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Displaying: 1-10 of 252 documents


articles
1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Stefano Bigliardi, A Gentleman’s Joyous Esotericism: Jean Sendy Above and Beyond the “Ancient Aliens”
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The article reconstructs the narratives advanced by the author Jean Sendy (1910–1978). His life is reconstructed as well. It is argued that Sendy was a cultivated, sophisticated, and ironic author; deeply different, by virtue of his books’ quality, from other proponents of the “ancient aliens” narratives, with whom he is often grouped.
2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
T. Botz-Bornstein, How Would You Dress in Utopia? Raëlism and the Aesthetics of Genes: A Philosophical Analysis
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According to Claude Vorilhon (Raël), the Elohim do not effectuate miracles but are “designers” who have advanced knowledge in genetics. I approach the politics of the genetic body as it is conceived in Raëlism via a discussion on aesthetics. A genetically constructed body collides with a category that has been central to the Western aesthetic tradition: style. The Raëlian Movement has created the concept of an “artificial world beyond nature” where human existence is limited to the aistetikos. Certain premises regarding style and fashion become manifest through the way in which Raëlism connects genes with the question of style. In Raëlism, positivism overcomes nature as well as the restraining power of civilization and creates a new posthuman world. While Western thought has attempted to spell out reasonable links between the natural and the artificial, for Raëlians everything is artificial, which asks for a revision of aesthetics.
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Kyungsoo Lee, Jumping Over the Distinctions: The Movement between “Here” and “There” in the Women’s Church, Korea
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This is an anthropological study of the Women’s Church in Korea. The paper examines the organization’s symbols and rituals, taking a semiotic approach to ritual studies. By adapting Webb Keane’s “bundling of meanings” theory and Susan Gal’s fractal model of private/public distinction, four dimensions of rituals that are associated with the Women’s Church (objects, relations, narratives, and space) are identified and examined. By “jumping over” the distinction between the private and the public, new meanings are created, and this creation of meaning is related to the Women’s Church’s goal: the achievement of equality and liberation for the marginalized.
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Oscar-Torjus Utaaker, The Theosophical Society in Religious Studies: A Research Survey
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Channeled messages from hidden masters in Tibet, women’s liberation, secret science, and Tomb Raider, what all these seemingly unrelated things have in common, is that they have all been topics in the study of the Theosophical Society. In this paper, I want to examine how the Theosophical Society has been understood and interpreted within the different paradigms of religious studies. I will discuss why Theosophy was omitted from the scrutiny of religious studies for some time, as well as analyzing the renewed interest in the subject over the last fifty years. The paper will focus on key trends in religious studies, especially on how these have influenced the research on Theosophical Society. This is will be done by looking at how some important scholars within different paradigms have researched the group, with a focus on Scandinavian researchers. Overall the paper aims to offer a historical understanding of the relationship between religious studies and Theosophical Society. Far more sources and perspectives could have been included in the present study, but hopefully this selection gives an idea of the breadth of the research on the Theosophical Society that has been undertaken.
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Meerim Aitkulova, Hizb Ut-Tahrir: Dreaming of Caliphate
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Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Party of Liberation is a transnational Islamic political party, promoting the idea of a medieval model of the Islamic Caliphate. The party is actively spreading this message among Muslims on the global level, and perhaps, it has never been so popular as it is now. Yet, Hizb ut-Tahrir has gained less international attention than other fundamentalist Islamic movements, and often research on the party is rather controversial, oscillating between labelling it as a “terrorist” or a “peaceful” group. In this regard, the article attempts to provide more insights into the ideology of Hizb ut-Tahrir, its aims, and methods of work, with a particular stress on its relation to violence.
6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Anita Stasulane, Interpretation of Yoga in Light of Western Esotericism: The Case of the Roerichs
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Nowadays a trend to adapt traditional Indian Yoga for Western consumer society is becoming increasingly apparent. As a result of this adaptation, new forms of yoga are appearing in the West, among which Agni Yoga can also be listed. It was developed by theosophists Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947) and Helena Roerich (1879–1955), through turning against W. W. Atkinson’s (1862–1932) interpretation of yoga. Even though a wide variety of material is available about the Roerichs’ teaching, the yoga that they developed has not received much attention among either the followers of the Roerichs, or among the ranks of academic researchers. In dedicating this paper to the collation of Roerich’s yoga concept, it is hoped that this grey area will be filled in, but that it would also encourage research devoted to the comparative analysis of the yoga practiced in Hinduism, and in today’s Western world.
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis, Margrethe Løøv, Bernard Doherty, Same Trajectory, Different Prospects: Anglophone Census Data and the Future of the Irreligious and the ‘Nones’
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Census data from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom make clear that the irreligious as well as those who indicate No Religion (‘Nones’) in censuses are growing rapidly. Despite being dominated by young males, we find that the demographics of those who identify with some form of irreligion or who indicate they have no religion are (1) becoming more gender balanced and are (2) rising in age. However, we also find that atheists, agnostics, and humanists are not having children, meaning their current remarkable rate of growth will fall off in the near future. In contrast, ‘Nones’ are more fertile than the population at large. However, because more than a few Nones hold religious beliefs, it is difficult to predict how the growth of this portion of the population will impact the future growth of irreligion. We conclude that more empirical work needs to be carried out on the Nones.
book reviews
8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Egle Aleknaite, Nordic Neoshamanisms. Edited by Siv Ellen Kraft, Trude Fonneland, and James R. Lewis
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9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Bernard Doherty, Sacred Suicide. Edited by James R. Lewis and Carole M. Cusack
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10. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Carole M. Cusack, Esoteric Studies: Polish Contribution. Edited by Izabela Trzcińska, Agata Świerzowska, and Karolina M. Hess
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