Muslim NGOs and civil society in Indonesia

Religion and NGOs
Produced by R. Michael Feener
Since the turn of the twenty-first century, there has been a remarkable surge of interest among both academics and policy makers in the effects that religion has on international aid and development. Within this broad field, the work of ‘religious NGOs’ or ‘Faith-Based Organisations’

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  • What is RSP?

    The Religious Studies Project (RSP) is an international collaborative enterprise producing weekly podcasts with leading scholars on the social-scientific study of religion. Find out more…

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  • ‘Modelling Religion’ and the Integration of the Sciences and the Humanities in the Bio-cultural Study of Religion

    Following his Albert Moore Memorial Lecture at Otago University, celebrating 50 years of Religious Studies at Otago, Professor Wesley Wildman talks to Thomas White regarding the integration of the sciences and the humanities in his bio-cultural approach to the study of religion.

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    Sitting on the bench: is the cognitive and evolutionary study of religion a team sport?

    A Response to Wesley J. Wildman on “Modelling Religion and the Integration of the Sciences and the Humanities in the Bio-cultural Study of Religion”
    By Leonardo Ambasciano

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    Absence as Advantage

    A response to “What do we mean by Indigenous Religion(s)” with Bjorn Ola Tafjord and Arkotong Longkumer
    by Liudmila Nikanorova

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    What do we mean by Indigenous Religion(s)?

    We talk a lot about the World Relgions Paradigm at the Religious Studies Project, and this discussion looks more closely at one of the ancillary categories, Indigenous Religion. What exactly does this term refer to? Does it refer to specific religions (plural) or a kind of religion (singular)? What makes some religions indigenous and not others? What are the political implications? Bjorn Ola Tafjord & Arkotong Longkumer outline some of the language games that involve Indigenous Religion.

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    The Perils and Promise of “Authenticity”

    A Response to “Hindu Traditions in Contemporary British Communities” with Theodora Wildcroft and Stephen Jacobs
    by Race MoChridhe

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    Hindu Traditions in Contemporary British Communities

    This podcast explores how Hindu belief and traditions have been incorporated into modern western practices. An overview of the British kirtan community and the Art of Living movement is followed by a discussion of authenticity, reconciliation of tradition and modernity, and the influence of popular culture. As appropriation of culture and questions of authenticity pervade conversations across fields, the study of contemporary British Hindu movements is important in understanding how millennia old religious traditions are being used in new, modern contexts.

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    The RSP needs you!

    It’s the start of a new season (semester?) of podcasts for the Religious Studies Project and we have a new responses editor in the form of me – Jonathan Tuckett!

    You may remember me from back in the very early days of the podcasts when I interviewed Timothy Fitzgerald.

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    Islamic Millennialism

    We may tend to think of millennialism as something typical of New Religious Movements and christian fundamentalism, but it has a long and interesting history in the Islamic world too. Rob Gleave, Professor of Arabic Studies at Exeter, takes us through the history of Islamic millennialism, and explains how it has been tied up with politial events in the past, as well as the present. He raises interesting points about how the unusual form of Twelver Shi’ite millennialism developed from Islamic theological discourse.

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    Stretching Good Faith: A Response to Candy Gunther Brown

    If Candy Gunther Brown’s work is so divergent with her peers in academia, how does one contextualize her understanding of yoga and her approach to it? In keeping with Bender’s assessment that Brown “exemplifies the ‘caveat emptor’ genre of popular writing about CAM,” I would argue that Brown’s writings on yoga are most similar to the genre of Christian-based criticism of yoga.

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    Black Religious Movements and Religio-Racial Identities during the Great Migration

    In this podcast, Judith Weisenfeld talks to Brad Stoddard about her new book, New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity during the Great Depression. In this book, Weisenfeld explores several social groups in the early 1900s who combined religious and racial rhetoric to fashion new identities. These groups include the Nation of Islam, the Moorish Science Temple, and Father Divine’s Peace Mission Movement, and various Ethiopian Hebrews.

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    Evangelical Yoga: Cultural Appropriation and Translation in American Religions

    In this interview, we discuss yoga as a new American phenomenon and the way that some evangelical Christians practice it. Brown provides a historic overview of bodily–religious practices in America, starting with mesmerism, occultism, osteopathy, and chiropractic in the nineteenth century. These practices challenged the standard “heroic” model of medicine: Instead of the patient experiencing torturous medical treatments, a practitioner simply realigns the patient’s body or does a quick procedure. Such bodily practices blurred, in some cases, with Pentecostal and Holiness Christians’ use of prayer as a medical treatment.

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    On Reading Ralph Ellison Theologically

    Most scholars examining invisibility in Ellison’s novel consider it a social metaphor: the novel’s protagonist is made invisible by people’s refusal to really see him. Yet Harriss claims invisibility is also a theological trope, with roots in biblical materials, Protestantism, and Kongo traditions, antecedents that establish it as an unmarked religious category. More than the social marginalization of black bodies, Harriss contends invisibility is metaphysical, too.

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    Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Theology

    By claiming the invisible not simply as a materialist term but a metaphysical one as well, Harriss contends that despite—or even because of—his status as a thoroughly “ secular” novelist and critic, Ellison’s writing reflects important theological trends and issues that mark his age and the cultural inheritances of his literary production. Harriss also identifies the scholars and thinkers who inform the methodological moves that he makes in the book, and he reflects on the abiding relevance of Ellison’s life and insights.

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