents Kautilya, the most important thinker in the tradition of statecraft in India. Kautilya has influenced ideas of war and violence in much of South- and Southeast Asia and he is of great importance for a comparative understanding of the ethics of war. The violence inflicted by the king on internal and external enemies is pivotal...
Article
Full-text available
The subject of this article is the religious nationalism that developed in early independent Bur-ma and its consequences for freedom of religion. U Nu and the political elites of early independent Bur-ma faced considerable pressure to promote Buddhism at the expense of other religious traditions. This pressure came from two directions. Firstly, the...
Article
Full-text available
This article considers the development of the idea of a universal and missionary Hinduism in the writing of Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda was the most vigorous proponent of ideas which had been taking shape throughout the nineteenth century. It is argued that the idea of Hinduism as a “missionary” religion came about as part of the conceptual evol...
Chapter
This book presents three case studies on the construction and politics of religious identity in the Indian regions during the 19th century. It explores the leadership of three religions: the Hindus of Bengal, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, and the Svetambara Jains of western India. Part 1 presents a discussion on Hinduism and focuses on Swami Vivekana...
Chapter
This book presents three case studies on the construction and politics of religious identity in the Indian regions during the 19th century. It explores the leadership of three religions: the Hindus of Bengal, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, and the Svetambara Jains of western India. Part 1 presents a discussion on Hinduism and focuses on Swami Vivekana...
Chapter
This book presents three case studies on the construction and politics of religious identity in the Indian regions during the 19th century. It explores the leadership of three religions: the Hindus of Bengal, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, and the Svetambara Jains of western India. Part 1 presents a discussion on Hinduism and focuses on Swami Vivekana...
Chapter
This book presents three case studies on the construction and politics of religious identity in the Indian regions during the 19th century. It explores the leadership of three religions: the Hindus of Bengal, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, and the Svetambara Jains of western India. Part 1 presents a discussion on Hinduism and focuses on Swami Vivekana...
Chapter
This book presents three case studies on the construction and politics of religious identity in the Indian regions during the 19th century. It explores the leadership of three religions: the Hindus of Bengal, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, and the Svetambara Jains of western India. Part 1 presents a discussion on Hinduism and focuses on Swami Vivekana...
Chapter
This book presents three case studies on the construction and politics of religious identity in the Indian regions during the 19th century. It explores the leadership of three religions: the Hindus of Bengal, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, and the Svetambara Jains of western India. Part 1 presents a discussion on Hinduism and focuses on Swami Vivekana...
Chapter
This book presents three case studies on the construction and politics of religious identity in the Indian regions during the 19th century. It explores the leadership of three religions: the Hindus of Bengal, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, and the Svetambara Jains of western India. Part 1 presents a discussion on Hinduism and focuses on Swami Vivekana...
Book
This book presents three case studies on the construction and politics of religious identity in the Indian regions during the 19th century. It explores the leadership of three religions: the Hindus of Bengal, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, and the Svetambara Jains of western India. Part 1 presents a discussion on Hinduism and focuses on Swami Vivekana...
Book
Full-text available
Why did people in North India from the 5th century BC choose to leave the world and join the sect of the Buddha? This is the first book to apply the insights of social psychology in order to understand the religious motivation of the people who constituted the early Buddhist community. It also addresses the more general and theoretically controvers...
Article
South Asia became a primary focus for the debate about nuclear proliferation after the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan in 1998. This article seeks to analyse Indian nuclear policy by relating her nuclear programme to the perceived threat from two neighbours: Pakistan and China. But an analysis of India's nuclear policy may also look...
Article
Pour comprendre pourquoi une religion nait, l'A. affirme que l'on doit faire davantage attention a la motivation religieuse des individus qu'a l'etude de l'histoire des religions. Il souhaite ouvrir un debat sur l'utilisation de la psychologie moderne dans l'etude des traditions religieuses anciennes et etrangeres comme le bouddhisme ancien. Pour c...
Article
Full-text available
antideva 1 The links between fear and religion have been a valid subject of investigation for scholars in modern anthropology and psychology and writers in search of the psychological origins of religion have had a special interest in this subject. 2 In the Christian world such links have been highlighted by the prominent philosopher Kierkegaard. F...
Article
The gift has been an important focus of research on Indian sociology and religion. However, almost all research has been confined to the Hindu tradition. I believe we can shed new light on religious giving if we focus on common themes in the main religions of the sub-continent. In this article I look at the textual traditions on giving in Hinduism,...
Article
Full-text available
I review the extant research literature about the role of religious leaders and organizations in the peace process in Sri Lanka. I conclude that we know very little about most of the religious communities in the country. In fact, I have not been able to identify any serious research about the religious leaders or organizations in the Hindu, Muslim...
Article
Thesis (D. Phil.)--University of Oxford, 1999. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 242-259).

Questions

Questions (5)
Question
I am interviewing politically active and conservative Christians in Norway to find out how they use Christian teachings and the Bible in order to formulate and justify attitudes and policies regarding immigration and particularly immigration of Muslims. Observing that there is a curvilinear relationship between church-involvement and prejudice going all the back to the research of Gordon Allport and others I want to understand if this association is relevant in the context I am investigating. 
Question
I have just uploaded a brief article on Researchgate with the title Religion and sex-selecitve abortions. Here I point out that it seems that in the South Asian population in Norway the gener ratio is skewed among Indians, but not among Pakistanis. Is it reasonable to interpretive this as an indication that Muslims are somewhat less likely to practice sex-selective abortions of females than non-Muslims? Does anybody know of new research about possible links between religious ethics and sex-selective abortions?
Question
I have read a couple of book chapters about the VHP in Denmark and something on the US and UK. But I wonder of there has been done any good research about the VHP or the Sangh Parivar as a whole in other European countries.

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The INTERSECT project is funded by a grant from the Norwegian Research Council (NRC)'s FRIPRO Programme, and runs from 2018 to 2023. It is hosted by the MF School of Theology in Oslo and chaired by Prof Iselin Frydenlund at MF. The project explores the flows of Islamophobic ideas and rhetoric in global and transnational contexts, including in India, Myanmar, Norway, the UK. A member of the core research team, my sub-project is an ethnographic study of far-right and racist Qur'an-burnings in Norway.