Sacred yet Shared Traditions in Kerala, South India: Illuminated neither by Candles nor by Diyas, but by a Nilavilakku

When I moved to Europe, stereotypes about India and Indians that existed here entertained me. One of the most intriguing ones, however, was the assumption that I were a Hindu. Now what’s so special about it? At the outset, nothing. It is a valid assumption – I mean, yes, it is the only country, after Nepal, with a majority of its population practising Hinduism. But what intrigued me was the potential of such a remark to lead to so many generalizations and presumptions, sometimes even seeping into academic writings, for instance, ‘indigenous culture’ is automatically presumed to be Hindu or at least having something to do with it. Being a student of religious studies, it made me think: How does one then approach cultural traditions in India which are often so interwoven with shared cultural practices that permeate into the very core of regional identity? How does one begin to classify cultures as ‘foreign’ or ‘indigenous’ when they have been around and have evolved simultaneously with some of the oldest traditions of the land? This article recounts some facets of cultural practices of Kerala (located in the southwestern tip of modern India), where Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have developed together, resulting in a unique crossing-over of practices and traditions.

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We are living in a material world – die materielle Seite von Religion am Beispiel des Pessach-Festes

Dieser Beitrag entstammt der studentischen Reihe zur Anwendung religionswissenschaftlicher Theorie in der Praxis. Mehr zur Reihe

Warum man in Israel in einem bestimmten Zeitraum im Jahr Produkte nicht kaufen darf, und sie im Supermarkt zugehangen werden, und was das mit einer religiösen Handlung zu tun hat – dieser Zusammenhang kann deutlich werden, wenn man sich den Ansatz der materiellen Seite von Religiosität genauer anschaut.

Verborgenes Essen zur Pessachzeit (Quelle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover#/media/File:Leavened_foods_concealed_behind_plastic_at_Jerusalem_supermarket_during_Passover.jpg)

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Why ‘Judeo-Christian values’ are a dog-whistle myth peddled by the far right

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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President Trump recently stated his support for ‘Judeo-Christian values’ … but what does that phrase really mean?
Pixabay, CC BY-SA

M J C Warren, University of Sheffield

The phrase “Judeo-Christian” has been around since the 1930s but US President Donald Trump recently resurrected it in a deeply problematic speech on October 13, 2017 in which he said: “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values … We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”

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Evolutionismus, Religion und koloniale Politik – Eine kleine Spurensuche im französisch-kolonialen Algerien

Der Evolutionismus, ein Kind der Aufklärung, war die bestimmende theoretische Ausrichtung innerhalb der Anthropologie des 19. Jahrhunderts und war wegweisend bei der universitären Etablierung des Fachs. Dabei gelten besonders die Evolutionisten Edward Burnett Tylor aus Großbritannien und Lewis Henry Morgan aus den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika als Gründerfiguren der damals noch jungen Disziplin (vgl. Gingrich 1999: 178). Entgegen seiner dominierenden wissenschaftlichen Präsenz in Großbritannien und den Vereinigten Staaten sollte der Evolutionismus im deutschsprachigen Raum keinen wissenschaftlichen Durchbruch erleben (vgl. Gingrich 1999: 149).

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