Journal of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (JISASR). Vol. 3, Issue 1, (2016)

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Special Issue: Festschrift in Honour of Professor Brian Bocking


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 15
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    ASR and RE
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork., 2016) Jensen, Tim
    As a university discipline, the academic study of religions (ASR) has produced a critical approach to the study of religion which is (or ought be), I think, of fundamental importance for a modern secular and enlightened democratic state. However, the "study-of-religions" approach has percolated with limited success into society at large as well as into the primary and secondary educational systems of Western democracies. Too often so-called religious education (RE) really is religious or confessional, and even so-called non-confessional RE is, mostly if not always, mixed with crypto-confessional approaches, inculcation of moral values (not least those claimed to be Christian) and the promoting of religion as a resource for a more "spiritual" approach to life. While these goals may be in line with the traditional use of the public school as the key instrument of the (nation-) state to try to confer its ideology to (future) citizens, it is not compatible with the ideals of the academic study of religion, nor with the ideals and ideas of the present writer as regards the secular, study-of religions based RE that I think ought be taught in public schools as a totally ordinary school subject and as such also true to its scientific basis. In what follows I map and evaluate some of the many approaches to RE as well as some of the obstacles to a study-of-religions approach. Likewise, I ever so briefly argue why my approach to RE may be seen as a 'natural' and 'good' kind of 'applied ASR ', as an obvious way to promote and strengthen the academic study of religions, --and as a positive value to the open, democratic and pluralistic society. I begin, however, with a statement by Prof. Brian Bocking, quoted in part below, which admirably describes the components and characteristics of the academic study of religions - and by extension - of a study-of- religions based RE.
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    Recent trends in the white light association (Byakkō Shinkōkai)
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork, 2016) Pye, Michael
    Among the various fascinating features of the religious scene in Japan, the activities of the new religions continue to attract attention. And yet, given their number, and given the predilection of some commentators to highlight sensational cases, the character and development of some of the more steady movements often goes largely unremarked. The opportunity is therefore taken here to present a brief review of recent developments in the White Light Association, or to give it its Japanese name, the Byakkō Shinkōkai.
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    Michael Pye, translating drunk - and Stark Naked: problems in presenting eighteenth century Japanese thought
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork, 2016) Barrett, Tim H.
    In 1990 Michael Pye published a full translation of the writings of the Japanese scholar Tominaga Nakamoto (1715-1746), to which I responded in a 1993 review illustrating a possible alternative approach by retranslating one chapter. In 1997 Michael Pye defended his original work. Here I show that this defence misunderstands at least some of the rationale for suggesting an alternative translation method, and provide a short passage of translation with commentary from Hattori Somon (1724-1769), a very similar but much less wellknown scholar, in order both to introduce his thought and to illustrate further the translation method I prefer. Finally some broader questions about the interpretation of Japanese eighteenth century thought are briefly indicated.
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    Paganism and the world forum of religions
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork, 2016) York, Michael
    Using the sociological tool known as the ideal-type, there is a distinction to be made for ancient, indigenous and contemporary paganisms vis-à-vis the more established world such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. While both the New Age movement and contemporary Western paganism may be understood through what Gerlach and Hine identified as the segmented-polycentric-integrated-network (SPIN), New Age may be increasingly understood as one more denomination under the rubric of paganism. In general, pagan religiosity is to be identified through its corpo-spirituality, veneration of nature, this-worldly focus, plural understanding of the divine, humanistic undercurrent and pursuits of enchantment and pleasure. Diverging from the characteristics of the pagan ideal-type as well as deep, generic and/or vernacular paganisms are both gnostic and secular forms of paganism. The multiplicity of religions, however, allows and encourages the internal dialogue of paganism with itself as the external conversation with the other religions of the world.
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    Editorial [vol. 3]
    (ISASR in association with the Study of Religions, University College Cork., 2016) Butler, Jenny; Shanneik, Yafa; Kapalό, James A.