SHERM believes in contributing to and advancing the academic analysis and critical engagement of religion in all its varied forms, including the social scientific study of religion, religious philosophy, religious history, ministry, and theology. Being an academic journal, however, entails certain assumptions (or lack thereof), ethical and pedagogical principles, and scholarly practices. Therefore, the SHERM publication strives to uphold and promote the following academic values:


 

1) SHERM believes in assisting researchers and readers, academicians and students, scholars and laity with understanding and appreciating all religious belief systems throughout the world, regardless of whether the person ultimately disagrees with a particular religious viewpoint or not.

 

2) SHERM believes in maintaining an unprejudicial approach to investigating religious belief systems (to the extent that is scholastically possible). While possessing religious faith does not automatically negate judicious inquiry, prioritizing one belief over another, or presuming the falsity of other systems of belief, does a disservice to the progress of knowledge and undermines the overall standards of the academy.

Research Cults, Ministry Research, Critical Evaluation Religious Beliefs, Free Publication Religion, Atheist Academic Journal

3) SHERM believes in eradicating any and all hidden agendas that intend to endorse a particular belief system through the guise of pseudo-scholarship. Thus, SHERM advocates independent, critical thinking without sectarian (ecclesiastical or creedal) barriers or exploratory restrictions in research.

4) SHERM believes in scrutinizing both faith-based presuppositions and skeptical assumptions so as to establish the burden of proof properly on anyone making a claim or defending a position. All convictions and conclusions, whether those of the author or those with whom the author rebuts, should receive fair but scrupulous consideration.

5) SHERM believes in maintaining scholastic practices that help to eliminate a confirmation bias, special pleading, or ad hoc rationalizations in the academic study of religion through a process of both verificationism and falsificationism.


 

The purpose of SHERM is to provide a scholarly medium for specialists to publish advanced studies on religious trends, theologies, rituals, philosophies, and cultural influences in the hopes of generating enthusiasm for the academic and vocational study of religion while fostering collegiality among religious specialists. Its mission is to provide academics, professionals, and nonspecialists with critical reflections and evidence-based insights into religion and ministry.


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