• Twenty years of fieldwork: Reflections on reflexivity in the study of British Muslims

      Geaves, Ron (Chester Academic Press, 2007)
      This book reflects on some of the major events that have affected the Muslim community in Britain during the last twenty years, and considers the methodological problems encountered by an outside observer undertaking research on the significance of these events.
    • Tzedakah, Tikkun: Jewish Approaches to Social Justice

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2017-10-30)
      This chapter will present a historicised phenomenological account of the two dominant forms of social justice within Judaism: tzedakah (justice) and tikkun (advocacy, or, literally, “mending”). Tzedakah is a core principle of religious Judaism, and also has profound resonances within secular Judaism; the history of the Anglo-Jewish community is illustrative of the manner and extent to which tzedakah has shaped Jewish identity. The concept of tikkun is conceptually more ambiguous, and even now is understood very differently by different Jewish communities. Liberal Jews understand tikkun to be both the action of social justice advocacy (of which charitable giving is only a single component) and, simultaneously, a meta-principle which governs the interpretation of halakah (Jewish law) even to the point of over-riding particular halakhic restrictions which may otherwise impede advocacy activity. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are, conversely, likely to view strict adherence to halakah, including the practice of tzedakah, as the primary means of tikkun ha-olam (the mending of creation). In addition to the key distinction between Liberal and Orthodox social justice activity which emerges when tzedakah and tikkun are considered as modes of action, this chapter will also explore distinctions between ethnic and religious Judaism which emerge when consideration is given to the particular targets of social justice activity: which causes are self-evidently worthy of either charitable or activist intervention? What language is deployed in attempts to promote a cause through appeals to common (Jewish) values? Through a close examination of these issues, the ways in which different traditions of Judaism construct and enact concepts of social justice within both religious and ethnic frameworks will be discursively explored.
    • Understanding pacifisms: A typology

      Clough, David; University of Chester (LIT, 2007-12-31)
      This book chapter discusses the diversity of Christian pacifist positions.
    • Understanding the dark side: Western demonology, Satanic panics and alien abduction

      Partridge, Christopher; University of Chester (Chester Academic Press, 2006)
      This book discusses the theroy of UFOs and UFO religion; demonology in the West; popular culture, abduction narratives, and the technological demon; demonising the extraterrestrial in religious discourse; and the reptilian agenda.
    • Understanding UFO religions and abduction spiritualities

      Partridge, Christopher; University College Chester (Routledge, 2003-07-03)
      This book chapter discusses the emergence of contemporary ufology, ufoism as theosophical religion, ufoism as physicalist religion, and abduction spiritualities.
    • Univocity for Militants: Set-Theoretical Ontology and the Death of the One

      Leung, King-Ho (2017-09-30)
      Alain Badiou notes that he designates that mathematics as ontology—the thought of “being qua being”—because of its ability to express the “univocal” character of being. But in his critical and indeed controversial reading of Gilles Deleuze, Badiou accuses Deleuze’s univocal ontology as being fundamentally a metaphysics of “the One”. This essay offers a reading of Badiou’s univocity of being in relation to his understanding of ontological immanence and also his commitment or indeed “fidelity” to ontologically articulating the atheistic premise that “God is dead”—which for Badiou also means “the One is not”.
    • “Unlock Paradise with your own Blood”: Martyrdom and Salvation in Islam and Christianity

      Middleton, Paul; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2015-12-17)
      The essay compares theologies of salvation in the martyr texts of early Christianity and Islam, demonstrating how martyrdom troubles more orthodox notions of salvation in both cases.
    • The unquiet frontier: the boundaries of philosophy and public theology

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester (2014-04-09)
      Taking Charles Taylor's characterisation of the boundary between 'a secular age' and the new visibility of religion as 'an unquiet frontier', this paper considers further some of the implications of what it means to occupy the liminal space between the Scylla of secularisation and the Charibdis of religious resurgence, often known as the 'post-secular'. Some advocates of the return of religion focus on its philosophical manifestations, whereas a concentration on religious practices offers, potentially, more traction on the benefits and problems of reconceiving the role of religion in the public square.
    • Unsettled Natives in the Newfoundland Imaginary

      Owen, Suzanne; University of Chester; Leeds Trinity University (Brill, 2017-06-06)
      In Newfoundland, the last Beothuk died nearly two hundred years ago and both European settlers and Mi'kmaq have been blamed for their demise. This history is contentious, as is the way the demise of the Beothuk is represented in museums, literature and the arts, which may be regarded as public acts of remembering. Indigeneity debates here relate to other identity issues linked to resisting the subsumation of Newfoundland into Canada since confederation in 1949. Drawing on postcolonial literature studies, this chapter investigates how the theme of ‘unsettled natives’ – referring to both the subject (contemporary Newfoundlanders) and the object (Beothuk) – is portrayed in literature and art where the presence of the extinct Beothuk haunts the Newfoundland imaginary.
    • Unweaving the Web: Beginning to think theologically about the Internet

      Clough, David; University of Chester (Grove Books, 2002-10-01)
      This book discusses features of the Internet that are new and theologically challenging and how these features affect the way we think about place, time, and identity.
    • Urban Ecology and Faith Communities

      Baker, Chris; Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester (Brill, 2017-09-30)
      This chapter seeks to address a framing question of this volume, ‘What does a public theology look like in the 21st century?’ It will do so with reference to the strikingly pervasive and fluid material cultures and imaginaries of the urban which are influencing our increasingly globalized understandings of what it means to be ‘in community’ with others. The chapter will locate this contemporary context within an historical trajectory which moves from the origins of biblical theology and reflection on the city as site of divine providence and covenant, to the emergence of the modern industrial city of the mid-nineteenth century, when ‘[b]eing self-consciously urban’ definitively transformed the church’s understanding of ‘the context of mission and the possibilities of wider engagement’ with corresponding implications for the nature of public theology itself.
    • The use of snuhī in Indian medical and liturgical literature, with a note on Bengali Śaktism

      Ferrari, Fabrizio M.; University of Chester (2017-10-10)
      The name snuhī is attested since the first centuries CE in the materia medica of early āyurvedic compendia where its leaves, roots and, particularly, its milky exudation are used in preparations against a wide range of conditions. Identified with various Euphorbiaceae, oft confused with cacti, and known in English as the spurge tree, snuhī is also described as a lesser poison (upaviṣa) and used in alchemical processes to purify metals. Finally, the spurge tree is also present in vernacular traditions, where it is associated to few gods and goddesses and is used by folk healers to develop antidotes against poisonous animals. Moving from an analysis of Picchilātantra, a short premodern Bengali Śākta ritual manual, I discuss how the snuhī-tree (B. sij, siju, manasā) came to be associated to the goddess Śītalā (protector of children from fever and poxes) and her cohort in a way that is not confirmed by other textual evidence or current ritual praxis. The present study, thought based on a minor text, reflects on how scientific knowledge has informed ritual and devotional culture and on the natural permeability of liturgical praxis in vernacular traditions.
    • The Use of Sobriquets in the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls

      Collins, Matthew A.; University of Chester (T&T Clark, 2009-04-13)
      Matthew A. Collins examines the key sobriquets – or assumed names – found among the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls. Acknowledging the problematic nature of attempting to identify historical referents behind these epithets, Collins concentrates on the function of the sobriquets as labels utilized positively or negatively within the sectarian compositions. Observing the presence of both ‘standard’ and ‘variant’ forms of sobriquet, this study examines differences in form and function across the range of texts in which they appear. Collins adopts a chronological schema which posits a Formative, Early and Late Sectarian period, and concentrates on the key sobriquets ‘the Spouter of the Lie’ and ‘the Teacher of Righteousness,’ tracing their development from contextualized scriptural typologies towards titular forms which constitute discrete elements of sectarian terminology. The book draws upon sociological research and ‘labelling theory’ to display the sobriquets in their wider context and thereby demonstrate their function as tools for labelling deviance and affirming positive counterparts. The move towards definite titular forms may consequently be viewed as a process of role engulfment reflecting increased ‘stereotypicality’ and the ultimate acquisition of ‘master status’.
    • Using the Bible: Studying the text

      Evans, Robert; University of Chester (2009)
      This book discusses questions of how the Bible is used, key issues of text and translation, the history of Biblical interpretation, Key concepts and methods in reading the Old Testament and the New Testament, the nature of religious language, historical and literary approaches to Biblical interpreation, and the relationship of interpreting Biblical text with religious belief and other ideologies. There is a worked example based on a passage in the Gospel of Mark.
    • Using the Bible: Studying the text

      Evans, Robert (Darton, Longman & Todd, 1999-09-01)
      This book discusses how the Bible can be read within a Christian and Biblical scholarship framework. It covers text and translation, the history of Bibical interpretation, the nature of religious language, and the relationship between interpreting Bibical text with religious belief and other ideologies.
    • Vegetarianism

      Clough, David; University of Chester (Inter-Varsity Press, 2006-04-01)
      This book entry discusses Christian though on vegetarianism.
    • The Violence of the Lamb: Martyrs as Agents of Divine Judgement in the Book of Revelation

      Middleton, Paul; University of Chester (T & T Clark, 2018-05-03)
      The act of martyrdom in the worldview of the Apocalypse has been considered to be an exemplification of non-violent resistance. Paul Middleton argues here, however, that it is in fact a representation of direct participation by Christians, through their martyrdom, in divine violence against those the author of Revelation portrays as God's enemies. Middleton shows that acceptance of martyrdom is to grasp the invitation to participate in the Revelation's divine violence. Martyrs follow the model laid down by the Lamb, who was not only slain, but resurrected, glorified, and who executes judgement. The world created by the Apocalypse encourages readers to conquer the Beast through martyrdom, but also through the experience of resurrection and being appointed judges. In this role, martyrs participate in the judgement of the wicked by sharing the Lamb's power to judge. Different from eschewing violence, the conceptual world of the Apocalypse portrays God, the Lamb, and the martyrs as possessing more power, might, and violent potential than the Emperor and his armies. Middleton believes that martyrdom and violence are necessary components of the worldview of Revelation.
    • The 'virtuous circle': Religion and the practices of happiness

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2011)
      This book chapter discusses the role of religion in happiness and wellbeing.
    • Voltaire's precis of Ecclesiastes: A case study in the Bible's afterlife

      Christianson, Eric; McWilliams, Terry (Sage, 2005-06-01)
      This article discusses In 1759 Volitaire's two precis of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, written in 1759. The article also includes a full translation of the Precis by Terry McWilliams, with critical notes.