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Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review

Volume 9
Special Issue on Korean New Religions

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Displaying: 1-20 of 37 documents


articles
1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Ethan Doyle White Between the Devil and the Old Gods: Exploring the Intersection between the Pagan and Satanic Milieus
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In contrast to emic claims that modern Paganism and Satanism are inherently distinct phenomena with little or no common ground, this article demonstrates that there is an area of clear intersection between the two. To do so, it presents them both as different milieus within the wider framework of occultism, occulture, and the cultic milieu. To make the argument, three case studies are presented. The first concerns Satanic elements within the modern Pagan religion of Wicca, while the second two consider the Pagan aspects of two groups usually regarded as Satanic: the Temple of Set and the Order of Nine Angles. The aim is to illustrate the various ways in which the two milieus interact, thus shedding further light on these new, alternative religions.
2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Kaarina Aitamurto The Faizrakhmanisty: The Islamic Sect as a Social Problem in Russia
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During the recent decade, the control of religious life and even the persecution of religious minorities has intensified in Russia. This article discusses a small Islamic group, Faizrakhmanisty. This group was named after its founder and leader, Faizrakhman Sattarov. The community lived isolated from the society in a small compound in Tatarstan. In 2012, the police conducted a raid as a part of the investigations of the murder of the Mufti of the republic of Tatarstan. Stories about this authoritarian and potentially dangerous sect were covered not only in Russian, but also in international media. Many of the stories contained exaggerated claims and relied on a few somewhat controversial “experts” of Islam in Russia. This article analyses the way in which Faizrakhmanisty were constructed as a social problem and a “totalitarian sect” and the consequent banning of the organization. In contemporary Russia, such labels as “sect” bring serious consequences for religious communities. In order to place the case of Faizrakhmanisty in context, the article discusses four other forms of Islam or Islamic organizations, Wahhabism, Hizb-ut Tahrir, Nurdzhular, and the National Organization of Russian Muslims, which are generally labelled as “sects” in the Russian context.
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Stefano Bigliardi Santo Daime Narratives In Italy: Walter Menozzi, Stella Azzurra, and the Conceptualization of Ayahuasca and Science
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The essay examines in detail the theology of Walter Menozzi, founder and leader of the Italian Santo Daime association Stella Azzurra, the history of which is also reconstructed here. Focusing both on the views expressed in Menozzi’s writings and on some narratives collected at a ritual in which the author actively participated, the study identifies eight ways in which ayahuasca, the psychoactive brew that is identified as a sacrament by Santo Daime affiliates, and science are conflated with religion by Santo Daime followers in order to substantiate, strengthen, and defend ayahuasca-related theology.
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Tuckett Taekwondo: From Nationalistic Pursuit to Private Spirituality
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This paper develops an earlier proposal to consider ‘religion’ in terms of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological concept of the natural attitude. My overall aim is to argue that ‘religion’ represents an ideological concept for demarcating deviant modes of naturalisation. In focusing on the case of Taekwondo, I will not be able to give a full exposition to this understanding of ‘religion’ but, rather, will make a more conservative attempt to give better phenomenological sense to the term ‘spirituality,’ a concept that will be key for achieving the larger task. To demonstrate this, I will look at Taekwondo in relation to what John Donohue has called the ‘American warrior hero’ as an aspect of American modes of naturalisation.
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Wimal Hewamanage The History of the Kāli Cult and its Implications in Modern Sri Lankan Buddhist Culture
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Historically speaking, belief in gods and demons has been practiced all over the world, beginning even before organized religions came into being. Over the last few decades, the influence of the Kāli cult has spread rapidly in Sri Lankan Buddhist culture. This research paper reveals how and why the Kāli cult is popular today, with reference to its history. The investigation of its historical aspects is based on literature, while a discussion of the cult’s present practice is informed by examination of its methods of participation, as well as observations and open discussions. Data collection involved a literature review and qualitative interviews with the cult’s charmers and devotees. Some of the data indicates that the cult is based on an incarnation of Śiva’s wife named Kāli; other records suggest, however, that the cult originated in ancient India before the Aryan invasion. Recently, there has been some loss of spirituality among Buddhist adherents and it can be suggested, therefore, that the Kāli cult offers them direction in their worldly lives. Although the elements of cruelty present in the Kāli doctrine clash with Buddhist tradition, it seems that these adherents are willing to follow anything that enables self-benefit. To overcome this contradiction between Buddhism and the Kāli cult, the figure of Kāli has been transformed from a demoness into goddess.
6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
James R. Lewis, Zhang Xinzhang, Oscar-Torjus Utaaker Processual Pagans: Quasi-longitudinal Approaches to Survey Research
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There is a common pattern for researchers to study one particular new religion, write a monograph or article on that specific group, and then begin the cycle all over again with a different group. This approach causes one to remember such groups as relatively stable organizations, fixed in memory at a specific stage of development, rather than as dynamic, evolving groups. In the present article, we will examine new data on contemporary Pagans that takes a quasi-longitudinal approach to survey data. Though our focus will be limited, the result will nevertheless be a partial statistical picture of Paganism as a changing, evolving movement, rather than a static statistical snapshot.
book reviews
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Stefano Bigliardi Santo Daime: A New World Religion. By Andrew Dawson
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8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Carole M. Cusack Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness. By A. C. Grayling
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9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Carole M. Cusack Alien Worlds: Social and Religious Dimensions of Extraterrestrial Contact. Edited by Diana G. Tumminia
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10. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Carole M. Cusack Mana: A History of a Western Category. By Nicolas Meylan
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11. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Ajay Dave Swaminarayan Hinduism: Tradition, Adaptation, and Identity. Edited by Raymond Brady Williams and Yogi Trivedi
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12. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Anna Lutkajtis Reincarnation in America: An Esoteric History. By Lee Irwin
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13. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Raymond Radford A Historical Introduction to the Study of New Religious Movements. By W. Michael Ashcraft
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14. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Cressida Rigney Restoring the Chain of Memory: T. G. H. Strehlow and the Repatriation of Australian Indigenous Knowledge. By James L. Cox
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15. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Alexandros Sakellariou The Cambridge Companion to Religion and Terrorism. Edited by James R. Lewis
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16. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Gyungwon Lee Introduction to Special Issue on Korean New Religions
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articles
17. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Chongsuh Kim Contemporary Korean Religious Change in the East-West Religious Context
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The most prominent characteristics of the religious situation in contemporary Korea can be said to be the following: first, the religious population is large and is increasing rapidly at present. Second, in a situation of multi-religious coexistence, no particular religion takes precedence over another; Western religions, however, are challenging and gradually overwhelming Eastern religions. In this paper, I argue that these two features are closely related to each other. When compared with other countries, religions are growing more rapidly in Korea and with an unusual level of enthusiasm, a situation which has emerged as a result of the unprecedented inter-religious clash that has developed between Eastern and Western religions.
18. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Hairan Woo The New Age Movement in South Korea: Development and Scope
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The New Age movement—i.e., non-mainstream and non-institutionalized religious/spiritual culture—is widespread across Asian countries, especially in advanced industrial societies and urban areas. Even though it has often been said that New Age is a global phenomenon, in non-western societies, only a small circle of scholars engages in research in this field. As a result, the New Age movement in South Korea is an area that is barely known about among foreign scholars. This paper presents an overview, delineating the historical development of New Age in South Korea and examining its sociocultural background. At the same time, the key components of Korean New Age will be identified. This dualistic approach—both diachronic and synchronic—will enable a more complex picture of Korean New Age to emerge.
19. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Don Baker, Seok Heo Kaebyŏk: The Concept of a “Great Transformation” in Korea’s New Religions
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One of the distinguishing characteristics of Korea’s new religions is an expectation of kaebyŏk, a “Great Transformation” which will eliminate the many conflicts human beings are facing today and produce a world in human beings will find themselves instead in cooperative and mutually beneficial relationships with both their fellow human beings and the natural world. Kaebyŏk once referred to the creation of the world. The use of kaebyŏk in Korea to mean “re-creation” first appeared in the teachings of Ch’oe Cheu, the founder of Tonghak. It was reiterated by Kim Hang, the author of Correct Changes. Kang Ilsun, revered by the Chŭngsan family of religions, further elaborated on the reasons kaebyŏk is imminent and how we can hasten its arrival. Park Chungbin, the founder of Won Buddhism, then suggested that kaebyŏk of the material world was already happening and proposed steps we should take to ensure that we keep pace spiritually. These four Korean religious leaders stimulated an important shift in the Korean world-view which has influenced not only followers of Korea’s new religions but the spirituality of Koreans in general.
20. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Suksan Yoon The Meaning of Donghak Thinking in the Post-Modern Period
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The purpose of this paper is to study Donghak thought in relation to the idea of the current, post-modern era coming to an end. The concepts of “serving God within me” (sicheonju, 侍天主), “treating and respecting human beings as you would treat God” (sainyeocheon, 事人如天), “honoring the three” (samkyung, 三敬), and “Heaven eating Heaven” (icheonsigcheon, 以天食天), which are key to Donghak doctrine, will be examined. The meanings of “serving,” “treating and respecting,” and “harmony and balance” within the context of the aforementioned Donghak concepts will also be explored. In the present, post-modern period, humankind’s future is seen in a very negative way, with previous Utopian energies being considered exhausted. There are a multitude of “isms” and arguments in which reification and alienation within modern society are defined as omens of the end of this industrial era, which has corrupted and devastated human life. Today, religious movements are obliged to provide a spiritual drive that will lead their followers forward into a new era, establishing internal solidarity while associating with external elements. In this sense, the Donghak movement must put into practice the notions of “service, respect, and resuscitation” that are prominent in the ideologies behind the “serve God within me,” “treat and respect human beings as you would treat God,” “honor the three,” and “Heaven eats Heaven” concepts. In other words, in order to compete in the modern world, Donghak must concentrate on the belief that spiritual power can change society for the better.