Although a theoretically ever-expanding Caliphate does not recognize international borders or traditional states, its leadership nonetheless strived to reproduce all the traditional signs of sovereignty. Last but not least, they created a new currency. Minting of dinars and dirhams was the final component in solidifying the physical reality of the group’s millenarian utopia.
In this interview, Hong Kong scholar Edward Irons explains the historical roots of the proscription of certain groups as xie jiao (heterodox teachings) in China, and how being on the list of the xie jiao means being a main target for persecution.
Neopagan supporters and detractors of the U.S. presidency of Donald Trump are using magical rituals to either bless or curse the new administration and their political opponents. While Neopagan groups have long joined magic with politics, this marriage of mysticism with activism was most strongly evident in the months after Trump’s election in 2016, drawing criticism from some quarters of the American pagan community.
Analysing the current phenomena of alternative religiosities through a post-Soviet lens may be productive in the Azerbaijani context, given the so-called “religious revival” experienced by the countries of the former Soviet Union. This article focuses on three specific groups/areas in Azerbaijan: ekstrasensy and parapsychologists, popular “occulture”, and the Hare Krishna community.
Church planting, once the specialty of evangelicals, is now becoming more common among mainline Protestants seeking to reverse decades of decline in their ranks. In the process of starting new churches both kinds of Protestants are reworking their identities to appeal to the growing ranks of Americans loosely tied or not affiliated with religious institutions.
The tiny kingdom of Bhutan is pitching for a Buddhist approach to economics citing concerns beyond a country’s financial health. The term GNH was coined in the 1970s by Bhutan’s fourth king, who famously pronounced that for his country, Gross National Happiness was more important than Gross National Product.
In the 1990s, some Western European countries published reports and established state agencies or state-sponsored information centres to deal with “cults”. Why did such an intriguing development occur? This phenomenon deserves attention, in order to understand the dynamics leading to concerns about some groups, especially in an historical context where state neutrality in religious matters has become increasingly emphasized.