- ItemEvangelicals, Islamists and the globalisation of apocalyptic discourse(ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork., 2014) Gribben, CrawfordAfter 9/11, it has become increasingly obvious that strongly held religious convictions about the end of the world cannot be dismissed as the predictable consequences of deprivation, as several generations of social scientists once claimed. Instead, it has become clear that these kinds of ideas, having a life of their own, may establish discourses which may have extraordinary capacity to cross nations, cultures and even religions, encouraging passive withdrawal from the political world as well as inspiring vicious and sometimes violent attempts at its subjugation, underwriting the ‘war on terror’ as well as inspiring some of those intent on the destruction of the United States. This article describes one of Ireland’s most successful intellectual exports – a very specific system of thinking about the end of the world known as ‘dispensational premillennialism.’ And the article will move from county Wicklow in the early nineteenth century, through the troubled decades of American modernity, to arrive, perhaps unexpectedly, in the company of the soldiers of radical jihad. The article will describe the globalisation of a discourse which was developed among the most privileged classes of early nineteenth-century Ireland to explain and justify their attempt to withdraw from the world, and which has more recently been used to explain and justify sometimes violent political interventions by both prominent Western politicians and some of the most marginalised and desperate inhabitants of our broken twenty-first century.
- ItemReligion, the study of religion and other products of transnational and colonial imaginings(ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork., 2014) Turner, AliciaThe category of ‘religion’ as contemporary scholarship has demonstrated is a fairly recent innovation, dating back only a few hundred years in Western thought, and ‘world religions’ as we think of it and as we teach it is an even more recent category, emerging out of European colonialism. Thus the academic study of religion is both the product and, at times, the agent of colonial modes of knowledge. And yet, it is perhaps because ‘religion’ continues to be invented and reinvented through connections across cultures that investigating the work of religious ideas and practices offers such fruitful possibilities for understanding the work of culture and power. This article investigates religion and the study of religion as a mode of anti-colonial practice, seeking to understand how each have the potential to cross boundaries, build bridges and produce critical insights into assumptions and worldviews too often taken for granted.
- ItemNorthern Ireland, America and the emerging church movement: Exploring the significance of Peter Rollins and the Ikon collective(ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork., 2014) Ganiel, Gladys; Marti, GerardoThe Emerging Church Movement (ECM) is a primarily Western religious phenomenon, identifiable by its critical ‘deconstruction’ of ‘modern’ religion. While most prominent in North America, especially the United States, some of the most significant contributors to the ECM ‘conversation’ have been the Belfast-based Ikon Collective and one of its founders, philosopher Peter Rollins. Their rootedness in the unique religious, political and social landscape of Northern Ireland in part explains their position on the ‘margins’ of the ECM, and provides many of the resources for their contributions. Ikon’s development of ‘transformance art’ and its ‘leaderless’ structure raise questions about the institutional viability of the wider ECM. Rollins’ ‘Pyrotheology’ project, grounded in his reading of post-modern philosophy, introduces more radical ideas to the ECM conversation. Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’ and ‘marginal’ location provides the ground from which Rollins and Ikon have been able to expose the boundaries of the ECM and raise questions about just how far the ECM may go in its efforts to transform Western Christianity.