International Journal of Religion <p><a title="International Journal of Religion" href=""><em><img style="padding: 0 15px; float: left;" src="" height="200" /></em></a></p> <p><em>International Journal of Religion</em> (IJOR) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal aiming to offer a venue for scholarly discussion on religion in reference to the social sciences and humanities. <em>International Journal of Religion</em> aims to fulfil the need for critical discussion on how religion affects economics, society, politics, international relations, geography, anthropology, education, business and management, health, and the arts. <em>International Journal of Religion</em> invites articles with rigorous analysis, reflecting theoretical insights or persuasive empirical evidence. The journal aims to bring into mutually beneficial dialogue, all those - including, policymakers, practitioners, educators, scholars, researchers, and students - interested in these crucial, controversial and topical conversations. The overall objective is to inform understanding of how religion impacts on many areas of human interaction. </p> <p><em>International Journal of Religion</em> editorial team works to get the Journal included in the indexing and abstracting services including Scopus, Web of Science and ERIH Plus. To ensure this is achieved, the Journal follows a strict double-blind review policy embedded in our general <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">publishing ethics</a> and supported by rigorous academic scrutiny of papers published.</p> <p class="smaller"><strong>Journal Founded:</strong> 2019 | <strong>ISSN:</strong> 2633-352X (Print) | <strong>ISSN:</strong> 2633-3538 (Online) | <strong>Publication Frequency:</strong> Two issues a year</p> <p class="smaller"><a title="Most read articles" href=""><strong>Most read articles in <em>International Journal of Religion</em></strong></a></p> Transnational Press London en-US International Journal of Religion 2633-352X <p>Copyright © 2020 Transnational Press London</p> Dissent among Mormons in the 1980 Senatorial Election in Idaho <p><em>The ecclesiastical organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons; or LDS; or Saints) is rigidly hierarchical, extending downward from the President. An important exception to the Church’s top-down approach lies in the area of partisan politics, where the Church as an organization dons the mantle of political neutrality. This official stance notwithstanding, politics does intrude itself into Church affairs, especially in hotly contested elections. The 1980 senatorial election in Idaho severely tested the Church’s commitment to political non-involvement. Church leaders extended accolades to incumbent Democratic Senator Frank Church for his support of causes favorable to the organization, but polling data and documentary evidence indicate that rank-and-file members dissented from their leaders’ positive attitudes, culminating in an important realignment in electoral behavior in the state.</em></p> Ronald L. Hatzenbuehler Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 9 22 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.980 Creating the Internal Enemy: Opportunities and Threats in Pro and Anti-LGBT Activism within South Korean Protestantism <p><em>In recent years, South Korea has experienced significant mobilization against LGBT rights, mainly emanating from conservative Protestant forces. This anti-LGBT mobilization has been attributed to the need to create an “external enemy” as a means for covering up internal scandals. This study examines how the Protestant anti-LGBT movement creates an “internal enemy”, too, by fighting against pro-LGBT activism and attitudes within its faith. Applying the contentious politics and movement-countermovement frameworks to the study of religious conflict, the article uncovers the mechanisms at work in the complex interactions among anti-LGBT, moderate, and LGBT-affirmative actors. The analysis of five cases – heresy trials against a pro-LGBT pastor, conflicts at Christian universities, vilifications of a progressive Christian online newspaper and a church association, and the controversy around a moderate junior pastor – shows that perceived and deliberately created threats play a productive, opportunity-like role in religious contention over LGBT issues. Longstanding religiopolitical cleavages come to the fore, too, involving conflictual relations with state actors external to Korean Protestantism.</em></p> Hendrik Johannemann Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 23 43 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1073 Is Right-wing Populism a Phenomenon of Religious Dissent? The Cases of the Lega and the Rassemblement National <p><em>The current global political landscape is increasingly marked by the growth of right-wing populist parties. Although this party family has been the subject of a bourgeoning scholarship, the role played by religion in shaping its ideology is still an under-researched topic. Drawing on the qualitative context analysis of a large database of newspaper articles, electoral manifestos, and parties’ documents, this article studies the influence of religion on the political platforms of the Lega Nord (LN – recently rebranded just Lega) in Italy and the Front National (recently renamed Rassemblement National – RN) in France since the early 1980s. Our aim is twofold. Firstly, we would like to describe the role of religious values in the different political phases of the life of these parties. Secondly, we wish to assess whether and to which extent the appropriation of religion by these parties can be considered a phenomenon of religious dissent. Our analysis focuses on LGBT+ rights, a policy field that tends to bear the imprint of religion norms. Past studies have noted that right-wing populist parties support not only a nativist idea of citizenship, which prompts anti-immigrants and anti-Islamic stances, but also conservative interpretations of Christian values in terms of family issues and gender roles. In the last three decades, European right-wing populist parties have partly revised their positions on these issues. While some of them have strengthened or made only marginal changes to their religiously-inspired moral conservatism, others have shown new openings on gender equality and LGBT+ rights.</em></p> Luca Ozzano Fabio Bolzonar Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 45 59 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1089 A Religious Movement on Trial: Transformative Years, Judicial Questions and the Nation of Islam <p><em>The Nation of Islam (NOI) is one of the most controversial political-religious groups in the United States. Some define it as an exclusionary race-based group, while others see it as a genuine empowerment movement. Although it has been viewed as an unconventional fringe group, NOI represents an important syncretic movement of its time. Its approach to Islam was marked by a range of currents from the anti-colonial interpretive framework of the Ahmadiyya to Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association forging a highly dynamic narrative to explain the racial injustices and individual and collective requirements of future emancipation. Despite its strong anti-establishment discourse, NOI operates within the parameters legal and judicial system and seeks to reach out to new groups. As NOI faces the challenge of balancing its clashing inner currents rooted in its commitments to orthodox vs. vernacularized Islam or anti-systemic vs. accommodationist policies and often stigmatized by outside observers, it constitutes one of the most promising and precarious black movement.</em></p> Sultan Tepe Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 61 76 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1229 Finding the Right Islam for the Maldives: Political Transformation and State-Responses to Growing Religious Dissent <p><em>At the first glance, the Maldives appear not to be prone to religious conflict. The archipelago state comprises a religiously and ethnically homogenous society, the different islands have been subject to shared Islamic rule for centuries and even constitutionally religious homogeneity is granted by making every citizen a Muslim and religious diversity prevented by limiting naturalisation to a specific Muslim group. Yet, today allegations of a threat to Islam play a major role in political mobilisation, the Maldives are faced with Islamist violence, and Maldivians have joined the Islamic State and al Qaeda in disproportionally high numbers. The paper seeks to find an answer to the question of how the repression of dissent under the Gayoom regime and the expansion and rise of violent Islamism relate in the Maldivian context. Next to the theoretical model, the paper will provide an introduction to the Maldivian political culture and the reasons for changes therein. It will shed light on the emergence of three major Islamic streams in the Maldivian society, which stood opposed to one another by the late 1990s and early 2000s, and show how Gayoom’s state repression of dissent initiated an escalation process and furthered Islamist violent politics. The paper will argue that while state repression of dissent played a significant role in the repertoire selection of Islamic non-state agents, the introduction of fundamentalist Islamic interpretations through migration, educational exchange programmes and transnational actors have laid the ground for violence in the Maldives.</em></p> La Toya Waha Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 77 90 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1106 Islam, Catholicism, and Religion-State Separation: An Essential or Historical Difference? <p><em>There exist severe restrictions over religious dissent in most Muslim-majority countries. This problem is associated with the alliance between religious and political authorities in these cases. I argue that the alliance between Islamic scholars (the ulema) and the state authorities was historically constructed, instead of being a characteristic of Islam. Hence, the essentialist idea that Islam inherently rejects religion-state separation, whereas Christianity endorses it, is misleading. Instead, this article shows that the ulema-state alliance in the Muslim world was constructed after the mid-eleventh century, as well as revealing that the church-state separation in Western Europe was also historically institutionalized during that period. Using comparative-historical methods, the article explains the political and socioeconomic backgrounds of these epochal transformations. It particularly focuses on the relations between religious, political, intellectual, and economic classes.</em></p> Ahmet T. Kuru Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 91 104 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.982 Secularism, Religion, and Identification beyond Binaries: The Transnational Alliances, Rapprochements, and Dissent of German Turks in Germany <p><em>This article discusses the ways in which power-based socio-political shifts in Turkey during the AKP (Justice and Development Party) era transnationally influence the relations between and within the Muslim German Turkish communities and their organizations in Germany. Based on ethnographic field work, archival research and reflexive discourse analysis, this article takes DITIB (The Turkish Islamic Union of Religious Affairs) in Germany, which is the affiliate organization of Diyanet (The Presidency of Religious Organization) in Turkey, and analyses its relations with other German Turkish organizations such as Milli Görüş (The Islamic Community of National Vision) and the Gülen Movement in Germany. Such analysis reveals the dynamics of competition between secular and religious, as well as intra-religious, actors and how their members claim their religious and socio-political rights beyond binaries. </em></p> Nil Mutluer Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 105 119 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1201 Dissenting Yogis: The Mīmāṁsaka-Buddhist Battle for Epistemological Authority <p><em>While dissent connotes a type of split or departure, it can bind as much as it separates. This paper traces a millennium-long history of debate between Buddhists and other religionists who championed the Vedic authority rejected by the Buddha, a camp that came to be known as “Mīmā</em><em>ṁ</em><em>s</em><em>ā</em><em>.</em><em>”</em><em> My analysis illustrates dissent can have the paradoxical feature of forging strong relationships through its seeming antithesis: opposition. Specifically, I explore Mīmā</em><em>ṁ</em><em>saka-Buddhist debate on meditation. Buddhists argued that meditation could yield authoritative spiritual insight once a meditator had honed their yogic perception (yogipratyak</em><em>ṣ</em><em>a). M</em><em>ī</em><em>m</em><em>ā</em><em>ṁ</em><em>sakas rejected yogic perception, arguing only the scriptural corpus of the Vedas had authority. By undermining yogic perception, Mīmā</em><em>ṁ</em><em>sakas aimed to defang religious movements, like the Buddhists</em><em>’</em><em>, who appealed to meditative experience as legitimate grounds for dissent. Counterintuitively, such exchanges were essential for the construction of each faction’s identity and were continually mutually formative over the long history of their interaction.</em></p> Jed Forman Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 121 134 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1080 Tar & Feathers: Agnotology, Dissent, and Queer Mormon History <p><em>In 2014 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) updated their official website to include information about the polygamy/polyandry practiced by Joseph Smith, their founder and prophet, and his many wives. The admission by the LDS Church reconciles the tension between information that had become readily available online since the 1990s and church-sanctioned narratives that obscured Smith’s polygamy while concurrently focusing on the polygyny of Brigham Young, Smith’s successor. This paper entwines queer theory with Robert Proctor’s concept of agnotology—a term used to describe the epistemology of ignorance, to consider dissent from two interrelated perspectives: 1) how dissent from feminists and historians within the LDS Church challenged (mis)constructions of Mormon history, and; 2) how the Mormon practice of polygamy in the late nineteenth century dissented from Western sexual mores that conflated monogamy with Whiteness, democracy and social progression in the newly formed American Republic. </em></p> Nerida Bullock Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 135 149 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1104 New Religious-Nationalist Trends Among Jewish Settlers in the Halutza Sands <p><em>This article describes the religious worldview of the residents of three rural villages, established since 2010 in Southern Israel. Focusing on religious authority, the article traces the complex relationship between rabbis to their communities which is rarely a simple “top-down” traditional authority model. On the contrary, both the rabbis and their communities are aware of the fragility of their relationship, and therefore created a complex belief system in which the rabbis’ recommendation is sought, but not necessarily considered binding. In addition, the article describes the “Datlashim” (Hebrew acronym for “Ex-religious”). This liminal identity characterizes individuals who grew up within these religious communities but decided to dissent in their adulthood. They do not feel committed to, and sometimes openly reject the Jewish religious code. The article contributes to the scholarly understanding of religious authority, as well as the diversity within the religious-Zionist community in Israel, which has become increasingly influential is Israeli politics and society.</em></p> Hayim Katsman Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 151 165 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1101 Launching the International Journal of Religion <p><em>The International Journal of Religion (IJOR) was founded to fill a gap: to discover more about how religion impacts on society and politics both within and between countries. IJOR will examine how and why religion influences national and international politics, society, and economics. IJOR will be comprehensive, inter-disciplinary and researched-based. IJOR will do all it can to be a respected social scientific journal of high academic quality. IJOR invites scholars, researchers, thinkers and practitioners working on and interested in these issues to contribute, in what the journal intends to be a conducive environment to stimulate critical and independent thinking.</em></p> Jeffrey Haynes Ahmet Erdi Ozturk Eric M. Trinka Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 1 3 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1221 From the Editorial Desk <p><em>For this inaugural issue of the International Journal of Religion the editorial team sought to gather an array of papers that demonstrate substantive engagement with the questions of religious dissent as a political endeavor within and beyond religious frameworks. We solicited essays that would probe the following areas of study: historical and contemporary elasticities of religious traditions; internal tensions regarding the boundaries of acceptable belief and practice; the management and ethical treatment of dissent within particular religious traditions; whether religious faiths prescribe clear ways to manage dissent; religious reactions to dissent from feminist and queer activists; and reflections on the broader consequences of dissent in the political sphere. The papers assembled in this first issue have exceeded our expectations.</em></p> Eric M. Trinka Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Religion 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1 5 7 10.33182/ijor.v1i1.1215 Front Matter Copyright (c) 2020 Transnational Press London 2020-11-22 2020-11-22 1 1