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Navigating Universalism and Particularism in the Study of Religions

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How should researchers navigate in a global landscape of religious and secular worldviews? This volume contributes with an interdisciplinary perspective to the study of contemporary religion in a cross-cultural or global perspective. The chapters in the volume highlight quite different themes – from translation to sexuality and secularity, critically dismantling conceptions of e.g., the “sacred individual”, “Eastern religions” and multiple belongings. Yet, they are united in their search for signs that help us contest categorical cultural, religious, and secular boundaries, methodologically, theoretically, and epistemologically. The debate on universalism vs. particularism can simply not be put aside and hence, the implications of this dichotomy needs to be further investigated.

The volume explores current challenges pertinent to cross-cultural research on religion in today’s world. It reflects important aspects of global cultural and religious diversity. All articles stem from the international research project “Young Adults and Religion in a Global Perspective”. The project implemented a mixed methods study in twelve different countries across the world. The chapters univocally stress the importance of using a sensitive analytical toolbox when investigating values and worldviews in an increasingly interconnected world. Nevertheless, such sensitivity needs to entail a capacity to move across boundaries and positions, giving voice to novel existential positions that do not fit within the traditional patterns of set religious and secular boundaries.

Published: Feb 1, 2024

Book Contributors

Series


Section Chapter Authors
Foreword
Foreword Alana Vincent
Preface
Editorial Preface Peter Nynäs, Ruth Illman
Chapter 1
Contesting Universalism and Particularism in the Study of Religions: An Introduction to the Mixed-method Approach to the Study of Religions in a Global Perspective Peter Nynäs, Ruth Illman, Nurit Novis-Deutsch
Chapter 2
Translation and Main Categories in the Study of Religions: The Case of "Religion" and "Spirituality" in West Bengal Måns Broo, Marcus Moberg, Peter Nynäs, Mallarika Sarkar Das, Sohini Ray
Chapter 3
The Cognitive Study of Religiosity and Contemporary Lived Religion: Complementarity as a Methodological Approach Slawomir Sztajer, Rafael Fernández Hart, Ben-Willie Kwaku Golo, Sidney Castillo
Chapter 4
Heteronormative Religion? Attitudes towards Abortion and Same-sex Relationships on a Global Scale Explored through the Lens of Triangulation Peter Nynäs, Ariela Keysar, Clara Marlijn Meijer, Sofia Sjö
Chapter 5
The Multiplicity of Chinese and Indian Religions: A Critical Reappraisal of the Notion of “Eastern Religion” Måns Broo, Ruby Sain
Chapter 6
Conceptualizations of the “Sacred Individual”: A Comparative Study of Russian and Finnish Young Adults Polina Vrublevskaya, Marcus Moberg, Karoliina Dahl
Chapter 7
Secular Identities in Context: Emerging Prototypes among Non-religious Millennials Janne Kontala, Ariela Keysar, Sawsan Kheir
Chapter 8
Multiple Identifications: An Issue of Growing Diversity and Complexity in Religious and Secular Worldviews? Ruth Illman, Peter Nynäs, Nurit Novis-Deutsch
Chapter 9
Towards a New Methodological Perspective: Some Concluding Reflections on Cross-cultural Research in the Study of Religions Peter Nynäs, Ruth Illman, Rafael Fernández Hart
Appendices
a. The YARG Faith Q-set (version b) Peter Nynäs
b. The YARG prototypes Peter Nynäs, Janne Kontala, Mika Lassander, Sofia Sjö
c. The YARG Survey Shalom Schwartz
d. YARG Interview Model Peter Nynäs