Author: redaktion

Of Cults, Cures, and Ceremorphosis: Landscaping Religion in Baldur’s Gate 3

Worshipper of Umberlee, the Wavemother, BG3 2023. Larian Studios. In the summer of this year (2023), Belgian developer and publisher Larian Studios released the well-received[1] video game “Baldur’s Gate 3” (BG3). Based on the Tabletop-Roleplaying Game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)[2] and following the first two Baldur’s Gate-video games (Baldur’s Gate…

The Fragile Space: Striking a Balance Between Visibility and Persistence in a Local Shia Mosque

Location of the Mosque in Bochum © Zahra Naghshband. The representatives of Shia congregations[1] convened in Bochum in April 2022 to sign a statement reacting to the German government’s banning and confiscation of two Shia mosques.[2] The signatories including 58 Shia associations from different cities in Germany, stated that this…

Never fear – Cultbusters are here to save us from the menace of brainwashing

– Courtesy of Esteban Lopez via unsplash. People are understandably curious about fanatical social movements and clandestine groups that inspire intense devotion in their followers. Capturing popular imagination in recent years are multi-level marketing scheme NXIVM[1], the pseudo-religious conspiracy communities of QAnon[2], antivaxxers, and the MAGA movement[3]. The public can…

“Turban Tossing” in Iran: Reflections on an Act of Anticlerical Revenge

On 16th September 2022, the “morality police” (pers. Gasht-e Ershād, lit. “Guidance Patrol”) run by the Islamist government of Iran detained 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish Zhinā Mahsā Amini for “improperly” wearing the Islamic headscarf (pers. hejāb) in public. Amini subsequently died in custody, reportedly at the hands of morality police officers. In…

CfP: Publication: Space and Holocaust Research: A Transdisciplinary Reader, ed. by Janine Fubel, Alexandra Klei, Annika Wienert

Following the spatial turn, the category of space has received increasing attention in recent years, especially in English-language research on the Holocaust and its aftermath. The publication aims to trace this development, to discuss it critically, and to point out perspectives for further research. In doing so, it is particularly…

Conversion Therapy: The Struggle is Real

“Homosexuality is not a disease. That’s why the term therapy is misleading. We want to ban so-called conversion therapies as far as possible. Wherever they are carried out, they often cause serious physical suffering and emotional distress. These so-called therapies make people sick, not healthy. The ban sends out an…

Sacred yet Shared Traditions in Kerala, South India: Illuminated neither by Candles nor by Diyas, but by a Nilavilakku

When I moved to Europe, stereotypes about India and Indians that existed here entertained me. One of the most intriguing ones, however, was the assumption that I were a Hindu. Now what’s so special about it? At the outset, nothing. It is a valid assumption – I mean, yes, it…

Private Candles in German Protestant Churches

It is now commonplace in German Protestant churches to find private, non-liturgical candles burning in wordless prayer. These candles, lit by individuals who might spend little time in church themselves, represent a transformation of classical Protestantism that highlights shifts between public (congregational) and private (individual) religiosity, and perhaps between what…

Does Religion Sell? A brief journey in religion and advertising

I love the Super Bowl. I actually don’t understand anything about American football (a sport that, as a European, I believe a poor replacement of rugby), but as a religion scholar, I love to see the nationalistic, civil religion in the ritual of every American family coming together to celebrate…

“Is the shellfish thing serious?” – Religion and the “Gilmore Girls”

Fans have been eagerly awaiting this day for nearly a decade: new episodes of the TV series Gilmore Girls will be available for streaming on Netflix. In the early millennium, the series about the single mother Lorelai and her daughter Rory was famous especially for its fast dialogues full of…

Religion and Bollywood: Islam and Hinduism

Backview Bollywood #37 by Meena Kadri is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. I grew up in an environment where media played its role of being entertainer, teaching about life and religion as well. Especially, Bollywood films have been a big source of entertainment in my family due…

Early transcription methods at the K.K. Akademie Orientalischer Sprachen in Vienna according to students’ exercise books

Lecture by Claudia Römer University of Vienna, Department of Oriental Studies The subject I am going to present here has, besides its Ottomanist approach, a Central European perspective, as it deals with the former “K.K. Akademie Orientalischer Sprachen” in Vienna, founded in 1754 by Maria Theresa, and its students from…

Digitalization and Preservation of the seals

Some examples from the Archives of the Bohemian Crown By Libuše Holakovská The charters and seals of the Archives of the Bohemian Crown (AČK) are given – due to their significance – an extraordinary attention by the archivists and conservators. The department of the physical care of records I work…

Abstract: Using Digital Copies in Teaching – The 1677 Parson’s Reports of the Prague Archbishopric and Their Editions

By Marie Ryantová Abstract to the lecture of Marie Ryantová on 16th February 2016 Re-catholicisation, or catholic “reformation”, is a major phenomenon, not just in terms of Czech history. A more thorough renewal of Catholicism in the Czech lands could be started only after the end of the Thirty-Years War…

Digitising of seals from the Archives of the Bohemian Crown

The Archives of the Bohemian Crown (Archiv České koruny, AČK) is the most important archival holding in the Czech Republic, because it contains the oldest documents of the old Bohemian state – documents of Bohemian monarchs and estates. Charters from this archival holding have already been digitised and they are…

Giota Tourgeli: Families split by the “American Dream”: Greek Emigration to the USA and Impacts on Marriage and Family Relationships (1890-1930)

This paper aims at describing the transnational families of Greek emigrants during the first decades of the 20th century, especially the social effects of transatlantic mobility on their marriage strategies and family relations. At the turn of the 20th century and up to 1924 a total of around 400,000 Greek…
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