Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis 2019-07-17T17:30:15+03:00 Donner Institute Open Journal Systems <p>Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis publishes selected papers presented at symposia arranged by the Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History.</p> The ethnic and religious future of Europe 2019-07-17T17:28:14+03:00 Ruth Illman Peter Nynäs Tuomas Martikainen <p>The current 28th&nbsp;volume of Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis is based on a symposium arranged by the Donner Institute, the Migration Institute of Finland and the Åbo Akademi University in June 2017, under the title: ‘The Ethnic and Religious Future of Europe’. All the articles published in this volume were initially presented as papers at this conference and have, through a double-blind peer-review process, been selected for this volume.</p> 2018-04-04T19:25:29+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Ruth Illman, Peter Nynäs, Tuomas Martikainen The demographic factors that make Islam the world's fastest-growing major religious group 2019-07-17T17:30:15+03:00 Conrad Hackett Michael Lipka <p class="p1">Among the world’s major religious groups, Muslims have the lowest median age and the highest fertility rates. Due to these demographic factors, Muslims are expected to increase in number faster than any other major group in the period between 2015 and 2060, growing at more than twice the pace of global population growth.</p> 2018-04-03T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Conrad Hackett, Michael Lipka The NPW framework in future-oriented studies of cultural agency 2019-07-17T17:28:45+03:00 Matti Kamppinen <p class="p1">The network of possible worlds, or NPW for short, offers a theoretical framework where cultural agency can be systematically linked with such central concepts of future-oriented studies as future path, scenario, actor, vision, trend, weak signal, future awareness and foresight development. Time is embedded in a NPW in two ways: the NPW itself is temporally structured, and the actors navigating within the NPW are equipped with cognitive models of time. The framework can be applied not only in the study of theoretical and empirical aspects of cultural agency, but also in the political management of human societies, including the forecasting of religious and ethnic dynamics. It provides tools for capturing the special characteristics of cultural agency. Therefore, it is an essential tool in understanding the religious and ethnic futures of Europe.</p> 2018-04-03T20:01:35+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Matti Kamppinen Legitimacy for some 2019-07-17T17:29:45+03:00 Fredrik Portin <p class="p1">The purpose of this article is to examine under what conditions the disruptive character of right-wing populism can be perceived as a positive element within a functioning democracy. Using the thinking of philosophers Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe I argue that the disruptive character of right-wing populism gives the marginalised concerns of ‘the people’ public legitimacy. However, right-wing populism is also criticised for excluding, in a similar fashion, certain social actors from the public sphere. Instead of enabling a more inclusive society, I therefore argue that right-wing populism enables a society that is distinguished by antagonism. To make it possible for all social actors’ concerns to gain public legitimacy without promoting antagonism, I argue that a new political reality needs to be imagined. In conclusion I therefore offer a theoretical framework for such a reality through the political philosophy of Bruno Latour.</p> 2018-04-03T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Fredrik Portin Humanity and hospitality 2019-07-17T17:29:15+03:00 René Dausner <p class="p1">In&nbsp;contrast to discourses on the relation between religion and violence, this project focuses on the biblical commitment that God can be understood as the one who ‘loves the stranger’ (Deut. 10:18). With regard to this central passage it will be asked what are the implications that this image of God can offer? In what way can monotheism be interpreted as ‘a school of xenophilia’ (E. Levinas)? What does the inclination of God to the stranger mean for the understanding of humanity, metaphysics, and migration? Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) has suggested that we understand metaphysics, in the context of the thinking of Levinas, as ‘an experience of hospitality’ (Derrida 1999a: 46). With regard to this idea, I would like to ask what role can (the question of) God play within the political, sociological, ethical, etc. discourses of diversity and migration?</p> 2018-04-03T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 René Dausner Islam's increased visibility in the European public sphere 2019-07-17T17:27:44+03:00 Didem Doganyilmaz Duman <p class="p1">It&nbsp;is believed that the massive flow of refugees and dramatically increased asylum applications from Muslim societies to member countries of the European Union will cause significant change in the demographic characteristics of those countries. Although the presence of Muslims is not a recent phenomenon in Europe, their increased visibility has become once again a dominant political discourse for right-wing political parties. The important question is whether the Muslim presence has become a component of the post-truth politics of the political leaders of these parties, or whether it constitutes a real threat to European society. Does the European Union, then, face a real crisis? If so, what is the nature of the crisis – is it a refugee crisis, an identity crisis, or even worse, is it a crisis of tolerance? This paper analyses the political atmosphere and its effects on society in terms of an increased visibility of Muslims and Islamic symbols in the European public sphere in order to answer those questions.</p> 2018-04-04T19:31:18+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Didem Doganyilmaz Duman A critical discourse analysis of the media coverage of the migration crisis in Poland 2019-07-17T17:27:13+03:00 Joanna Krotofil Dominika Motak <p class="p1">This paper discusses the Polish Catholic Church’s perception of the recent European migration crisis by examining its discursive practices through the lens of critical discourse analysis. We focus on two of the official communication channels of the Church: the website of the Polish Episcopate Conference (PEC) and the weekly magazine, published by the PEC-owned Catholic Information Agency (CIA). We demonstrate that despite the official appeal of the Polish Episcopate for Christian hospitality, views of bishops participating in the public debate on the migration crisis are not unanimous, but polarised. These internal divisions on the issue parallel the ambivalent stance of the Polish Church on Poland’s place in the European Union. The negative attitude of the majority of Poles to migrants, resulting in the refusal to participate in the European relocation programme, is sanctioned not only by the ruling political party but also by some representatives of religious authorities.</p> 2018-04-04T19:33:39+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Joanna Krotofil, Dominika Motak Reconsidering the modern nation state in the Anthropocene 2019-07-17T17:26:43+03:00 Wardah Alkatiri <p class="p1">This article presents the nature of conflicts in postcolonial societies as the consequence of being under external control and economic exploitation. Drawing on empirical cases from Indonesia and a comparative literature review of African states, this article reveals a huge dilemma within the desire to build a solid nation state in a deeply pluralistic society. The nature of the modern nation state, which from the start requires the forcible subjugation of the population, has become one of the greatest paradoxes. That is to say, the very idea of unity for the pursuance of equity contradicts the premise of democracy, because forcing unity onto diversity implies denouncing differences and thus violating universal individual rights to be different. On that account, Indonesia’s struggle with diversity has falsified Huntington’s thesis, according to which cultural differences necessarily tend to lead to conflict. On the contrary, Indonesia demonstrates that conflicts have stemmed from nationalism and political-economic ideologies rather than cultural differences. This article highlights two issues of global relevance. Firstly, the inherent problems of coexistence that arise from the legacy of the Christian missionary tradition advocating the separation of the state and religion in the colonies, whereas Islam is a religion of politics and of law. Secondly, the concept of <em>al-din</em> is hardly compatible with the Western concept of religion. In contemporary globalization, the modern nation state and nationalism are increasingly contrasted with the ‘cosmic’ nature of religion, which claims allegiances transcending differences of race and nationality. On the bright side, a case study of a Muslim ‘intentional community’ offers a pragmatic solution whereby an implementation of Islamic jurisprudence as a response to ecological issues by an individual Muslim group is doable within the constraints of a nation state. Thus the thesis moves beyond the rigidity of state system and promotes a ‘people to people’ approach.</p> 2018-04-04T19:35:56+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Wardah Alkatiri From Yidishe khasene to civil marriage 2019-07-17T17:26:13+03:00 Mercédesz Czimbalmos <p class="p1">The aim of this article is to present marriage patterns in the Jewish Community of Helsinki in the period 1919–80 in light of textual records partly preserved in public archives, but partly also in the community itself. The latter corpus of data has not been used previously as source material for ethnographic research. While introducing the legislation of civil marriages in Finland, the goal of this study is to reflect on the patterns of intermarriage in the congregation in the 1900s and to present some preliminary findings pertaining to their impact on congregational policies.</p> 2018-04-04T19:38:51+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Mercédesz Czimbalmos Income inequality and religion globally 1970–2050 2019-07-17T17:25:43+03:00 Jose Navarro Vegard Skirbekk <p class="p1">Economic inequality is a paramount issue for the future of global affairs and interreligious relations. This study contributes to the field by providing the first ever estimates of global inequality by religion. We combine estimations and projections of religious compositions and distribution of income by age and sex across the world between 1970 and 2050. Understanding economic inequality from a religious dimension can contribute to decreasing tension, creating targeted pol-icies and reducing the risks of social upheaval and conflict.</p> <p class="p3">We find that in societies with higher proportions of religiously unaffiliated populations, income distribution is more equal than in religious ones. We also describe the inequality of distribution of income within religious groups and find that Christian and Jewish societies tend to be the most unequal, while inequality has risen substantially across all societies, concomitant with strong economic growth. Societies formed of Muslim, Hindu and unaffiliated populations are among the more equal ones. Muslim societies have experienced the highest rise in income inequality of all religions since 1990.</p> 2018-04-04T19:40:54+03:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Jose Navarro, Vegard Skirbekk