Journal of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (JISASR). Vol. 6, (2018)

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    Book review: Gladys Ganiel, Transforming post-Catholic Ireland: religious practice in late modernity
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork, 2018) Stringer, Adrian
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    From Jihad to Muqawamah: the case of Hizballah in Lebanon
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork, 2018) Kanaaneh, Abed
    The history and politics of the Middle-East are often understood as a battle-field where various religious currents and ethnic factions are constantly struggling for hegemony. In contrast, in this paper I argue that this history and politics is better understood as a struggle between two competing world-views or political theologies: the exclusionary world-view of Jihad on the one hand, and the inclusive world-view of Muqawamah, on the other. Focusing on Hizballah in Lebanon as my case-study, I show how this Islamic movement has traded a discourse that emphasizes Jihad, to one that emphasizes resistance. By so doing, I argue, Hizballah's discourse of resistance provided a common-ground for cooperation with other forces and groups on the local, regional, and global scene.
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    John Traske, Puritan Judaizing and the ethic of singularity
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork, 2018) Cottrell-Boyce, Aidan
    In 1619, John Traske was tried before the Star Chamber, charged with being ‘a disturber of the peace of the Church,’ an ‘insolent detractor of the ecclesiastical government’ and with ‘having ambitions to become the father of a Jewish faction’. Traske was perhaps the most eye-catching of the seventeenth century Judaizing Puritans, not least because he managed to assimilate apparently legalistic attitudes towards the Law of Moses and a notably anti-legal soteriology. He taught that there was no way to know who was of the elect by their deeds, whilst at the same time encouraging his followers to observe the Saturday Sabbath and to abstain from eating pork. Typically, scholars have depicted the Traskite phenomenon as an efflorescence of Puritan precisianism or primitivism or Biblicism. However, an examination of Traske’s writing suggests that his thought does not fit easily into any of these boxes. In this paper I contend that Traske’s Judaizing tendencies should be read in light of another Puritan fixation: ‘singularity’. Traske believed that God was with ‘the people of least esteem’. By demonstrably exhibiting his association with the almost universally maligned trope of ‘Jewism’, Traske effected the association of himself with the ‘people of least esteem’. Like John Traske, many of the Godly saw great soteriological significance in the condition of suffering and marginalization. This tendency, the desire for what the Godly called ‘singularity’, provides a crucial piece of the jigsaw, when it comes to understanding why so many Puritans adopted Jewish rituals in the seventeenth century
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    Liminality and experience: the 1979 revolution in Iran and Shia religious symbols
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork, 2018) Sharifi Isaloo, Amin
    Drawing on Victor Turner’s emphasis on the importance of symbols and his analyses of liminality together with Wilhelm Dilthey’s explanations of experience, and considering the mimetic theory of René Girard, this article focuses on the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran to explore Shia religion, particularly its symbols, before and after the 1979 revolution in Iran, where religion and politics influence each other. It demonstrates how a Shia ritual performance such as Ta’ziyeh and its symbols played key roles in mobilising crowds for the revolution, and how these symbols began to dominate political life, pervade all levels of society, and enable political actors and revolutionary clerics to legitimise their actions and violence after the revolution. In other words, it investigates how, under such liminal conditions, Shia Muslims’ means of commemorating the past shapes their present and future.