Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 59

Religion Related Abstracts

59 Maternal Health Care Mirage: A Study of Maternal Health Care Utilization for Young Married Muslim Women in India

Authors: Saradiya Mukherjee


Background: Indian Muslims, compared to their counterparts in other religions, generally do not fare well on many yardsticks related to socio-economic progress and the same is true with maternal health care utilization. Due to low age at marriage a major percentage of child birth is ascribed to young (15-24 years) Muslim mothers in, which pose serious concerns on the maternal health care of Young Married Muslim women (YMMW). A thorough search of past literature on Muslim women’s health and health care reveals that studies in India have mainly focused on religious differences in fertility levels and contraceptive use while the research on the determinants of maternal health care utilization among Muslim women are lacking in India. Data and Methods: Retrieving data from the National Family Health Survey -3 (2005-06) this study attempts to assess the level of utilization and factors effecting three key maternal health indicators (full ANC, safe delivery and PNC) among YMMW (15-24 years) in India. The key socio-economic and demographic variables taken as independent or predictor variables in the study was guided by existing literature particularly for India. Bi-variate analysis and chi square test was applied and variables which were found to be significant were further included in binary logistic regression. Results: The findings of the study reveal abysmally low levels of utilization for all three indicators i.e. full ANC, safe delivery and PNC of maternal health care included in the study. Mother’s education, mass media exposure, women’s autonomy, birth order, economic status wanted status of child and region of residence were found to be significant variables effecting maternal health care utilization among YMMW. Multivariate analysis reveals that no mass media exposure, lower autonomy, education, poor economic background, higher birth order and unintended pregnancy are some of the reasons behind low maternal health care utilization. Conclusion: Considering the low level of safe maternal health care utilization and its proximate determinants among YMMW the study suggests educating Muslim girls, promoting family planning use, involving media and collaboration between religious leader and health care system could be some important policy level interventions to address the unmet need of maternity services among YMMW.

Keywords: Religion, Antenatal Care, young Muslim women, socio-economic condition, delivery, post natal care

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58 Spirituality and Coping with Breast Cancer among Omani Women

Authors: Huda Al-Awisi, Mohammed Al-Azri, Samira Al-Rasbi, Mansour Al-Moundhri


Cancer diagnosis is invariably a profound and catastrophic life-changing experience for individuals and their families. It has been found that cancer patients and survivors are distressed with the fragility of their life and their mortality. Based on the literature, cancer patients /survivors value their spiritual experience and connecting with unknown power either related to religious belief or not as an important coping mechanism. Health care professionals including nurses are expected to provide spiritual care for cancer patients as holistic care. Yet, nurses face many challenges in providing such care mainly due to lack of clear definition of spirituality. This study aims to explore coping mechanisms of Omani women diagnosed with breast cancer throughout their cancer journey including spirituality using a qualitative approach. A purposive sample of 19 Omani women diagnosed with breast cancer at different stages of cancer treatment modalities were interviewed. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. The framework approach was used to analyze the data. One main theme related to spirituality was identified and called “The power of faith”. For the majority of participants, faith in God (the will of God) was most important in coping with all stages of their breast cancer experience. Some participants thought that the breast cancer is a test from God which they have to accept. Participants also expressed acceptance of death as the eventual end and reward from God. This belief gives them the strength to cope with cancer and seek medical treatment. In conclusion, women participated in this study believed faith in God imposed spiritual power for them to cope with cancer. They connected spirituality with religious beliefs. Therefore, regardless of nurses’ faith in spirituality, the spiritual care needs to be tailored and provided according to each patient individual need.

Keywords: Diagnosis, Women, Breast Cancer, Religion, Coping, spiritual, oman

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57 The Yak of Thailand: Folk Icons Transcending Culture, Religion, and Media

Authors: David M. Lucas, Charles W. Jarrett


In the culture of Thailand, the Yak serve as a mediated icon representing strength, power, and mystical protection not only for the Buddha, but for population of worshipers. Originating from the forests of China, the Yak continue to stand guard at the gates of Buddhist temples. The Yak represents Thai culture in the hearts of Thai people. This paper presents a qualitative study regarding the curious mix of media, culture, and religion that projects the Yak of Thailand as a larger than life message throughout the political, cultural, and religious spheres. The gate guardians, or gods as they are sometimes called, appear throughout the religious temples of Asian cultures. However, the Asian cultures demonstrate differences in artistic renditions (or presentations) of such sentinels. Thailand gate guards (the Yak) stand in front of many Buddhist temples, and these iconic figures display unique features with varied symbolic significance. The temple (or wat), plays a vital role in every community; and, for many people, Thailand’s temples are the country’s most endearing sights. The authors applied folk-nography as a methodology to illustrate the importance of the Thai Yak in serving as meaningful icons that transcend not only time, but the culture, religion, and mass media. The Yak represent mythical, religious, artistic, cultural, and militaristic significance for the Thai people. Data collection included interviews, focus groups, and natural observations. This paper summarizes the perceptions of the Thai people concerning their gate sentries and the relationship, communication, connection, and the enduring respect that Thai people hold for their guardians of the gates.

Keywords: Communication, Image, Media, Culture, Protection, Religion, Yak, folknography, icon

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56 The Symbolism of Kolanut in Igbo Cosmology: A Re-Examination

Authors: Chukwudi Chidume


This paper considers the symbolism of kola nut according to Igbo worldview. How kola nut helps to shape the people’s philosophical ideology, especially in relation to religion. The roles of kola nut within the Igbo socio-cultural context and the values attached to these roles will be examined. The roles of kola nut as a means of socialization, education and transmission of cultural values from the preceding to succeeding generations will come under consideration. Equally, this paper looks at the traditional rules regarding not only the uses but more essentially the mode of kola nut presentation, blessing, breaking and sharing of kola nut. How these rules and kola nut have persisted in the face of social and cultural changes which have affected the Igbo people shall be reviewed. The roles played by kola nut in Igbo religion will come under study, which is to correct some of the misconceptions by writers who are motivated by eurocentric idealism but quite oblivious of the Igbo cultural setting and the place of kola nut in it. The onslaught of Western civilization causing the change of attitude among the young generation towards kola nut as a vital aspect of our culture tends to pose a threat to the future and survival of kola nut. Again, the study of Igbo culture as many have done rarely gives an in depth knowledge on the concept, roles and symbolism of kola nut as one of the sacred objects like Ofo and Shrines in Igboland. Mostly it is forgotten that without kola nut, shrines cannot be attended to. Many people think that the spiritual significance and sacramental symbolism are not worth exploring. They, therefore, refuse to try and discover the ritual ramifications, claiming that to probe into the mystery demystifies the matter. Kola nut symbolism is not mysteriously inexplicable. It is a revered symbol of social intercourse with deep social relevance.

Keywords: Religion, communion, consecration, Igbo, kola nut

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55 Our Shared Humanity: Bridging the Great Divide of Different Religions

Authors: Aida Raissi, Holly Wong, Elma Raissi


Background: Connection is a primal need established during infancy and reiterated in many forms of social interaction. When we make connections with others we experience growth, continuity, and gain an understanding of the other’s sense of the world. Feeling socially connected to another individual or community has been shown to increase self-esteem, happiness, and meaning. However, feeling connected to another individual or a specific community may also decrease the motivation to seek connection with more distant individuals or communities. Furthermore, we allow ourselves to interact with those in other communities as apart from us, and in some cases, to dehumanize their existence. Objective: The aim of this project is to bridge the gap between different communities, specifically religious communities and foster feelings of connection as one with all members through the medium of art, specifically photography. Method: Members of all major faiths including Agnosticism, Atheism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Ismaili, Jewish, Ja’far Shia, Sunni will be interviewed. Participants will be asked to partake in a brief interview of two parts: A. Answering two questions: 1. What are you most looking forward to in the future, and why? 2. What does religion mean to you? B. Having their picture taken. Our questions aim to elicit individual stories that together, show that we have more in common, than differences, despite our faiths. With the completion of the interviews, the responses will be compiled together and major themes will be identified. Impact: The resulting stories and corresponding individual pictures provide an excellent opportunity to encourage and inspire people to get to know those of other beliefs and values, participate in each other’s communities and develop a sense of oneness within our shared humanity. Knowledge translation: The personal stories, and the common themes they illustrate, will be shared with various audiences, including the general public, academia and targeted groups such as students. This will be done through displaying the photographs and responses at art galleries, conferences, in print and online.

Keywords: Social Justice, Community, understanding, Religion, connection

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54 Hermeneutical Attitudes to Islamic Art

Authors: Mohammad Hasan Kakizadeh


It is a matter of philosophical hermeneutics according to specifications, we can hand to his hermeneutic, hermeneutical approaches can be analyzed with Islamic art, Islamic art hermeneutical approaches can be of two types: one is to "Islamic Art" Art is considered the analogies and metaphors and mysteries using Nmvdgarha and tried to express spiritual or religious ideology that demonstrates the truth of Islam, and other efforts is that "art" is basically a way inconsistent with the interpretation that or "sharia," Islamic law, not be considered a way to recognize and praise God, his creation, and therefore, the "art" is a tool for reform or knowledge to these two efforts, the first modern effort to try and of course preceded by the second. However, the first attempt is sometimes forgotten that the early centuries AD, with respect to the nature of hermeneutic thinkers for the arts could not resist the assaults of "art" in general, or specifically some legitimacy to the "art" of business and Knnd.dyn art at the stage of its history, which distinguishes them from each other are united with each other so easily possible. However, with the rise of the monotheistic religions and leave the Pagan religions, religion, and art renewed bond becomes a difficult problem. Much of the efforts of Muslim scholars have focused on the legitimacy back to the art. These attempts without a hermeneutic approach to the "art" does not correlate with success. The findings and conclusion in this study is that the hermeneutic approach to Islamic art, whether or Mshrvsazanh Mnakavanh what Bazsazanh or deconstructive, can not ignore the fact that Islamic art has been shaped by Mabdaltbyhay.

Keywords: Art, Religion, hermeneutics, Islamic Art

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53 Does Socio-Religious Categories Can Make Difference in Fertility: A Study of Malda District of West Bengal

Authors: Nazmul Hussain, Saba Owais


The paper is an effort to come across the fertility differential by religion and socio-economic characteristic by religion. Religion and Socio-economic characteristic are conceptualised as touching demography in two ways- through its theoretical content, and in terms of the socio-economic ‘characteristics’ of different religious groups. The mean number of children ever born (MCEB) is used to measure fertility. Efficient contrast of Muslims and Non-Muslims shows little difference in their theological positions on demographic issues, with the omission of their position on birth control. The present paper using data from a primary field survey of 2590 households in the Malda district of West Bengal. Older and younger cohorts of women were examined separately for assessing fertility differential. MCEB was found to be high for women with husbands employed as labourers with a low monthly income. This was true for both the cohorts, but fertility levels were much higher among the older cohort. Low MCEB was found with increasing income and for those in regular salaried jobs. The analysis shows that there is a major dissimilarity in the effects of various socio-economic aspects on the number of children-ever-born among the religious groups, suggesting that religious groups may need to be targeted differently by policy-makers in order to influence demographic decision-making.

Keywords: Religion, Fertility, socio-economic differences, MCEB

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52 The Embodied World — A Redefinition of "Emptiness" in Heart Sutra from the Perspective of Cognitive Science

Authors: Ke Ma


Through the long course of history, Buddhism has captivated generations of brilliant minds with its enlightening but elusive discernment. Far from religious dogmas, Buddhism not only represents spiritual revelation, but also logical reasoning.Among all of Buddhism’s concepts, emptiness is the most famous, and abstruse one. This word resulted from an inaccurate translation confuses both Buddhists and religious scholars who understand Heart Sutra based on its English version. In this essay, the idea of “emptiness” will be reinterpreted as “information,” leading not only to a clarification of the ideology of Buddhism, but also to greater correspondence between Buddhism concepts and cognitive science.

Keywords: Cognitive Science, Psychology, Religion, Buddhism

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51 Back to Basics: Where is Allah? A Survey of Generation Z Youth at the Canadian University of Dubai

Authors: Said Baadel


The belief of a heavenly God is enshrined to all Abrahamic religions which form the three major religions of the world today. Muslims believe in Allah who is above the seven heavens. The youth in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) study Islamic courses as part of their high school curriculum and are required to take at least one Islamic course at the university level to gain credit hours towards their general education (GENED). This paper provides an insight of what the youth studying in the UAE think of where Allah was. Our analysis reveals that a big number of Muslim youth were not sure, especially those from the Middle Eastern and Arab countries bringing to the conclusion that this subject needs to be revisited again in the course work.

Keywords: Islam, Religion, Allah, Tawheed

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50 The Relationship between Religious Orientation and Country Reputation

Authors: Sibel Aydogan, Ceyda Aysuna


Religion is a social superstructure institution. Religious beliefs and practices are undeniable phenomena in the simplest and / or most complex societies and communities. All individuals in the society are not devout, but yet they are affected by religion one way or another. This study aims to identify the relationship between religion and country reputation. The uniqueness of the study lies in the fact that in the literature there is no study aimed to examine this relationship. Because of this reason the findings of the study can have important implications to fill this literature gap. Beyond examining this relationship, in the study also different religious oriented people’s opinions of country reputation was analyzed. The results of the analysis of data consisting of 985 respondents reveal that there is a significant relationship between religion and people’s opinions on country reputation. Another important finding of the study is people with different religious orientations have different opinions about a country’s reputation. The findings of the reputation may be important for people and organizations who are responsible for increasing a country’s reputation. Also the findings may shed light on country branding activities.

Keywords: Turkey, Religion, religiosity, religious orientation, country reputation

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49 Women Right in Islam and Misconceptions: A Critical Study

Authors: Abubakar Ibrahim Usman, Mustapha Halilu


The provisions of rights to women in Islam have generated and are creating a tense and serious debate among Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Muslims are arguing that Islam provides right to Womenfolk, but their actions, cultural/traditional practices, and treatment reveal otherwise, Non-Muslims, on the other hand, held a different view, saying that Islam has never made such provision. One may not blame their misconception, due to the wide spectrum of treatment given to women in many Muslim societies, which generated, fueled and geared the misconceptions and ceaseless barrage of sensational articles, movies and negative portrayal of Islam today. It has to put in our minds, many actions and Crimes of some Muslims (Who are mostly minority) did not represent the teachings and precepts of Islam, just like one cannot put blame on the parents of a child whose actions fall short of his home background.

Keywords: Islam, Religion, Women Rights, cultural practices

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48 Religion and the Constitutional Regulation

Authors: Valbona Metaj


The relationship between the state and the religion is different based on the fact that how powerful is the religion faith in a state and of the influences that affected the views of the constitution drafters according to the constitutional system they were based to draft their constitution. This paper aims at providing, through a comparative methodology, how it is regulated by the constitution the relationship between the state and the religion. The object of this study are the constitutions of Italy as a nation with catholic religious tradition, Greece as a nation with orthodox religion tradition, and Turkey as a nation which represents Muslim religion, while Albania as a nation known for its religious plurality. In particular, the analysis will be focused on the secular or religious principle provided in the constitution of each respective state. This comparative overview intends to discern which of the states analyzed is more tolerant and fully respects the freedom of religion. It results that most of the states subject of this study, despite their religious tradition have chosen the secular principle in their constitutions, but the religious freedom is differently guaranteed.

Keywords: Constitution, Religion, Religious Freedom, secular

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47 Complicity of Religion in Legalizing Corruption: Perspective from an Emerging Economy

Authors: S. Opadere Olaolu


Religion, as a belief-system, has been with humanity for a long time. It has been recognised to impact the lives of individuals, groups, and communities that hold it dear. Whether the impact is regarded as positive or not depends on the assessor. Thus, for reasons of likely subjectiveness, possible irrationality, and even outright deliberate abuse, most emerging economies seek to follow the pattern of separating the State from religion; yet it is certain that the influence of religion on the State is incontrovertible. Corruption, on the other hand, though difficult to define in precise terms, is clearly perceptible. It could manifest in very diverse ways, including the abuse of a position of trust for the gain of an individual, or of a group with shared ulterior motive. Religion has been perceived, among others, as a means to societal stability, marital stability, infusion of moral rectitude, and conscience with regards to right and wrong. In time past, credible and dependable characters reposed largely and almost exclusively with those bearing deep religious conviction. Even in the political circle, it was thought that the involvement of those committed to religion would bring about positive changes, for the benefit of the society at large. On the contrary, in recent times, religion has failed in these lofty expectations. The level of corruption in most developing economies, and the increase of religion seem to be advancing pari passu. For instance, religion has encroached into political space, and vice versa, without any differentiable posture to the issue of corruption. Worse still, religion appears to be aiding and abetting corruption, overtly and/or covertly. Therefore, this discourse examined from the Nigerian perspective—as a developing economy—, and from a multidisciplinary stand-point of Law and Religion, the issue of religion; secularism; corruption; romance of religion and politics; inability of religion to exemplify moral rectitude; indulgence of corruption by religion; and the need to keep religion in private sphere, with proper checks. The study employed primary and secondary sources of information. The primary sources included the Constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended; judicial decisions; and the Bible. The secondary sources comprised of information from books, journals, newspapers, magazines and Internet documents. Data obtained from these sources were subjected to content analysis. Findings of this study include the breach of constitutional provisions to keep religion out of State affairs; failure of religion to curb corruption; outright indulgence of corruption by religion; and religion having become a political tool. In conclusion, it is considered apposite still to keep the State out of religion, and to seek enforcement of the constitutional provisions in this respect. The stamp of legality placed on overt and covert corruption by religion should be removed by all means.

Keywords: Corruption, Religion, complicity, legalizing

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46 Working Without a Safety Net: Exploring Struggles and Dilemmas Faced by Greek Orthodox Married Clergy Through a Mental Health Lens, in the Australian Context

Authors: Catherine Constantinidis (Nee Tsacalos)


This paper presents one aspect of the larger Masters qualitative study exploring the roles of married Greek Orthodox clergy, the Priest and Presbytera, under the wing of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. This ground breaking research necessitated the creation of primary data within a phenomenological paradigm drawing from lived experiences of the Priests and Presbyteres in contemporary society. As a Social Worker, a bilingual (Greek/English) Mental Health practitioner and a Presbytera, the questions constantly raised and pondered are: Who do the Priest and Presbytera turn to when they experience difficulties or problems? Where do they go for support? What is in place for their emotional and psychological health and well-being? Who cares for the spiritual carer? Who is there to catch our falling clergy and their wives? What is their 'safety net'? Identified phenomena of angst, stress, frustration and confusion experienced by the Priest and (by extension) the Presbytera, within their position, coupled with basic assumptions, perceptions and expectations about their roles, the role of the organisation (the Church), and their role as spouse often caused confusion and in some cases conflict. Unpacking this complex and multi-dimensional relationship highlighted not only the roller coaster of emotions, potentially affecting their physical and mental health, but also the impact on the interwoven relationships of marriage and ministry. The author considers these phenomena in the light of bilingual cultural and religious organisational practice frameworks, specifically the Greek Orthodox Church, whilst filtering these findings through a mental health lens. One could argue that it is an expectation that clergy (and by default their wives) take on the responsibility to be kind, nurturing and supportive to others. However, when it comes to taking care of self, they are not nearly as kind. This research looks at a recurrent theme throughout the interviews where all participants talked about limited support systems and poor self care strategies and the impact this has on their ministry, mental, emotional, and physical health and ultimately on their relationships with self and others. The struggle all participants encountered at some point in their ministry was physical, spiritual and psychological burn out. The overall aim of the researcher is to provide a voice for the Priest and the Presbytera painting a clearer picture of these roles and facilitating an awareness of struggles and dilemmas faced in their ministry. It is hoped these identified gaps in self care strategies and support systems will provide solid foundations for building a culturally sensitive, empathetic and effective support system framework, incorporating the spiritual and psychological well-being of the Priest and Presbytera, a ‘safety net’. A supplementary aim is to inform and guide ministry practice frameworks for clergy, spouses, the church hierarchy and religious organisations on a local and global platform incorporating some sort of self-care system.

Keywords: Mental Health, Religion, care for the carer, Priest, Presbytera, support system

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45 Sport and Religion, the Specificity of Polish Stadiums

Authors: Michal Mazurkiewicz


It would seem at first glance that sport and religion are totally separate spheres. Yet, as a matter of fact, sport exists in religion (for example, In the teachings of John Paul II) and religion exists in sport (not only in religious rituals of players and fans). In this paper, the author examining the specific behaviours of Polish football fans and players analyses the question of religion in sport, mostly football. Like in the case of other countries, football holds a special place in Polish sporting history which constitutes an interesting subject of scientific research. It is a great identity builder and it influences culture which manifests itself in many ways (films, music, literature, etc.). Football is definitely a fascinating and colourful discipline pervaded with miscellaneous phenomena worth analysing. The aim of the paper is to show the "religious" uniqueness of Polish football fandom –namely, religious choreographies, participation in masses and pilgrimages to the Jasna Gora Shrine in Częstochowa. The peculiar combination of sport and religion visible at the stadiums and during the pilgrimages is analysed by the author. This mixture definitely adds colour to Polish sport and makes it intriguing to people from other countries. Religious rituals of the players are also examined here. The methods of the research included: Observations of numerous matches, looking through sports books, newspapers and magazines, interviews with the fans. The conclusions corroborate the thesis that sport may be and often is an important element of sporting contests. The main reasons and justifications are given in this analysis.

Keywords: Sport, Religion, football, newspapers, colourful

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44 The Lightener of Love: The World Peace Religion

Authors: Abdul Razzaq


It is known that every human society throughout the world and throughout history, the various religions and their theologies, ethics, and traditions influence everything in their life, shaping socio-economic and political ideas, attitudes and institutions. It is observed that religious teachings and traditions shape how people respond to each other in their daily social inter-course and interaction in the community at large. The majorities of us preserves and protect our own religious beliefs and traditions as generally they symbolize our essential identities, theologically, historically, culturally, socially, and even politically. Our religious faiths symbolize our dignity as persons and our very souls as communities and individuals. It thus goes without saying that in our multi-racial and multi-religious society, the only way for us to live in peace and harmony is for us to live in peaceful co-existence. It is important for us to recognize, understand, accept and respect each other regardless of our respective belief. The history of interfaith is as ancient as the religions since men and women when not at war with their neighbors have always made an effort to understand them (not least because understanding is a strategy for defense, but also because for as long as there is dialogue wars are delayed).

Keywords: Society, Islam, Peace, Religion

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43 Religion, Health and Ageing: A Geroanthropological Study on Spiritual Dimensions of Well-Being among the Elderly Residing in Old Age Homes in Jallandher Punjab, India

Authors: A. Rohit Kumar, B. R. K. Pathak


Background: Geroanthropology or the anthropology of ageing is a term which can be understood in terms of the anthropology of old age, old age within anthropology, and the anthropology of age. India is known as the land of spirituality and philosophy and is the birthplace of four major religions of the world namely Hinduasim, Buddhisim, Jainisim, and Sikhism. The most dominant religion in India today is Hinduism. About 80% of Indians are Hindus. Hinduism is a religion with a large number of Gods and Goddesses. Religion in India plays an important role at all life stages i.e. at birth, adulthood and particularly during old age. India is the second largest country in the world with 72 million elder persons above 60 years of age in 2001 as compared to china 127 million. The very concept of old age homes in India is new. The elderly people staying away from their homes, from their children or left to them is not considered to be a very happy situation. This paper deals with anthropology of ageing, religion and spirituality among the elderly residing in old age homes and tries to explain that how religion plays a vital role in the health of the elderly during old age. Methods: The data for the present paper was collected through both Qualitative and Quantitative methods. Old age homes located in Jallandher (Punjab) were selected for the present study. Age sixty was considered as a cut off age. Narratives, case studies were collected from 100 respondents residing in old age homes. The dominant religion in Punjab was found to be Sikhism and Hinduism while Jainism and Buddhism were found to be in minority. It was found that as one grows older the religiosity increases. Religiosity and sprituality was found to be directly proportional to ageing. Therefore religiosity and health were found to be connected. Results and Conclusion: Religion was found out to be a coping mechanism during ill health. The elderly living in old age homes were purposely selected for the study as the elderly in old age homes gets medical attention provided only by the old age home authorities. Moreover, the inmates in old age homes were of low socio-economic status couldn’t afford medical attention on their own. It was found that elderly who firmly believed in religion were found to be more satisfied with their health as compare to elderly who does not believe in religion at all. Belief in particular religion, God and godess had an impact on the health of the elderly.

Keywords: Ageing, Religion, Spirituality, geroanthropology

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42 Lesson of Moral Teaching of the Sokoto Caliphate in the Quest for Genuine National Development in Nigeria

Authors: Murtala Marafa


It’s been 50 years now since we began the desperate search for a genuine all round development as a nation. Painfully though, like a wild goose chase, the search for that promised land had remain elusive. In this piece, recourse is made to the sound administrative qualities of the 19th century Sokoto Caliphate leaders. It enabled them to administer the vast entity on the basis of mutual peace and justice. It also guaranteed a just political order built on a sound and viable economy. The paper is of the view that if the Nigerian society can allow for a replication of such moral virtues as exemplified by the founding fathers of the Caliphate, Nigeria could transform into a politically coherent and economically viable nation aspired by all.

Keywords: Administration, Religion, Sokoto Caliphate, moral teachings

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41 Morality in Actual Behavior: The Moderation Effect of Identification with the Ingroup and Religion on Norm Compliance

Authors: Shauma L. Tamba


This study examined whether morality is the most important aspect in actual behavior. The prediction was that people tend to behave in line with moral (as compared to competence) norms, especially when such norms are presented by their ingroup. The actual behavior that was tested was support for a military intervention without a mandate from the UN. In addition, this study also examined whether identification with the ingroup and religion moderated the effect of group and norm on support for the norm that was prescribed by their ingroup. The prediction was that those who identified themselves higher with the ingroup moral would show a higher support for the norm. Furthermore, the prediction was also that those who have religion would show a higher support for the norm in the ingroup moral rather than competence. In an online survey, participants were asked to read a scenario in which a military intervention without a mandate was framed as either the moral (but stupid) or smart (but immoral) thing to do by members of their own (ingroup) or another (outgroup) society. This study found that when people identified themselves with the smart (but immoral) norm, they showed a higher support for the norm. However, when people identified themselves with the moral (but stupid) norm, they tend to show a lesser support towards the norm. Most of the results in the study did not support the predictions. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.

Keywords: Religion, morality‎, Competence, ingroup identification, group norm

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40 When Religion is Meaningful and When Religion is Detrimental

Authors: Tennyson Samraj


The intent of this paper is threefold: (1) to propose the Epicurean tenet that beliefs associated with God are to be detached from the transcendent God, as the basis to end religious conflicts; (2) to project John Hick’s advice that no one has monopoly over religious claims, as the basis for religious tolerance and (3) to present the common sense approach to respect religion without disrespecting science. Religious claims create societal tension on two matters: conflict between believers and conflict with the sciences. Anyone interested in the two fundamental questions related to consciousness and cosmology as to how and why the universe exists will have to deal with science and religion. However, while science addresses the question of how the universe came into existence and how it works, religion addresses the question of why the universe exists. If religion is a quest to understand why the universe exists, then we must address the question as to when religion is considered meaningful and when is it considered detrimental. Is there a relationship between why we choose to live and why the universe exists? Science and Religion are partners in defining our life in the context of the universe. Science without Religion limits itself to knowing ‘how’ the universe came into existence without questioning ‘why’; Religion without Science limits itself of knowing ‘why’ the universe exists without knowing ‘how.’ Is it possible to detach beliefs about God from God? When religious claims are understood in the context of the questions that necessitates the answers, religious claims can be understood as being separate from the transcendent God. This paper purports that this Epicurean tenet provides the impetus to address the questions that necessitate religious claims. This helps us to explain the relevance of why we believe in what we believe; define the relationship between the self, soul and the sacred; and establish the connection between this life and the after-life in the context of life-beyond-this-planet.

Keywords: Religion, epicurus, John Hick, relevance of religion

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39 Difference and Haeccities: On the Religious Foundations of Deleuze’s Philosophy of Difference

Authors: Tony See


Although much has been devoted to Deleuze’s ethics of difference, relatively little has been focused on how his political perspective is informed by his appropriation of religious ideas and theological concepts. The bulk of the scholarly works have examined his political views with the assumption that they have little or nothing to do with his ideas of religions at all. This is in spite of the fact that Deleuze has drawn heavily from religious and theological thinkers such as Duns Scotus, Spinoza and Nietzsche. This dimension can also be traced in Deleuze’s later works, when he collaborated with Felix Guattari in creating an anti-Oedipal philosophy of difference after May 68. This paper seeks to reverse the tendency in contemporary scholarship ignore Deleuze’s ‘religious’ framework in his understanding of the ethical and the political. Towards this aim, we will refer to key texts in Deleuze’s corpus such as Expressionism in Philosophy, A Thousand Plateaus and others.

Keywords: Identity, Religion, Theology, difference, haeccities

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38 Religion: A Tool for Conflict Resolution and Peace in Nigerian Society

Authors: V. U. Onyemauwa


Conflicts have always been part of human societies. So long as there is interaction amongst individuals or societies, there are bound to be conflicts as a result of the fact that interests among individuals and societies vary. The issue of conflict has become one of the regular headlines in the daily news of the Nigerian and global media today. Nigerian polity has suffered from one conflict or another, ranging from religious, civil, political, cultural, regional and ethnic violence. It has been found out that, the most disturbing part of these acts of conflicts in Nigeria and around the globe is that most of them have traced their roots to religion. Even some perpetrators of these acts of conflicts most of the time justify their actions with religion, thereby wrongly making religion an object of conflict and violence. In this regard, the study seeks to project religion as a potent tool for conflict resolution because it has a way of permeating through the hearts of men. It has a special responsibility of identifying conflicts and proffer solutions. It also has to provide theological reasoning as to why and how these conflicts come about and how they can possibly be solved. Religious actors are known to contribute to the processes of structural reform necessary for the restoration of productive social relations and political stability after a period of conflict and human rights abuses. The study examines the modalities for projecting religious conflict management strategies in Nigeria using an analysis of relevant documents as well as Black’s Social Control Theory and Thomas-Kilmann’s Model of Conflict Management as its theoretical frameworks. It recommends for a religiously-based means of conflict resolution in Nigeria. Religious individuals and faith-based organisations, as carriers of religious ideas are implore to play active roles in conflict resolution and peace-building in Nigeria by creating conducive environment for peaceful talks, mediation and reconciliation. This will enhance social cohesion, provides solid foundation for peace, progress and development in the society.

Keywords: Peace, Conflict, Religion, Resolution

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37 U.S. Supreme Court Decision-Making and Bounded Rationality

Authors: Joseph Ignagni, Rebecca Deen


In this study, the decision making of the Justices of the United States Supreme Court will be considered in terms of constrained maximization and cognitive-cybernetic theory. This paper will integrate research in such fields as law, psychology, political science, economics and decision-making theory. It will be argued that due to its heavy workload, the Supreme Court may be forced to make decisions in a boundedly rational manner. The ideas and theory put forward here will be considered in the area of the Court’s decisions involving religion. Therefore, the cases involving the U.S. Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause and Establishment Clause will be analyzed.

Keywords: Religion, Bounded Rationality, cognitive-cybernetic, US supreme court

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36 Pilgrimage: Between Culture and Religion Case study of Pilgrimage in Shia tradition in Indonesia, Traditional Philosophy approach of Seyyed Hosein Nasr and Religious Experience of William James

Authors: Ma'ruf


Pilgrimage has a universal value, founded in every religion. No exception to Islam, has a ritual value, and became part of the religion, as well as the procession of a social culture in nature. The tradition of pilgrimage, especially in Indonesia, rooted in the society, because the Islam that entered into the archipelago through Sufism (tasawuf). In the Sufi tradition, the interconnecty of the human spirit (ruh) to the spirit (ruh) of God, must go through a guardian (wasilah) appointed by God himself ,the prophet Muhammad and wali. In the process of pilgrimage rituals usually by reading the prayer to praise God, the prophet and wali, then convey intent (hajat). In the pilgrimage procession, usually not only done in the house, but aslo completed the process by direct pilgrimage visiting the tombs of saints. The tradition of pilgrimage, especially in Indonesia continues to be maintained, and still attached to the traditions in Nahdiyin (NU followers). The relationship with God manifested in wasilah prayer to God, the prophet Muhammad, the best companions of the Prophet and Nine wali (Songo), who had been influential in spreading Islam in Java. The tradition of pilgrimage in Indonesia is also linked to the Shia community in Indonesia, along with a growing number of followers of the Shia in Indonesia, especially after the Islamic revolution of Iran after the 1979. Pilgrimage in the Shia community, Likewise NU members also pray with supplication of tawasul to the Prophet and Shia Imams. If NU members to make improvements pilgrimage to visit the tomb wali Songo in Java, residents Shia pilgrimage rituals abroad, usually one package with umrah trip, with a pilgrimage to the tomb of the prophet, proceed to the tomb of the Imam Shia, in Iran and Iraq. Trends of pilgrimage as a ritual in the Indonesian Shia tradition, together with the growing number of Shia residents increased, followed by increasing the awareness (syi’isme) - bond with the Imam, Shia. In every certain months (arbaeen, asyuro) Shia pilgrims routinely perform pilgrimage, along with increasing number spiritual travel.

Keywords: Culture, Religion, Pilgrimage, Syria, traditional approach, religious experience

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35 Mechanisms of Cultural Change Resistance through Cultures

Authors: Horaya Mostafa Ahmed


All cultures are inherently predisposed to change and, at the same time, to resisting change. There are dynamic processes operating that encourage the acceptance of new ideas and things, while there are others that encourage changeless stability. Despite the dramatic changes that have taken place in all human cultures, there are cultures still steadfast and resist change. These cultures resist through some culture mechanisms like, cultural boundaries, ethnocentrism, religion, and cultural relativity. So this paper is an attempt to discover these mechanisms of cultural change resistance and to ask is cultural change always required.

Keywords: Resistance, Religion, Cultural Change, ethnocentrism, cultural boundaries, cultural relativity

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34 Predicting Halal Food Consumption for Muslim Turkish Immigrants Living in Germany

Authors: Elif Eroglu Hall, Nurdan Sevim


The purposes of this research are to clarify the determinants of Muslim immigrants in consuming halal food by using components of Theory of Planned Behavior. The study was done by surveying Turkish immigrants living in Cologne Germany. The results of this study show that the intentions of Muslim Turkish immigrants in consuming halal food is influenced by attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control.

Keywords: Religion, Halal Food, Immigrants, theory of planned behavior

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33 Ajmer Dargah: Sustaining the Identity of a Religious Precinct

Authors: Vinod Chovvayil Panengal


The idea of secularism in India has taken a different direction after independence when religion became a reason for a great divide in, otherwise harmonious society. Since then the religious spaces became protected and more sacred and not shared. However, there is a larger threat on beliefs, rituals, and the spirituality of these religions in the form of technology, tourism and globalization. In a way, they weaken the importance of religion from our society over a period of time. The importance of religion to a sense of place has been overlooked or diminished. Religion provides symbolic meaning to places which distinguishes certain physical environments from otherwise similar ones. The rapid transformation of urban spaces, eliminating the territorial differences of sense, spirit and identity have started creating urban centers rooting out this genre of unique urban spaces from our cities. Indian cities, with a strong identity created by rich and colorful overlays of culture through its evolution, have been threatened by this de-territorialization. This paper enquires the relationship of the symbol of the identity and religiosity of a place, through spatial form, rituals and activity, and accommodating the technology and the changing social structure within the bounds of that relationship. The subjects for this enquiry are Sufism and the Sufi city- Ajmer. The internal transformations in the ideologies of Islam and Sufism and the changes in the society surround it triggered the phenomena of de- territorialization. The need for establishing a symbiotic relationship between the spiritual content and the social life, through the manifestation of space, time and activity derived from this concern on abated territory of Sufism inside the city. Redirecting transformation catalyst such as tourism, technology, etc, towards the improvement of physical and social conditions, preservation of the heritage and the expansion of the notional idea of religion over the city will help to re- territorialize city as a Sufi city.

Keywords: Islam, Identity, Religion, Sense of place

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32 Religion and Politeness: An Exploratory Study for the Integration of Religious Expressions with Politeness Strategies in Iraqi Computer-Mediated Communication

Authors: Rasha Alsabbah


This study explores the relationship between polite language use and religion in the Iraqi culture in computer mediated communication. It tackles the speech acts where these expressions are employed, the frequency of their occurrence and the aims behind them. It also investigates if they have equivalent expressions in English and the possibility of translating them in intercultural communication. Despite the wide assumption that language is a reflection of culture and religion, it started to grant the attention sociologists during the recent 40 years when scholars have questioned the possible interconnection between religion and language in which religion is used as a mean of producing language and performing pragmatic functions. It is presumed that Arabs in general, and Iraqis in particular, have an inclination to use religious vocabulary in showing politeness in their greeting and other speech acts. Due to Islamic religion and culture’s influences, it is observed that Iraqis are very much concerned of maintaining social solidarity and harmonious relationships which make religion a politeness strategy that operates as the key point of their social behaviours. In addition, religion has found to influence almost all their interactions in which they have a tendency of invoking religious expressions, the lexicon of Allah (God), and Qur’anic verses in their daily politeness discourse. This aspect of Islamic culture may look strange, especially to people who come from individualist societies, such as England. Data collection in this study is based on messaging applications like Viber, WhatsApp, and Facebook. After gaining the approval of the participants, there was an investigation for the different aims behind these expressions and the pragmatic function that they perform. It is found that Iraqis tend to incorporate the lexicon of Allah in most of their communication. Such employment is not only by religious people but also by individuals who do not show strong commitment to religion. Furthermore, the social distance and social power between people do not play a significant role in increasing or reducing the rate of using these expressions. A number of these expressions, though can be translated into English, do not have one to one counterpart or reflect religious feeling. In addition, they might sound odd upon being translated or transliterated in oral and written communication in intercultural communication.

Keywords: Intercultural Communication, Religion, Speech Acts, politeness, computer mediated communication (CMC), situation bound utterances rituals

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31 Religious Capital and Entrepreneurial Behavior in Small Businesses: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Creativity

Authors: Waleed Omri


With the growth of the small business sector in emerging markets, developing a better understanding of what drives 'day-to-day' entrepreneurial activities has become an important issue for academicians and practitioners. Innovation, as an entrepreneurial behavior, revolves around individuals who creatively engage in new organizational efforts. In a similar vein, the innovation behaviors and processes at the organizational member level are central to any corporate entrepreneurship strategy. Despite the broadly acknowledged importance of entrepreneurship and innovation at the individual level in the establishment of successful ventures, the literature lacks evidence on how entrepreneurs can effectively harness their skills and knowledge in the workplace. The existing literature illustrates that religion can impact the day-to-day work behavior of entrepreneurs, managers, and employees. Religious beliefs and practices could affect daily entrepreneurial activities by fostering mental abilities and traits such as creativity, intelligence, and self-efficacy. In the present study, we define religious capital as a set of personal and intangible resources, skills, and competencies that emanate from an individual’s religious values, beliefs, practices, and experiences and may be used to increase the quality of economic activities. Religious beliefs and practices give individuals a religious satisfaction, which can lead them to perform better in the workplace. In addition, religious ethics and practices have been linked to various positive employee outcomes in terms of organizational change, job satisfaction, and entrepreneurial intensity. As investigations of their consequences beyond direct task performance are still scarce, we explore if religious capital plays a role in entrepreneurs’ innovative behavior. In sum, this study explores the determinants of individual entrepreneurial behavior by investigating the relationship between religious capital and entrepreneurs’ innovative behavior in the context of small businesses. To further explain and clarify the religious capital-innovative behavior link, the present study proposes a model to examine the mediating role of entrepreneurial creativity. We use both Islamic work ethics (IWE) and Islamic religious practices (IRP) to measure Islamic religious capital. We use structural equation modeling with a robust maximum likelihood estimation to analyze data gathered from 289 Tunisian small businesses and to explore the relationships among the above-described variables. In line with the theory of planned behavior, only religious work ethics are found to increase the innovative behavior of small businesses’ owner-managers. Our findings also clearly demonstrate that the connection between religious capital-related variables and innovative behavior is better understood if the influence of entrepreneurial creativity, as a mediating variable of the aforementioned relationship, is taken into account. By incorporating both religious capital and entrepreneurial creativity into the innovative behavior analysis, this study provides several important practical implications for promoting innovation process in small businesses.

Keywords: Creativity, Small Business, Religion, Entrepreneurial Behavior

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30 Socio-Cultural Representations through Lived Religions in Dalrymple’s Nine Lives

Authors: Suman


In the continuous interaction between the past and the present that historiography is, each time when history gets re/written, a new representation emerges. This new representation is a reflection of the earlier archives and their interpretations, fragmented remembrances of the past, as well as the reactions to the present. Memory, or lack thereof, and stereotyping generally play a major role in this representation. William Dalrymple’s Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India (2009) is one such written account that sets out to narrate the representations of religion and culture of India and contemporary reactions to it. Dalrymple’s nine saints belong to different castes, sects, religions, and regions. By dealing with their religions and expressions of those religions, and through the lived mysticism of these nine individuals, the book engages with some important issues like class, caste and gender in the contexts provided by historical as well as present India. The paper studies the development of religion and accompanied feeling of religiosity in modern as well as historical contexts through a study of these elements in the book. Since, the language used in creation of texts and the literary texts thus produced create a new reality that questions the stereotypes of the past, and in turn often end up creating new stereotypes or stereotypical representations at times, the paper seeks to actively engage with the text in order to identify and study such stereotypes, along with their changing representations. Through a detailed examination of the book, the paper seeks to unravel whether some socio-cultural stereotypes existed earlier, and whether there is development of new stereotypes from Dalrymple’s point of view as an outsider writing on issues that are deeply rooted in the cultural milieu of the country. For this analysis, the paper takes help from the psycho-literary theories of stereotyping and representation.

Keywords: Representation, Religion, stereotyping, William Dalrymple

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