Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 158

Search results for: faith

158 Psychology of Power: The Ability to Heal of the Faith Healers in the Province of Quezon

Authors: Johnlery C. Bundoc, Maria Angel D. Del Mundo, Christine Joy V. Maulion

Abstract:

The psychology of power, also known as healing power, is the ability to heal an unusual illness by faith healers in the Philippines. These people are good in healing by using extraordinary way. This study was anchored by Filipino Psychology because before the Spanish came in the Philippines, there is what people call a Babaylan who served as a doctor during that time. This study aims to know the experiences of people having healing power. The objectives of the study are (1) to identify the demographic profile of the research participants which includes the following: Age, gender, number of years of being faith healer, and their specialty. (2) To measure the validity of the healing power of the chosen faith healer. (3) To determine the process of having healing power. The design of this study was Filipino-oriented research. The researcher used purposive sampling to gather the research participants and used thematic analysis to analyze the gathered data. The result of the study focused on the third objective which is to explore the process of having healing power. It includes the superordinate theme and the subordinate theme: (1) Awareness on the responsibility of faith healer (2) Refusal on the responsibility of faith healer (3) The effect of refusal on the responsibility of faith healer (4) Acceptance on the responsibility of faith healer (5) Doubting on the right ways of healing (6) Principle of healing someone who are sick (7) Physical manifestation of having power to heal (8) Process when the patient was healed (9) Process when the patient was not healed.

Keywords: faith healer, Filipino-oriented research, psychology of power, Quezon

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157 The Significance of Islamic Concept of Good Faith to Cure Flaws in Public International Law

Authors: M. A. H. Barry

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The concept of Good faith (husn al-niyyah) and fair-dealing (Nadl) are the fundamental guiding elements in all contracts and other agreements under Islamic law. The preaching of Al-Quran and Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace Be upon Him) firmly command people to act in good faith in all dealings. There are several Quran verses and the Prophet’s saying which stressed the significance of dealing honestly and fairly in all transactions. Under the English law, the good faith is not considered a fundamental requirement for the formation of a legal contract. However, the concept of Good Faith in private contracts is recognized by the civil law system and in Article 7(1) of the Convention on International Sale of Goods (CISG-Vienna Convention-1980). It took several centuries for the international trading community to recognize the significance of the concept of good faith for the international sale of goods transactions. Nevertheless, the recognition of good faith in Civil law is only confined for the commercial contracts. Subsequently to the CISG, this concept has made inroads into the private international law. There are submissions in favour of applying the good faith concept to public international law based on tacit recognition by the international conventions and International Tribunals. However, under public international law the concept of good faith is not recognized as a source of rights or obligations. This weakens the spirit of the good faith concept, particularly when determining the international disputes. This also creates a fundamental flaw because the absence of good faith application means the breaches tainted by bad faith are tolerated. The objective of this research is to evaluate, examine and analyze the application of the concept of good faith in the modern laws and identify its limitation, in comparison with Islamic concept of good faith. This paper also identifies the problems and issues connected with the non-application of this concept to public international law. This research consists of three key components (1) the preliminary inquiry (2) subject analysis and discovery of research results, and (3) examining the challenging problems, and concluding with proposals. The preliminary inquiry is based on both the primary and secondary sources. The same sources are used for the subject analysis. This research also has both inductive and deductive features. The Islamic concept of good faith covers all situations and circumstances where the bad faith causes unfairness to the affected parties, especially the weak parties. Under the Islamic law, the concept of good faith is a source of rights and obligations as Islam prohibits any person committing wrongful or delinquent acts in any dealing whether in a private or public life. This rule is applicable not only for individuals but also for institutions, states, and international organizations. This paper explains how the unfairness is caused by non-recognition of the good faith concept as a source of rights or obligations under public international law and provides legal and non-legal reasons to show why the Islamic formulation is important.

Keywords: good faith, the civil law system, the Islamic concept, public international law

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156 Resort to Religious and Faith Healing Practices in the Pathway to Care for Mental Illness: A Study among Mappila Muslims of Malabar, Kerala

Authors: K. P. Farsana

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Belief in supernatural causation of mental illnesses and resort to religious and faith healing as the method of intervention still continue in many parts of the world. The proposed study intended to find out the belief and causation on health and illness and utilization of religious and faith healing, its implications, and associated socio-cultural and religious factors among Mappila Muslims of Malabar, Kerala, a southern state of India.Thangals are the endogamous community in Kerala, of Yemeni heritage who claim direct descent from the Prophet Mohammed’s family. Because of their sacrosanct status, many Thangal works as religious healers in Malabar, Northern Kerala. Using the case of one Thangal healer as an illustration of the many religious healers in Kerala who engage in the healing practices, it is intended, in this paper to illustrate the religious and ritual healing practices among Mappila Muslims of Malabar. It was found that the majority of the Mappila Muslims believed in supernatural causation on illness, and majority of them consulted religious and faith healers for various health problems before seeking professional help, and a considerable proportion continued to believe in the healing efficiency of the religious and faith healing. A significant proportion of the population found religious and faith healing practices are supportive and more acceptable within the community. Religion and belief system play an important role in the heath seeking behavior of a person.

Keywords: religious and faith healing, mental illness, Mappila Muslims, Malabar

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155 Conceptualising Project Complexity in Ghana’s Construction Industry: A Qualitative Study

Authors: Kwasi Dartey-Baah, Mias De Klerk

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Project complexity has been cited as one of the essential areas of project management. It can be observed from environmental, social, technological, and organisational viewpoints, and its handling is critical to project success. Conceptualised in varied industries, this paper seeks to ascertain the meaning and understanding of project complexity within the Ghanaian construction industry based on the three dimensions of complexities (faith, fact, and interaction) using experts' opinions. Taking the form of a focus group discussion, the paper sought to gain an in-depth understanding of project complexity issues in Ghana’s construction industry. The method use obtained data from experts (a purposely selected group) comprising project leaders and project management academics. The findings indicated that the experts broadly agreed with the complexity items but offered varied reasons for their agreement. In the composite assessment of the complexity dimensions of (faith, fact, and interaction), it emerged that there was some agreement with the complexity dimensions of fact and interaction within Ghana’s construction industry. On the other hand, with the dimension for complexity by faith, it was noted that the experts in Ghana’s construction construed complexity by faith, not as the absence of evidence but the evidence that hinges on at least a member of the project team. It is expected that other researches on project complexity will focus on other industries to enhance the knowledge of the same within the field of project management.

Keywords: project complexity, complexity by faith, complexity by fact, complexity by interaction, construction industry, Ghana

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154 On the Rational Roots of the Agnosticism and the Faith

Authors: Lola Rosalia Saavedra Guzman, Plamen Neytchev Netchev

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In general, agnosticism is perceived as an uncertainty between a well-structured (religious) belief (in some Christian or pagan deity) and its absolute and total absence, often causing the suspicion that an agnostic is an atheist, which is "reinsured" in case if their personal belief is wrong. All of this, along with the prevailing view among the naturalists that science has already demonstrated the inexistence of God, has compelled us to seek the foundation of agnosticism and faith in the contemporary formal human logic, advanced mathematics, and the natural sciences. Along the way, we will find that no natural science can demonstrate the existence of God, nor could it discard it for rational considerations, which show that there is something beyond. After all, it seems that the human intellect is insufficient to respond surely with yes or no to the existence of higher intelligences leaving unconditional faith as the only path to God for Christians and transcendent techniques, for pagan religious beliefs.

Keywords: agnosticism, formal logic, axioms and postulates, Gödel theorems, and logical faults

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153 Assessing the Leadership Succession Plan in Faith-Based Senior High Schools in Ghana and Its Associated Challenges

Authors: J. E. Cobbinah

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One of the most challenging issues confronting schools is good leadership succession planning. Experts argue that, although the idea of leadership succession planning is one of the strategies or practices that can help sustain improvement and promote continuity of good leadership, seem to have been neglected in many schools over the years. Appointment of head teachers in senior high schools is based on long service or one’s ability to demonstrate his/her competence in a leadership selection interview. There is no clear and well-structured leadership succession plan, before leadership position is filled, while school leadership succession planning seem to be an issue that nobody talks about. In faith-based schools the issue is even worse, because religious groups impose whoever they consider strong in the faith on schools as leaders, irrespective of the individual competence, ability to take up challenges associated with individuals’ preparedness to take up leadership position. Therefore, the present study examined the nature (including type) of leadership succession plans in faith-based senior high schools and its associated challenges. Convergent mixed method design was employed to effectively achieve the objectives of the study. The data collection strategies involved the use of interviews, questionnaires, and reviews of secondary data. The data was gathered from students, school leaders (head teachers, deputy heads, and head of departments), selected parents teachers associated members, school management committee members and members from school governors. The results show that governors of faith-based schools are making efforts to enhance education quality, by making school leadership accountable, the absence and the neglect of clear, and well-structured leadership succession plan has some negative outcomes. Unsustainable students’ academic performance, lack of support from existing staffs and senior leaders and lack of support in the implementation of school improvement plan. It would be concluded that, faith-based schools should focus on leadership competence and abilities in the selection process of potential school leaders to achieve a good succession plan rather than appointing leaders who are affiliates of one’s faith.

Keywords: school leadership, succession planning, faith-based schools, school governors

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152 Towards a Dialogical Approach between Christianity and Hinduism: A Comparative Theological Analysis of the Concept of Logos, and Shabd

Authors: Abraham Kuruvilla

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Since the inception of Christianity, one of the most important precepts has been that of the ‘word becoming flesh.’ Incarnation, as we understand it, is that the ‘word became flesh.’ As we know, it is a commonly held understanding that the concept of Logos was borrowed from the Greek religion. Such understanding has dominated our thought process. This is problematic as it does not draw out the deep roots of Logos. The understanding of Logos also existed in religion such as Hinduism. For the Hindu faith, the understanding of Shabd is pivotal. It could be arguably equated with the understanding of the Logos. The paper looks into the connection of the primal Christian doctrine of the Logos with that of the Hindu understanding of Shabd. The methodology of the paper would be a comparative theological analysis with the New Testament understanding of the Logos with that of the understanding of Shabd as perceived in the different Vedas of the Hindu faith. The paper would come to the conclusion that there is a conceptual connectivity between Logos and the Shabd. As such the understanding of Logos cannot just be attributed to the Greek understanding of Logos, but rather it predates the Greek understanding of Logos by being connected to the Hindu understanding of Shabd. Accordingly, such comparison brings out the implication for a constructive dialogue between Christianity and the Hindu faith.

Keywords: Christianity, Hinudism, Logos, Shabd

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151 Religious Coercion as Means of Trafficking in Women and Faith Communities’ Role in Ending Such Religious Exploitation

Authors: Xiaoyu Stephanie Ren

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With the increase of massive migration, economic polarization, as well as increasing awareness and respects for religious freedom in the world, women have become unprecedentedly vulnerable to trafficking involving religious coercion. Such cases can also bring enormous challenges for prosecution in which the prosecutor bears the burden of proving that the victim acted, or not acted in a certain way due to the exploitation of her belief system: (1) Jurors who are nonbelievers tend not to be convinced that something of intangible nature can act as the force to get victim into women trafficking situation; (2) Court more often than not rules in favor of victims in women trafficking cases involving religious exploitation only when there is physical coercion in addition to religious coercion; (3) Female victims are often reluctant to testify at court due to their godly fear and loyalty to trafficker. Using case study methodology, this paper examines the unique characteristics of religious coercion as means of trafficking in women from a legal perspective and proposes multiple ways based on communal beliefs that faith communities, as victims for such crime themselves, can act in order to help to end religious exploitation. The purpose of this paper is threefold: to improve acknowledgment for the role of religious coercion as a sole force for women trafficking situation; to discuss legal hurdles in prosecuting women trafficking cases involving religious coercion; and to propose collaboration across borders among faith communities to end such exploitation.

Keywords: women trafficking, sex violence, religious exploitation, faith community, prosecution, law

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150 Good Faith and Accession in the New Civil Code

Authors: Adelina Vrancianu

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The problem of artificial real accession will be analyzed in this study both in terms of old and current Civil Code provisions and in terms of comparative law, European legal and Canadian systems. The current Civil Code from 2009 has brought new changes about the application and solutions regarding artificial real accession. The hypothesis in which a person is making works with his own materials on the real estate belonging to another person is developed and analyzed in detail from national and international point of view in relation with the good faith. The scope of this analysis is to point out what are the changes issued from case-law and which ones are new, inspired from other law systems in regard to the good/bad faith. The new civil code has promoted a definition for this notion. Is this definition a new one inspired from the comparative law or is it inspired from the case-law? Is it explained for every case scenario of accession or is a general notion? The study tries to respond to these questions and to present the new aspects in the area. has reserved a special place for the situation of execution of works with own materials exceeding the border with violation of another’s right of property, where the variety of solutions brings into discussion the case of expropriation for private interest. The new Civil Code is greatly influenced by the Civil Code from Quebec in comparison with the old code of French influence. The civil reform was needed and has brought into attention new solutions inspired from the Canadian system which has mitigated the permanent conflict between the constructor and the immovable owner.

Keywords: accession, good faith, new civil code, comparative law

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149 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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148 Religious Tattoos Symbols amongst Underground Communities in Surabaya and Sidoarjo, Indonesia: Their Functions and Significances

Authors: Constantius Tri Handoko

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Tattoos on the body of Christian youths seemed interesting as the majority of Christian look at tattoo and tattooing activity are prohibited. This research besides to understand the motivation behind why Christian youth in Surabaya and Sidoarjo, Indonesia being tattooed also focus on the regard to what functions and meanings of the tattoos are. By using visual discourse analysis, the tattoos had relation to the informants’ social lives dimension, such as the Christian symbol tattoos expressed their spiritual life journey, a faith symbol to God, as personal symbols (identity), art expression, as well as fashion. On the other hands, tattoos also became a hatred symbol to Jesus and the Christian faith, since the tattoo wearers who were a former Christians felt disappointed to God as they thought God never help them to survive in their lives.

Keywords: tattoo, representation, identity, belief, Christian

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147 Analysis of Factors Affecting Public Awareness in Paying Zakat

Authors: Roikhan Mochamad Aziz

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This study aims to analze the interdependence of several variables simultaneously in order to simplify the form of the relationship between some of the variables studied a number of factors less than the variable studied which means it can also describe the data structure of a research. Based 100 respondents from the public, such as the people of South Tangerang, this study used factor analysis tool. The results of this study indicate that the studied variables being formed into nine factors, namely faith factors, community factors, factors of social care, confidence factor, factor income, educational factors, self-satisfaction factors, factors work, and knowledge factor. Total variance of the 9 factors is 67,30% means that all nine of these factors are factors that can contribute too paying zakat of muzakki consciousness of 67,30% while the remaining 32,70% is supported by other factors outside the 9 factors.

Keywords: zakat, analysis factor, faith, education, knowledge

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146 Spirituality and Coping with Breast Cancer among Omani Women

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

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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: breast cancer, spiritual, religion, coping, diagnosis, oman, women

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145 Religion and Sustainable Development: A Comparative Study of Buddhist and Christian Farmers’ Contribution to the Environmental Protection in Taiwan

Authors: Jijimon Alakkalam Joseph

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The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development claims to be a comprehensive and integrated plan of action for prosperity for people and the planet, including almost all dimensions of human existence. Nevertheless, critics have pointed out the exclusion of the religious dimension from development discussions. Care for the earth is one of the vital aspects of sustainable development. Farmers all over the world contribute much to environmental protection. Most farmers are religious believers, and studies have shown that religious ideologies influence their agricultural practices. This nexus between faith and agriculture has forced policymakers to include religion in development discussions. This paper delves deeper into this religion and sustainable development connection. Buddhism and Christianity have contributed much to environmental protection in Taiwan. However, interviews conducted among 40 Taiwanese farmers (10 male and female farmers from Buddhism and Christianity) show that their faith experiences make them relate to the natural environment differently. Most of the Buddhist farmers interviewed admitted that they chose their religious adherence, while most of the Christian farmers inherited their faith. The in-depth analysis of the interview data collected underlines the close relationship between religion and sustainable development. More importantly, concerning their intention to care for the earth, farmers whose religious adherence is ‘chosen’ are self-motivated and more robust compared to those whose religious adherence is ‘inherited’.

Keywords: Buddhism, Christianity, environmental protection, sustainable development

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144 Social Semiotics in the Selected Films of Chito S. Roño

Authors: Hannah Jennica P. Ello, Regina Via G. Garcia

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Films are famous expressions of art in the country. As an expression of art, it serves as a medium in which a culture is reflected. This paper studied how films reflected the Filipino culture. In this study, social semiotics was used to analyze the semiotic resources identified in the film. The films studied were 'Feng Shui', 'Sukob', and 'The Healing', which were three of the highest grossing horror films of Chito S. Roño. The objectives of the paper were (1) to identify the semiotic resources in the film, (2) to extract their meanings, and (3) to determine how these resources were perceived in the Filipino culture. The semiotic resources identified in each film are organized into three categories: color, practices and supernatural occurrences. Each semiotic resource is analyzed through the four dimensions of social semiotics, genre, style, modality, and discourse. For color, some of the semiotic resources identified are red, white and blue; for practices, Hagiolatry, and Mariolatry, faith healing and the belief in superstitions; and for supernatural occurrences, haunting ghosts, doppelganger attacks and returning from the dead were identified. The practices that are prominent in the films are Hagiolatry and Mariolatry, belief in feng shui and belief in faith healers and albularyos. The belief of these practices shows that Filipinos have a dual faith; belief in religion and a belief in superstitions. In short, Filipinos highly practice folk Catholicism and because of this, a mixture of different cultures can be seen, as having molded the Filipino culture to what it is today.

Keywords: culture, film, semiotics, social semiotics

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143 From Protector to Violator: Assessing State's Role in Protecting Freedom of Religion in Indonesia

Authors: Manotar Tampubolon

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Indonesia is a country that upholds the law, human rights and religious freedom. The freedom that implied in various laws and constitution (Undang-undang 1945) is not necessarily applicable in practice of religious life. In one side, the state has a duty as protector and guarantor of freedom, on the other side, however, it turns into one of the actors of freedom violations of religion minority. State action that interferes freedom of religion is done in various ways both intentionally or negligently or not to perform its obligations in the enforcement of human rights (human rights due diligence). Besides the state, non-state actors such as religious organizations, individuals also become violators of the rights of religious freedom. This article will discuss two fundamental issues that interfere freedom of religion in Indonesia after democratic era. In addition, this article also discusses a comprehensive state policy that discriminates minority religions to manifest their faith.

Keywords: religious freedom, constitution, minority faith, state actor

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142 Islamic Education System: Implementation of Curriculum Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang

Authors: Basyir Yaman, Fades Br. Gultom

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The picture and pattern of Islamic education in the Prophet's period in Mecca and Medina is the history of the past that we need to bring back. The Basic Education Institute called Kuttab. Kuttab or Maktab comes from the word kataba which means to write. The popular Kuttab in the Prophet’s period aims to resolve the illiteracy in the Arab community. In Indonesia, this Institution has 25 branches; one of them is located in Semarang (i.e. Kuttab Al-Fatih). Kuttab Al-Fatih as a non-formal institution of Islamic education is reserved for children aged 5-12 years. The independently designed curriculum is a distinctive feature that distinguishes between Kuttab Al-Fatih curriculum and the formal institutional curriculum in Indonesia. The curriculum includes the faith and the Qur’an. Kuttab Al-Fatih has been licensed as a Community Activity Learning Center under the direct supervision and guidance of the National Education Department. Here, we focus to describe the implementation of curriculum Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang (i.e. faith and al-Qur’an). After that, we determine the relevance between the implementation of the Kuttab Al-Fatih education system with the formal education system in Indonesia. This research uses literature review and field research qualitative methods. We obtained the data from the head of Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang, vice curriculum, faith coordinator, al-Qur’an coordinator, as well as the guardians of learners and the learners. The result of this research is the relevance of education system in Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang about education system in Indonesia. Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang emphasizes character building through a curriculum designed in such a way and combines thematic learning models in modules.

Keywords: Islamic education system, implementation of curriculum, Kuttab Al-Fatih Semarang, formal education system, Indonesia

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141 "At 60 – Old Age, at 70 – the Hoary Head": The Perceived Meaning of Bringing a Foreign Caregiver into the Home in the Haredi Society – Challenges and Barriers to Culturally-Sensitive Intervention

Authors: Amit Zriker, Anat Freund

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The aim of the study was to conduct a thorough examination into the multiple complexities of bringing a foreign caregiver into the home to care for older adults in the Haredi society, by relating to the perspectives of the older adult and his family members. Research questions were: What is the meaning of bringing a foreign caregiver into the home in Haredi society, from the point of view of the older adult’s family members, and what are the implications of these meanings in the context of developing social policies and interventions? The current study was a qualitative-phenomenological study, which relates to “the lived experience” of those involved in the studied phenomenon. In the framework of the study, the participants included 15 adult Haredi sons and daughters of elderly impaired parents who receive homecare from a foreign caregiver. Data collection was carried out using in-depth, semi-structured interviews; the interview guidelines are comprised of the following content worlds: the meanings of aging in Haredi families; the decision-making process in relation to providing home care assistance for elderly impaired parents; making decisions regarding bringing a foreign caregiver into the home to care for an elderly parent; the daily routine after bringing in a foreign caregiver; bringing in a foreign caregiver vs. the society and vs. the Haredi establishment; and more. The issue of bringing a foreign caregiver into the home in the context of a faith-based society has received only scant and partial research attention to date. Nevertheless, in light of the growing elderly population in the Haredi society in Israel, and in closed, faith-based societies, in general; there is a growing need to bring foreign caregivers into the home as a possible solution to the “aging-in-place” problem in these societies. The separatist nature, and the collectivist and faith-based lifestyle of the Haredi society present unique challenges and needs in the process of employing a foreign caregiver. Moreover, the foreign caregiver also brings his/her own cultural world to the encounter, meaning, this process involves the elderly impaired individual, his/her family members, as well as the foreign caregiver. Therefore, it is important to understand their attitudes, perceptions and interactions, in order to create a good fit among all involved parties. The innovation and uniqueness of the current study is in its in-depth exploration of a phenomenon through an emotional-cultural lens. The study findings also contribute to the creation of social policy in the field of nursing, which will be adapted and culturally sensitive to Haredi society, and other faith-based societies.

Keywords: culturally-sensitive intervention, faith-based society, foreign caregiver, Haredi society

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140 Religion and Social Mobility: A Historical Study of Neovaishnavism of Srimanta Shankardeva

Authors: Satyajit Kalita

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Assam from an early period has gone through various religious transformations and has witnessed its impact in different period. One of such epoch is the epoch of Srimanta Shankardeva. Srimanta Shankareva is regarded, as the greatest religious preacher and social reformer in the history of Assam. It was Shankardeva, who brought the faith of vaisnavite movement that prevailed in other parts of India. Before and during his time, the people of Assam were followers of Sakta worship, the worshipping of different gods and goddesses. People worshiped idols and offered sacrifices. Srimanta Shankardeva under the faith neo-vaishnavism and propagated the Eka-Saran-Naam-Dharm, through which spread the splendor of one and only Lord Vishnu or Krishna and abolished offering sacrifices. With the help of Eka-Saran-Naam-Dharma, Srimanta Shankardeva tries to vanish the superstitious beliefs and irrational practices of Assamese society. The NeoVaishnavite faith developed a democratic outlook which permeates the entire teachings and practices in Assamese people. His contributions not only made the foundations of Assamese literature, culture, and social structure but also established the super structures the upon. It is understood that all contributions of Srimanta Shankardeva bear his marks distinctively. Religion is said to be biggest and the most influential aspect in bringing about change in the society. In Assam, with the essence of neo-vaishnavism by Shankardeva and the emergence of the Eka-Saran-Naam-Dharma came into a huge Change to the region. The movement of religion brought about a social mobility to all sections of society. This paper is a mere initiative to look into the organizational structure of Srimanta Shankardeva Sangha and its maintenance of the ideology and principles without failure. It is aimed to examine the assimilation of different groups and communities of people under the fold of Srimanta Shankardeva Sangha.

Keywords: Neo-Vaishnavism, Srimanta Shankardeva, Srimanta Shankardeva Shangha, Eka-Saran-Naam-Dharma

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139 The Quranic Case for Resurrection

Authors: Maira Farooq Maneka

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Death has increasingly caused humans to investigate its reality and what lies after it, if something at all, with personal conviction and concern. Till date it remains a matter of speculation. We do not encounter arguments other than ‘faith’ from major world religions when justifying claims about life after death (LAD) as it is an unseen phenomenon. This paper attempts to analyse the Islamic idea of resurrection (after death) and its justification that is distinct from faith but instead contemplative in nature. To do this a legal lens was adopted which allowed the categorisation of selected Quranic arguments under the heading of direct evidence, indirect evidence and intuitive reasoning. Results: Four kinds of direct evidences are discussed under the themes of sleep, droughts, predictions and Quranic challenge. The section of indirect evidences narrows its scope only to two, out of many, broad possible signs that pointed towards the reality of resurrection. These include the signs found in nature such as sun and water as well as signs one finds within the human body such as the creation and function of human fingertips. Finally the last section tries to amalgamate Quran’s appeal to human rationality that facilitates the reader in accepting the possibility of resurrection and hence a final Day of Judgement. These include the notion of accountability, pleasure, pain and human agency.

Keywords: Islam, life after death, Quran, resurrection

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138 Transcendence, Spirituality and Well-Being: A Cognitive-Theological Perspective

Authors: Monir Ahmed

Abstract:

This paper aims at discussing transcendence, spirituality, and well-being in light of the psychology of religion and spirituality. The main purpose of this paper is i) to demonstrate the importance of cognitive psychological process (thoughts, faith, and beliefs) and the doctrine of creation (‘creatio ex nihilo’) in transcendence, spirituality, and well-being; ii) to discuss the relationships among transcendence, spirituality, and well-being. Psychological studies of spiritual and religious phenomena have been advanced in the decade, mainly to understand how faith, spiritual and religious rituals influence or contribute to well-being. Psychologists of religion and spirituality have put forward methods, tools, and approaches necessary for promoting well-being. For instance, Kenneth I. Pargament, an American psychologist of religion and spirituality, developed spiritually integrated psychotherapy for clinical practice in dealing with the spiritual and religious issues affecting well-being. However, not much progress has been made in understanding the ability of transcendence and how such ability influences spirituality and religion as well as well-being. A possible reason could be that well-being has only been understood in a spiritual and religious context. It appears that transcendence, the core element of spirituality and religion, has not been explored adequately for well-being. In other words, the approaches that have been used so far for spirituality, religion, and well-being lack an integrated approach combining theology and psychology. The author of this paper proposes that cognitive-theological understanding involving faith and belief about the creation and the creator, the transcendent God is likely to offer a comprehensive understanding of transcendence as well as spirituality, religion, and their relationships with well-being. The importance of transcendence and the integration of psychology and theology can advance our knowledge of transcendence, spirituality, and well-being. It is inevitable that the creation is contingent and that the ultimate origin, source of the contingent physical reality, is a non-contingent being, the divine creator. As such, it is not unreasonable for many individuals to believe that the source of existence of non-contingent being, although undiscoverable in physical reality but transcendentally exists. ‘Creatio ex nihilo’ is the most fundamental doctrine in the Abrahamic faiths, i.e., Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and is widely accepted scriptural and philosophical background about the creation, creator, the divine that God created the universe out of nothing. Therefore, it is crucial to integrate theology, i.e., ‘creatio ex nihilo’ doctrine and psychology for a comprehensive understanding of transcendence, spirituality and their relationships with well-being.

Keywords: transcendence, spirituality, well-being, ‘creatio ex nihilo’ doctrine

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137 Determining the Materiality of an Undisclosed Fact: An Onerous Duty on the Assured

Authors: Adekemi Adebowale

Abstract:

The duty of disclosure in Nigerian insurance law is in need of reform. The materiality of an undisclosed fact (notwithstanding that it was an honest and innocent non-disclosure) currently entitles insurers to avoid insurance policies, leaving an insured with an uncovered loss. While the test of materiality requires an insured to voluntarily disclose facts that will influence an insurer's decision without proper guidelines from the insurer, the insurer is only expected to prove that the undisclosed fact had influenced its judgment in fixing the premium or determining whether to accept the risk. This problem places an onerous duty on the assured to volunteer to the insurer every material fact even though the insured only has a slight idea about the mind of a hypothetical prudent insurer. This paper explores the modern approach to revisiting the problem of an insured’s pre-contractual obligation to determine material facts in Nigerian insurance law. The aim is to build upon the change in the structure of insurance contract obligations in other common law jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom. The doctrinal and comparative methodology captures the burden imposed on the insured under the existing Nigerian insurance law. It finds that the continued application of the law leaves the insured in the weakest position, and he stands to lose in a contract supposedly created for his benefit. It is apparent that if this problem remains unresolved, the over-all consequence will contribute to a significant decline in the insurance contract, which may affect the Nigerian economy. The paper aims to evaluate the risks of the continuous application of the traditional law, which does not keep with the pace of modern insurance practice. It will ultimately produce a legally compliant reform, along with a significant deviation from the archaic structure that exists in the Nigerian insurance law. This paper forms part of an on-going PhD research on "The insured’s pre-contractual duty of utmost of utmost good faith". The outcome from the research to date finds that the insured bears the burden of the obligation to act in utmost good faith where it concerns disclosure of material facts.

Keywords: disclosure, materiality, Nigeria, United Kingdom, utmost good faith

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136 Mindfulness in a Secular Age: Framing and Contextualising the Conversation in the Irish Context

Authors: Thomas P. Carroll

Abstract:

The phenomenon of mindfulness has become ever more popular in an increasingly pluralist Western society. Mindfulness practice has penetrated secular contexts that would otherwise be closed to religious influence, including state schools, hospitals, and commerce. The contemporary understanding of mindfulness has its origins in Buddhist meditation. However, since Jon Kabat-Zinn’s pioneering work in Mindfulness-Based Interventions, the concept has developed and sometimes mutated into various forms of practice which are disembedded from their original spiritual philosophy. This project will explore the spiritual climate within which mindfulness is currently flourishing through dialogue with three interlocutors. The first interlocutor is the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor whose seminal work, ‘A Secular Age’, outlines three distinct modes of secularity. Taylor examines how the conditions of belief have changed and how the self seeks meaning in an age where belief in the divine is no longer axiomatic. The next interlocutor is Czech theologian and psychotherapist Tomáš Halík who offers a unique perspective of a Catholic who belongs to a section of society outnumbered by secular counterparts, with a theological hermeneutic best described as 'Den Fremden verstehen- understanding the stranger'. Finally, Irish theologian Michael Paul Gallagher offers a theological perspective on how the Christian faith can be translated into dialogue with Irish secular culture, as well as addressing the crisis of imagination and culture rather than the crisis of faith in Ireland. These interlocutors will illustrate that there are sometimes striking differences in how to interpret the religious signs of the times. However, these approaches also reveal significant similarities in how they address and explore the meaning of religious belief and experience today. In this way, themes will emerge that will help to frame the conversation about mindfulness in the West. These themes will include; the failure of the secularization thesis to pass, the growth of a diverse marketplace of religions and beliefs and the growth of a demographic who identify as spiritual but not religious. Such research is paramount in enabling a richer dialogue between Christian faith and mindfulness in a fragmented, postmodern Western context.

Keywords: culture, mindfulness, secularism, spirituality

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135 US-ASEAN Counter Terrorism Cooperation: Maintaining International Security and Avoiding Muslim Stereotypes

Authors: Jordan Daud, Satriya Wibawa, Wahyu Wardhana

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The US Global War on Terror has had effect on Southeast Asia as Second Front of Global War on Terror. Since 2001, ASEAN had adopted legal framework to counter the terrorist threat through numerous approach which accommodate various counterterrorism policy of the ten member states. ASEAN have also enhanced multilateral cooperation with US and its allies in Asia Pacific region in addressing terrorist threat, terrorist funding, cyber terrorism and other forms of terrorism. This cooperation is essential to maintain international security and stability and also assure economic development. This work focuses on the US-ASEAN counterterrorism cooperation due to they identified terrorism as a mutual enemy that posed to human security, infrastructure security, and national security. Having in mind that international terrorism usually connected with Muslim community, this paper will also elaborate the concept of Jihad and Islam revivalism in politics to avoid negative image of Islam and Muslim. This paper argues that as region with large Muslim community, Southeast Asia still need to tighten counter terrorism cooperation and also lessening Muslim stereotypes with terrorism through educating public understanding and inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue to create a better world.

Keywords: ASEAN, U.S., counter terrorism, Muslim stereotypes

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134 Exploring the Potentials of Adapting Philosophical Principles as a Generative Source for Islamic Creative Expression

Authors: Tamadher Alfahal

Abstract:

Faith and art practice in traditional Islam had a profound rapport that is lost today. From practicing the principles of faith throughout everyday life, art was found as an expressive tool for Islamic revelation, worship, and the contemplative remembrance of God. Today, this rapport between Islamic art and spirituality has diminished; and the cosmological and metaphysical ideas that were the core of creative practices lost their imminence in people's lives. Hence, the cultural and religious practice of Islamic societies became separate from the creative production. In an attempt to revisit this rapport, it is sought to investigate the possibility of creating a set of principles for contemporary Islamic art and design through collaborative practice-led research. The research will aim to regenerate the potentials of Islamic philosophy for creative expressions, particularly in design studies. The outcomes will be manifested through different mediums such as: reflexive mind maps and visuals by the researcher, and various methods of participatory art practice aim to validate the philosophical concepts as design principles as a way to disseminate knowledge. This paper will focus on showcasing the key findings and the research approach for generating philosophical concepts as design principles. Using secondary evidence from literature, it will show examples of transforming textual findings into visuals that will be extensively explored through multidisciplinary collaborative sessions (these are scheduled to be conducted between February and April 2017).

Keywords: creative process, design pedagogy, design thinking, Islamic art, Islamic designs, Islamic philosophy

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133 Harmonization of Conflict Ahadith between Dissociation and Peaceful Co-Existence with Non-Muslims

Authors: Saheed Biodun Qaasim-Badmusi

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A lot has been written on peaceful co-existence with non-Muslims in Islam, but little attention is paid to the conflict between Ahadith relating to dissociation from non-Muslims as a kernel of Islamic faith, and the one indicating peaceful co-existence with them. Undoubtedly, proper understanding of seemingly contradictory prophetic traditions is an antidote to the bane of pervasive extremism in our society. This is what calls for need to shed light on ‘Harmonization of Conflict Ahadith between Dissociation and Peaceful Co-existence with Non-Muslims. It is in view of the above that efforts are made in this paper to collate Ahadith pertaining to dissociation from non-Muslims as well as co-existence with them. Consequently, a critical study of their authenticity is briefly explained before proceeding to analysis of their linguistic and contextual meanings. To arrive at the accurate interpretation, harmonization is graphically applied. The result shows that dissociation from non –Muslims as a bedrock of Islamic faith could be explained in Sunnah by prohibition of participating or getting satisfaction from their religious matters, and anti-Islamic activities. Also, freedom of apostasy, ignoring da`wah with wisdom and seeking non-Muslims support against Muslims are frowned upon in Sunnah as phenomenon of dissociation from non –Muslims. All the aforementioned are strictly prohibited in Sunnah whether under the pretext of enhancing peaceful co-existence with non-Muslims or not. While peaceful co-existence with non-Muslims is evidenced in Sunnah by permissibility of visiting the sick among them, exchange of gift with them, forgiving the wrong among them, having good relationship with non-Muslim neighbours, ties of non-Muslim kinship, legal business transaction with them and the like. Finally, the degree of peaceful co-existence with non-Muslims is determined by their attitude towards Islam and Muslims.

Keywords: Ahadith, conflict, co-existence, non-Muslims

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132 Let’s talk about it! Increasing Advance Directives and End-of-Life Planning Awareness & Acceptance in Multi-Cultural Population with Low Health Literacy in a Faith-Based Setting

Authors: Tonya P. Bowers

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Background: The community/patient-focused quality improvement (QI) project has resolved a clinical problem using a quantitative design evaluating behavior change practices in a convenience sample from a multi-cultural congregation in a faith-based setting. AD is a legal document that speaks for the patient when they are unable to speak for themselves. The AD provides detailed information regarding critical medical decisions on behalf of the patient if they’re unable to make decisions themselves. The goal of an AD is to improve EOL care renderings that align with the patient’s desires. The AD diminishes anxiety and stress associated with making difficult EOL care decisions for patients and their families. Method: The project has two intervention strategies: pre-intervention and post-intervention formative surveys and a final summative survey. Most of the data collection takes place during implementation. The Let’s Talk About It Program utilized an online meeting platform for presentation. Participants were asked to complete informed consent and surveys via an online portal. Education included slide presentation, Advance Directive demonstration, video clips, discussions and 1:1 assistance with AD completion with a project manager. Results: Considering the overwhelming likelihood responses where 87.5% identified they “definitely would” hold an End-Of-Life conversation with their healthcare provider or family, and 81.25% indicated their likelihood that they “definitely would” complete an advance directive. In addition, the final summative post-intervention survey (n-14) also demonstrated an overwhelming 93% positive response. Which undoubtedly demonstrates favorable outcomes for the project. Conclusion: the Let’s Talk About It Program demonstrated effectiveness in improving participants' attitudes and acceptance towards Advance Directives and expanding End-of-Life care discussions. Emphasis on program sustainment within the church is imperative in fostering continued awareness and improved health outcomes for the local community with low health literacy.

Keywords: advance directive, end of life, advance care planning, palliative care, low health literacy, faith-based

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131 From Abraham to Average Man: Game Theoretic Analysis of Divine Social Relationships

Authors: Elizabeth Latham

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Billions of people worldwide profess some feeling of psychological or spiritual connection with the divine. The majority of them attribute this personal connection to the God of the Christian Bible. The objective of this research was to discover what could be known about the exact social nature of these relationships and to see if they mimic the interactions recounted in the bible; if a worldwide majority believes that the Christian Bible is a true account of God’s interactions with mankind, it is reasonable to assume that the interactions between God and the aforementioned people would be similar to the ones in the bible. This analysis required the employment of an unusual method of biblical analysis: Game Theory. Because the research focused on documented social interaction between God and man in scripture, it was important to go beyond text-analysis methods. We used stories from the New Revised Standard Version of the bible to set up “games” using economics-style matrices featuring each player’s motivations and possible courses of action, modeled after interactions in the Old and New Testaments between the Judeo-Christian God and some mortal person. We examined all relevant interactions for the objectives held by each party and their strategies for obtaining them. These findings were then compared to similar “games” created based on interviews with people subscribing to different levels of Christianity who ranged from barely-practicing to clergymen. The range was broad so as to look for a correlation between scriptural knowledge and game-similarity to the bible. Each interview described a personal experience someone believed they had with God and matrices were developed to describe each one as social interaction: a “game” to be analyzed quantitively. The data showed that in most cases, the social features of God-man interactions in the modern lives of people were like those present in the “games” between God and man in the bible. This similarity was referred to in the study as “biblical faith” and it alone was a fascinating finding with many implications. The even more notable finding, however, was that the amount of game-similarity present did not correlate with the amount of scriptural knowledge. Each participant was also surveyed on family background, political stances, general education, scriptural knowledge, and those who had biblical faith were not necessarily the ones that knew the bible best. Instead, there was a high degree of correlation between biblical faith and family religious observance. It seems that to have a biblical psychological relationship with God, it is more important to have a religious family than to have studied scripture, a surprising insight with massive implications on the practice and preservation of religion.

Keywords: bible, Christianity, game theory, social psychology

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130 Discourse Functions of Rhetorical Devices in Selected Roman Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letters in the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha, Nigeria

Authors: Virginia Chika Okafor

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The pastoral letter, an open letter addressed by a bishop to members of his diocese for the purpose of promoting faith and good Christian living, constitutes a persuasive religious discourse characterized by numerous rhetorical devices. Previous studies on Christian religious language have concentrated mainly on sermons, liturgy, prayers, theology, scriptures, hymns, and songs to the exclusion of the persuasive power of pastoral letters. This study, therefore, examined major rhetorical devices in selected Roman Catholic bishops’ Lenten pastoral letters in the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha, with a view to determining their persuasive discourse functions. Aristotelian Rhetoric was adopted as the framework because of its emphasis on persuasion through three main rhetorical appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. Data were drawn from 10 pastoral letters of five Roman Catholic bishops in five dioceses (two letters from each) out of the seven in the Ecclesiastical of Onitsha. The five dioceses (Onitsha arch-diocese, Nnewi, Awka, Enugu, and Awgu dioceses) were chosen because pastoral letters are regularly published there. The 10 pastoral letters were published between 2000 and 2010 and range between 20 and 104 pages. They were selected, through purposive sampling, based on consistency in the publication and rhetorical content. Data were subjected to discourse analysis. Three categories of rhetorical devices were identified: those relating to logos (logical devices), those relating to pathos (pathetical devices), and those relating to ethos (ethical devices). Major logical devices deployed were: testimonial reference functioning as authority to validate messages; logical arguments appealing to the rationality of the audience; nominalization and passivation objectifying the validity of ideas; and modals of obligation/necessity appealing to the audience’s sense of responsibility and moral duty. Prominent among the pathetical devices deployed were: use of Igbo language to express solidarity with the audience; inclusive pronoun (we) to create a feeling of belonging, collectivism and oneness with them; prayers to inspire them; and positive emotion-laden words to refer to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) to keep the audience emotionally attached to it. Finally, major ethical devices deployed were: use of first-person singular pronoun (I) and imperatives to invoke the authority of the bishops’ office; Latinisms to show learnedness; greetings and appreciation to express goodwill; and exemplary Biblical characters as models of faith, repentance, and love. The rhetorical devices were used in relation to the bishops’ messages of faith, repentance, love and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic bishops’ pastoral letters in the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha are thus characterized by logos-, pathos-, and ethos-related rhetorical devices designed to persuade the audience to live according to the bishops’ messages of faith, love, repentance, and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church. The rhetorical devices, therefore, establish the pastoral letters as a significant form of persuasive religious discourse.

Keywords: ecclesiastical province of Onitsha, pastoral letters, persuasive discourse functions, rhetorical devices, Roman Catholic bishops

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129 A Phenomenological Study on the Role of Civil Society Organizations in Supporting Urban Refugees in Thailand

Authors: Rowena Clemino Alcoba

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Thailand is host to the largest number of refugees in the region. The country has been one of the most accessible points of entry to refugees around the world because it has relatively lenient visa requirements, enabling asylum seekers to enter the country and subsequently search for legal assistance. However, because Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees which governs the refugee status determination and safeguards several rights of the refugees, there are no national laws or administrative framework on the protection of refugees. Refugees are considered as illegal migrants, and certain groups are permitted to stay temporarily only upon executive discretion. Aside from the documented group of refugees from the Myanmar border, there are many others who came from different parts of the world. They are known as urban refugees believed to be in the thousands and are scattered in the impoverished areas of Bangkok and the suburbs. This study aims to advance understanding of the role of civil society organizations in supporting refugees, with particular focus on urban refugees. Using the method of triangulation in qualitative research, the study investigates the life journey of a refugee family from Pakistan, their difficulties and struggles to survive in perilous situations. The study presents the dynamics of how civil society works and collaborates to fill the gap for much-needed social services. It also discusses the depth and scope of the role of faith actors in the protection and support of this vulnerable sector. The engagement of civil society reveals framework and structure that aims to create long-term impact. The help provided is not merely monetary or material dole-outs but a platform for refugees to integrate with community, develop skills and make productive use of their time.

Keywords: asylum seeker, civil society, faith actors, refugees

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