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Books

Here you will find an overview of the books published by the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences on "Multiple Secularities - Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities" and its members on various forms of secularity.

The work in the research group is characterised by collaborative formats such as workshops and conferences, the results of which are published in the form of special issues and edited volumes and can also be found here.

Use the search box below to search through all titles and abstracts and find titles that are relevant to you more quickly.

2021

Entwicklung strafrechtlicher Normen im Sultanat und Königreich Marokko am Beispiel von Sexual- und Sittlichkeitsdelikten

Julia Heilen

Entwicklung strafrechtlicher Normen im Sultanat und Königreich Marokko am Beispiel von Sexual- und Sittlichkeitsdelikten

Julia Heilen examines the development of criminal law norms on sexual and moral offenses in the sultanate or later kingdom of Morocco. Structural as well as terminological continuities and breaks are worked out by the author for the period before 1912, during the dependence on the French protectorate rule (1912-1956) and since independence was regained in 1956 up to the present day. The focus of her Islamic scholarly, legal-historical and legal-dogmatic studies is on norms from the categories az-zinā, attentats aux mœurs and al-ǧināyāt wa-l-ǧunaḥ ḍidda niẓām al-usra wa-l-ah̆lāq al-ʿāmma, which are supplemented by other relevant penological norms.

Heilen, Julia. Entwicklung strafrechtlicher Normen im Sultanat und Königreich Marokko am Beispiel von Sexual- und Sittlichkeitsdelikten. Leipzig Middle East Studies 4. Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2021. 

2021

Women and Religiosity in Orthodox Christianity

Ina Merdjanova, ed.

Women and Religiosity in Orthodox Christianity

Women and Religiosity in Orthodox Christianity fills a significant gap in the sociology of religious practice: Studies focused on women’s religiosity have overlooked Orthodox populations, while studies of Orthodox practice (operating within the dominant theological, historical, and sociological framework) have remained gender-blind. The essays in this collection shed new light on the women who make up a considerable majority of the Orthodox population by engaging women’s lifeworlds, practices, and experiences in relation to their religion in multiple, varied localities, discussing both contemporary and pre-1989 developments. These contributions critically engage the pluralist and changing character of Orthodox institutional and social life by using feminist epistemologies and drawing on original ethnographic research to account for Orthodox women’s previously ignored perspectives, knowledges, and experiences. Combining the depth of ethnographic analysis with geographical breadth and employing a variety of research methodologies, this book expands our understanding of Orthodox Christianity by examining Orthodox women of diverse backgrounds in different settings: parishes, monasteries, and the secular spaces of everyday life, and under shifting historical conditions and political regimes. In defiance of claims that Orthodox Christianity is immutable and fixed in time, these essays argue that continuity and transformation can be found harmoniously in social practices, demographic trends, and larger material contexts at the intersection between gender, Orthodoxy, and locality.


Merdjanova, Ina, ed. Women and Religiosity in Orthodox Christianity. New York: Fordham University Press, 2021.

2021

Fictional Practice

Magic, Narration, and the Power of Imagination

Bernd-Christian Otto, and Dirk Johannsen, eds.

Fictional Practice

To what extent were practitioners of magic inspired by fictional accounts of their art? In how far did the daunting narratives surrounding legendary magicians such as Theophilus of Adana, Cyprianus of Antioch, Johann Georg Faust or Agrippa of Nettesheim rely on real-world events or practices? Fourteen original case studies present material from late antiquity to the twenty-first century and explore these questions in a systematic manner. By coining the notion of ‘fictional practice’, the editors discuss the emergence of novel, imaginative types of magic from the nineteenth century onwards when fiction and practice came to be more and more intertwined or even fully amalgamated. This is the first comparative study that systematically relates fiction and practice in the history of magic.


Otto, Bernd-Christian, and Dirk Johannsen, eds. Fictional Practice: Magic, Narration, and the Power of Imagination. Aries book series 30. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2021.

2021

Metamodernism

Jason Ananda Josephson Storm

Metamodernism

For decades, scholars have been calling into question the universality of disciplinary objects and categories. The coherence of defined autonomous categories—such as religion, science, and art—has collapsed under the weight of postmodern critiques, calling into question the possibility of progress and even the value of knowledge. Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm aims to radicalize and move beyond these deconstructive projects to offer a path forward for the humanities and social sciences using a new model for theory he calls metamodernism.

Metamodernism works through the postmodern critiques and uncovers the mechanisms that produce and maintain concepts and social categories. In so doing, Storm provides a new, radical account of society’s ever-changing nature—what he calls a “Process Social Ontology”—and its materialization in temporary zones of stability or “social kinds.” Storm then formulates a fresh approach to philosophy of language by looking beyond the typical theorizing that focuses solely on human language production, showing us instead how our own sign-making is actually on a continuum with animal and plant communication.

Storm also considers fundamental issues of the relationship between knowledge and value, promoting a turn toward humble, emancipatory knowledge that recognizes the existence of multiple modes of the real. Metamodernism is a revolutionary manifesto for research in the human sciences that offers a new way through postmodern skepticism to envision a more inclusive future of theory in which new forms of both progress and knowledge can be realized.


Storm, Jason Ananda Josephson. Metamodernism, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021.

2021

In the Sultan’s Salon

Learning, Religion, and Rulership at the Mamluk Court of Qāniṣawh al-Ghawrī (r. 1501–1516)

Christian Mauder

In the Sultan’s Salon

Christian Mauder’s In the Sultan’s Salon builds on his award-winning research and constitutes the first detailed study of the Egyptian court culture of the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517). Based mainly on understudied Arabic manuscript sources describing the learned salons of the Mamluk Sultan al-Ghawrī, In the Sultan’s Salon presents the first theoretical conceptualization of the term “court” that can be fruitfully applied to premodern Islamic societies. It uses this conceptualization to demonstrate that al-Ghawrī’s court functioned as a transregionally interconnected center of dynamic intellectual exchange, theological debate, and performance of rule that triggered novel developments in Islamic scholarly, religious, and political culture.


Mauder, Christian. In the Sultan’s Salon Learning, Religion, and Rulership at the Mamluk Court of Qāniṣawh al-Ghawrī (r. 1501–1516). Boston: Brill, 2021.

2021

Yasukuni Fundamentalism

Japanese Religions and the Politics of Restoration

Mullins, Mark

Yasukuni Fundamentalism

Although religious fundamentalism is often thought to be confined to monotheistic “religions of the book,” this study examines the emergence of a fundamentalism rooted in the Shinto tradition and considers its role in shaping postwar Japanese nationalism and politics. Over the past half-century, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the National Association of Shrines (NAS) have been engaged in collaborative efforts to “recover” or “restore” what was destroyed by the process of imperialist secularization during the Allied Occupation of Japan.

Since the disaster years of 1995 and 2011, LDP Diet members and prime ministers have increased their support for a political agenda that aims to revive patriotic education, renationalize Yasukuni Shrine, and revise the constitution. The contested nature of this agenda is evident in the critical responses of religious leaders and public intellectuals, and in their efforts to preserve the postwar gains in democratic institutions and prevent the erosion of individual rights. This timely treatment critically engages the contemporary debates surrounding secularization in light of postwar developments in Japanese religions and sheds new light on the role religion continues to play in the public sphere.


Mullins, Mark. Yasukuni Fundamentalism: Japanese Religions and the Politics of Restoration. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2021.

2021

Force of Words

A Cultural History of Christianity and Politics in Medieval Iceland (11th- 13th Centuries)

Haraldur Hreinsson

Force of Words

In this book, Haraldur Hreinsson examines the social and political significance of the Christian religion as the Roman Church was taking hold in medieval Iceland in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. By way of diverse sources, primarily hagiography and sermons but also material sources, the author shows how Christian religious ideas came into play in the often tumultuous political landscape of the time. The study illuminates how the Church, which was gathering strength across entire Europe, established itself through the dissemination of religious vernacular discourse at the northernmost borders of its dominion.


Hreinsson, Haraldur. Force of Words: A Cultural History of Christianity and Politics in Medieval Iceland (11th-13th Centuries). Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2021.

2020

A Timely Message from the Cave

Mahamudra and intellectual agenda of dGe-bshes Brag-phug-pa dGe-'dun-rin-chen (1926-1997), the sixty-ninth rJe-mkhan-po of Bhutan

Dagmar Schwerk

A Timely Message from the Cave

Schwerk, Dagmar. A timely message from the cave: the Mahamudra and intellectual agenda of dGe-bshes Brag-phug-pa dGe-'dun-rin-chen (1926-1997), the sixty-ninth rJe-mkhan-po of Bhutan. Indian and Tibetan Studies 11 (Hamburg: Hamburg University, 2020).

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2020

The M-Plan

Mandela’s Struggle to Reorient the African National Congress

Paul Landau

The M-Plan

This is an account of Mandela’s strategy and actions in 1961 and 1962, organising and reorienting the African National Congress (ANC). Based largely on oral memoirs and interviews, including state witness depositions, the article argues that Mandela's plans were thwarted. After the government declared the ANC illegal, Mandela helped to supervise the programme called the M-Plan, in order to lay the groundwork for mass participation in an anticipated revolutionary transformation, but the effort did not succeed. Members resisted the M-Plan reorganisation on the ground; the state assaulted the ANC and its leaders, and ripped apart communities; and the leadership denied Mandela full access to the ANC in his preparations for the violence he saw ahead of them. He was allowed to form a separate group, relying on the South African Communist Party and port city trade unionists for its organising. That smaller network, Umkhonto, was grafted into the M-Plan hierarchy a year later, problematically and partially, too little, too late.


Landau, Paul S. “The M-Plan: Mandela’s Struggle to Reorient the African National Congress.” In Reassessing Mandela: Southern African Studies. Edited by Colin Bundy and William Beinart, 1073–91. [s.l.]: Routledge, 2020.

2020

Orthodox Christian Identity in Western Europe

Contesting Religious Authority

Sebastian Rimestad

Orthodox Christian Identity in Western Europe

This book analyses the discourses of Orthodox Christianity in Western Europe to demonstrate the emerging discrepancies between the mother churches in the east and their western congregations. Showing the genesis and development of these discourses over the 20th century, it examines the challenges the Orthodox Church is facing in the modern world. Organised along four different discursive fields, the book uses these fields to analyse the Orthodox Church in Westenr Europe during the 20th century. It explores pastoral, ecclesiological, institutional, and ecumenical discourses in order to present a holistic view of how the actors in the church view themselves and how they seek to interact with other denominations. Taken together, the four discursive fields reveal a discursive vitality outside of the traditionally Orthodox societies that is, however, only partly reabsorbed by church hierarchs in core Orthodox regions, like Southeast Europe and Russia. The Orthodox Church is a complex and multifaceted global reality. Therefore, this book is a vital guide to scholars studying the Orthodox Church, ecumenism, and religion in Europe, as well as those working in religious studies, sociology of religion, and theology more generally.


Rimestad, Sebastian. Orthodox Christian Identity in Western Europe: Contesting Religious Authority. London: Routledge, 2020.

2020

Religion and Secularities

Reconfiguring Islam in Contemporary India

Sitharman, Sudha; Chakrabarti, Anindita

Religion and Secularities

The resurgence of religion and its militant mixing with politics is now a ubiquitous feature of our times. Since 9/11, discussions on religion, particularly Islam, have been characterised by debates surrounding the rise of political Islam, war on terror and the ascent of religious politics globally. Islam, particularly, appears as the bearer of a frightening tradition, and stereotypes render it an anathema in the modern world. The notion of a unitary, timeless and unchanging religion has been reinforced not only by sections of academia and the media, but also through the Muslim communities’ interpretations and representations of their own religion.


Sitharman, Sudha, and Anindita Chakrabarti. Religion and Secularities: Reconfiguring Islam in Contemporary India. [s.l.]: Orient Blackswan, 2020.

2020

Indigenous Religion(s):

Local Grounds, Global Networks

Siv Ellen Kraft, Bjørn Ola Tafjord, Arkotong Longkumer, Gregory D. Alles and Greg Johnson

Indigenous Religion(s):

What counts as ‘indigenous religion’ in today’s world? Who claims this category? What are the processes through which local entities become recognisable as ‘religious’ and ‘indigenous’? How is all of this connected to struggles for power, rights and sovereignty? This book sheds light on the contemporary lives of indigenous religion(s), through case studies from Sápmi, Nagaland, Talamanca, Hawai‘i and Gujarat, and through a shared focus on translations, performances, mediation and sovereignty. It builds on longterm case-studies and on the collaborative comparison of a long-term project, including shared fieldwork. At the centre of its concerns are translations between a globalising discourse (indigenous religion in the singular) and distinct local traditions (indigenous religions in the plural). With contributions from leading scholars in the field, this book is a must read for students and researchers in indigenous religions, including those in related fields such as religious studies and social anthropology.


Kraft,Siv Ellen, Tafjord, Bjørn Ola, Longkumer, Arkotong, Alles, Gregory D., and Johnson, Greg. Indigenous Religion(s): Local Grounds, Global Networks. Abingdon: Routledge, 2020.

2020

Faith-Based Organizations in Development Discourses and Practice

Jens Koehrsen, Andreas Heuser

Faith-Based Organizations in Development Discourses and Practice

Exploring faith-based organizations (FBOs) in current developmental discourses and practice, this book presents a selection of empirical in-depth case-studies of Christian FBOs and assesses the vital role credited to FBOs in current discourses on development. Examining the engagement of FBOs with contemporary politics of development, the contributions stress the agency of FBOs in diverse contexts of development policy, both local and global. It is emphasised that FBOs constitute boundary agents and developmental entrepreneurs: they move between different discursive fields such as national and international development discourses, theological discourses, and their specific religious constituencies. By combining influxes from these different contexts, FBOs generate unique perspectives on development: they express alternative views on development and stress particular approaches anchored in their theological social ethics. This book should be of interest to those researching FBOs and their interaction with international organizations, and to scholars working in the broader areas of religion and politics and politics and development.


Koehrsen, Jens, and Andreas Heuser. Faith-Based Organizations in Development Discourses and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge, 2020.

2020

Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions

Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts

Clart, Philip, David Ownby, and Chien-chuan Wang

Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions

Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts is an edited volume (Philip Clart, David Ownby, and Wang Chien-chuan) offering eight essays on the modern history of redemptive societies in China and Vietnam by an international cast of scholars. The focus of the volume is on the texts produced by the various groups, examining questions of textual production (spirit-writing), textual traditions (how to “modernize” traditional discourse), textual authority (the role of texts in making a master a master), and the distribution of texts (via China’s experience of “print capitalism”). Throughout, the goal is to explore in depth what some scholars have called the most vital aspect of Chinese religion during the Republican period.


Clart, Philip, David Ownby, and Chien-chuan Wang, eds. Text and Context in the Modern History of Chinese Religions: Redemptive Societies and Their Sacred Texts. Religion in Chinese societies 16. Leiden: Brill, 2020.

2020

Transnational Religious Spaces

Religious Organizations and Interactions in Africa, East Asia, and Beyond

Philip Clart and Adam Jones

Transnational Religious Spaces

This volume resulted from a workshop on “Transnational Religious Spaces”, jointly organized in December of 2018 by two research groups within the Leipzig University Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199 “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition”. As one of the research groups, headed by Adam Jones, focused on Africa, and the other, headed by Philip Clart, on East Asia, in the joint workshop we sought to achieve two aims: first, to investigate transnational religious spaces in a comparative manner by juxtaposing East Asian and African case examples, and second, to examine specific cases where the transnational space in question encompassed both East Asia and Africa.


Clart, Philip, and Adam Jones, eds. Transnational Religious Spaces. Religious Organizations and Interactions in Africa, East Asia, and Beyond. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co, 2020.

2020

Affective Trajectories

Religion and Emotion in African Cityscapes

Hansjörg Dilger, Astrid Bochow, Marian Burchardt, Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon

Affective Trajectories

The contributors to Affective Trajectories examine the mutual and highly complex entwinements between religion and affect in urban Africa in the early twenty-first century. Drawing on ethnographic research throughout the continent and in African diasporic communities abroad, they trace the myriad ways religious ideas, practices, and materialities interact with affect to configure life in urban spaces. Whether examining the affective force of the built urban environment or how religious practices contribute to new forms of attachment, identification, and place-making, they illustrate the force of affect as it is shaped by temporality and spatiality in the religious lives of individuals and communities. Among other topics, they explore Masowe Apostolic Christianity in relation to experiences of displacement in Harare, Zimbabwe; Muslim identity, belonging, and the global ummah in Ghana; crime, emotions, and conversion to neo-Pentecostalism in Cape Town; and spiritual cleansing in a Congolese branch of a Japanese religious movement. In so doing, the contributors demonstrate how the social and material living conditions of African cities generate diverse affective forms of religious experiences in ways that foster both localized and transnational paths of emotional knowledge.


Dilger, Hansjörg, Astrid Bochow, and Marian Burchardt. Affective Trajectories: Religion and Emotion in African Cityscapes. Religious cultures of African and African diaspora people., 2020.

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