Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 2022-05-19T12:41:38+00:00 Amanda Nichols Open Journal Systems <p><em>The Journal of Religion, Nature and Culture, </em>which has been published quarterly since 2007<em>,</em> explores through the social and natural sciences the complex relationships among human beings, their diverse 'religions' (broadly and diversely defined) and the earth's living systems, while providing a venue for analysis and debate over what constitutes an ethically appropriate relationship between our own species and the environments we inhabit. <a href="">Read more.</a></p> Religious Responses to a Pandemic 2022-05-19T12:41:26+00:00 Graeme Lang <p>During historic plagues some religious advocates attributed a plague to the actions of a deity, and this claim has also been applied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most contemporary religious leaders and believers, however, accepted secular analysis of the pandemic, and complied, to varying degrees, with public health restrictions and remedies. But some religious leaders and groups defied these measures and had much higher rates of infections and deaths than the general population. Case studies of selected groups can expand our knowledge of these impacts and reactions. I focus especially on Amish and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, two insular religious subcultures which have disparaged the sciences and tried to maximize their autonomy and cultural separateness from the surrounding society. Both internal and contextual factors are important in understanding their reactions to the pandemic.</p> 2022-05-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. The ‘Sparks of Kuwai’ 2022-05-19T12:41:16+00:00 Robin M Wright <p>The spread of Covid-19 among the vulnerable indigenous populations of Amazonia has produced complex moral and spiritual issues that have demanded creative and cooperative solutions. The Baniwa indigenous peoples of the Northwest Amazon pin the spread of the pandemic on the failure of humans to observe respectful relations with the spirit-people of the environment. Ritual specialists typically believe that the pandemic is due to humans having violated the original instructions, remembered in initiation ceremonies and reinforced throughout a lifetime. Consequently, they further believe, the spirit-people of the environment retaliate by inflicting sicknesses, including the Covid-19 pandemic. To reverse the damage, a strong movement of healthcare led by indigenous women has promoted a revitalization of the use of herbal medicines together with healing practices and the traditional teachings of the initiation rites for men and women.</p> 2022-05-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Religious Debates on the Coronavirus Pandemic in Iran 2022-05-19T12:41:30+00:00 Satoshi Abe Saman Jamshidi Saeed Rezaei <p>Iran was one of the first countries that was severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East in February of 2020. What is unique about Iran is that religious leaders from the early stages have been involved with debates concerning its cause, preventive measures, and moral significance. Relying on textual analyses of media coverage, herein we examine religious debates in Iran that are increasingly gaining public attention amid the pandemic. Our analyses illuminate the styles of reasoning used by religious leaders to situate their understandings of the pandemic that are principally organized through the language of science. Our findings include that religious leaders are receptive to modern science, but not unquestionably. The status, application, and development of modern science is contingently shaped by the discourses and practices of Islam that religious leaders find compelling based on what they regard as a proper understanding of Islam and Islamic medicine. </p> 2022-05-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Religion and Biopolitics in the Time of Corona 2022-05-19T12:41:22+00:00 Anna M Maćkowiak Natalia Zawiejska <p>We explored the Corona pandemic through the nexus of the biopolitics of the Catholic Church and the state in Poland. We reflected on how religion in the pandemic crisis manages social lives, citizenship, and social control, superseding state biopolitics. The observation of the 2020’s Corpus Christi festival in Kraków and the analysis of sermons delivered by Polish Catholic leaders are at the core of our argument. They were followed by LGBTQ+ and women’s protests. While the Polish state has strived for totalizing control of individual bodies and people’s behavioral reactions in response to the threat of coronavirus, the Catholic Church’s biopolitics have focused on moral community, the exclusion of LGBTQ+ people and women’s rights activists, and redefining the Polish public sphere.</p> 2022-05-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Miraculous Images and Devotional Practices in Italy at the Time of the Covid-19 Pandemic 2022-05-19T12:41:38+00:00 Marco Papasidero <p>The aim of this paper is to analyse the use of Catholic miraculous images during the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy, focusing on the ways in which they have been used and the related rituals performed, especially involving movement, temporality, and nature. I take a multidisciplinary approach, based on a historical perspective, but enriched by the strong influence of anthropology and semiotics. An interesting focus emerges on the devotional practices, both online and, when possible, in presence, in which the miraculous power of historical images is rediscovered and sometimes re-elaborated in light of contemporary sensibilities. At the same time, the rituals performed by clergy constitute a complex negotiation, with the aim of imploring the miraculous power of the supernatural helper that the image represents. The devotees’ idea of a miraculous power involved in the image is itself part of the representation of their power.</p> 2022-05-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. COVID-19 as a Gauge for Secularization? Pandemics, Religious Voices, and Politics in France 2022-05-19T12:41:33+00:00 Lionel Obadia <p>Based on empirical information recorded in audio-visual and virtual media, online religionist and non-religious websites, and an academic literature review, I examine the relationships between religions and politics as they are disclosed in the context of the coronavirus outbreak in France. In secularized France, religions did not play an important role in the pandemic, either as facilitator of the disease or as a limitation on its spread. Religious repertoires served marginally, if at all, as resources for interpretation, except in circumscribed sectors of French society. Religious references, however, flourished under different oblique and rather discreet forms. I thus expose the reactions to COVID-19 in France and question the complex connections with secularism (laïcité). In contrast to other countries affected by COVID-19, in France the pandemic brought about the paradoxical situation of a secular country stimulating, on the one side, the engagement of religious organizations in the fight against the virus, and on the other, maintaining limitations to religious action in the public sphere.</p> 2022-05-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Religion, COVID-19, and Biocultural Evolution 2022-05-19T12:40:50+00:00 Chris Crews Bron Taylor <p>.</p> 2022-05-06T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd.