Negotiating the Sacred: Blasphemy and Sacrilege in a Multicultural Society


Table of Contents

Contributors
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1. Negotiating the sacred in multicultural societies
Secularisation and secularism
Understanding blasphemy
Sacrilege and the sacred
The state and tolerance
A tolerant society?
The future—openness and dogmatism
Conclusion
Section I. Religion, Sacrilege and Blasphemy in Australia
Chapter 2. Negotiating religious dialogue: A response to the recent increase of anti-Semitism in Australia
Chapter 3. Are we capable of offending God? Taking blasphemy seriously
L’affaire Aikenhead
Offending the Ens entrum…or the beliefs of believers?
Conclusion
Chapter 4. A flaw in the nation-building process: Negotiating the sacred in our multicultural society
Chapter 5. The paradox of Islam and the challenges of modernity
Section II. Sacrilege and the Sacred
Chapter 6. Stretching the sacred
Durkheim and ‘the sacred’ in the social sciences
Religion to society
Society to religion
The sacred-profane distinction and the effects of ‘effervescence’
The sacred-profane distinction is not universal
The uses of the term ‘sacred’ and their normative content
Chapter 7. Sacralising the profane, profaning the sacred
Sacralising what isn’t sacred
Blaspheming the sacred and the profane
Denialism in the democracies
Australian conundrums
‘Forgiving and forgetting’
Chapter 8. Is that a human skull? All in the name of art!
Tibetan Buddhist practices
Historical European practices
Musings
Chapter 9. The bourgeois sacred: Unveiling the ‘secular society’
Section III. The State, Religion and Tolerance
Chapter 10. Sacrilege: From public crime to personal offence
Sacrilege and sacramental violence
The spiritualising of religion and the desacralising of law and politics
Concluding remarks
Chapter 11. Expressions of religiosity and blasphemy in modern societies
Religion and blasphemy
Attitudes towards blasphemy in Muslim countries and Australia
Blasphemous attitudes and religiosity
Religion, modernity and blasphemy
Discussion and implications
Chapter 12. Negotiating the sacred in law: Regulation of gifts motivated by religious faith
Direct consideration of the donor’s religious motivations
Protection from exploitation
Priority given to competing values
Indirect consideration of the donor’s religious faith through the application of objective standards
Objective standards in legal doctrines and their application to donors of strong religious faith
The content of objective standards
Conclusion
Chapter 13. Negotiating a religious identity in modern Japan: The Christian experience
The post-war experience
The legal system
Experience opposing the state
Guilt
A trans-war perspective
Early background
1900–26
1927–29
The 1930s
Conclusion
Section IV. The Future: Openness and Dogmatism
Chapter 14. ‘We already know what is good and just…’: Idolatry and the scalpel of suspicion
Nietzsche’s critique
Christian response
Conclusion
Chapter 15. The sacred and sacrilege—ethics not metaphysics
Chapter 16. Resolving disputes over Aboriginal sacred sites: Some experiences in the 1990s
Sacredness and significance
Comparing the incommensurable
The role of the rapporteur
The Alice Springs Dam Case
Mining at Iron Knob
Boobera Lagoon
Mining in ‘blackfella country’
Some reflections
Bibliography
Index

List of Tables

11.1. Suppose a person publicly admitted that he/she did not believe in Allah, would you agree or disagree that the following actions should be taken against him/her (per cent agreeing with the statement)
11.2. Blasphemous Attitudes, Religiosity, and Human Development in Selected Countries