Issue 20 of Challenging Religious Issues is now available for free download on the St Giles’ Centre website. In this latest issue, academic experts introduce and reflect upon five more challenging religious issues for teachers and students, including: Virtue ethics in business; Making sense of ‘non-religion’; Was Hinduism invented?; Should Buddhists abandon rites and rituals?; and Sikh discernment of the divine.
Brief article descriptions and a direct link to issue 20 of the journal are provided below:
Virtue Ethics in Business Organisations by Professor Geoff Moore
In the first part of this two-part article a brief summary of virtue ethics is provided before turning to construct a framework of practices, institutions, goods and virtues that Alasdair MacIntyre offers in his book After Virtue. In the second part, the implications of this framework for business organisations are explored.
Making Sense of Non-religion: Revisiting Secularisation from the Other Side … by Professor Matthew Guest
This article considers the question of secularisation from the point of view of those who identify as ‘non-religious’ and asks what this label might mean.
Was Hinduism Invented? by Dr Stephen Jacobs
This article addresses how and when Hinduism was conceived as a distinctive religion that could be compared with other religions. While the roots of Hinduism may possibly be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilisation (c.2500BCE–1700BCE), the term ‘Hinduism’ was not widely used until the 19th century. The article focuses on the encounter between Indians and Europeans during the colonial period, which was the context for the emergence of the idea of Hinduism as a coherent and unified religious tradition.
Should Buddhists abandon rites and rituals? by Phra Dr Nicholas Thanissaro
Although rites and rituals appear to be widespread in traditional Buddhism, some ambiguity surrounds whether historically ceremonies were to be encouraged or abandoned, especially when ‘adherence to rites and rituals’ is listed amongst the fetters holding a practitioner back from enlightenment. This debate has resurfaced in present-day Western Buddhism where those influenced by Protestantism tend to deprioritise ceremony in favour of meditation. This article examines possible attitudes to ceremony that can reconcile both sides of the argument.
Sikh Discernment of the Divine by Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar
This article focuses on the Sikh perspective on the nature and discernment of the Divine. Teachings from the Guru Granth Sahib portray the Ultimate Divine as gender-free, formless and experienced through the senses – especially by the process of ‘seeing’ the Divine [darśan]. The devotees’ experience of the Divine (often referred to as Waheguru) is compared to the blissful union with one’s Beloved. This union is understood as the mechanism by which the devotee can elevate their consciousness from the worldly [manmukh] to the Divine [gurmukh]. This personal relationship with the Divine is explained as experiencing this essence within, rather than looking for the Divine in spaces external to the body.
Read / download the journal here: