Bridging the gap between cognition and culture, this handbook explores both social scientific and humanities approaches to understanding the physical processes of religious life, tradition, practice, and belief. It reflects the cultural turn within the study of religion and puts theory to the fore, moving beyond traditional theological, philosophical, and ethnographic understandings of the aesthetics of religion.
Editors Anne Koch and Katharina Wilkens bring together research in cultural studies, cognitive studies, material religion, religion and the arts, and epistemology. Questions of identity, gender, ethnicity, and postcolonialism are discussed throughout. Key topics include materiality, embodiment, performance, popular/vernacular art and space to move beyond a sensory understanding of aesthetics. Emerging areas of research are covered, including secular aesthetics and the aesthetic of spirits.
This is an important contribution to theory and method in the study of religion, and is grounded in research that has been taking place in Europe over the past 20 years. Case studies are drawn from around the world with contributions from scholars based in Europe, the USA, and Australia. The book is illustrated with over 40 color images and features a foreword from Birgit Meyer.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 376
Weight: 860 g
Dimensions: 244 x 169 mm
"In this wide-ranging new volume, Anne Koch and Katharina Wilkens curate a capacious collection of researchers at the forefront of body-based religious knowledge. Contributors open up new lines of enquiry that bridge social scientific and humanities approaches to religious life, tradition, practice, and maybe even belief. This is a useful work that helps to establish an emerging area." * S. Brent Plate, Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Hamilton College, USA *
"This handbook convenes an impressively international array of authors, all leading scholars on the embodied nature of religious and spiritual practices. Unlike many volumes on this topic, it [LC1] self-confidently engages cutting-edge cognitive approaches while remaining firmly rooted in the methodologies and theoretical commitments of the humanities and cultural sciences. No scholar who works on the visuality, corporeality, and emotionality of religious practice in any tradition-be it sensorially rich or austere-can afford to bypass this collection." * Monique Scheer, Professor of Historical and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tubingen, Germany *