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Indian Salesian Prof. Francis-Vincent`s new book released in Holland
By Chris Valentino
Abroad, Apr. 23. A new book ``Religious Identity and National Heritage. Empirical-Theological Perspectives`` (Brill, Leiden/Boston 2012) edited by Prof. Francis-Vincent Anthony, sdb and Prof. Hans-Georg Ziebertz was released during the ISERT (International Society of Empirical Research in Theology) Conference, April 19-21, 2012 at Radboud University, Nijmegen, Holland.
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The book focuses and presents various perspectives on religion in different parts of the world. In some parts of our world, religion is on the wane, losing its thrust of doctrinal authority and communal bonds. In other regions, it is gaining public significance as a powerful social, cultural and political force. Secularization theories are less successful in accounting for these differences in religion`s role. Other theories describe religion in terms of social capital to be invested whenever it offers certain personal, social or political benefits and market opportunities allow smart choices. Still other theories simply hold that religion corresponds to an inborn need or stable disposition that guarantees a culture`s identity and reflects a natural equilibrium of social cohesion. There are also critical theories that point to the intrinsic relationship of religion with power and identify it as a major cause of tension and conflict. This book brings together  distinguished scholars who reflect on these questions and present empirical research about religious identity and national heritage.
The book thus brings together the keynote addresses and selected papers of the previous international ISERT conference, organised by Fr. Francis-Vincent jointly with Prof. Hans-Georg(the then president of ISERT) in Rome (April 15-17, 2010) at Salesianum, Pisana.
The editors are renowned experts in theology and religious education:
Francis-Vincent Anthony, STD (Sacrae Theologiae Doctor, 1993), Salesian Pontifical University, Rome; since 1998 Associate Professor of Fundamental Practical Theology, and since 2009 Director of the Institute of Pastoral Theology at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, Italy. He is the current vice-president of ISERT.
Hans-Georg Ziebertz, PhD (1990) in Theology, University of Nijmegen, (1993) in Social Sciences (Unibersity of T�bingen), Habilitation (1994) in Religius Education (University of Mainz), since 1998 Full Professor of Practical Theology/Religious Education at the Uiniversity of W�rzburg, Germany.

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