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Religious Revival

Session Chair: N.N. | Thursday, August 27, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

Svein Ivar Langhelle

Religion between tradition and modernity

This paper will discuss the implementation process of new ethical standards that took place in South-western Norway during the first half of the 19th century, caused by the comprehensive religious revivals of the followers of Hans Nielsen Hauge. The revivals prompted individualisation by the new enlightenment and detachment from old views of the world. Under these new conditions a more intense self-discipline was required, in order to achieve success in society. This devoted self-discipline, has been decisive and necessary for the further societal developments. The awakened appealed to the traditional religious authorities and were anchored in a pre-modern worldview. They aimed for the religious roots. However, their methods were radical and path-staking for the process of modernization. Consequently, the Haugians promoted the personal religious choice. They were traditionalists in speech, but modernists in action.

Masashi Nara

Openness Through Purification: Islamic Revival amongst Hui Muslims in Yunnan Province, China

This paper examines how Islamic revival has influenced inter-ethnic relationships in Yunnan Province by focusing on marriage practices shared amongst Hui Muslims. Hui Muslims have historically preferred endogamy, especially since the end of Qing dynasty when they were massacred by the Han people. However, Islamic revival in the post-Mao era has made rigid religious discourse more influential in Hui society. Consequently, religious purification has progressed amongst Hui Muslims through removing “Hanized” elements from their everyday life. This strengthens a preference for endogamy. However, Hui-Han intermarriage has increased. Although these phenomena are superficially contradictory, religious purification paradoxically expands the scope for accepting Hui-Han intermarriage. Such purification categorically separates “Muslim” from “Hui”, although these were traditionally viewed as indivisible categories. Consequently, Hui Muslims have progressively been enabled to marry within any ethnic group who have even converted to Islam. Hence, religious purification does not necessarily make Hui society exclusive but more open.

Karen-Inez Swartz Larsson

Renewing a Movement for Renewal: The Case of the Christian Community in Sweden

The Christian Community (die Christengemeinschaft) came into being in 1922 in Dornach, Switzerland. Initially led by Friedrich Rittlemeyer (1872-1938), it took shape under the guidance of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), founder of the Anthroposophical Society. At present, the Christian Community is to be found in a number of countries throughout the world, one of which is Sweden where there are nine congregations. The aim of the proposed paper is to examine the ways in which the Christian Community in Sweden (Kristensamfundet) strives to attract and maintain interest at a time when and in a place where, generally speaking, the prospect of membership is not regarded with much favor. The paper will be based on interviews, participatory observation and the analysis of materials constructed for individuals already having a relationship with the organization as well as those who potentially could establish one.

Mariana Mastagar

The Recreation of Folkloric Rituals in Diaspora

The recreation of folklore in the diaspora emerged surprisingly in the last decade with the post-1990 wave of Bulgarian immigrants to Toronto. While these immigrants are exclusively from urban areas disconnected from mainly rural folklore traditions, and mostly a-religious, they revived in Toronto not only Orthodox churches, but also introduced rural rituals (Thracian and Slavic by origins). My paper will examine the folkoric occurrence as part of ‘vernacular religion’ in relation to diaspora. The study relies on participant observation and interviews, and considers the notion of vernacular religion as framed by Primiano and Bowman. My hypothesis is that the vernacular is conceived as an agent of mediation and transformation; folklore practices reassert a new civic identity and are factor in the creation of a diasporic subjectivity in the multicultural climate of Toronto.


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