Entangled Religions 2018-12-04T13:04:00+00:00 Julia Reiker Open Journal Systems <p><em>Entangled Religions</em> is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed academic journal. It deals with encounters between different religious traditions and concomitant processes of transfer in past and present times.</p> Dynamics and Stability in the Encounters between Asian Buddhists and European Christians 2018-07-11T12:14:26+00:00 Stephen C. Berkwitz <p>The aim of this paper is to theorize broadly about how cultural encounters between Asian Buddhists and European Christians spurred various efforts to demarcate, systematize, and stabilize religious traditions. It focuses on the dynamics seen in Buddhist responses to contact situations from the sixteenth century onwards in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Japan in order to map out some patterns of interaction among these communities. Theories of cultural imitation and independence do not suffice to theorize interreligious encounters in these cases. Using select examples, this paper will contend that Asian Buddhists often&nbsp;responded to various kinds of European interventions by redefining and reimagining the&nbsp;Buddhist tradition in new ways in order to argue for its continued validity and to secure its&nbsp;stability in the face of external encounters and pressures.</p> 2018-01-31T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Typologies and Argumentation Tactics in Religious Polemics - An Analysis of al-Jawāb al Sahih and the Cyprus Letter 2018-07-11T12:14:10+00:00 Faris Zwirahn <p>Christian-Muslim polemical exchanges and the relationship between the two faiths’ religious authorities in the medieval period were often rigid. One exchange between Christian theologians in Cyprus and Muslim theologians in Damascus is evidently polemical and exemplifies the difficult relations that occurred early in the fourteenth century and the nature of challenging religious arguments. That is <em>The Letter from the People of Cyprus</em> and Ibn Taymiyya’s response to it. This article offers a new analysis through the perspective of particular theoretical typologies of religious polemics. Accordingly, the article shows that these two polemicists adhere to multiple scriptural and rational tactics in support of their biased understanding of religious truth and the definition of impeccable revelations. It also shows that both theologians were involved in forceful and sometimes contradictory argumentative techniques.</p> 2018-07-10T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Representation of Transcendence. The Armenian Letter “On the Image-Fighters” from the Seventh Century CE 2018-09-18T07:03:33+00:00 Thomas Jurczyk <p>The major aim of this article is to study the Armenian Letter “On the Image-Fighters” by Vrt’anes K’ert’oł (approx. seventh century CE) from a religious studies’ perspective&nbsp;by examining the use and the role of representation (through images) in the <em>Letter</em>. The topic of&nbsp;representation is important both for the study of religion as well as for the history of iconoclasm&nbsp;and closely connected to the analytical concept of immanence/transcendence. The peculiarities&nbsp;of the use of representation in the <em>Letter</em> demonstrate that some aspects of the broader&nbsp;notion of representation must be adjusted when talking about religious representation. The&nbsp;approach of this article combines an in-depth investigation of the Letter (including an English&nbsp;translation in the appendix) with comparisons to different semantic layers of the modern notion&nbsp;of representation and the use of representation in Greek (pre-)iconoclastic sources from the&nbsp;same period.</p> 2018-09-13T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Evangelicals and the Encounter with Islam: Changing Christian Identity in Multi-Faith Britain 2018-11-26T13:28:31+00:00 Greg Smith <p>Over the last fifty years, British society has changed from a Christendom&nbsp;model, where the default religious identity was Church of England, to a religiously diverse&nbsp;society, where religious identity is a significant marker for minorities in the population. Among&nbsp;Christians, strong religious belief and belonging is most likely to be expressed by those who&nbsp;identify as evangelical. In many parts of the world, and especially in the USA, evangelical&nbsp;discourse on the subject of non-Christian faiths, especially Islam, suggests profound antipathy&nbsp;to ‘other’ beliefs and sometimes hostility to their adherents. In contrast, evidence presented in&nbsp;this paper from a recent Evangelical Alliance panel survey suggests a range of nuanced views<br>in the community of evangelical Christians in the UK. Although over 80% affirmed that Jesus is&nbsp;the only way of salvation, and 84% thought Christianity is the only path to God, more extended&nbsp;comments show that a wide range of views exist, from the paranoid or exclusive to a view&nbsp;that is tolerant and broadly inclusive. The paper will examine the associations between these&nbsp;views and various demographic and theological factors and seek to explain the data in terms&nbsp;of the patterns of contemporary everyday inter-faith encounters, with specific emphasis on the&nbsp;Abrahamic faiths, especially Islam. The situation is discussed in a framework of dynamics and&nbsp;stability, where religious contact between faith communities has both crystallized beliefs and&nbsp;identities and opened up new possibilities for alliances against the secular world.</p> 2018-11-21T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Official Buddhism in Russia’s Politics and Education - Religion, Indigeneity, and Patriotism in Buryatia 2018-11-26T13:28:30+00:00 Ivan Sablin <p>Focusing on organized Buddhism in the Republic of Buryatia and analyzing the&nbsp;statements of Khambo Lama Damba Aiusheev of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia and&nbsp;the textbooks used for teaching religion in public schools, the article discusses the different&nbsp;aspects of the relations between religion and state as applied to Buddhism in contemporary&nbsp;Russia in general and Buryatia in particular. The imperial politics of diversity management and&nbsp;especially the legacies of confessional governance in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union&nbsp;made the four “traditional religions”—Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism—an important part of “federal” nation-building. Despite the overall desecularization of the&nbsp;Russian state and the long history of relations between the state and organized Buddhism, the&nbsp;predominantly Buryat, centralized organization Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia did not&nbsp;assert its claim to represent all Russian Buddhists. State efforts to establish a system of four&nbsp;“traditional religions,” providing<em> inter alia</em> a spiritual foundation for Russian patriotism, also did&nbsp;not succeed. Buddhism remained decentralized in both administrative and semantic terms and&nbsp;did not lose its connections to the communities outside Russia. In Buryatia itself, Shamanism&nbsp;and Orthodox Christianity continuously challenged attempts to present Buddhism as the only&nbsp;Buryat “traditional religion.”</p> 2018-11-26T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Linking Khotan and Dūnhuáng: Buddhist Narratives in Text and Image 2018-12-04T13:04:00+00:00 Christoph Anderl <p>In the propagation and spread of Buddhism throughout Asia, <em>jātaka&nbsp;</em>and <em>avadāna</em> narratives played a decisive role, both in the form of texts and&nbsp;iconographical representations. In this paper I will focus on another set of narratives&nbsp;which enjoyed great popularity in the Dūnhuáng area during the later Tang and&nbsp;Five Dynasties period, dealing with historical projections concerning the origin and&nbsp;transmission of Buddhism. In this stories, “Auspicious Statues” (<em>ruìxiàng</em> 瑞像) play a&nbsp;key role. These “living” statues were thought to have moved from Indian monasteries&nbsp;to Khotan and other regions, serving as agents of the transmission of the Dharma in&nbsp;these areas. Besides reflecting religious key concern during that period, the historical&nbsp;narratives on the spread of Buddhism also give witness to the close diplomatic and&nbsp;family relations between Dunhuang and the Kingdom of Khotan during that period.</p> 2018-12-04T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##