Matching Items (8)

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Rethinking Religion: Theoretical and Practical Approach to Interdisciplinary Study of Understanding Religion in the Naga Society

Description

Religion in society has been a complex study for both academic and non-academic disciplines. Defining religion had become an issue since the beginning of world religions. This issue will continue

Religion in society has been a complex study for both academic and non-academic disciplines. Defining religion had become an issue since the beginning of world religions. This issue will continue to remain in society, unless world religions avoid imposed definition of religion from the world religions’ perspective. This research aims to study about how religion had been defined by many scholars theologically, politically, culturally, contextually, and how such different approaches never reach the consensus of understanding toward defining religion. In many cases, the definition of religion was imposed by scholars who have power of knowledge and intellectual in the discipline of world religions. The power of defining religion from the world religions’ perspective becomes challenging for people, such as indigenous people who continue to practice their religion from the origin of their fore-parents until today. Religion defined by world religions from the transcendental perspective had led to discrimination against other indigenous religions in various parts of the world, such as the Naga people in India.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-08-17

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Web Intelligence for Scaling Discourse of Organizations

Description

Internet and social media devices created a new public space for debate on political

and social topics (Papacharissi 2002; Himelboim 2010). Hotly debated issues

span all spheres of human activity; from liberal

Internet and social media devices created a new public space for debate on political

and social topics (Papacharissi 2002; Himelboim 2010). Hotly debated issues

span all spheres of human activity; from liberal vs. conservative politics, to radical

vs. counter-radical religious debate, to climate change debate in scientific community,

to globalization debate in economics, and to nuclear disarmament debate in

security. Many prominent ’camps’ have emerged within Internet debate rhetoric and

practice (Dahlberg, n.d.).

In this research I utilized feature extraction and model fitting techniques to process

the rhetoric found in the web sites of 23 Indonesian Islamic religious organizations,

later with 26 similar organizations from the United Kingdom to profile their

ideology and activity patterns along a hypothesized radical/counter-radical scale, and

presented an end-to-end system that is able to help researchers to visualize the data

in an interactive fashion on a time line. The subject data of this study is the articles

downloaded from the web sites of these organizations dating from 2001 to 2011,

and in 2013. I developed algorithms to rank these organizations by assigning them

to probable positions on the scale. I showed that the developed Rasch model fits

the data using Andersen’s LR-test (likelihood ratio). I created a gold standard of

the ranking of these organizations through an expertise elicitation tool. Then using

my system I computed expert-to-expert agreements, and then presented experimental

results comparing the performance of three baseline methods to show that the

Rasch model not only outperforms the baseline methods, but it was also the only

system that performs at expert-level accuracy.

I developed an end-to-end system that receives list of organizations from experts,

mines their web corpus, prepare discourse topic lists with expert support, and then

ranks them on scales with partial expert interaction, and finally presents them on an

easy to use web based analytic system.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Historical imagination, diasporic identity and Islamicity among the Cham Muslims of Cambodia

Description

Since the departure of the UN Transitional Authority (UNTAC) in 1993, the Cambodian Muslim community has undergone a rapid transformation from being an Islamic minority on the periphery of the

Since the departure of the UN Transitional Authority (UNTAC) in 1993, the Cambodian Muslim community has undergone a rapid transformation from being an Islamic minority on the periphery of the Muslim world to being the object of intense proselytization by foreign Islamic organizations, charities and development organizations. This has led to a period of religious as well as political ferment in which Cambodian Muslims are reassessing their relationships to other Muslim communities in the country, fellow Muslims outside of the country, and an officially Buddhist state. This dissertation explores the ways in which the Cham Muslims of Cambodia have deployed notions of nationality, citizenship, history, ethnicity and religion in Cambodia's new political and economic climate. It is the product of a multi-sited ethnographic study conducted in Phnom Penh and Kampong Chhnang as well as Kampong Cham and Ratanakiri. While all Cham have some ethnic and linguistic connection to each other, there have been a number of reactions to the exposure of the community to outside influences. This dissertation examines how ideas and ideologies of history are formed among the Cham and how these notions then inform their acceptance or rejection of foreign Muslims as well as of each other. This understanding of the Cham principally rests on an appreciation of the way in which geographic space and historical events are transformed into moral symbols that bind groups of people or divide them. Ultimately, this dissertation examines the Cham not only as an Islamic minority, but as an Islamic diaspora - a particular form of identity construction which has implications for their future development and relations with non-Muslim peoples. It reconsiders the classifications of diasporas proposed by Robin Cohen and William Safran, by incorporating Arjun Appadurai's conception of locality as a construct that must be continuously rendered in praxis to generate the socially shared understanding of space, geography and its meaning for communitarian identity. This treatment of Islamic transnationalism within the context of diaspora studies can contribute to the broader conversation on the changing face of Islamic identity in an increasingly globalized world.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Analysis of shifts & trends of organizations in Indonesia using tweets & RSS feeds

Description

With the advent of social media (like Twitter, Facebook etc.,) people are easily sharing their opinions, sentiments and enforcing their ideologies on others like never before. Even people who are

With the advent of social media (like Twitter, Facebook etc.,) people are easily sharing their opinions, sentiments and enforcing their ideologies on others like never before. Even people who are otherwise socially inactive would like to share their thoughts on current affairs by tweeting and sharing news feeds with their friends and acquaintances. In this thesis study, we chose Twitter as our main data platform to analyze shifts and movements of 27 political organizations in Indonesia. So far, we have collected over 30 million tweets and 150,000 news articles from RSS feeds of the corresponding organizations for our analysis. For Twitter data extraction, we developed a multi-threaded application which seamlessly extracts, cleans and stores millions of tweets matching our keywords from Twitter Streaming API. For keyword extraction, we used topics and perspectives which were extracted using n-grams techniques and later approved by our social scientists. After the data is extracted, we aggregate the tweet contents that belong to every user on a weekly basis. Finally, we applied linear and logistic regression using SLEP, an open source sparse learning package to compute weekly score for users and mapping them to one of the 27 organizations on a radical or counter radical scale. Since, we are mapping users to organizations on a weekly basis, we are able to track user's behavior and important new events that triggered shifts among users between organizations. This thesis study can further be extended to identify topics and organization specific influential users and new users from various social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube etc. can easily be mapped to existing organizations on a radical or counter-radical scale.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Converts and controversies -- becoming an American Jew

Description

Conversion to Judaism has a long history, and changes in Jewish law for converts over the centuries have reflected changes in the relationship between the Jewish community and the larger

Conversion to Judaism has a long history, and changes in Jewish law for converts over the centuries have reflected changes in the relationship between the Jewish community and the larger societies within which Jews have lived. As American Jews now live in the most open society they have encountered, a split is developing between Orthodox and liberal Jewish rabbinic authorities in how they deal with potential converts. This split is evident in books written to advice potential converts and in conversion narratives by people who have converted to Judaism. For this project over 30 people who were in the process of converting to Judaism were interviewed. Their stories reflect the ways in which liberal Judaism has been affected by American ideals and values, including feminism and an emphasis on spiritual individuality.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Controversy analysis: clustering and ranking polarized networks with visualizations

Description

US Senate is the venue of political debates where the federal bills are formed and voted. Senators show their support/opposition along the bills with their votes. This information makes it

US Senate is the venue of political debates where the federal bills are formed and voted. Senators show their support/opposition along the bills with their votes. This information makes it possible to extract the polarity of the senators. Similarly, blogosphere plays an increasingly important role as a forum for public debate. Authors display sentiment toward issues, organizations or people using a natural language.

In this research, given a mixed set of senators/blogs debating on a set of political issues from opposing camps, I use signed bipartite graphs for modeling debates, and I propose an algorithm for partitioning both the opinion holders (senators or blogs) and the issues (bills or topics) comprising the debate into binary opposing camps. Simultaneously, my algorithm scales the entities on a univariate scale. Using this scale, a researcher can identify moderate and extreme senators/blogs within each camp, and polarizing versus unifying issues. Through performance evaluations I show that my proposed algorithm provides an effective solution to the problem, and performs much better than existing baseline algorithms adapted to solve this new problem. In my experiments, I used both real data from political blogosphere and US Congress records, as well as synthetic data which were obtained by varying polarization and degree distribution of the vertices of the graph to show the robustness of my algorithm.

I also applied my algorithm on all the terms of the US Senate to the date for longitudinal analysis and developed a web based interactive user interface www.PartisanScale.com to visualize the analysis.

US politics is most often polarized with respect to the left/right alignment of the entities. However, certain issues do not reflect the polarization due to political parties, but observe a split correlating to the demographics of the senators, or simply receive consensus. I propose a hierarchical clustering algorithm that identifies groups of bills that share the same polarization characteristics. I developed a web based interactive user interface www.ControversyAnalysis.com to visualize the clusters while providing a synopsis through distribution charts, word clouds, and heat maps.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Dimensions of religious practice: the Ammatoans of Sulawesi, Indonesia

Description

This thesis is an ethnographic account of the religious practices of the Ammatoa, a Konjo-speaking community of approximately 4600 people living in the southeast uplands of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It

This thesis is an ethnographic account of the religious practices of the Ammatoa, a Konjo-speaking community of approximately 4600 people living in the southeast uplands of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It examines aspects of Ammatoan rituals, cosmology, culture, economy, and politics that, from their point of view, are also considered religious. For the purpose of this dissertation, I understand religion to be ways of relationship between human beings and their fellow humans: the living and the dead, other beings, such as animals, plants, forests, mountains, rivers, and invisible entities such as gods and spirits. This conception of religion provides a better framework for understanding Ammatoan religion because for them religion includes many aspects of everyday life. The Ammatoans divide their land into an inner and an outer territory. The former is the constrained domains for their indigenous religion and the latter is more open to interaction with the outside world. The politics of territorial division has enabled Ammatoans to preserve their indigenous religion and navigate pressures from outside powers (i.e., Islam and modernity). The politics is, in part, a religious manifestation of Ammatoan oral tradition, the Pasang ri Kajang, which is the authoritative reference for all elements of everyday life. By following the tenets of the Pasang, Ammatoans seek to lead a life of kamase-masea, a life of simplicity. I explore how Ammatoans apply, challenge, and manipulate their understandings of the Pasang. Ammatoans demonstrate their religiosity and commitment to the Pasang through participation in rituals. This dissertation explores the diversity of Ammatoan rituals, and examines the connections between these rituals and the values of the Pasang through an extended analysis of one particular large-scale ritual, akkatterek (haircut). This ritual serves to incorporate a child into the wider Ammatoan cosmos. I also explore the encounters between Ammatoan indigenous religion, Islam, and modernity. I argue that the local manifestation of the concepts of Islam and modernity have both influenced and been influenced by Ammatoan indigenous religion. I conclude that despite their conversion to Islam and the intrusion of modernity, Ammatoan indigenous religion persists, albeit as an element of a hybrid cultural complex.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The impact of religious studies courses: measuring change in undergraduate attitudes

Description

In the current context of fiscal austerity as well as neo-colonial criticisms, the discipline of religious studies has been challenged to critically assess its teaching methods as well as articulate

In the current context of fiscal austerity as well as neo-colonial criticisms, the discipline of religious studies has been challenged to critically assess its teaching methods as well as articulate its relevance in the modern university setting. Responding to these needs, this dissertation explores the educational outcomes on undergraduate students as a result of religious studies curriculum. This research employs a robust quantitative methodology designed to assess the impact of the courses while controlling for a number of covariates. Based on data collected from pre- and post-course surveys of a combined 1,116 students enrolled at Arizona State University (ASU) and two area community colleges, the research examines student change across five outcomes: attributional complexity, multi-religious awareness, commitment to social justice, individual religiosity, and the first to be developed, neo-colonial measures. The sample was taken in the Fall of 2009 from courses including Religions of the World, introductory Islamic studies courses, and a control group consisting of engineering and political science students. The findings were mixed. From the "virtues of the humanities" standpoint, select within group changes showed a statistically significant positive shift, but when compared across groups and the control group, there were no statistically significant findings after controlling for key variables. The students' pre-course survey score was the best predictor of their post-course survey score. In response to the neo-colonial critiques, the non-findings suggest the critiques have been overstated in terms of their impact pedagogically or in the classroom.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011