Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 802

Search results for: Philosophy of Religion

802 Towards an Eastern Philosophy of Religion: on the Contradictory Identity of Philosophy and Religion

Authors: Carlo Cogliati

Abstract:

The study of the relationship of philosophical reason with the religious domain has been very much a concern for many of the Western philosophical and theological traditions. In this essay, I will suggest a proposal for an Eastern philosophy of religion based on Nishida’s contradictory identity of the two: philosophy soku hi (is, and yes is not) religion. This will pose a challenge to the traditional Western contents and methods of the discipline. This paper aims to serve three purposes. First, I will critically assess Charlesworth’s typology of the relation between philosophy and religion in the West: philosophy as/for/against/about/after religion. I will also engage Harrison’s call for a global philosophy of religion(s) and argue that, although it expands the scope and the range of the questions to address, it is still Western in its method. Second, I will present Nishida’s logic of absolutely contradictory self-identity as the instrument to transcend the dichotomous pair of identity and contradiction: ‘A is A’ and ‘A is not A’. I will then explain how this ‘concrete’ logic of the East, as opposed to the ‘formal’ logic of the West, exhibits at best the bilateral dynamic relation between philosophy and religion. Even as Nishida argues for the non-separability of the two, he is also aware and committed to their mutual non-reducibility. Finally, I will outline the resulting new relation between God and creatures. Nishida in his philosophy soku hi religion replaces the traditional Western dualistic concept of God with the Eastern non-dualistic understanding of God as “neither transcendent nor immanent, and at the same time both transcendent and immanent.” God is therefore a self-identity of contradiction, nowhere and yet everywhere present in the world of creatures. God as absolute being is also absolute nothingness: the world of creatures is the expression of God’s absolute self-negation. The overreaching goal of this essay is to offer an alternative to traditional Western approaches to philosophy of religion based on Nishida’s logic of absolutely contradictory self-identity, as an example of philosophical and religious counter(influence). The resulting relationship between philosophy and religion calls for a revision of traditional concepts and methods. The outcome is not to reformulate the Eastern predilection to not sharply distinguish philosophical thought from religious enlightenment rather to bring together philosophy and religion in the place of identity and difference.

Keywords: basho, Nishida Kitaro, shukyotetsugaku, soku hi, zettai mujunteki jikodoitsu no ronri

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801 Prospect for Peace: Criticism to Over-Focusing on Religion in Conflicts

Authors: Leyi Wang

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The effect of religion on conflicts is usually over-focused. Religion is not the root cause of conflicts. There are always social, political or economic factors pushing the acceleration of conflicts. Meanwhile, the charisma of religion on calling for adherents is often utilized by political leaders as a tool of providing legitimacy to the initiating of violence and mobilizing the public during conflicts. What people identify from the connections between religion and conflicts is fake. There are some strategies used by politicians to upgrade the conflicts into violence. Consequently, there are some assumptions of which try to limit the religion’s effects on accelerating conflicts. This essay aims to discuss the roles of religion in international relations and argues that the religion difference is not the real source of conflicts in the globe, by reviewing the relevant literature for understanding the research background and gap of this topic. Also, this essay will suggest some implementations on dealing with the regional conflicts.

Keywords: religion, conflicts, criticism, international relations

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800 The Investigation on the Relationship between Religion and Development: By Focusing on Islam

Authors: Dalal Benboutrif

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Religion and Development relation is one of the most arguable phrases amongst politicians, philosophers, clerics, scientists, sociologists and even the public. The main objective of this research is to clarify the relations, contrasts and interactions between religion and the major types of development including social, political, economic and scientific developments, by focusing on Islam religion. A review of the literature was performed concerning religion and development relations and conflicts, by focusing on Islam religion and then the unprocessed tips of the review were characterized. Regarding clarification of the key points of the literature, three main sectors were considered in the research. The first sector of the research mainly focused on the philosophical views on religion, which were analyzed by main evaluation of three famous philosophers’ ideas: ‘Kant’, ‘Hegel’ and ‘Weber’, and then a critical discussion on Weber’s idea about Islam and development was applied. The second sector was specified to ‘Religion and Development’ and mainly discussed the role of religion in development through poverty reduction, the interconnection of religion, spirituality and social development, religious education effects on social development, and the relation of religion with political development. The third sector was specified to ‘Islam and Development’ and mainly discussed the Islamic golden age of science, major reasons of today’s backwardness (non-development) of most Islamic countries, and Quranic instructions regarding adaptability of Islam with development. The findings of the current research approved the research hypothesis as: ‘Religious instructions (included Islam) are not in conflict with development’, rather, it could have positive effects mainly on social development and it can pave the way for society to develop. Turkey was considered as a study model, as a successful developed Islamic country demonstrating the non-conflicting relation of Islam and development.

Keywords: development, Islam, philosophy, religion

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799 Theorization of Dalit Feminism: Critical Reflection on Caste

Authors: Sheetal Dinkar Kamble

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The philosophy of Dalit women revolves around the question of how gender and caste inequality manifest itself in social institutions such as the workplace, home, community, rural economy, and the public and private spaces. On the other hand, Dalit feminism explains the range of untouchability related discriminatory practices and how they incorporate the factor of gender in all social relationships. Gender theories are needed to explain how the caste system works on gendered assumptions and are selectively subject to the notion of caste in established ways of life and the punishments for deviating from them. Dalit feminists working in the field of traditional philosophy, from anthropology to epistemology, have introduced new concepts and approaches that would have to form the basis of their philosophy. It also presents philosophical knowledge of caste, gender, religion, class, and sexuality. They are bringing a particularly feminist lens on the issues of globalization, human rights, popular culture, and caste. Dalit women’s philosophy leads to Dalit feminism and knowledge creation. It is an analysis of caste history, contributions, and the challenges faced by Dalit women in rural India. The researcher claims that the method of the case study, to understand caste and gender involved in the discussion of Dalit feminist philosophy, is important. This study will contribute towards the development of dynamic theoretical frameworks directed towards social justice and equality.

Keywords: caste, gender, class, religion

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798 Thomas Kuhn, the Accidental Theologian: An Argument for the Similarity of Science and Religion

Authors: Dominic McGann

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Applying Kuhn’s model of paradigm shifts in science to cases of doctrinal change in religion has been a common area of study in recent years. Few authors, however, have sought an explanation for the ease with which this model of theory change in science can be applied to cases of religious change. In order to provide such an explanation of this analytic phenomenon, this paper aims to answer one central question: Why is it that a theory that was intended to be used in an analysis of the history of science can be applied to something as disparate as the doctrinal history of religion with little to no modification? By way of answering this question, this paper begins with an explanation of Kuhn’s model and its applications in the field of religious studies. Following this, Massa’s recently proposed explanation for this phenomenon, and its notable flaws will be explained by way of framing the central proposal of this article, that the operative parts of scientific and religious changes function on the same fundamental concept of changes in understanding. Focusing its argument on this key concept, this paper seeks to illustrate its operation in cases of religious conversion and in Kuhn’s notion of the incommensurability of different scientific paradigms. The conjecture of this paper is that just as a Pagan-turned-Christian ceases to hear Thor’s hammer when they hear a clap of thunder, so too does a Ptolemaic-turned-Copernican-astronomer cease to see the Sun orbiting the Earth when they view a sunrise. In both cases, the agent in question has undergone a similar change in universal understanding, which provides us with a fundamental connection between changes in religion and changes in science. Following an exploration of this connection, this paper will consider the implications that such a connection has for the concept of the division between religion and science. This will, in turn, lead to the conclusion that religion and science are more alike than they are opposed with regards to the fundamental notion of understanding, thereby providing an answer to our central question. The major finding of this paper is that Kuhn’s model can be applied to religious cases so easily because changes in science and changes in religion operate on the same type of change in understanding. Therefore, in summary, science and religion share a crucial similarity and are not as disparate as they first appear.

Keywords: Thomas Kuhn, science and religion, paradigm shifts, incommensurability, insight and understanding, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion

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797 Absence of Embodied Subject in History of Philosophy: Reasons and Roots

Authors: Elham Shirvani

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There have happened a few important breakthroughs in the philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and neurosciences in the recent century. These breakthroughs, despite their complexities and different opinion about them in each field, almost all of them tend to think of human consciousness as a virtually concrete fact which is related to the physiologic, social, and environmental situation. Such breakthroughs bring this question about why there has not only been such a dominant attitude in the history of philosophy, but there were a number of inclinations to deny it; why an issue like embodied knowledge, which is a revolutionary approach in both philosophy and neuroscience, and has excellent implications in a variety of fields, from educational sciences to artificial intelligence, has to be rejected by great philosophers all over the history of philosophy? To meet this question, in the present paper, a variety of reasons for that has been discussed; first, the origins of it had been retraced to Greeks (figures such as Anaxagoras, Plato, and Aristotle), then the reason for the continuation of this stream among moderns (figures like Descartes and Kant) was discussed. Afterward, the approaches and attitudes of pioneer philosophers, such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, who did not follow that mainstream, are studied.

Keywords: embodied knowledge, reason, language, metaphysic subject, embodied subject

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796 Philosophy, Geometry, and Purpose in Islamic and Gothic Architecture as Two Religious-Based Styles

Authors: P. Nafisi Poor, P. Javid

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Religion and divinity have always held important meaning to humans, and therefore it affects different aspects of life including art and architecture. Numerous works of art are related to religion whether supporting or denying it. Religion and religious scholars have influenced and changed art throughout history. This paper focuses on Islam and Christianity because these two religions have been the most discussed and most popular of all time, starting from the birth of Jesus to the arrival of Mohammad. Based on this popularity, these religions have influenced the arts and especially architecture. Islam on one hand changed Iranian and Arabian architecture and they applied it in different places around the world. From the appearance of Islam at 622 AD to this day, Islamic architecture has been evolving; however, one of the most important periods for this style was between 1501 AD and 1736 AD in Iran. Christianity, on the other hand, changed European architecture especially between 1150 AD and 1450 AD or the so-called "Gothic" era, which begins at medieval time and reaches its peak at International Gothic ages. At both of these periods, designing buildings based on spiritual concepts and divine statements reached its peak, and architects were considering God and religion as their center of attention. This article studies the focus on the religions of Islam and Christianity in terms of architecture and presents a general philosophy of both styles to comprehend the idea behind each one, followed by an analysis of their geometry and architectural aspects derived from the best examples, all to understand the purpose of each style and to realize, which one was more successful in reaching their purpose. Subsequently, a comprehensive review of each building is provided including 3D visualizations to help achieve the goal of the article. These studies can support diverse inquiries about both Islamic and Gothic architecture and can be used as a resource to support studies and research towards designing based on religion or for divine purposes.

Keywords: architecture, Gothic, Islamic, religion

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795 On the Difference between Cultural and Religious Identities

Authors: Mputu Ngandu Simon

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Culture and religion are two of the most significant markers of an individual or group's identity. Religion finds its expression in a given culture, and culture is the costume in which a religion is dressed. In other words, there is a crucial relationship between religion and culture which should not be ignored. On the one hand, religion influences the way in which a culture is consumed. A person's consumption of a certain cultural practice is influenced by his/her religious identity. On the other hand, cultural identity plays an important role in how a religion is practiced by its adherents. Some cultural practices become more credible when interpreted in religious terms just as religious doctrines and dogmas need cultural interpretation to be understood by a given people in a given context. This relationship goes so deep that sometimes the boundaries between culture and religion become blurred, and people end up mixing religion and culture. In some cases, the two are considered to be one and the same thing. However, despite this apparent sameness, religion and culture are two distinct aspects of identity, and they should always be considered as such. One results from knowledge, while the other has beliefs as its foundation. This essay explores the difference between cultural and religious identity by drawing from existing literature on this topic as a whole before applying that knowledge to two specific case studies: Christianity and Islam in some African and Asian countries.

Keywords: culture, religion, identity, knowledge, belief

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794 Local Religion 'Parmalim': Between Civilization and Faith

Authors: Sabrina Yulianti

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This study aims to explain the identity struggles of local religious communities in Indonesia. Local religion in Indonesia is not recognized by the government and is not incorporated into the official religion in Indonesia. This makes the local religions in Indonesia experienced the challenges and obstacles in fulfilling their rights as citizens of Indonesia. Challenges and barriers they experience such as: difficulty in making of the birth certificate and marriage. It is as experienced by one of the local religions namely Parmalim which located in North Sumatra. Not only difficulty in taking care of the bureaucracy as a citizen, but the local religion is seen as a minority and sometimes regarded as follower of deviate religion.

Keywords: local religion, faith, struggles, civilization, discrimination

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793 Inter Religion Harmony and World Peace: Theory from Shah Wali Ullah's Philosophy

Authors: Muhammad Usman Ghani

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Religious tolerance is essential for the establishment of peace in the world. In the system created by Almighty Allah where a lot of diversity is found, still, this world holds unity itself. In today's world, human beings have been divided into clashes of civilizations or divided on the basis of religions or lingual differences. A religious scholar of Indo- Pak subcontinent describes four ethics, on the basis of which all religions of the world can unite. He says in his philosophy of religion that, there is a number of elements common in all religions but four are very common and they are: cleanliness, nobel deeds, relation to Almighty (existence of Almighty) and justice. He says that this universe also holds its integrity in itself. All humans are different in their attributes but to be a human being is common in them. Similarly, all species of the universe are different in their nature, but to be the creature of God is commonly shared by all of them.

Keywords: inter-religious relation, peace and harmony, unity, four common ethics/virtues

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792 Aesthetics, Freedom and State in Hegel’s Philosophy

Authors: Akbar Jamali

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Many scholars consider Hegel’s philosophy of art as the greatest theory of aesthetics since Aristotle’s Poetics. ‘Freedom’ distinguishes modern, especially German Idealism with Greek philosophy. Therefore, introducing and contemplating on Hegel’s Aesthetics as a whole, freedom as the essence of art, Hegel’s controversial claim on the end of art, and the relation of art and state is the main theme of this study. Hegel’s aesthetics is to be understood in his whole system. According to Hegel’s speculative philosophy, being is to be understood as self-determining Reason or Idea. The self-determining Reason actualizes and realizes himself in the course of history. Idea in the process of self-actualization becomes more and more rational. It first actualizes itself in matter, then in non-conscious life, finally in conscious and self-conscious life. Self-conscious life is the most rational stage of development of Idea in which the subject can think and imagine, use language and exercise freedom. Hegel calls this self-conscious life Spirit (Geist). Therefore, emergence of human being is an essential moment in the process of self-determination of Reason. It is not accidental rather a necessity. The essence of spirit is freedom. Since the history is the process of the self-actualization if spirit, humankind becomes more and more, free. Spirit in its ‘Absolute’ form manifests itself into three forms; Art, Religion and philosophy. Art is the first stage in which Spirit understands itself. In fact, Art is the expression of human spirit, which is comprehended by our senses. Beauty is defined as the sensuous expression of free Spirit. The purpose of art is, therefore, to express, enjoy and contemplate on our freedom. State belongs to the realm of Objective spirit, while Art along with Religion and philosophy belong to the realm of Absolute Spirit. Absolute spirit is superior to Objective Spirit; therefore, state must not interfere in the realm of art. Limitation on art by state directly violates freedom and prevents development of national spirit. Genuine art leads us to freedom and richness of (national) Spirit. Using Hegel’s philosophy of art, we can comprehend why totalitarian states try to limit art and, why artists are the enemy of totalitarian states. In this philosophical system, we contemplate on art as a way to freedom and emancipation.

Keywords: aesthetics, freedom, spirit, state

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791 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

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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, geroanthropology, religion, spirituality

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

Authors: Tony See

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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: difference, haeccities, identity, religion, theology

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789 Religion and the Constitutional Regulation

Authors: Valbona Metaj

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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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788 Religious Discourses and Their Impact on Regional and Global Geopolitics: A Study of Deobandi in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan

Authors: Soumya Awasthi

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The spread of radical ideology is possible not merely through public meetings, protests, and mosques but even in schools, seminaries, and madrasas. The rhetoric created around the relationship between religion and conflict has been the primary factor for instigating global conflicts – when religion is used to achieve broader objectives. There have been numerous cases of religion-driven conflict around the world be it the Jewish revolt between 66 AD and 628 AD or the 1119 AD the Crusades revolt or during the Cold War period or the rise of right-wing politics in India. Some of the major developments which reiterate the significance of religion in the contemporary times include: (1) The emergence of theocracy in Iran in 1979 (2) Resurgence of world-wide religious beliefs in post-Soviet space. (3) Emergence of transnational terrorism shaped by twisted depiction of Islam by the self proclaimed protectors of the religion. Therefore this paper is premised in the argument that religion has always found itself on the periphery of the discipline of International Relations (IR), and has received less attention than it deserves. The focus of the topic is on the discourses of ‘Deobandi’ and its impact both on the geopolitics of the region- particularly in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan- and also at the global level. Discourse is a mechanism in use since time immemorial and has been a key tool to mobilise masses against the ruling authority. With the help of field surveys, qualitative and analytical method of research in religion and international relations, it has been found that they are numerous madrassas that are running illegally and are unregistered. These seminaries are operating in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, relation between religion and geopolitics was highlighted when there was a sudden spread of radical ideas, finding support from countries like Saudi Arabia (who funded the campaign) and Pakistan (which organised the Saudi funds and set up training camps, both educational and military). During this period there was a huge influence of Wahabi theology on the madrasas which started with Deoband philosophy and later became a mix of Wahabi (influenced by Ahmad Ibn Hannabal and Ibn Taimmiya) and Deobandi philosophy, tending towards fundamentalism. Later the impact of regional geopolitics had influence on the global geopolitics when the incidents like attack on the US in 2001, bomb blasts in U.K, Indonesia, Turkey, and Israel in 2000s. In the midst of all this, there were several scholars who pointed towards Deobandi Philosophy as one of the drivers in the creation of armed Islamic groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan. Hence this paper will make an attempt to understand the trend as to how Deobandi religious discourses originating from India have changed over the decades, and who the agents of such changes are. It will throw light on Deoband from pre-independence till date to create a narrative around the religious discourses and Deobandi philosophy and its spill over impact on the map of global and regional security.

Keywords: Deobandi School of Thought, radicalization, regional and global geopolitics, religious discourses, Whabi movement

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787 Religion: The Human Entropy

Authors: Abul Kayum Zarzis Alam

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Death is not a terminal; it is just a junction. From Agamas to Vedas, from Buddhism to Judaism, all the major scriptures and religions of the world always do converge to this hypothesis of death. Death is the ultimate catastrophe of life and it is the genesis of every religion on this Earth. Several hundred thousand years ago, the Homo Sapiens in Paleolithic age introduced the notion of religion on this Earth in its most primitive form just to escape from death and natural catastrophes through their belief in supernatural things which created the sense of superstition among the Homo Sapiens which has only increased over time. This sense of superstition and belief in supernatural things are building blocks of religion. Religion is like entropy, a degree of disorder. Entropy for an irreversible system like our own Universe always increases. Same is happening to our human civilization where the disorder had been increasing over time. The degree of this disorder of human civilization is religion divides and conquers over the human civilization of Earth. Religion is the human entropy which had been governing and will govern us. Just like entropy, religion is also an essential intrinsic property of the system which makes the system evolved. We have to optimize this ambivalence of the human entropy to make our civilization an inclusive and sustainable one.

Keywords: death, earth, entropy, Homo sapiens, religion and human entropy

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786 Understanding the Architecture of Hindu Temples: A Philosophical Interpretation

Authors: A. Bandyopadhyay

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Vedic philosophy is one of the oldest existing philosophies of the world. Started around 6500 BC, in Western Indian subcontinent, the Indus valley Civilizations developed a theology which, gradually developed into a well-established philosophy of beliefs, popularly known as ‘Hindu religion’. In Vedic theology, the abstract concept of God was formulated mostly by close observation of the dynamicity and the recurrence of natural and universal phenomena. Through the ages, the philosophy of this theology went through various discursions, debates, and questionings and the abstract concept of God was, in time, formalized into more representational forms by the means of various signs and symbols. Often, these symbols were used in more subtle ways in the construction of “sacred” sculptures and structures. Apparently, two different philosophies were developed from the Vedic philosophy and these two philosophies are mostly seen in the northern part and southern part of the Indian subcontinent. This paper tries to summarize the complex philosophical treaties of Hinduism of northern and southern India and seeks to understand the meanings of the various signs and symbolisms that were incorporated in the architecture of Hindu temples, including the names given to various parts of the temples. The Hindu temples are not only places of worship or ‘houses of Gods’ like the Greek and Roman temples but are also structures that symbolize the dynamicity and also spiritual upliftment of human beings.

Keywords: Hindu, philosophy, temple, Vedic

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785 International Conference on Islam and Democracy – Religion and Political Stability in Indonesia

Authors: Mariel Encar H. Uy, Paula Marie G. Pacle

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The purpose of this research is to present a Single Country Comparative Contextual Description Study of Strong Islamic Influences in Relation to the Politics of Republic of Indonesia. This paper recognizes that even the coalition of secular and moderate Islamic parties protect the minority rights of all the constituents, Islam is still the dominant religion among the other recognized religions in Indonesia (Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism). In this study, it will also detail the involvement on the religions’ beliefs and techniques; participation of political actors, depending on what religion they belong and adhere to; the tensions whenever the government interferes with Islamists and other religions; the government’s solution or public policies implemented to maintain peace and order of Indonesia. This paper will develop a conceptual framework to describe how the Religion and Political Stability is interdependent with each other.

Keywords: diversity of religion in indonesia, secularization in Indonesia, motivations of political actors, voter turnouts based on religion

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784 When Religion is Meaningful and When Religion is Detrimental

Authors: Tennyson Samraj

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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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783 Considering the Relationship between Architecture and Philosophy: Toyo Ito’s Conceptual Architecture

Authors: Serap Durmus

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The aim of this paper is to exemplify the relation of architecture and philosophy over the Japanese architect Toyo Ito’s conceptual architecture. The study is practiced in ‘Architecture and Philosophy Readings’ elective course with 22 sophomore architecture students in Karadeniz Technical University Department of Architecture. It is planned as a workshop, which discusses the design philosophy of Toyo Ito’s buildings and the reflections of concept in his intellectual architecture. So, the paper contains Toyo Ito’s philosophy, his discourses and buildings and also thinking similarities with philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Thus, the workshop of course is about architecture and philosophy relationship. With this aspect, a holistic graphic representation is aimed for Toyo Ito who thinks that everything composes a whole. As a result, it can be said that architect and philosopher interaction in architecture and philosophy relation supports creative thinking. Conceptual architecture of Toyo Ito has philosophical roots and his philosophy can be read over his buildings and can be represent totally via a holistic pattern.

Keywords: architecture, conceptual architecture, Gilles Deleuze, philosophy, Toyo Ito

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782 Reconciling Religion and Feminism: A Case Study of Muslim Women's Rights Activism in India

Authors: Qazi Sarah Rasheed

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Feminism and religion have been regarded as opposing binaries. The reason being that religion is regarded as a tool to legitimize the patriarchal control over women, and therefore, it stands in contrast with the basic feminist principle of gender equity. Hence, the issue of incompatibility between religion and gender parity is often discussed by the feminist as well as secular/liberal discourses, but the feminist discourse has suffered a serious backlash in the recent times for it alienates those women who want to liberate but not at the expense of their religious identity. Though in the Western feminist thought, religion is regarded as a tool of patriarchy that promotes women’s suppression, but for many women, religion can be a source of liberation that advances their rights. The feminists in general, fail to realize that religion, as a social phenomenon may not necessarily promote a series of dogmatic doctrines which are inevitably retrogressive or instinctively status-quoist especially when it comes to the social reforms affecting gender orders. The traditional institution of religion could be instrumental to provide what the women in contemporary situation demand. This paper highlights how the Muslim women in India negotiate and mediate this opposition in an Islamic context. To advance the socio-legal recognition of women’s rights, they question the male privilege and patriarchy in a meaningful way without challenging their Islamic doctrines and try to build a feminist consciousness from within religion.

Keywords: feminism, Islam, Muslim women's rights, religious identity

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781 The Book of Lies: The Christian Bible's Colonialism over and Appropriation of Occultism

Authors: Samantha Huff

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This research seeks to examine the relationship between occultism and the traditional religion of Christianity. The focus of this particular project is to deconstruct occultism and occult religion: how it develops, where it is applied, how and when it is applied. The next step is to make connections between the structure of occultism and the structure of Christianity. Do Christianity and the Occult appear, textually, the same way? What does that mean culturally? This project seeks to examine the historical similarities of occultism and Christianity practices and tradition, and how, as a whole, Christianity appropriates and colonializes occultism through examination into the Christian Bible and popular occult texts: The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley and The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Through examining occultism and Christianity and applying it to popular cultural theories (Ritual Space by Nick Couldry, Muted Group Theory by Shirley Ardener, and Mythologies by Roland Barethes), it is entirely possible to see how Christianity appropriates occultism and uses their stronghold on society as a means to colonialize occult traditions and practices.

Keywords: appropriation, Christianity, colonialism, cultural theory, muted group theory, mythologies, occultism, ritual space

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780 The Introduction of the Revolution Einstein’s Relative Energy Equations in Even 2n and Odd 3n Light Dimension Energy States Systems

Authors: Jiradeach Kalayaruan, Tosawat Seetawan

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This paper studied the energy of the nature systems by looking at the overall image throughout the universe. The energy of the nature systems was developed from the Einstein’s energy equation. The researcher used the new ideas called even 2n and odd 3n light dimension energy states systems, which were developed from Einstein’s relativity energy theory equation. In this study, the major methodology the researchers used was the basic principle ideas or beliefs of some religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, or Tao in order to get new discoveries. The basic beliefs of each religion - Nivara, God, Ether, Atman, and Tao respectively, were great influential ideas on the researchers to use them greatly in the study to form new ideas from philosophy. Since the philosophy of each religion was alive with deep insight of the physical nature relative energy, it connected the basic beliefs to light dimension energy states systems. Unfortunately, Einstein’s original relative energy equation showed only even 2n light dimension energy states systems (if n = 1,…,∞). But in advance ideas, the researchers multiplied light dimension energy by Einstein’s original relative energy equation and get new idea of theoritical physics in odd 3n light dimension energy states systems (if n = 1,…,∞). Because from basic principle ideas or beliefs of some religions philosophy of each religion, you had to add the media light dimension energy into Einstein’s original relative energy equation. Consequently, the simple meaning picture in deep insight showed that you could touch light dimension energy of Nivara, God, Ether, Atman, and Tao by light dimension energy. Since light dimension energy was transferred by Nivara, God, Ether, Atman and Tao, the researchers got the new equation of odd 3n light dimension energy states systems. Moreover, the researchers expected to be able to solve overview problems of all light dimension energy in all nature relative energy, which are developed from Eistein’s relative energy equation.The finding of the study was called 'super nature relative energy' ( in odd 3n light dimension energy states systems (if n = 1,…,∞)). From the new ideas above you could do the summation of even 2n and odd 3n light dimension energy states systems in all of nature light dimension energy states systems. In the future time, the researchers will expect the new idea to be used in insight theoretical physics, which is very useful to the development of quantum mechanics, all engineering, medical profession, transportation, communication, scientific inventions, and technology, etc.

Keywords: 2n light dimension energy states systems effect, Ether, even 2n light dimension energy states systems, nature relativity, Nivara, odd 3n light dimension energy states systems, perturbation points energy, relax point energy states systems, stress perturbation energy states systems effect, super relative energy

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779 Iqbal's Philosophy of Action in the Light of Contemporary Philosophy of Action

Authors: Sevcan Ozturk

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The aim of this paper is to analyze the twentieth-century Muslim philosopher Muhammad Iqbal’s philosophy of action in the light of the main issues of contemporary philosophy of action. Iqbal is one of the most celebrated and eminent figures of modern Islamic thought. However, a review of the works on Iqbal shows that most of the central concepts of his philosophy have not received enough attention. His notion of ‘action’ in its philosophical context is one of these concepts. One of the main characteristics of Iqbal’s approach is that he develops his discussion around the main themes of contemporary philosophy of action, which includes ontological and conceptual questions regarding the nature of human actions. He also discusses that action is the only way to develop human personality, and that the human being can only achieve immortality promised by Islam through his actions. Therefore, while presenting an approach that can be read in the light of contemporary philosophy of action, which has become one of the significant parts of modern philosophical discussions in the west particularly since the nineteenth century, he, at the same time, develops his own philosophy of action in the light of Islamic resources. Consequently, these two main characteristics of his discussion of the notion of action make his philosophy of action an important contribution to contemporary philosophy of action, a field that ignores the discussions of Muslim philosophers on action. Therefore, this paper aims at highlighting Iqbal’s contribution to the modern debate of action by analysing Iqbal’s notion of action in the light of the contemporary issues of philosophy of action. This will, first of all, include an examination of contemporary action theory. Although the main discussions of contemporary philosophy of action will provide the methodology of this study, the main paradigms of Iqbal’s approach to the notion of action will also be considered during the examination of the discussions of philosophy of action. Then, Iqbal’s own philosophy of action will be established in the light of the contemporary philosophy of action. It is hoped that this paper will cultivate a dialogue between Iqbal scholars and those working in the field of philosophy of action, and that it will be a contribution to the fields of Iqbal studies, philosophy of action, and intercultural philosophy.

Keywords: action, development of personality, Muhammad Iqbal, philosophy of action

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778 Repositioning Religion as a Catalyst for Conflict Resolution in Nigeria

Authors: Samuel A. Muyiwa

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Religious chauvinism has attained an alarming status in Contemporary Nigerian society. Arguably, Nigeria is the largest economy and most populous nation in Africa with over 182 million people, the advantages offer by vibrant economy and high population have been sacrificed on the altar of religion. Tolerance, sacrifice, humility, compassion, love, justice, trustworthiness, dedication to the well-being of others, and unity are the universal spiritual principles that lie at the heart of any religion either Christianity or Islam even traditional. Whereas traditional religious practices foreground the beliefs, norms and ritual that are related to the sacred being God because of its quick and immediate consequence of its effect, the new-found religious sentiments have deviated from the norms, thus undermining cosmic harmony in Nigeria because of its long-time consequence of its effect. Religion, which is expected to accelerate growth and motivate people to develop spiritual nuances for the betterment of their communities, has, however occasioned conflict and violence in Nigeria socio-political cosmo. Therefore, this study examines the content of religion in the promotion of peace and unity and its contextual missing link in the promotion of conflict and violence in Nigeria.

Keywords: religion chauvinism, Nigeria, conflict, conflict resolution

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777 The Relationship between Religious Orientation and Country Reputation

Authors: Sibel Aydogan, Ceyda Aysuna

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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: religion, religiosity, religious orientation, country reputation, Turkey

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776 Harmony of Paradox and Contradiction: Communication between Human Beings and God according to Hermann Cohen’s Jewish Philosophy

Authors: Talya Alon-Altman

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This article examines communication between a human being and God in the Jewish philosophy of the German-Jewish philosopher, Hermann Cohen (1842–1918). It observes Cohen’s Jewish philosophy in light of communication theories, using the theoretical wealth of a relatively new discipline – communication, in order to deepen the philosophical and theological discussion. This new perspective enriches our view of philosophy, theology, and offers a fresh and novel approach to the philosophical and theological study of communication, and media theology in particular.

Keywords: hermann cohen, media theology, modern jewish philosophy, jewish philosphy, communication

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775 Secularism and Political Inclusion: Turkey in the 2000s

Authors: Edgar Sar

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For more than a decade, secularism’s compatibility with religion has been called into question. Particularly, secular states’ exclusionary practices were raised to prove that secularism is not necessary for democracy. Meanwhile, with the debut of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002, Turkish state’s approach to religion has gradually changed. It is argued in that presentation that this change has led Turkey to a process of de-secularization, which refers to a considerable regress in state’s inclusionary and pluralist credentials. In this regard, this study both reflects on the relationship between secularism and democracy within the context of Turkish experience and analyses the consequences of the process of de-secularization of state in Turkey. To analyze Turkish state’s changing approach to religion and measure the de-secularization of the state, the connection between state and religion will be examined in three levels: ends, institutions, and law and policies. The presentation will indicate that Turkish state’s connection with religion in all three levels significantly weakened its secular credentials, which at the same time risked state’s commitment to neutrality, freedom of conscience and equality. In this regard, the change in Turkish state’s approach to religion throughout the 2000s, which this study refers to as the process of the de-secularization of the state, also brought about a process of de-democratization for Turkey.

Keywords: AKP, political inclusion, secularism, Turkey

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774 Towards a Critical Disentanglement of the ‘Religion’ Nexus in the Global East

Authors: Daan F. Oostveen

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‘Religion’ as a term is not native to the Global East. The concept ‘religion’ is both understood in its meaning of ‘religious traditions’, commonly referring to the ‘World Religions’ and in its adjective meaning ‘the religious’ or ‘religiosity’ as a separate domain of human culture, commonly contrasted to the secular. Though neither of these understandings are native to the historical worldviews of East Asia, their development in modern Western scholarship has had an enormous impact on the self-understanding of cultural diversity in the Global East as well. One example is the identification and therefore elevation to the status of World Religion of ‘Buddhism’ which connected formerly dispersed religious practices throughout the Global East and subsumed them under this powerful label. On the other hand, we see how popular religiosity, shamanism and hybrid cultural expressions have become excluded from genuine religion; this had an immense impact on the sense of legitimacy of these practices, which became sometimes labeled as superstition are rejected as magic. Our theoretical frameworks on religion in the Global East do not always consider the complex power dynamics between religious actors, both elites and lay expressions of religion in everyday life, governments and religious studies scholars. In order to get a clear image of how religiosity functions in the context of the Global East, we have to take into account these power dynamics. What is important in particular is the issue of religious identity or absence of religious identity. The self-understanding of religious actors in the Global East is often very different from what scholars of religion observe. Religious practice, from an etic perspective, is often unrelated to religious identification from an emic perspective. But we also witness the rise of Christian churches in the Global East, in which religious identity and belonging does play a pivotal role. Finally, religion in the Global East has since the beginning of the 20th Century been conceptualized as the ‘other’ or republicanism or Marxist-Maoist ideology. It is important not to deny the key role of colonial thinking in the process of religion formation in the Global East. In this paper, it is argued that religious realities constituted emerging as a result from our theory of religion, and that these religious realities in turn inform our theory. Therefore, the relationship between phenomenology of religion and theory of religion can never be disentangled. In fact, we have to acknowledge that our conceptualizations of religious diversity are always already influenced by our valuation of those cultural expressions that we have come to call ‘religious’.

Keywords: global east, religion, religious belonging, secularity

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

Authors: S. Opadere Olaolu

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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, complicity, legalizing, religion

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