A Secular Age
Despite its great popularity in both the scientific and non-scientific fields, Max Weber’s concept of “disenchantment” remains mostly obscure and in recent years it has become the center of an interdisciplinary debate on modernity involving both Weberian specialists and non-specialists. The aim of the article is to return to Weber’s text and analyze Weber’s use of the term and the meaning of what he calls the “disenchantment of the world.” To do so I follow Taylor’s and Schluchter’s insight and investigate how Weber would picture an initial condition of enchantment. However, while these interpreters did not explore the Weberian perspective on magic, I instead show that not only Weber had a precise and original conception of magic as the primitive attitude toward the world, but also that this conception may clarify the meaning and dynamics of the process of disenchantment in both the spheres of religion and of science.
Despite her personal skepticism and predominantly secular outlook,1 we may regard George Eliot as a post-secularist. She was decidedly not a secularist of the Bradlaughian type. (See Chapter 3.) That is, she demonstrated a particular regard for religion and religious believers and generally acknowledged religion’s ongoing viability, its potential to contribute to individual, cultural, and national identity and the general weal. Eliot often figured religion as a tissue that extended throughout and within the organic social body, a kind of living integument providing cohesion and shape, sustaining it in health and order. Religion could offer metanarratives that afforded meaning and coherence, ordering the experience of the subject, while enlarging the sympathies and recommending the dedication of individuals to broad social objectives. Eliot even acknowledged the Anglican Church as an important ecclesiastical body for its role in providing structural coherence and service to the community. And unlike other novelists of her time — such as Dickens and Trollope, who mercilessly caricatured clerical figures for hypocrisy, sectarianism, and factionalism — Eliot generally demonstrated respect for clerics and the clerical function, especially the pastoral duty of parish ministers. We have the ‘saintly Mr. Tryan in Scenes of Clerical Life, “a powerful preacher, who was stirring the hearts of the people”; the eloquent and compassionate Methodist Dinah Morris in Adam Bede; the “wonderful preacher” Dr. Kenn in Mill on the Floss; the charismatic and increasingly self-deluded Savonarola in Romola; the learned and loquacious Dissenter Rufus Lyon in Felix Holt; and the affable Farebrother in Middlemarch’.2
The purpose of this article is to present a dimension of the study of religious transformation that can help us to continue the debate on secularization from an approach of sociological history: narrativity. After the presentation of the conceptual and methodological bases that support this study, I explore a specific case of secularization: Spanish society between 1960 and 2019. The acceleration of the secularization process in the second half of the century was particularly condensed in the gestation of a whole series of narratives, which led to the formation of an ‘epistemic secular regime’. This article will reflect on the particularities of three specific historical moments: the late 1960s, the period immediately after Franco’s death (from 1975 until the end of the 1980s), and the beginning of the twenty-first century. My research concludes by confirming the importance of narrative secularization to understand this process from a socio-historical perspective and proposes the study of the narrative dimension as a line of explanation for the particular acceleration and extension of secularization in other European societies.
This article synthesizes and evaluates the current state of research within the overlapping domains of the psychology of art and the psychology of religion. In doing so, it identifies the most promising avenues that psychological scientists might pursue to operationalize, quantify, and analyze the psycho-social-spiritual effects of art. Framed by the broader discourses of theological and philosophical aesthetics, the discussion is organized according to a series of features that are basic to human processing and, thus, likely to be familiar to psychological researchers in numerous sub-disciplines. We consider these components, in turn, noting in particular the key dimensions of each component that are associated with theological, spiritual, and/or religious forms of cognition and the current state of the empirical literature that underwrites these dimensions. We conclude by proposing a program for experimental research focused on spiritual and religious forms of cognition that are prompted by aesthetic experiences of art.
School chaplaincy in Australia is highly contentious. The federal government funds a chaplaincy programme in Australia’s secular public schools, which, combined with the declining influence of institutional Christianity, places Christian chaplains at the nexus of debates on the public role of religion. Yet little is known about how these chaplains integrate their religious convictions with their role. This article draws on 12 interviews with Christian chaplains, and asks: (1) how do these chaplains understand their faith within their role?; (2) how do they practice their faith through their role; and (3) how do they negotiate the ban on ‘proselytising’? This article finds that chaplains see their work as a call from God that enables a deep sense of purpose, and is also aimed at young people’s empowerment. They practically express their faith through care, bridging school and Christian communities, and prayer. Last, they practice conversations about faith, described as ‘dialogical evangelism’. Given the lack of studies of chaplaincy practice in secular contexts, this article is significant for its empirical depth, and discussion of controversial topics. It concludes by examining the significance of these findings for policy makers, and for wider debates about the interaction between religious people and secular institutions.
East Asian business systems are often referred to ‘Confucianism’, grounded in influential global value studies. We present the case for moving ‘ritual’ at the centre and approaching Confucianism only as a theory of ritual, but not as covering core beliefs and practices. Our testing ground is family business since the family is a core concern in Confucianism, and we compare Japan and China. Based on a discussion of ritual theory, we show how in Japan rituals mediate and generate the corporate identity of the family business and kinship as a form of organizational membership. In China, rituals of kinship define a network of relations which transcends organizational borders. In conclusion, Confucianism cannot cover these divergent performances of ritual across East Asia but can be conceived as a non-Western social theory that explicitly recognizes the central role of ritual in social order, including domains such as family business.
Based on a review of research published over the past decade on media, piety, and religious identity, this chapter argues that secularization does not manifest uniformly in the media but, rather, that it is a multidimensional condition. It identifies two distinct dimensions of secularization in the media: media content that illustrates the weakening of religious identities, and content that illustrates individuals' agency to determine their religious identities. The chapter describes how different approaches to the study of religion and spirituality have opened up understanding of their role in communication and media. Secularization theory constitutes a prominent lens through which researchers today understand the cultural place of religion and, by extension, piety and religious identity. Social media can reinforce religious orthodoxy while mimicking the organizing processes of socially progressive collective action. Digital media facilitate the development and dissemination of unorthodox religious identities, expressions, and spaces, including ones that intentionally position themselves outside of religious institutions.
It seems to be a challenging task for those non-Western scholars who are deeply immersed in European intellectual resources to theorise multiple forms of modernity and deparochialise political theory. What difficulty awaits us in non-Western contexts, when we attempt to throw off these shackles and to open up alternative views of modernity? To address this question, this article attempts to critically examine Maruyama Masao (丸山眞男, 1914–1996), an influential scholar on the history of Japanese political thought, with respect to his view of Japanese modernity, thereby exploring what obstacles await him in pursuing the multiplicity view of modernity and how he actually or potentially overcomes them. In doing so, I develop two arguments. First, Maruyama's move towards multiple modernities remains incomplete because he fails to throw off the shackles of universal history. Second, however, we can identify an alternative way in his own thought that, though not taken by himself, potentially goes beyond universal history towards multiple modernities.
The cohesion and resilience of the social base supporting Jair Bolsonaro is backed by an authoritarian perception of politics and society. Support for the president runs through all sectors of Brazilian society and reflects a variety of demands. A multidisciplinary research strategy that articulates statistical analysis of data from an innovative national survey with a sociological approach to the construction of an authoritarian vision of politics and society in Brazil suggests that the authoritarian right is a political and electoral force that will persist and that it has several characteristics that distinguish it from conservative movements in the Global North. A coesão e resistência da base social que apoia a Bolsonaro são baseadas numa visão autoritária da política e da sociedade porque o apoio ao presidente se extende por todas as classes na sociedade brasileira e traz à tona uma diversidade de exigências. Uma estratégia multidisciplinária de pesquisa que articula uma análise estatística de dados colhidos de um levantamento nacional innovador com base numa aproximação sociológica voltada para a construção de uma ótica autoritária da política e da sociedade no Brasil constata que a direita autoritária persistirá como força política e eleitoral e que tem várias características as quais lhe distingue dos outros movimentos conservadores localizados nos países do norte global.
This paper explores the problem of truth in the study of traditional ways of knowing, which implies two main philosophical issues: how to understand the epistemic value of social theories, and how to treat the truth-claims constitutive of alien knowing practices. The second question, it is argued, has priority over the first and may lead toward its resolution. To present the problem of truth, the first part explores a case of pre-theoretical conflict between different sets of ontological commitments regarding shamanic visionary knowledge. Sections two and three examine the hermeneutical difficulties involved in the principle of bracketing alien truth-claims and propose an intercultural expansion of Gadamer’s hermeneutics. The final part develops the principle of Intercultural Interpellation as the ground of a theory of intercultural understanding based on the recognition of truth-claims.
The essay formulates four criteria for identifying the topos “signs of the times” and applies them for a specific Christian understanding of the ecological crisis. The aim of the argumentation is to decide why and in what way climate change, ecological degradation but also the new awareness of the value of nature is a theological issue. The second part of the essay deals with the question which competence the churches can contribute to the ecological discourse of a pluralistic, partly secular or atheistic society. I speak also about the encyclical Laudato si’.
The idea of consent is central to the modern social imaginary. As an ethical norm, it mediates diverse interactions between individuals, groups, and organizations. It is also central to influential theories of political legitimacy, in particular the ideal of representative democracy as founded on “the consent of the governed.” Consequently, the effective exercise of consent is important for social cohesion and, therefore, resilience to shocks. Climate change is not only a source of such shocks, but it also poses challenges to the exercise of consent. The transition to a climate-resilient, low-emissions economy will be disruptive due to the scale and urgency of change required. In a society where consent has normative preeminence, the transition will inevitably produce disputes over whether consent is required by affected parties or has genuinely been given. This chapter explores the idea of consent and how it already interacts with projects and activities that both contribute to climate change and to climate mitigation and adaptation. It focuses on four applications of consent: (1) the principle of free, prior and informed consent in international human rights; (2) the government authorization of permits and consents; (3) the social license to operate for businesses; and (4) the procedures and mechanisms in democratic systems that give effect to the will of the people. Finally, it examines trends that seek to bypass consent, such as the rise of technocratic governance and calls for climate emergency declarations, and trends that seek to secure consent, especially the idea of just transitions.
The Oxford Handbook of Russian Religious Thought offers comprehensive surveys and analyses of historical periods (Rus’ and Muscovy, imperial Russia, the Soviet Union), nineteenth-century currents and figures, including authors such as Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, a broad coverage of the “Russian Religious-Philosophical Renaissance” and religiously informed art movements in Russian modernism, Russian emigre thought as well as the types of religious thought in the Soviet Union. The last part assesses the contribution of Russian religious thought to religious thinking globally and discusses the main conclusions of the volume.
W artykule zostają podjęte rozważania nad dokumentem osobistym w perspektywie etycznej. Przedmiotem analiz jest Dziennik Jana Józefa Szczepańskiego. Interpretacje są prowadzone głównie za pomocą rozpoznań Charlesa Taylora nad etyką i podmiotowością oraz przy użyciu badań Davida Parkera dotyczących etycznych interpretacji literatury autobiograficznej. Kluczowe dla wywodu są pojęcia między innymi „dobra konstytutywnego”, „silnych wartościowań”, „przestrzeni moralnej”, „jakościowych rozróżnień”, „ram pojęciowych”. W swoich rozważaniach staram się odpowiedzieć na pytanie, czy i jak dziennik, zwłaszcza Dziennik Szczepańskiego, może być aktem budowania tożsamości oraz konstytuowania podmiotowości oraz w jaki sposób artykułuje dobra konstytutywne i przybliża do moralnych źródeł. Próbuję również ukazać konieczność perspektywy etycznej w odniesieniu do badań nad literaturą (ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem literatury autobiograficznej) w „epoce świeckiej”. Towards a Good Life: Personal Documents in the Moral Space (on Dziennik by Jan Józef Szczepański) The article discusses personal documents through the lens of ethics. The argument focuses on Dziennik [Journal] by Jan Józef Szczepański, which is analyzed primarily with the use of Charles Taylor’s deliberations on ethics and subjectivity and David Parker’s study of ethical interpretations of autobiographical literature. The discussion presented in the article is based on several key concepts, including “constitutive good,” “strong evaluations,” “moral space,” “qualitative differentiations,” “conceptual framework.” The author seeks to answer the question of whether – and if so, how – a journal, in particular Szczepański’s Dziennik, may constitute an act of building identity and establishing subjectivity and how it articulates constitutive good and reveals the roots of morality. The article is also an attempt to demonstrate the necessity to adopt an ethical perspective in literary research (with particular emphasis on autobiographical literature) in the “secular age.”
This study employed a hermeneutic phenomenological approach, using in-depth interviews, to understand the lived experience of praying in psychotherapy for clients. Participants were five Christian women who prayed in an individual therapy session. Seven prayer experiences were shared during the interviews. In all experiences, both the client and therapist were aware that the prayer was happening. Five themes emerged from participants’ descriptions: the significance of prayer while suffering, prayer as a moment of intentional connection, deepening the therapeutic bond through prayer, facilitating connection with God, and a changed engagement with themselves. All participants emphasized how praying in therapy facilitated relationship: with themselves, their therapist, and God.
This chapter focuses on depth experience in the context of international accounting theory. A transformation through international accounting research is undertaken to develop an encompassing and respectful accountability framework. This is to be achieved through experiences of depth and fullness to re-shape how accounting understands community and social reforms in a globalising era of halfunderstood cultural and structural alienation.
The ‘political interpretivist’ works of H. G. Gadamer and Charles Taylor are applied and introduced to accountability and business ethics research. They provide an analysis of the role of language and practical reason that deepens our appreciation of discourse theory. They argue that language is not so much a designative device for recording and communicating information. Rather, language is the framework of all our knowledge and experience in, and of, the world. Interpretivism is used to engage with other business ethicists and political theorists such as Cedric Dawkins (Bus Ethics Q 25(1): 1–28, 2015), Jacques Derrida ((Spivak FP, trans.), Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), Jurgen Habermas (1976) and Ernest Laclau and Chantel Mouffe (Hegemony and socialist strategy: towards a radical democratic politics, Verso Trade (first edition 1981), 2014). Interpretivist analysis of language can enhance business ethics. For example, Habermas searches for a precise decision using discourse ethics which is challenged by Gadamer’s and Taylor’s interpretivism. Language is like a work of art that puts us in touch with others and the world. Interpretivist thinking is relevant for business ethics as it enters global settings where workers, managers and corporations must embrace other cultures. Issues of fairness such as closeness, openness and justice then follow.
Accounting and business must begin the task of exploring the politics of difference and fullness in a world of half-understood social domination and theistic evaluation. For reasons like these theorists inspired by agonism and postmodern ideology argue that their approach is superior to ‘consensually oriented approaches.’ It is claimed that agonistic pluralism is not necessarily resolution of ideological differences but is about imagining, developing and supporting democratic processes wherein these differences can be recognised and engaged (Tregidga and Milne, Crit Perspect Account, forthcoming, 2020).
This chapter examines the role of accounting in the public sphere. The aim is to create an informed polity where issues of corruption and environmental preservation are kept firmly on the agenda. The public sphere is analysed through the lens provided by communitarian, interpretivist, liberal and postmodern perspectives. The examination concerns the role accounting can perform as a steering medium in the public sphere. I argue that the public sphere is the arena where different values are examined and explored. This chapter examines the role of accounting in the public sphere.
This chapter utilises a neo-MacIntyrean and Taylorian perspective to analyze whether recent neoliberal and postmodern accountability reforms can address issues of corruption in civil society and the state. Over the course of the past decade increasing social crises and issues of corruption have divided many communities. Based on a detailed analysis of the role of civil society we produce a theoretical narrative of political transformation through social accountability processes and the virtues. This is to examine (a) the rise of a new corrupt and hegemonic political despotism shaped by neoliberal political reforms, (b) the potential for a virtues-based strategy reaching out to both business and civil society, and (c) the possibilities of challenging neoliberalism and unethical practices via state intervention nurtured by virtuous practices.
This chapter discusses the nature of accountability and transparency within accountability regimes in environmental and global contexts. Presently, as noted earlier in Chap. 7, neo-liberal political ideologies based on concepts of private, transferable property ownership, individual rights, and a notion that commercial and social relationships are universally reducible to a system of economic transactions, dominate Western political and social discourse. However, such ideologies fail to provide solutions to critical societal concerns. and do not engage work on connections between language, Nature and social systems. This chapter contributes to the dialogue regarding accountability by further challenging neo-liberal political processes of accountability and transparency. A specific focus is applied to considering how accountability can be developed in the public sphere. A case is made that neoliberal economic systems, integrated reporting, and business case reforms should be subject to further analysis and interpretation to determine whether the voices of marginalized groups, victims of corporate abuse, and the Other, are adequately considered. Global accountability should give these voices ample opportunities to be heard in respect of common endeavors.
Understanding the politics of the Anthropocene involves exploring connections between what may be referred to as closed world structures (CWS) and a more open set of political alternatives.
This chapter draws on the scholarship of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (The primacy of perception: and other chapters on phenomenological psychology, the philosophy of art, history, and politics. Northwestern University Press, 1964) and Charles Taylor (Recovering the sacred. Inquiry 54:113–125, 2011) to promote the concept of ‘engaged agency’ as a new pathway for business and sustainability research; and to help organisations embed a culture of responsibility and sustainability. ‘Engaged agency’ is a concept that promotes basic interactions between humanity and the natural environment. This chapter draws on the scholarship of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Charles Taylor to promote the concept of ‘engaged agency’ as a new pathway for business and sustainability research; and to help organisations embed a culture of responsibility and sustainability.
This article presents some features, potentials, limitations, and bibliographies of the intersection of postcolonialism, postsecularism, and literary studies. It examines literatures, cultures, religions, indigenous beliefs and practices, and political imaginaries from Africa, Europe, and South Asia. The religions discussed include Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. The article shows how the institutional and discursive emergence of postcolonial postsecularism, including its intersection with literary studies, can draw lessons from similarly contestatory fields of study, such as postcolonial theory, postcolonial feminism, and intersectional feminism. The article includes bibliographies of literary works that address secularism and postsecularism, including their intersection with postcoloniality.
Episodic representations can be entertained either as “remembered” or “imagined”—as outcomes of experience or as simulations of such experience. Here, we argue that this feature is the product of a dedicated cognitive function: the metacognitive capacity to determine the mnemicity of mental event simulations. We argue that mnemicity attribution should be distinguished from other metacognitive operations (such as reality monitoring) and propose that this attribution is a “cognitive gadget”—a distinctively human ability made possible by cultural learning. Cultural learning is a type of social learning in which traits are inherited through social interaction. In the case of mnemicity, one culturally learns to discriminate metacognitive “feelings of remembering” from other perceptual, emotional, action-related, and metacognitive feelings; to interpret feelings of remembering as indicators of memory rather than imagination; and to broadcast the interpreted feelings in culture- and context-specific ways, such as “I was there” or “I witnessed it myself.” We review evidence from the literature on memory development and scaffolding, metacognitive learning and teaching, as well as cross-cultural psychology in support of this view before pointing out various open questions about the nature and development of mnemicity highlighted by our account.
In this entry, philosophical critique of religion is taken to be normative epistemological, ethical, and political criticism of religious worldviews, institutions, hierarchies, practices, and canons. The entry begins with a broad-brush history of philosophical critique of religion, noting activity in the ancient Mediterranean, ancient India, ancient China, and the medieval Islamic world, but focusing primarily on the development of religious criticism in Western Europe during the second millennium. The entry then takes up a range of topics that have provoked religious criticism across the full sweep of the world's religions, starting with epistemological and metaphysical concerns, and then moving to ethical, social, and political matters. The entry is rounded out with brief discussion of some particularly prominent critics of religion: Hume, Feuerbach, Marx and Engels, Nietzsche, Freud, and Atran.
Parenting a child with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities has expanded practical and existential implications. This study contributes to understanding parents’ lifeworld and their vulnerabilities by examining the deeper layers of what parents express through their use of images and metaphors. In-depth interviews with 25 Dutch parents were analysed by conducting systematic metaphor analysis informed by metaphor theory. We used the concept of social imaginary to reflect on the sociocultural or collective dimension of parents’ discourse. The following central metaphorical concepts were identified: Stagnation; Labyrinth; Battle; Transition; Medal; and Parallel worlds. Identified images and metaphors revealed an interplay of imaginaries regarding health and normality, autonomy and responsibility and what lives are worth living. Imaginaries may be transformed to frames that are more inclusive to families with children with disabilities. The study supports the demand to create humane care systems that address families’ vulnerabilities.
This commentary section presents a dialogical discussion on Appau's (2021) "Toward a divine economic system", an article in which he explores religious exchanges in the context of a Pentecostal Church in Ghana and proposes "the divine economy" as an alternative economic system to interrogate and extend scholarship on the relationship between the market and religion. In a thought-provoking conversation, four commentators (including Appau) engage in a critical discussion aimed at generating new ideas on theorizing the complex relationship between the market, consumption, and religion.
Christian ethical treatments of work often build on a traditional rationalist path that tries to develop a critical system of work by which different work practices can be judged. This article contributes with a supplementary way of presenting ethical logics of work through a practice-theoretical ethnographic study of two faith-based businesses, one Catholic and one evangelical. I am thereby not interested in building a critical system of work, but through listening to practitioners and in dialogue with practices, I want to map out different kinds of good that exist in these practices and suggest better accounts. The analysis of the empirical material shows that even though operating somewhat differently, the two practices are characterized by reform and negotiation. With both reform and negotiation, the Christian ethic in these practices does not collapse into only negotiation, nor is it idealized by only reform; both processes are essential, and religion contributes in different ways to both.
The volume represents a global response to Hick's philosophy of religious pluralism. Setting out the historical and theological background against which Hick’s religious pluralism emerged, it examines some of the contentious issues that resurface in the pluralism debate, ranging from his concept of divine ineffability to Kant to the noumenal Real to the ethical-soteriological criterion, and the reception of his version of religious pluralism both within and outside the Western hemisphere. It widens the discourse by bringing Hick’s pluralistic hypothesis into a critical and constructive cultural and interreligious engagement with Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Daoist, Hindu, Jain, as well as Japanese, Korean, and African perspectives. The volume demonstrates how Hick’s pluralistic hypothesis is globally widespread, yet locally rooted and interconnected. Whether one welcomes or critiques Hick’s pluralism, one cannot but be deeply touched by his own journey to a pluralistic vision which continues to be relevant in a world torn apart by various kinds of absolutisms.
This chapter explores the different practices and meanings of Christianity in the Colombian Amazon through the comparison of Indigenous Catholics’ and Evangelicals’ relationship with the “material world.” Drawing on historical sources and ethnographic fieldwork, the chapter shows how Catholic missionaries in Vaupés formerly relied heavily on commodities and material objects as part of their practices of evangelization, thus producing an association between the arrival and adoption of Christianity and the acquisition of specific kinds of objects. On the other hand, Indigenous Evangelicals and churches developed an ongoing critique of materiality through the idea of “worldliness” (lo mundano). This generated an ambiguous relationship with modernity. These differences concerning materiality also entailed divergences between churches in terms of what it means to be an Indigenous Christian. Finally, the chapter analyzes how some of the objects and commodities initially introduced to the Indigenous people in the Vaupés area by Catholic missionaries and colonos alike (such as machetes and boats) affected later Indigenous Evangelicals’ understandings and interpretations of the Bible.
Through a series of conversations, Fintan McCutcheon and Joanna Haynes explore McCutcheon's reflections on school leadership in the contexts of the Educate Together movement (in the Republic of Ireland) and, specifically, in his aspiration to build an optimally democratic school in Balbriggan. Much of the academic and professional literature on school leadership depicts the role of school leaders as expressing a strong vision for the school, with charismatic communication and strategic skills, and putting explicit emphasis on high educational standards. On the ground, the school leader is required to maintain executive governance standards, is accountable to a range of hierarchies and audiences and is in a custodian role to traditions of school culture and human resource relationships. Taken together, these academic, professional and contractual obligations can corral the school leader into practice of limited scope, obstructed by protocol, risk‐averse and curtailed in creativity and, in relation to developing a democratic school, lacking in the necessary room for innovation. The conversation focuses on the rough ground of incident and messiness, identified through critical moments of school life when the aspirations to be democratic, to lead democratically, to teach democracy and to create a sustaining democratic school culture are lived‐out. Through this dialogue, the conversants observe a practice of school leadership grounded in practical reason. The dialogue touches on and threads congruence between the on‐the‐ground risk‐taking, rule‐breaking, action orientation, nuanced dialogue, passionate engagement and deep reflection that characterise day‐to‐day school leadership practice. It concludes with ideas concerning the dynamics of forms of democracy that can prevail.
A structural correspondence is found between the process whereby Catholicism prevents the infallibility of the people of God (sensus fidei) from becoming schismatic by appealing to the final authority of the magisterium, and the way democracy disables the immediate power of the acclaiming people, opposing the People’s direct participation by means of the mediation of a variety of institutions. The exigency of an unmediated, individual access to God’s voice found in both Pentecostalism and the Prosperity Gospel, on the other hand, is structurally analogous to the populist rejection of the symbolic character of the democratic “People” and the rejection of any mediation between the faction-people and the gifts of the Spirit.
In a modern society arguably disenchanted with religion, numerous Western women are transfixing their reality by making God in their own image. This compelling phenomenon is known as ‘the Goddess Movement’: a non-centralised religious current of neo-pagan origin that reveres the Divine as feminine. The revival of Goddess worship in a vastly secular age which appears not to favour religious devotion is a peculiar occurrence and leads to the following question: Why are women returning to a previously defunct spiritual practice? Building on the research scholars Paul Reid-Bowen and Janet L. Jacobs conducted on Western Goddess worship, as well as drawing on testimonies of Goddess followers, this article aims to elucidate the appeal the Goddess Movement holds for women. It argues that it represents a notable turn in female spirituality which demonstrates that images of feminine divinity offer women the opportunity to find meaningfulness, empowerment, and sexual or psychological healing.
This article considers the ruined megalith of St Peter's, Cardross, an abandoned Catholic seminary. Widely regarded as an architectural masterpiece, it was erected in the mid‐1960s when the minority Catholic community of Scotland was staunch and optimistic. Its decline and eventual dereliction reflect the crisis of faith experienced by its congregation and the besmirching of the ideal of the Catholic priesthood by sexual scandal. The idealism and optimism that informed Scottish Catholic subjecthood in the past have recently seen their allegiance transferred to political nationalism. This article deploys the classic anthropological theory of ritual and some recent political and philosophical writing to distil insights into emptiness as a phenomenon of modernity.
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