2021 | 2

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 11 of 11
  • Review
  • Review
    Game Review. CREAKS (Puzzle). Amanita Design, 2020
    Wessely, Christian (2021)
  • Article
    Making Space, Claiming Place: Social Media and the Emergence of the “Muslim” Political Parties DENK and NIDA in the Netherlands
    Loukili, Sakina (2021)
    In the Netherlands, two new political parties have emerged within the last decade against the rising influence of right-wing populism. DENK and NIDA, founded mainly by Dutch Muslims with a migration background, have increasingly countered right-wing rhetoric in Dutch politics (verrechtsing) in which Islam is problematized. The role of media is fundamental in understanding these parties and their success in politics, as they are known for the ways they use social media as a venue for political and social engagement, and their critical attitude towards mainstream media. In this article, I explore the relationship between DENK and NIDA and mainstream media and analyze some of the ways DENK and NIDA use social media platforms to foster resistance towards dominant narratives on Islam and Muslims in Dutch society. This analysis shows that social media function as “third spaces” where these parties can “talk back” and discuss issues that concern Muslims, breaking free from places where their voices are marginalized.
  • Article
    Media and Religion in (Post)Colonial Societies: Dynamics of Power and Resistance. Editorial
    Bornet, Philippe; Knauss, Stefanie; Ornella, Alexander D. (2021)
    Media and religion (broadly conceived) are often cooperating as the backdrop, and at the forefront of power struggles, in dominant and subaltern narratives, conflict and protest. Religious practices are visual and material practices that communicate meaning, and media thrive on harnessing the cognitive and affective power of religious symbols or narratives. Many media producers draw on the ability of religions, as communicative systems, to distill human experience and to create particularly powerful structures of affect. The intricate and dynamic relationships between media and religion are part of the cultural efforts of inscribing and embodying meaning on an individual and collective level, and thus to turn chaos into order, to establish and communicate categories and boundaries. Thus in this issue of JRFM, we focus on how religion and media participate in and complicate the power relationships between (western) colonizers and (non-western) colonized during the historical period of colonialism and in “coloniality”, a term introduced by Aníbal Quijano to describe the ways in which colonial dynamics of othering and difference, as well as western epistemologies continue to shape the cultural, economic, political, and religious forces within and between communities.
  • Article
    Playing with Words, Worlds, and Images: An Interview with the Indian Graphic Novelist Amruta Patil, by Philippe Bornet, Stefanie Knauss, and Alexander D. Ornella
    Patil, Amruta (2021)
    In this interview with issue editors Philippe Bornet, Stefanie Knauss and Alexander D. Ornella, Amruta Patil discusses how the unique possibilities of playing with images and words in the medium of the graphic novel allow for a creative critique and reimagination of ancient mythologies as well as contemporary social questions. Her use of the figure of the storyteller, her sensuous visual style, and continuous micro-subversion of traditional motifs invite viewers/readers to enter into the story and make it their own, while at the same time encouraging the capacity to see each other and to engage constructively even with people or viewpoints one might critique.
  • Article
    Unruly Images: Representing India in the Calwer Bilder-Tafeln zur Länder- und Völker-Kunde (1883)
    Bornet, Philippe (2021)
    The contribution focuses on a volume published by a German Christian press related to a missionary society in 1883 and offering a visual panorama of all the world’s cultures in 1,690 engravings. Most images were reproductions of original documents that had initially appeared in different editorial contexts, ranging from missionary periodicals to secular travel magazines and British colonial literature. This study examines the message that the volume’s editors wanted to convey: a message presenting the extra-European world as devoid of historical agency, non-Christian religions as false, and the presence of western agents – in particular, missionaries – as providential. Retracing the life story of a few images, I show that some of them communicated these notions better than others. For example, engravings manufactured after photographs were often not as polemical as those made after drawings, for the simple reason of the mediatic characteristics of photography. Complicating the critical reading of the images as simply representing missionary propaganda, I argue that a volume like the one examined here is best understood when placed within a transnational (or connected) history of visual practices.
  • Article
    Using Latinx Theology’s Lo Cotidiano to Decolonialize Oller’s El Velorio
    Varela Rios, Héctor M. (2021)
    This article explores the theological valences of Francisco Oller y Cestero’s El Velorio (ca. 1893), his interpretation of the child’s funerary wake called bakiné in Puerto Rico, using the Latinx theological concept of lo cotidiano and its decolonializing force. In contrast to Oller’s elitist and colonialized view of bakiné as “brutish” and “superstition”, a decolonial cotidiano approach valorizes its nuanced expression of Puerto Rican popular religion, identity, and culture among everyday belief and practice. This approach construes bakiné as a celebration of life, orthodox in light of Catholic doctrine, and representative of the reality of many Puerto Ricans to this day, a life in which redemption triumphs over sin and creativity over chaos even when rife with suffering and oppression. Indeed, El Velorio evinces a popular hermeneutic, a quotidian relationality, and a creative faith that has larger theological implications about the complexities of being human, being religious-in-community, and being created, and about the relationship between theology, art, and human.
  • Article
    Validating Demons: Recasting Rāvaṇa as a Leader of the Oppressed in Mani Ratnam’s Film Version of the Rāmāyaṇa
    Castro, Genoveva (2021)
    This article focuses on Mani Ratnam’s adaptation of the Rāmāyaṇa and analyzes the ways in which the film rewrites the epic. The movie criticizes the traditional notion of a sharp opposition between the hero and the villain: Rāma is questioned and Rāvaṇa validated. A contemporary setting is used to comment on ongoing conflicts between the police and oppressed communities. The struggle in remote and poor areas encourages the celebration of the outlaw in the form of a present-day Rāvaṇa. Gender and sexuality also play an important role in the transformation of the demonic “other” into a more sympathetic character. The vilification and resistance to the demonization of Rāvaṇa is part of a longer history in India’s literary culture which is explored and contrasted with the movie in this contribution.