Browse by:



Displaying: 1-20 of 395 documents


articles

1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Bettina E. Schmidt, Kate Stockly

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The article presents new research about spiritual experiences during COVID-19. It starts with a wider discussion about the relationship between spirituality and wellbeing, based on research carried out in Brazil and the United Kingdom before the pandemic. The research showed a strict division between personal faith and medical treatment, reflecting a professional distance when treating patients that results in patients’ unwillingness to speak about their experience to anyone in the medical profession, even when these experiences impact their mental health. The article then explores findings of a new research project about spiritual experience during COVID-19 and reflects on three themes that emerged from the data: 1) changes in patients’ relationships with their religious communities, 2) seeing spiritual figures and near death experiences, and 3) interpretations of COVID-19 as a spiritual contagion. These themes contribute to a nuanced understanding of how spiritual experiences that arise in moments of crisis are interpreted by the people who have them, potentially contributing to resiliance and coping. The last section discusses the reluctance to speak about non-ordinary experiences and reflects on the importance of integrating non-ordinary experiences for mental health.
Bookmark and Share
2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Stefano Bigliardi Orcid-ID

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The French author Robert Charroux (1909–1978) contributed to the popular discourse about alien visits to earth in the remote past, that he advanced in voluminous books replete with narratives of anomalous “facts.” According to Charroux, humanity is divided in “races” whose existence is explained in reference to greater or lesser “genetic” similarity to the “ancient aliens,” as well as to radiation that genetically modified humans on the occasions of major catastrophes (natural as well as human-induced). Additionally, he was convinced that a factor in humanity’s decadence was its attachment to technology, that he regarded as detrimental in various ways; science, in his opinion, was overrated, a case in point being the theory of evolution. Extending the analysis of Charroux’s work offered by scholars like Wiktor Stoczkowski and Damien Karbovnik, I scrutinize Charroux’s books, reconstructing his ambiguous attitude towards science, his criticism of evolution, his racist theories, and his xenophobic worldview.
Bookmark and Share
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Zoe Alderton

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Appearing on the food landscape in the 2010s, “Buddha bowls” are a meal consisting of healthy food elements artfully arranged. This name carries with it a notable spiritual significance, allowing buyers to feel as though they are consuming something more elevated than an average meal. The kind of Buddhism that is consumed here is related to exotic choices and health secrets from the Orient. Discourse around Buddha bowls shows a limited grasp of the religion’s actual history or practices, including frequent confusion between Gautama Buddha and the Chan figure Budai. What is more important in the spiritual dimension of this meal is the sense of elevation and the power of the ascetic choice in an obesogenic consumer environment. Buddha bowls also feed into a “healthist” society where neoliberal self-governance places responsibility for health on the individual and their own choices. By making a healthy choice, a person can feel safe and protect against harm and pollution to the body. In this way, Buddha bowls also perform a common religious role by warding off danger like a talisman. While they offer little towards an exploration of Buddhist history and global praxis, the Buddha bowl has much to reveal about neoliberal spiritual landscapes.
Bookmark and Share
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Christopher M. Hansen

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In the study of the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel, a consistent area of debate between mainstream and conservative scholars is whether or not the ancient Israelites were monotheists who worshiped El Elyon as their highest god, and whether or not the Hebrew Bible retains any of this. One particular passage of interest has been Deuteronomy 32: 8–9, which most academics interpret as El Elyon distributing the nation to his children, one of whom is Yahweh. This essay seeks to address the rebuttals of conservative scholars who have sought to deny this, by arguing that ancient Israel’s conception of Yahweh was and that he was not a son of El in Deut. 32. This essay rejects these conclusions, principally arguing against the work of Michael S. Heiser, bringing attention to some neglected data which conservative academics (and mainstream ones) have often overlooked in trying to elucidate this passage and demonstrating that the consensus reading of the passage makes the most sense of the text.
Bookmark and Share
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Mira Karjalainen

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Authenticity has become one of the key ethics in contemporary society and culture. This research analyses the present ideals of authenticity in work-life, building on theories on post-secularization and new spiritualities, neoliberalism, and the concept of ideal worker deriving from organizational studies. Corporate mindfulness is looked at as a topical example of authenticity practices in current work-life. The research utilizes interview data was produced in a knowledge work organization that had launched its own mindfulness program and become part of the wider workplace spirituality movement. The research question focused on what kind of discourses on authenticity are born when the organization simultaneously discourages full expressions of one’s personality as not being professional or adequate in work-life context, and roots for mindfulness, which hails for recognizing reality as it is, accepting oneself and finding authentic self. Using discourse analysis, four themes were found in data, each revealing a different discourse on authenticity.
Bookmark and Share

book reviews

6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Carole M. Cusack

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Essi Mäkelä

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share
8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Mary Briggs

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share

introduction

9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Eriko Kawanishi

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share

articles

10. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Haruka Omichi

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The traditional Japanese shaman called itako is a kind of kuchiyose-mikos performing kuchiyose ritual to summon a spirit of the deceased and communicate with them. As a result of the decline in the number of once the common kuchiyose-mikos, the itako, who remains in Aomori, north Iwate and north Akita prefectures, happened to attract the attention of mass media. Itako began to appear in Japanese mass media in the 1950s, and by the 1960s they were already well known throughout Japan. This article will examine how mass media has changed the local folk culture, focusing on the kuchiyose practice on the sacred place Osorezan. Osorezan, located in Shimokita Peninsula, Aomori, is not only the sacred place for Buddhism but also for the folk beliefs that the spirits of the dead are gathered; therefore, various kinds of religious activities, including the kuchiyose, have taken place here. With the movement of rediscovering Japan and the boom of interesting in unexplored places in the 1950s, the mass media repeatedly picked up kuchiyose on Osorezan, and created a strong image of itako that has an inextricable connection with Osorezan. Although their relationship was actually transient, many people sharing the fictional image created by mass media visited here from around the country to observe or experience kuchiyose since the 1950s. The increase in the number of visitors from outside the region due to the new image altered the religious environment on the sacred place, and caused three changes in the kuchiyose practice, at the same time. Those three changes seem to function to avert a risk of miscommunication between itako and new clients under the phenomenon of delocalization. They can be evaluated as efforts to maintain the religious function to communicate with the dead even under new circumstances.
Bookmark and Share
11. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Aki Murakami

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This study illustrates how local shamans in the Tsugaru area in Japan adapt to contemporary society by focusing on their practices and self-identity formation process. There are two types of shamans in this area: itako and kamisama. The number of itako is decreasing drastically and kamisama are taking over the role. In this context, it is important to examine how and to what extent local contexts affect kamisama’s practices and their identity. Conversely, it is also important to understand the extent to which they are affected by phenomena outside of the local community, such as mass media and tourism. By examining two kamisama’s lives as cases, this study reveals that a shaman’s self-identity is neither just a result of a divine calling, nor a reflection of local shamanic traditions, but a dynamic, ever-changing reaction to the social surroundings.
Bookmark and Share
12. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Shuji Kamimoto

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The study aims to explore the relationship between Rastafari and the anti-nuclear movement in Japan, following the accident at Tokyo Electrical Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, an incident, which was a result of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. This event revitalised the anti-nuclear movement in Japan, which included Japanese Rastas among its participants. This study focuses specifically on the case of reggae singer Sing J Roy, who participated in the anti-nuclear movement and produced a song on the theme of community development in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture in 2013. In this case, it becomes clear that the intentions of the anti-nuclear movement backed by Rastafarai’s ideology are mixed with attempts to revitalise the region led by the local government and local residents in an inconspicuous way.
Bookmark and Share
13. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Eriko Kawanishi

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article examines the importation of Paganism, mainly Witchcraft, from the West in Japan. Japanese witches do not resist the traditional religion; combined with their lack of Christian influence on their context, there is no image of evil connotation with witches in Japan. However, people who practice witchcraft are facing depictions of the “witch” in anime and children’s literature. If we regard Japan as a contact zone where Western witchcraft and Japanese tradition meet, various images of witches are produced there without the Christian context, and a localised witchcraft faith has been produced.
Bookmark and Share
14. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Mizuho Hashisako

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Discourse emphasizing “natural childbirth,” emerging at first in the 1980s in Britain, was welcomed to Japan, too, attracting high attention. The discourse in Japan has changed with the times and has gradually lost momentum, but is recently paid attention to again, which is shown by the fact that childbirth assisted by midwife has become more preferable than before. This kind of discussion tends to keep a distance from feminism although it gives holiness to childbirth, differently from trends overseas in which the discourse has a high affinity to feminism as well as spirituality.
Bookmark and Share
15. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Patrick S. D. McCartney

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The global consumption of yoga appears to have reached the saturation point in many market segments. In Japan, it is possible that with the seemingly endless array of X+Yoga hybrids that the consumption of Yoga is waning. While it is difficult to assess this with accuracy, it is increasingly difficult to delineate what yoga is. Therefore, how might one attend to answering a question related to yoga and sacred space in Japan? This paper explores the promotion of some relatively local hybrids such as temple yoga, face yoga, ninja yoga, nature yoga, and serotonin yoga.
Bookmark and Share

book reviews

16. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Eriko Kawanishi

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share
17. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Carole M. Cusack

view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bookmark and Share

articles

18. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Bernard Doherty

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The Order of Saint Charbel, and its founding prophet William Kamm (b. 1950), also known as “The Little Pebble,” has been a marginal presence on the fringes of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia since the 1980s. While a series of bishops from the Diocese of Wollongong (and other dioceses) have issued official statements taking issue with the beliefs and practices of the group and publicly distancing the group from normative Catholicism, little systematic analysis of its beliefs has been undertaken which situate these within a wider historical Roman Catholic context. This article offers a preliminary analysis of some key themes occurring in the “private revelations” which form a key aspect of the Order of Saint Charbel’s religious repertoire and their relationship with the broader theological positions of Catholic traditionalists. This article suggests that the Order of Saint Charbel, while sharing some concerns with traditionalist and other groups across the spectrum of conservative reactions to Vatican II, is best classified as a “devotionally traditionalist” lay movement exhibiting a kind of popular theology that can only be properly understood when viewed against the wider backdrop of traditional vernacular Catholic devotional practices, many of which have either declined or become marginalized since Vatican II.
Bookmark and Share
19. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Jean E. Rosenfeld

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The experience of colonialization and Christianization among the Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand), the Polynesians’ furthest settlement in the Southern Hemisphere, resulted in significant population decline of the Maori, land alienation, the rise of nativist revitalization movements, and British laws regarding land tenure that conformed to a Domesday Book tradition of conquest and social stratification. Nativist religious movements attempted to regain the land, reverse Maori population decline, and avoid the pathological consequences of aporia, a Greek word that signifies “without a bridge.” Three successive “Holy Spirit” movements arose to heal the breach between the old world of the Polynesians and the new world of British colonization and Christianization. Adherents assumed an identity as Israelites—the children of Shem—and challenged the Christian dominance of the Pakeha (European New Zealanders). From this culture clash came the Land Wars of the nineteenth century and the emergence of a new, biracial nation.
Bookmark and Share
20. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Mark Valentine St Leon

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Christianity and circus entered the Australian landscape within a few decades of each other. Christianity arrived with the First Fleet in 1788. Five years later, Australia’s first church was opened. In 1832, the first display of the circus arts was given by a ropewalker on the stage of Sydney’s Theatre Royal. Fifteen years later, Australia’s first circus was opened in Launceston. Nevertheless, Australia’s historians have tended to overlook both the nation’s religious history and its annals of popular entertainment. In their new antipodean setting, what did Christianity and circus offer each other? To what extent did each accommodate the other in terms of thought and behaviour? In raising these questions, this article suggests the need to remove the margins between the mainstreams of Australian religious and social histories. For the argument of this article: 1) the term “religion” will refer to Christianity, specifically its Roman Catholic and principal Protestant manifestations introduced in Australia, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist; and 2) the term “circus” will refer to the form of popular entertainment, a major branch of the performing arts and a sub-branch of theatre, as devised by Astley in London from 1768, and first displayed in the Australia in 1847.
Bookmark and Share