Inter-religious Relations: Prejudices and Conflicts—Dialogue and Integration

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 34556

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute for Empirical Research on Religion, University of Berne, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Interests: centrality and multidimensional structure of religiosity; spirituality; secularity; empirical theology; forgiveness
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Chair of Sociology of Religion, Cluster of Excellence ‘Religion & Politics’, University of Munster, 48149 Münster, Germany
Interests: religiosity beyond Christianity; Muslim religiosity; migration; integration

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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Karnatak University, Dharwad-03, Karnataka State 580003, India
Interests: religion; forgiveness; emotions; coping; belief in a just world

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As globalization progresses, religious pluralization proceeds and with it, and awareness of other religious traditions is increasingly penetrating into everyday life. Moreover, with such a heightened awareness of other religions, actors on the micro-, meso-, and macro-level have to position themselves towards this religious plurality, which we want to capture with the term ‘inter-religious relations’. Such inter-religious relations take place at the level between individuals, and at the level of regions, countries, and institutions (especially religious communities). Examples are couples and families in which the members belong to different religions, as well as regions or countries in which the inhabitants belong to different religious communities or in which migration has changed the previous religious landscape. However, inter-religious relations can comprise very different qualities. These include, but are not limited to, prejudices and (resulting) conflicts as well as dialogue and integration of different religious perspectives and practices.

This Special Issue on “Inter-religious relations: Prejudices and Conflicts—Dialogue and Integration” in the peer-reviewed, open access journal Religions (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/religions) aims to examine the here-described phenomenon. The focus of this Special Issue is on qualitative and quantitative empirical studies from all disciplines of empirical religious research, especially from sociology of religion, psychology of religion, religious studies, and empirical theology. Additionally, theoretical papers or historical case studies on this topic are also invited. Research from all religious and cultural contexts are highly welcome.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Huber
Dr. Sarah Demmrich
Prof. Dr. Shanmukh V. Kamble
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • inter-religious relations
  • religious pluralization
  • prejudice
  • conflict
  • dialogue
  • integration
  • globalization

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 343 KiB  
Article
Love Thy Neighbor: Exploring Religious and Social Openness among Prospective Theologians in Germany and Turkey
by Sarah Demmrich, Zuhal Ağılkaya-Şahin and Abdulkerim Şenel
Religions 2024, 15(3), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030260 - 21 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Amidst increasing globalization and religious diversity, acknowledging and embracing openness towards religious and/or cultural others has become crucial for societal cohesion and international relations. Theological scholars, holding significant potential in mitigating inter-religious and intercultural prejudices, can play a pivotal role in addressing this [...] Read more.
Amidst increasing globalization and religious diversity, acknowledging and embracing openness towards religious and/or cultural others has become crucial for societal cohesion and international relations. Theological scholars, holding significant potential in mitigating inter-religious and intercultural prejudices, can play a pivotal role in addressing this challenge. However, it is acknowledged that theologians themselves may harbor such biases. This study, conducted within the framework of the Religious Openness Hypothesis, employed an online questionnaire among theology students, seen as future multipliers of religiosity, in Germany and Turkey (N = 513) using convenience sampling. The results reveal the consistent relation of religiosity to all forms of prejudice among German Christians, with a linked defense against secularism potentially leading to self-isolation and the protection of their own worldview against religious or cultural outgroups. In contrast, the (generally high) prejudice among Turkish Muslims appears to be rooted not primarily in religiosity or defense against secularism but in fundamentalism and, most likely, in other socio-cultural factors such as politics and education. For both subsamples, religiosity was positively linked with xenosophia, particularly when accounting for fundamentalism. The article concludes by proposing curriculum implications for universities and schools in both cultural contexts. Full article
13 pages, 450 KiB  
Article
Religiosity and the Perception of Interreligious Threats: The Suppressing Effect of Negative Emotions towards God
by Dorcas Yarn Pooi Lam, Kai Seng Koh, Siew Wei Gan and Jacob Tian You Sow
Religions 2023, 14(3), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14030366 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
Religiosity has been studied for its impact on other sociological and psychological aspects of society, particularly personal wellbeing and interpersonal relationships. However, it has yet to be studied for its impact on interreligious prejudice as measured by perceptions of interreligious threats. The present [...] Read more.
Religiosity has been studied for its impact on other sociological and psychological aspects of society, particularly personal wellbeing and interpersonal relationships. However, it has yet to be studied for its impact on interreligious prejudice as measured by perceptions of interreligious threats. The present study investigates how religiosity (both positive and negative measures) affects perception of threats from other religious groups within the Malaysian context by using the Centrality of Religiosity Scale and the Inventory of Emotions towards God as measures of religiosity. Data collected through questionnaires administered to university students and recent graduates (N = 260) in Malaysia were subjected to bivariate correlation analysis, multiple regression analysis and mediation analysis. Our findings show that the positive and negative measures yielded different effects on the perception of interreligious threats. While the centrality of religiosity and positive emotions towards God have statistically significant negative correlation with perception of interreligious threats, we show that negative emotions towards God suppresses the effect of the positive measures of religion on the dependent variable. The paper discusses the implications of these results within the socio-political context of Malaysia, in which ethnic identity and religious affiliation are closely intertwined. Full article
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11 pages, 773 KiB  
Article
On the Value of Empathy to Inter-Religious Relations: A Case Study Based on the Thought of Charles Hartshorne
by Jiran Wang
Religions 2023, 14(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14010124 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 3122
Abstract
Introducing the results of psychology to the field of inter-religious relations, the value of empathy for the latter may seem equivocal. Based on a study of Hartshorne’s thought, this paper will clarify conceptually that, as a mechanism, empathy can promote integration and dialogue, [...] Read more.
Introducing the results of psychology to the field of inter-religious relations, the value of empathy for the latter may seem equivocal. Based on a study of Hartshorne’s thought, this paper will clarify conceptually that, as a mechanism, empathy can promote integration and dialogue, but may also result in partiality due to the limitation of its scope, thus resulting in prejudice and even conflict. It will further argue that Hartshorne provides a view of ultimate reality that not only highlights the moral value of empathy, but also promotes the extension of its scope. This implies that a theological account of empathy can go beyond the framework constructed in psychology and transform it into something that has unequivocally positive value for inter-religious integration and dialogue. Full article
22 pages, 3184 KiB  
Article
Interfaith Marriage in Islam: Classical Islamic Resources and Contemporary Debates on Muslim Women’s Interfaith Marriages
by Ayse Elmali-Karakaya
Religions 2022, 13(8), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13080726 - 10 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 11611
Abstract
In Islamic tradition, both Muslim men and women are prohibited from marrying mushriks and are required to marry only other believers. However, Muslim scholars’ definitions of ‘believers’ and ‘mushriks’ differ for men and women. Whereas kitabī (Jewish and Christian) women are [...] Read more.
In Islamic tradition, both Muslim men and women are prohibited from marrying mushriks and are required to marry only other believers. However, Muslim scholars’ definitions of ‘believers’ and ‘mushriks’ differ for men and women. Whereas kitabī (Jewish and Christian) women are accepted as believers, not mushriks; kitabī men, who believe in the same religion as kitabī women, are not accepted as believers. Thus, there is a prohibition of Muslim women marrying men of different faiths in Islam. This prohibition is mainly based on the consensus of scholars, which is mostly derived from the cultural and social understanding of marriage and gender roles in the family rather than strictly from religious sources of reference. The aim of this article is to discuss how classical and contemporary Muslim scholars have approached the question of Muslim women’s interfaith marriages in Islam. Classical Muslim scholars did not consider the changing circumstances in their society and reconsider the religious rule regarding Muslim women’s interfaith marriages, as they did for Muslim men’s interfaith marriages. On the other hand, some contemporary Muslim scholars argue that the absence of any explicit prohibition in the Qurʾān indicates that Islam leaves the decision regarding whom to marry up to the Muslim woman and that she should consider her conditions and her prospective husband’s attitude toward her religious faith before making the decision for herself. Full article
17 pages, 974 KiB  
Article
The Intention of Becoming Religiously Moderate in Indonesian Muslims: Do Knowledge and Attitude Interfere?
by Rena Latifa, Muhamad Fahri, Imam Subchi and Naufal Fadhil Mahida
Religions 2022, 13(6), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13060540 - 13 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2672
Abstract
As religious moderation is becoming one of the alternative solutions to prevent religious extremism behavior in Indonesian Muslims, research regarding becoming religiously moderate is essential. This research aimed to (1) construct Islamic Religious Moderation Intentions instruments. Intentions are usually shaped by knowledge and [...] Read more.
As religious moderation is becoming one of the alternative solutions to prevent religious extremism behavior in Indonesian Muslims, research regarding becoming religiously moderate is essential. This research aimed to (1) construct Islamic Religious Moderation Intentions instruments. Intentions are usually shaped by knowledge and attitudes. For this reason, we also (2) constructed the instrument of Islamic Religious Moderation Knowledge and Islamic Religious Moderation Attitudes. Finally, we tried to (3) discover the intention of becoming religiously moderate in Indonesian Muslims by testing the knowledge and attitudes of religiously moderate. The participants consisted of 305 Indonesian Muslims from any religious organizational affiliation. First, we constructed the instruments from the theoretical definition of knowledge, attitudes, and intentions. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to validate the instruments. Moreover, the hypothesis was tested with multiple regression analysis. This research found three valid instruments regarding Islamic religious moderation: (1) Islamic Religious Moderation Knowledge, (2) Islamic Religious Moderation Attitudes, and (3) Islamic Religious Moderation Intentions. The hypothesis test results show a significant influence of knowledge and attitudes in forming religious moderation intentions in Indonesian Muslims. Therefore, to have any intentions of becoming a moderate Muslim, one should know “what Islamic moderation is” and have a positive attitude toward Islamic moderation. Further dissemination regarding religious moderation should be put into action to increase the knowledge and attitudes in Indonesian Muslim society. Full article
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11 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Pakikipagkapwa (Fellowship): Towards an Interfaith Dialogue with the Religious Others
by Jonathan James Canete and Fides A. del Castillo
Religions 2022, 13(5), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13050459 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 7519
Abstract
The present study examines the ways in which the Filipino Christian value of pakikipagkapwa (fellowship) can be seen and experienced in modern society. Using empirical phenomenology, this paper aims to (re)imagine the ways of cultivating ways of dialogue with religious others while understand [...] Read more.
The present study examines the ways in which the Filipino Christian value of pakikipagkapwa (fellowship) can be seen and experienced in modern society. Using empirical phenomenology, this paper aims to (re)imagine the ways of cultivating ways of dialogue with religious others while understand the meaning of pakikipagkapwa (fellowship). This study explores the contemporary notions and practices of pakikipagkapwa among select Filipino Christians and how such cultural value fosters interreligious dialogue. Moreover, the study investigates the importance of dialogue between religious actors as they navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors contend that pakikipagkapwa and interreligious dialogue build communities, support social cohesion, and help religious actors find meaning in difficult circumstances. Full article
11 pages, 232 KiB  
Article
Religious Moderation in Indonesian Muslims
by Imam Subchi, Zulkifli Zulkifli, Rena Latifa and Sholikatus Sa’diyah
Religions 2022, 13(5), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13050451 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3991
Abstract
Indonesia receives a high religious harmony index every year; however, intolerance and religious radicalism threaten this harmony. Moderate Islam (Islamic religious moderation) has become a national policy as a solution to prevent intolerance and radicalism. In this study, we aimed to determine the [...] Read more.
Indonesia receives a high religious harmony index every year; however, intolerance and religious radicalism threaten this harmony. Moderate Islam (Islamic religious moderation) has become a national policy as a solution to prevent intolerance and radicalism. In this study, we aimed to determine the factors influencing religious moderation. We examined the variables of religiosity and demographics, which play essential roles in forming religious moderation. A total of 578 students at state Islamic universities in Indonesia participated in this research. We measured religiosity with the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS-5) by Huber and Huber. The CRS-5 consists of five dimensions: intellect, ideology, public practice, private practice, and religious experience, which we adapted to the Indonesian language. The Religious Moderation Scale consists of three dimensions: national commitment, rejecting violence, and accommodating culture. We collected data through questionnaires that we distributed online, and we analyzed the responses using multiple regression analysis. The results show that religiosity positively affected religious moderation, meaning that religious intellectuality, ideology, public practice, private practice, and religious experience supported a person in being moderately religious and might prevent intolerance and radicalism. Socioeconomic factors (sex and parents’ income) also strongly affected religious moderation. Full article
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