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Religion and ‘Radiation Culture’: Spirituality in a Post-Chernobyl World

Elena Romashko analyzes how atomic power may be interpreted through the lens of spirituality and mythology as a cultural response. By focusing on the Chernobyl explosion in 1986, she proposes the idea of a ‘radiation culture’ where nuclear radiation has evolved from a purely scientific concept, first observed in the controlled environment of the lab, to a culture with its vivid beliefs and folklore.

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Ayodhya’s sacred landscape: ritual memory, politics and archaeological “fact”

Julia Shaw provides an alternative archaeological perspective on the polarizing issues surrounding the contested site of Ayodhya, India and its significance in Hindu religious imagination as the birthplace of the deity Rama. Written in 2000, this article is a succinct reminder of what a materialized study of religion has to offer to the analysis of disputed sites. In 1992, the ‘Babri Masjid’ (Babri mosque) in Ayodhya was destroyed by Hindu sectarians who claimed the site as the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled that the disputed site be divided between three parties (Sunni Muslim Waqf board, the Hindu Maha Sabha representing the deity Ram Lalla, and the Hindu Nirmohi Akhara). The verdict was suspended, following appeals, by the Indian Supreme Court in 2011. The debate continues.

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