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Ronit Nikolsky – De functie van parabels (mesjalim) in de Tanchuma

This article takes the narrative nature of parables seriously and looks at their role from this perspective. After theorizing the role of stories from a ‘culture and cognition’ perspective, four meshalim from the Tanhuma Midrashim are studied: ‘Grasshoppers in a jar’ (about the Tower of Babel), ‘Abraham’s circumcision’, ‘The baby on the table’ (about the […]

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Albertina Oegema, Jonathan Pater en Martijn Stoutjesdijk, Alleen bruiden, slavinnen en weduwen? De rol van vrouwen in vroegrabbijnse vroegchristelijke gelijkenissen

Some scholars have argued that the parables attributed to Jesus in the New Testament featuring women as characters have had a specifically radical and liberating quality for women within early Christianity. The present article challenges a similar appreciation of the texts by comparing them to rabbinic parables which use the same imagery and narrative techniques. […]

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Eric Ottenheijm – De parabels van Jezus en van de Rabbijnen als ‘media’ van Tora

This study provides the outline of the Research Project ‘Parables and the Partings of the Ways’, a comparative reading of Rabbinic and synoptic parables (Utrecht and Tilburg Universities, 2014–2019). It delineates the status quaestionis of comparative parable research, focusses on issues of form and rhetoric of parables and argues a multi-faceted methodology to study parables […]

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Birgit Meyer – Afterword. Towards Religious Studies ‘New Style’

Reflecting on the contributions to this special issue, in this afterword I argue that the current fragmented state of religious studies in the Netherlands may well be taken as a laboratory to develop a study of religion for the future. Religious studies ‘new style’ can break with all sorts of path-dependent constraints, including the religious […]

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Peter Nissen – Key Text: Colleen McDannell, Material Christianity. Over de materiële dimensie van christelijke religiositeit

In her book Material Christianity, published in 1995, the American scholar of religion Colleen McDannell calls attention to the importance of material culture in the everyday religious practice of American Christians in the 19th and 20th century. Her book demonstrates a breakthrough in the study of the history of Christianity: the one-sided emphasis on institutions […]

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David Chidester – Beyond Religious Studies? The Future of the Study of Religion in a Multidisciplinary Perspective

Looking beyond religious studies, not in a temporal but in a spatial sense, this brief essay identifies openings for multidisciplinary research and reflection in the study of material religion. The discussion focuses on categories, formations, and circulations—the historical contingency of basic categories of religion, the colonial and imperial forces in formations of religion, and the […]

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Michael Stausberg – Religious Studies in Germany: Institutional Frameworks and Constraints

In Germany the distinction between theology and Religionswissenschaft remains firmly in place. This article compares the institutional context of both disciplines. A related development is the recent creation of chairs and programs of Islamic theology. While Christian theology is shielded by constitutional and legal privileges and is far bigger than Religionswissenschaft, the latter has benefited […]

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