Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal for the Study of Religion]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1011-760120210001&lang=en vol. 34 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Albinism in the Ancient Mediterranean World</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012021000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The discovery of DNA in the 20th century and recent biomedical research into the human genome in Southern Africa have shed much light on the diagnostic, epidemiological, and sociological aspects of albinism. Less attention has been given to the historical evidence for the condition and its religious context, especially in the ancient Mediterranean World. This article assembles the meagre evidence for albinism in antiquity and investigates to what extent it was treated as 'sacred'. <![CDATA[<b>Traveling Islamophobia in the Global South: Thinking Through the Consumption of Malala Yousafzai in India</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012021000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Malala Yousafzai (1997-) became an international icon after Pakistan-based Tehrik-i-Taliban militants attacked her on her way to school on October 9, 2012. In the following days, the global media gave extensive coverage to the attack from multiple narrative positions. This article argues that the traveling of Yousafzai as an image of a Muslim girl's right to education was instru-mentalized in the context of Kerala, South India, to deny Muslims the right to political agency. By analyzing the traveling of Islamophobia in the Global South, this article shows how the gender-based stereotypes of Islamic political subjectivity were reproduced through the figure of Yousafzai. By looking into the particularities within the Global South, this article argues that Islamo-phobia as a discourse is now part of a global economy within which the threat of Muslim subjectivity is applied in unique ways. <![CDATA[<b>Lost to Presence: The Entanglements of Writing, Protestant Christianity, and Empire in the 19th-Century Southern Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012021000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This essay takes interest in a dialectical relationship between writing as affirmation and writing as a system of codification. It explores this dialectic as it relates to the interaction between Sotho-speaking communities and Protestant Christian missionaries in the 19th-century Southern Africa. It shows that this dialectical relationship dissolves truth as a construct of writing as affirmation because it is informed by an ontology of force that conceives of truth (Christian truth in this case) as an outcome of victory over an adversary. This ontology of force, in which Christianity participates, is a consequence of a modern metaphysics that splits individual and divine will. Cut off from participation in divine will, the autonomous will of Protestant Christian missionaries became the basis for organizing the world of the 19th-century Sotho speakers. This opened doors for Christianity to participate in the broader imperial project of the racial subordination of colonized people that Sotho speakers resemble. The consequence of this was not only the delegitimization of personhood as a construct of indigenous African religion, but also the introduction of conceptions of personhood that partook of race and racism. <![CDATA[<b>Covid-19, Congregational Worship, and Contestation over 'Correct' Islam in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012021000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In response to the global Coronavirus pandemic, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national lockdown on March 26, 2020, which suspended, among other things, congregational worship. A group of Muslims made an urgent court application for permission to pray in mosques, which was dismissed on April 30, 2020, with the judiciary weighing in on the side of the public health good. This struggle over congregational prayers brought into the open, differences among Muslims in South Africa that have been simmering for several decades and raised questions as to how to balance the post-apartheid Constitution's accommodation of religious practices with the needs of a secular stateĀ¹. Conversely, what should Muslims do when they are required to follow the secular rules of a non-Muslim country that contradict their obligations to the tenets of their faith? The court case underlined the deep divides amongst Muslims and the changing structures of authority. In the absence of a central doctrinal authority the Ulama terrain is highly competitive and fraught with antagonistic doctrinal differences. It remains to be seen whether these divisions will boil over into physical confrontation among Muslims, and, with trust in the state dissipating, how Muslims will manage their relationship with the secular state. <![CDATA[<b>Rethinking the Course Content and Pedagogies used in Learning about 'Asian Religions'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012021000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This essay examines the concerns expressed by students when studying a second-year module on Asian religions and how they thought the facilitation of their learning could be most effective. Following research done with three cohorts of second-year students studying Asian religions from 2015 to 2017, this essay argues that both changes in pedagogy and course content are needed to create spaces where learning about these religions can address the concerns raised by students. Students were particularly concerned about how studying Asian religions would prepare them for the world of work and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The research for this essay is located in a social constructivist pedagogy that forefronts social justice and is grounded in an engaged learning practice. The essay examines why in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, studying Asian religions is important and valuable to students studying for a degree in preparation for entry into the workplace. The essay shows that engagement with different technologies in teaching and learning enables a pedagogy of co-knowledge production and co-sharing of knowledge where students learn technological skills, critical thinking skills, and a deepening awareness of their worldviews and those of other people. In so doing, this module addressed student concerns about their studies and the skills they considered valuable in preparing them for future careers. <![CDATA[<b>Feminist Pandemic Pedagogies: Podcasting and the Study of Religion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012021000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article I will explore and share my pedagogical practices and experiences as a feminist scholar of religion, within the context of a voluntary postgraduate reading group, during the first nine months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The article is structured in two parts. The first part offers a reflection of the teaching approaches that inspired and enabled the production of a podcast about the study of religion from the perspective of black African students and scholars of religion. The second part conceptualizes the production of a podcast as a feminist pedagogical experiment and reflects on this process alongside feminist pedagogical principles. While the orientation of this article is tentative and reflexive, it advances the argument that because of the commitment to social justice that is inherent to feminist approaches to scholarship and pedagogy, feminist scholars are generally poised to work within the contexts of crisis. Therefore, within the context of the pandemic, feminist approaches to teaching and learning in the study of religion may yield insights that can contribute to the continued development of sustainable pedagogies that honor the fraught nature of these times for both scholars and students. <![CDATA[<b>Kroesbergen, H. 2019. <i>The language of faith in Southern Africa: Spirit world, power, community, holism. </i>HTS Religion and Society Series, Vol. 6. AOSIS: Cape Town. 378 pages. ISBN 978-1-928396-94-9.</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1011-76012021000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article I will explore and share my pedagogical practices and experiences as a feminist scholar of religion, within the context of a voluntary postgraduate reading group, during the first nine months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The article is structured in two parts. The first part offers a reflection of the teaching approaches that inspired and enabled the production of a podcast about the study of religion from the perspective of black African students and scholars of religion. The second part conceptualizes the production of a podcast as a feminist pedagogical experiment and reflects on this process alongside feminist pedagogical principles. While the orientation of this article is tentative and reflexive, it advances the argument that because of the commitment to social justice that is inherent to feminist approaches to scholarship and pedagogy, feminist scholars are generally poised to work within the contexts of crisis. Therefore, within the context of the pandemic, feminist approaches to teaching and learning in the study of religion may yield insights that can contribute to the continued development of sustainable pedagogies that honor the fraught nature of these times for both scholars and students.