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Folkish and Indigenous Religion

Session Chair: Eileen Barker | Friday, August 28, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

Christiane Kliemannel

Folkish Religion: The Religious Adaption and Transformation of Racist Ideology

Modern religious diversity includes certain New Religious Movements which provide propaganda for right-winged and racist ideology. These communities and their religious opinions are not new but have their origins in the pre-fascist movement and are referred to by cultural sciences as “Folkish Religion.” The presentation is focused on four German communities (youth alliances) and their prominent masterminds: Deutsche Schwesterschaft (Otto Reuter), Adler und Falken (Wilhelm Kotzde), Nordungen (Hildulf Flurschütz) and Deutschjugend (Mathilde Ludendorff). The first part reconstructs and compares the religious concepts and their origins in the view of their proposed identity and meaning. Then, selected adaptations by female members of these alliances are analyzed. The final part discusses references to contemporary Religious Movements and their differences. The lecture points out a detailed view on the thoughts of these youth alliances, particularly in regard to new contents of folkish religion, and clarifies adaptations and transformations of folkish and racist ideology.

Kristina Yuzva

Religious beliefs and demand for weather-index insurance in the Caribbean

There is a complex relationship with religious beliefs and locus of control in the context of weather-based insurance and take-up of protective measures. This paper focuses specifically on the Caribbean where religious institutions continue to play a prominent role in shaping risk awareness and individual response to weather-related risks. This is supported by some preliminary studies in the Caribbean and in other vulnerable countries that have demonstrated that praying and belonging to a certain religious belief plays a role in how people perceive weather risks and how they choose to respond to those risks. Other studies have stressed the danger of religion in the context of climate change whereby certain religious beliefs may actually implicitly or explicitly discourage reactive behavior to respond to extreme weather impacts. Reactive behavior in the context of climate change will be explained using control theories showing why some people feel lack of control over their actions.

Alberto Groisman

Amazonization of Christianity: Daime religions, docility and mutual redemption

This is an exploratory work inspired by a question that emerged in ethnographic fieldwork among Christian Daime religions participants. The project was focused on religion, “psychoactivity” (as they use a psychoactive substance in their rituals) and "mental health". This question refers to the association between the notion of "good spiritual health" and "docility". I associated to this notions the already extensive approach to Amazonian indigenous cultures which is based on the notions of predation and familiarity, which implies a perspective on the "domestication of beings", which researchers have emphasized as central in the cosmologies of these populations. Further it can be also related to another notion, "indoctrination of the spirits", from the classic Kardecist Spiritism, and shared by participants of Daime religions. Thus, the exploratory nature of this paper is to discuss spiritual healing in among participants of Daime religions, from the point of view that it suggests an "Amazonization" of Christianity.

Marita Guenther-Saeed

Age, gender and spiritual knowledge: Are we going native?

This paper reflects on the label ‚indigenous‘ and concepts of so- called traditional, spiritual or alternative knowledge within indigenous communities and also Western contexts of spiritual movements. Do these concepts reveal some crisis of identity politics - and the growing impact of post-secular spaces as self-empowering and also political strategies? With the term Mother Earth a concept pointing to post-colonial globalized power relations sensitive towards bio-political and economic issues is now (09/2014) included in documents of the first UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. This concept also refers to indigenous claims of representation and owning history while at the same time being part of alternative Western concepts, e.g. when German female elders as part of the feminist spirituality movement present themselves as indigenous, having special spiritual power and knowledge. The paper concludes discussing ‚going native‘ as questioning the legitimizing of (hegemonic) knowledge and power - and the position of academic research and scholarly obligations within this framework.


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