A Response to Shona Lester [ Response PDF ] By Machteld Zee, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Urbanism, Religion, and Race-based Residential Preferences
R. Khari Brown, Wayne State University/University of Michigan
Ryan Duff, Wayne State University
[ Abstract ] [ Article PDF ]
Local History of a Charismatic Catholic Base Community during the Pinochet Dictatorship: The Dios con Nosotros Community, 1973-1983
Fabián Gaspar Bustamante Olguín, Universidad Católica Cardenal Raúl Silva Henríquez, Universidad Diego Portales, and Universidad de Chile
[ Abstract ] [ Article PDF ]
The Shakers, a small ecstatic religious group, found themselves at the center of controversy in the early nineteenth century when a number of apostates published accounts accusing the sect of all variety of malfeasance. This forced the Shakers to publish responses, and the resultant public battle had a number of interesting features. In this article I examine how these attacks mask a general national anxiety regarding religious identity. Anti-Shakers sought to vilify the group by employing captivity and conversion narratives to a nineteenth century audience weaned on such tales. However by manipulating established tropes, these anti-Shakers over-played their hand, and the Shakers proved remarkably adept at reversing the terms of the argument.
There are various ways in which religion and science have been perceived to interact in the cultural domain. After critically assessing the "separation view" of their relationship and finding it untenable, this essay recounts various "interaction views" wherein either religion or science is assumed to be taking precedence over or replacing in significance the other. This essay concludes with a "postsecular perspective" that sheds a different light on this relationship, claiming that discursively, religion and science inform and complement each other in American culture.
Catholic bioethicists have examined specific biomedical technologies (esp. at life's beginning and end). But a comprehensive reflection on the phenomenon of biomedical technology itself is missing. Moreover, a paradox appears operative. Several such technologies are rejected as unnatural when used to regulate procreation, but deemed a natural form of intersubjective care and as such obligatory when sustaining life. Given the pervasiveness of biomedical technology in contemporary health care, an in-depth reflection on this paradox and the phenomenon of biomedical technology in general is needed. By critically reviewing the existing Catholic bioethical literature, this paper seeks to contribute to such a comprehensive ethical analysis.
Education-inspired decline of religious thought and practice among students has long been conceived as a mechanism of secularization. How education correlates with religious outcomes, and vice versa, have been of interest both in academia and in the public, primarily because of the rise of the so-called "New Atheist" movement that seeks dominion within the intellectual sphere, the rise of the number of individuals who do not identify with a religion, and the guiding secular ethos of Western nations. Modern social research has exposed important limitations and caveats to the secularization paradigm that call into question to what extent, or even if, religious decline occurs during post-secondary schooling. This article presents the inadequacies and unsubstantiated assumptions of the secularization hypothesis through discussion of key topics of contention, namely: (1) propensities of religious to enroll and excel in school; (2) demographic changes in educational trajectories of religious and non-religious; (3) decline of religious service attendance among post-secondary students; (4) the dissolution of religious plausibility structures; (5) the "liberalization" of student religious opinion; and (6) the nature and process of religious disaffiliation during schooling. Although the consensus of this review is that education is generally not atrophic to religious orientation, exceptions in favor of the secularization hypothesis will also be presented.
Machteld Zee's article in the previous volume outlines the debate concerning the interaction between the state and the operation of Sharia councils in the United Kingdom. She does not purport to provide a solution, but to add some elusive clarity in an area already full of ambiguities. This author holds the view that, in its goal to present a full account of the debate, Zee's article is imbalanced in parts and not fully explored in others. I propose that, rather than suggested Government intervention in the form of top-down legislation, change ought to come from within the community.
Using the October 2008 Pew Social Trends Survey, the present study finds that worship attendance more strongly contributes to the unwillingness of non-urban Whites to live within racially diverse settings than it does for their urban counterparts. One way to understand these findings is that the greater exposure to diversity among individuals living within more urban contexts may serve as a challenge to conservative attitudes reinforced within worship settings that are largely racially segregated. Contrary to Whites, however, worship attendance is unrelated to the place-based racial attitudes of Blacks and Hispanics living in more and less urban communities.
The principle objective of this paper is to illustrate the experience of a community from the Catholic Charismatic Renewal – Renovación Carismátic Católica – (RCC) in the Manuel Rodríguez section of Santiago, Chile (now Pudahuel) from 1973 to 1983. It analyzes how residents of this charismatic community developed a new way of living together in the face of a military dictatorship and puts forward a reflection on the following two aspects. First, it underlines the heterogeneity of the Ecclesial Base Communities – Comunidades Eclesiales de Base – (CEB) in opposition to the tendency of some studies to overlook their distinct internal dynamics. Second, it highlights the importance of these communities as popular spaces for rebuilding the social fabric in the face of state repression.