Vol 34 No. 1 (2015)
The Holy Qur’an is the most important factor shaping the development of the Islamic culture and civilization. It can be claimed that all attempts in the field of Islamic thought have been shaped on the basis of the Qur’anic literature, jurisprudence, ilm al-usul, theology, philosophy and gnosis. For instance philosophy, which found its way into the Muslim world from Greece, developed under the influence of Qur’anic teachings by Islamic philosophers and formed a new Islamic identity. Muslim philosophers adapted ideas and philosophical doctrines from the teachings of the Qur’an. They also used the Qur’anic verses in order to conceptualize and make new theories. They used the logic of the Qur’an for presenting philosophical arguments based on the analyses of this work. Among the Islamic philosophers, the contributions of Kindi, Suhrawardi, Avicenna, and Mulla Sadra were most significant.
Reconsidering the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: An Imperfect Forgery or Another Polemical Gnostic Fragment [+] 19-40
The 10th International Congress of Coptic Studies (ICCS) was held in September 2012 in Italy. However, when the Gnosticism and Manichaeism section was commenced, the congress atmosphere was rapidly changed by Karen King’s paper. It was originally assumed that the topic would be an attempt on the Tchacos Codex, but the Harvard scholar announced a new Coptic fragment in relation to the marital status of Jesus with Mariam. The new Coptic fragment was introduced as a rough rectangular shape, torn on all four corners. The amazing outbreak of the new Coptic papyrus took the attention of scholars and global faith communities in uncertainty and suspicion. Then, what is the new text about? Why is the Coptic teaching so controversial? What is the present tendency of the controversy? What is the truth? This paper will not only demonstrate the situation of the critical debate but also argue a new hypothesis that the new controversial manuscript is not an imperfect forgery but another notorious gnostic fragment unconfirmed.
Johannes de Silentio, the pseudonymous author of Fear and Trembling , purports to be an individual who admires faith but cannot attain to its unearthly standards. The discontinuity between Kierkegaard, who self identified as a religious author, and de Silentio, who approaches Abraham in self-doubt, is apparent—and as a result, some have argued for an utter dissociation between these two authors. I argue that such dissociation undermines the potency of the work, especially with regard to the perspective on faith presented therein. The significance of de Silentio’s perspective becomes clear when set against the backdrop of Kierkegaard’s view of the relationship between anxiety and faith; in this light, de Silentio turns out to represent an early stage of the individual’s religious development, and Kierkegaard turns out to have recently surpassed this stage before writing the work.
A Calvinist Case for Tolerant Public Pluralism: The Religious Sources of Abraham Kuyper’s Public Philosophy [+] 53-84
Religiously generated conflict and intolerance around the world challenge the idea that religion can generate support for plurality, religious freedom, genuine toleration and democracy. Some argue, for example, that Islam is incompatible with democracy. This article argues that each religious tradition must explore its internal resources for how they might generate and support toleration and democracy. I explore the case of neo-Calvinism which shares a belief in God’s sovereignty with Islam, yet strongly supports religious freedom, toleration and democracy. The Dutch neo Calvinist leader, Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) developed distinctive political ideas consistently based on Christian beliefs. This article opens by examining Calvin’s thought for intolerant political ideas. It presents Kuyper’s rationale for the legitimacy of “reforming” earlier Christian ideas and actions. The majority of the article analyzes Kuyper’s rationale for “tolerant public pluralism” in order to show how neo-Calvinist beliefs systematically shaped his political thinking.
Laicity and the Inherited Boundaries between Religion and Politics in Québec: Reflections after Marcel Gauchet [+] 85-100
An understanding of the debate on reasonable accommodations that has been taking place in Québec and the ensuing Charter of Values presented in 2013 requires an analysis of the historical and political boundaries separating political life from religious life. This paper argues that these boundaries have been structured by a history of laicization and by the mutually supporting roles of collective self-determination and laicity in Québécois identity. It presents a philosophical account of the work of Marcel Gauchet, Yvan Lamonde, and the report of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodations, and stresses the role of anticlericalism in the phases of the establishment of democracy in Québec, a society where the Catholic Church played a central social and institutional role.
The primary goal of this article is to describe spiritual and religious considerations of music in Islamic spiritual care for enhancing spiritual care to Muslims. In medieval times in the Muslim world, music played an important role in healthcare practices. For example music was used not only to enhance spirituality of patients but also to improve their health. Many Muslim scholars and musicians used musical theory and techniques as a way of connecting patients with the Divine, inspiring hope and finding meaning in their crisis, suffering and illness. Therefore music can be used in spiritual care for Muslims as a tool to connect patients with spiritual sources of strength.
Reflections from the Field
This essay offers a series of reflections about the challenges that arise for an ethnographer writing in the public sphere, especially when addressing controversial issues or moments of political uncertainty in sites of long-term fieldwork. In this case, Argentina, where the author has conducted fieldwork for over fourteen years, experienced a political crisis stemming from the unexplained death of a prosecutor in January 2015. In such moments of crisis, this essay asks, what is the role and responsibility of the academic voice? Inevitably, challenges arise when presenting ethnographically inflected work for a public audience, often leaving the author in a liminal space, “betwixt and between” the academic world and the public sphere. Yet, these challenges and liminal spaces can also expand the boundaries of one’s field of study, engaging new audiences while also offering powerful insights into the production of academic knowledge.
Religious Objects in Museums: Private Lives and Public Duties, by Crispin Paine. Bloomsbury, 2013. 192pp., 21 bw illustrations. Pb., $34.95. ISBN- 13: 9781847887733 127-128
Speculative Grace: Bruno Latour and Object-oriented Theology, by Adam S. Miller. Fordham University Press, 2013. 166pp. Pb., $18.00. ISBN-13: 9780823251513 129-130
Pragmatic Pluralism and the Problem of God, by Sami Pihlström. Fordham University Press, 2013. 264pp. Hb., $55.00. ISBN-13: 9780823251582 131-132
A Cultural History of Women in Antiquity, edited by Janet H. Tulloch. Bloomsbury, 2013. 288pp., bw illustrations. Hb., $104.00. Volume 1 of A Cultural History of Women. ISBN-13: 9780857850973 133-135
Urban Catholic Education: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, by Thomas C. Hunt, David J. O’Brien and Timothy Walch. Peter Lang, 2013. 221pp. Hb., £86.00/US$139.95, ISBN-13: 9781433117787; Pb., £24.00/$38.95. ISBN-13 : 9781433117787 136-137
Isaac on Jewish and Christian Altars: Polemic and Exegesis in Rashi and the Glossa Ordinaria, by Devorah Schoenfeld. Fordham University Press, 2012. 240pp. Hb., $55.00. ISBN-13: 9780823243495 138-139