The new issue of Approaching Religion deals with religion, spirituality and appropriation

The new issue of Approaching Religion (Vol. 13/3) deals with a highly topical and debated issue in current research on religion and spirituality: appropriation. This thematic issue seeks to look at the topic from a broad and nuanced perspective, moving beyond the heated debates aimed at calling out’ different actors and actions as appropriation, or on the other hand to defend against such accusations. What different expressions of appro­priation appear in the field of and in relation to religion and spirituality? What discourses and discussions emerge around instances of reli­gious and spiritual appropriation? And how is appropriation understood, negotiated or prob­lematized within, across and around different religious and spiritual groups?

In the issue, appropriation is discussed in relation to a broad palette of ethnographic contexts. With present-day Finland as the research field, topics such as ayahuasca and cocoa ceremonies, Karelian laments and yoga in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland are analysed. In addition, the use of pagan symbols for fascist purposes, religious appropriation in schools and among Moluccan immigrants to the Netherlands, as well as by modern-day witches.

Contributing authors are Tero Heinonen (Åbo Akademi University), Helen Cornish (Goldsmiths College), Viliina Silvonen (University of Eastern Finland) and Kati Kallio (Society for Finnish Literature SKS), Albion Butters (University of Turku), Milena Parland (Åbo Akademi University), Jip Lensink (Utrecht University) as well as Marcus Moberg and Tommy Ramstedt (Åbo Akademi University). The thematic issue has been compiled by the guest editors Linda Annunen, research doctor in the study of religions at Åbo Akademi University, and Terhi Utriainen, Professor of the study of religions at the University of Helsinki.

Image by 8926 from Pixabay.