Search results for: religion-and-material-culture

Religion and Material Culture

Author : David Morgan
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Religious belief is rooted in and sustained by material practice, and this book provides an extraordinary insight into how it works on the ground. David Morgan has brought together a lively group of writers from religious studies, anthropology, history of art, and other disciplines, to investigate belief in everyday practices; in the objects, images, and spaces of religious devotion and in the sensations and feelings that are the medium of experience. By avoiding mind/body dualism, the study of religion can break new ground by examining embodiment, sensation, space, and performance. Materializing belief means taking a close look at what people do, how they feel, the objects they exchange and display, and the spaces in which they perform whether spontaneously or with scripted ceremony. Contributions to the volume examine religions around the world--from Korea and Brazil to North America, Europe, and Africa. Belief is explored in a wealth of contexts, including Tibetan Buddhism, the hajj, American suburbia and the world of dreams, visions and UFOs.

Religion Material Culture and Archaeology

Author : Julian Droogan
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Religion, Material Culture and Archaeology offers a new understanding of the materiality of religion. By drawing on the field of archaeological theory and method, the relationship between religion and material culture is explored. It is argued that the material elements of religious life have been largely neglected by the discipline of religious studies, while at the same time religion has been traditionally seen as problematic for archaeologists. Why do we not talk of the discipline of the archaeology of religion, in the same way we do the anthropology of religion, or the sociology of religion? The volume considers the historical problems of approaching the material elements of religious life and bridges the methodological gap between religious studies and archaeology by proposing a new way of understanding the materiality of religion – as active, engaged and projecting a level of autonomous social agency. Finally, the critical examination of archaeological approaches to the materiality of religion is furthered through the consideration of non-archaeological ways of examining the social roles that material culture plays in human life.

Material Culture and Asian Religions

Author : Benjamin Fleming
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Traditionally, research on the history of Asian religions has been marked by a bias for literary evidence, privileging canonical texts penned in ‘classical’ languages. Not only has a focus on literary evidence shaped the dominant narratives about the religious histories of Asia, in both scholarship and popular culture, but it has contributed to the tendency to study different religious traditions in relative isolation from one another. Today, moreover, historical work is often based on modern textual editions and, increasingly, on electronic databases. What may be lost, in the process, is the visceral sense of the text as artifact – as a material object that formed part of a broader material culture, in which the boundaries between religious traditions were sometimes more fluid than canonical literature might suggest. This volume brings together specialists in a variety of Asian cultures to discuss the methodological challenges involved in integrating material evidence for the reconstruction of the religious histories of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia. By means of specific ‘test cases,’ the volume explores the importance of considering material and literary evidence in concert. What untold stories do these sources help us to recover? How might they push us to reevaluate historical narratives traditionally told from literary sources? By addressing these questions from the perspectives of different subfields and religious traditions, contributors map out the challenges involved in interpreting different types of data, assessing the problems of interpretation distinct to specific types of material evidence (e.g., coins, temple art, manuscripts, donative inscriptions) and considering the issues raised by the different patterns in the preservation of such evidence in different locales. Special attention is paid to newly-discovered and neglected sources; to our evidence for trade, migration, and inter-regional cultural exchange; and to geographical locales that served as "contact zones" connecting cultures. In addition, the chapters in this volume represent the rich range of religious traditions across Asia – including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, and Chinese religions, as well as Islam and eastern Christianities.

Orthodox Christian Material Culture

Author : Timothy Carroll
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Although much has been written on the making of art objects as a means of engaging in creative productions of the self (most famously Alfred Gell's work), there has been very little written on Orthodox Christianity and its use of material within religious self-formation. Eastern Orthodox Christianity is renowned for its artistry and the aesthetics of its worship being an integral part of devout practice. Yet this is an area with little ethnographic exploration available and even scarcer ethnographic attention given to the material culture of Eastern Christianity outside the traditional 'homelands' of the greater Levant and Eastern Europe. Drawing from and building upon Gell's work, Carroll explores the uses and purposes of material culture in Eastern Orthodox Christian worship. Drawing on three years of ethnographic fieldwork in a small Antiochian Orthodox parish in London, Carroll focusses on a study of ecclesiastical fabric but places this within the wider context of Orthodox material ecology in Britain. This ethnographic exploration leads to discussion of the role of materials in the construction of religious identity, material understandings of religion, and pathways of pilgrimatic engagement and religious movement across Europe. In a religious tradition characterised by repetition and continuity, but also as sensuously tactile, this book argues that material objects are necessary for the continual production of Orthodox Christians as art-like subjects. It is an important contribution to the corpus of literature on the anthropology of material culture and art and the anthropology of religion.

Religion

Author : David Chidester
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Religion: Material Dynamics is a lively resource for thinking about religious materiality and the material study of religion. Deconstructing and reconstructing religion as material categories, social formations, and mobile circulations, the book explores the making, ordering, and circulating of religious things. The book is divided into three sections: Part One revitalizes basic categories—animism and sacred, space and time—by situating them in their material production and testing their analytical viability. Part Two examines religious formations as configurations of power that operate in material cultures and cultural economies and are most clearly shown in the power relations of colonialism and imperialism. Part Three explores the material dynamics of circulation through case studies of religious mobility, change, and diffusion as intimate as the body and as vast as the oceans. Each chapter offers insightful orientations and surprising possibilities for studying material religion. Exploring the material dynamics of religion from poetics to politics, David Chidester provides an entry into the study of material religion that will be welcomed by students and specialists in religious studies, anthropology, and history.

Material Culture in America

Author : Helen Sheumaker
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Presents more than two hundred alphabetic entries that cover the history of American material culture, including such topics as adolescence, mourning, graphic design, Art Deco, and gay consumerism.

Material Religion in Modern Britain

Author : Timothy Willem Jones
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This volume contributes towards to developments in the study of religion that illuminate the plural nature of religious change in modern Britain. It makes a critical intervention in British studies of religion by bringing the analytical insights of material culture, to bear on religion in the British World.

Material Religion and Popular Culture

Author : E. Frances King
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In this study, E. Frances King explores how people first learn to relate to the images and artefacts of religious belief within their domestic environments. As a sense of religious belonging is instilled on a daily basis in the home, it also becomes emotionally linked to family, community, and homeland, resulting in two different genealogies – one to do with faith and one to do with motherland – that become entangled.

The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture

Author : John Kieschnick
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Buddhism had a profound effect not only on Chinese philosophy and ritual, but also on the material culture of China. Examining the impact of books, bridges, sugar, tea and the chair, amongst other things, this text looks at how attitudes to such novelties affected the history of Chinese Buddhism.

Material Christianity

Author : Colleen McDannell
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What can the religious objects used by nineteenth- and twentieth-century Americans tell us about American Christianity? What is the relationship between the beliefs of the faithful and the landscapes they build? This lavishly illustrated book investigates the history and meaning of Christian material culture in America over the last 150 years. Drawing on a rich array of historical sources and on in-depth interviews with Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons, Colleen McDannell examines the relationship between religion and mass consumption. McDannell claims that previous studies of American Christianity have overemphasized the written, cognitive, and ethical dimensions of religion, presenting faith as a disembodied system of beliefs. She shifts attention from the church and the theological seminary to the workplace, home, cemetery, and Sunday school. Thus McDannell highlights a different Christianity - one in which average Christians experience the divine, the nature of death, the power of healing, and the meaning of community through interacting with a created world of devotional images, environments, and objects.

Walking Where Jesus Walked

Author : Hillary Kaell
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Since the 1950s, millions of American Christians have traveled to the Holy Land to visit places in Israel and the Palestinian territories associated with Jesus’s life and death. Why do these pilgrims choose to journey halfway around the world? How do they react to what they encounter, and how do they understand the trip upon return? This book places the answers to these questions into the context of broad historical trends, analyzing how the growth of mass-market evangelical and Catholic pilgrimage relates to changes in American Christian theology and culture over the last sixty years, including shifts in Jewish-Christian relations, the growth of small group spirituality, and the development of a Christian leisure industry. Drawing on five years of research with pilgrims before, during and after their trips, Walking Where Jesus Walked offers a lived religion approach that explores the trip’s hybrid nature for pilgrims themselves: both ordinary—tied to their everyday role as the family’s ritual specialists, and extraordinary—since they leave home in a dramatic way, often for the first time. Their experiences illuminate key tensions in contemporary US Christianity between material evidence and transcendent divinity, commoditization and religious authority, domestic relationships and global experience. Hillary Kaell crafts the first in-depth study of the cultural and religious significance of American Holy Land pilgrimage after 1948. The result sheds light on how Christian pilgrims, especially women, make sense of their experience in Israel-Palestine, offering an important complement to top-down approaches in studies of Christian Zionism and foreign policy.

Qajar Shiite Material Culture

Author : Pedram Khosronejad
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This study is one of the first interdisciplinary examinations of the material religion and art objects of Naser al-Din Shah's court, vis à vis popular Shiite beliefs during the Naseri period (1848-1896). The primary focus of this book remains the intercession of Shiite religion and the occurrence of depictions of the Prophet Mohammad and Imam Ali inside the royal court during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah. In this work, Pedram Khosronejad has paid special attention to the role of Naser al-Din Shah's popular Shiite values in shaping attitudes toward the depiction in portraiture of the Prophet Mohammad and Imam Ali. Khosronejad's observations further confirm Naser al-Din Shah's deep-rooted connections to popular Shiite beliefs and related superstitions. The king's devotional practices and his sacred rites regarding the objects on/in which may be seen visual representations of the Prophet Mohammad and Imam Ali, especially their portraiture, explain "deep-seated beliefs" that Shiite visual pieties were invested in his life.

Material Religion Volume 4 Issue 3

Author : Birgit Meyer
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Ritual, communication, ceremony, instruction, meditation, propaganda, pilgrimage, display, magic, liturgy and interpretation constitute many of the practices whereby religious material culture constructs the worlds of belief. This work explores how religion happens in material culture.

The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements

Author : George D. Chryssides
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The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements covers key themes such as charismatic leadership, conversion and brainwashing, prophecy and millennialism, violence and suicide, gender and sexuality, legal issues, and the portrayal of New Religious Movements by the media and anti-cult organisations. Several categories of new religions receive special attention, including African new religions, Japanese new religions, Mormons, and UFO religions. This guide to New Religious Movements and their critical study brings together 29 world-class international scholars, and serves as a resource to students and researchers. The volume highlights the current state of academic study in the field, and explores areas in which future research might develop. Clearly and accessibly organised to help users quickly locate key information and analysis, the book includes an A to Z of key terms, extensive guides to further resources, a comprehensive bibliography, and a timeline of major developments in the field such as the emergence of new groups, publications, legal decisions, and historical events.

Religion and Trade

Author : Francesca Trivellato
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Although trade connects distant people and regions, bringing cultures closer together through the exchange of material goods and ideas, it has not always led to unity and harmony. From the era of the Crusades to the dawn of colonialism, exploitation and violence characterized many trading ventures, which required vessels and convoys to overcome tremendous technological obstacles and merchants to grapple with strange customs and manners in a foreign environment. Yet despite all odds, experienced traders and licensed brokers, as well as ordinary people, travelers, pilgrims, missionaries, and interlopers across the globe, concocted ways of bartering, securing credit, and establishing relationships with people who did not speak their language, wore different garb, and worshipped other gods. Religion and Trade: Cross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000-1900 focuses on trade across religious boundaries around the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans during the second millennium. Written by an international team of scholars, the essays in this volume examine a wide range of commercial exchanges, from first encounters between strangers from different continents to everyday transactions between merchants who lived in the same city yet belonged to diverse groups. In order to broach the intriguing yet surprisingly neglected subject of how the relationship between trade and religion developed historically, the authors consider a number of interrelated questions: When and where was religion invoked explicitly as part of commercial policies? How did religious norms affect the everyday conduct of trade? Why did economic imperatives, political goals, and legal institutions help sustain commercial exchanges across religious barriers in different times and places? When did trade between religious groups give way to more tolerant views of "the other" and when, by contrast, did it coexist with hostile images of those decried as "infidels"? Exploring captivating examples from across the world and spanning the course of the second millennium, this groundbreaking volume sheds light on the political, economic, and juridical underpinnings of cross-cultural trade as it emerged or developed at various times and places, and reflects on the cultural and religious significance of the passage of strange persons and exotic objects across the many frontiers that separated humankind in medieval and early modern times.

Materializing Religion

Author : Elisabeth Arweck
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The material symbol has become central to understanding religion in late modernity. This book explores the lived experience of religion through its material expressions. Cutting across cultures, senses, disciplines and faiths, and including chapters on music, architecture, festivals, ritual, artifacts, dance, dress and magic, this book offers an invaluable resource to students of sociology and anthropology of religion, art, culture, history, liturgy, theories of late modern culture, and religious studies.

Material Culture and Jewish Thought in America

Author : Ken Koltun-Fromm
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How Jews think about and work with objects is the subject of this fascinating study of the interplay between material culture and Jewish thought. Ken Koltun-Fromm draws from philosophy, cultural studies, literature, psychology, film, and photography to portray the vibrancy and richness of Jewish practice in America. His analyses of Mordecai Kaplan's obsession with journal writing, Joseph Soloveitchik's urban religion, Abraham Joshua Heschel's fascination with objects in The Sabbath, and material identity in the works of Anzia Yezierska, Cynthia Ozick, Bernard Malamud, and Philip Roth, as well as Jewish images on the covers of Lilith magazine and in the Jazz Singer films, offer a groundbreaking approach to an understanding of modern Jewish thought and its relation to American culture.

African Traditional Religion in Biblical Perspective

Author : Richard J. Gehman
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Religion Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Galilee

Author : Jürgen Zangenberg
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What is a Galilean? What were the criteria of defining a person as a Galilean - archaeologically or with respect to literary sources such as Josephus or the rabbis? What role did religion play in the process of identity formation? Twenty-two articles based on papers read at conferences at Cambridge, Wuppertal and Yale by experts from 7 countries shed light on a complex region, the pivotal geographic and cultural context of both earliest Christianity and rabbinic Judaism. In these papers, ancient Galilee emerges as a dynamic region of continuous change, in which religion, 'ethnicity', and 'identity' were not static monoliths but had to be negotiated in the context of a multiform environment subject to different influences.

Religion and Culture in Germany

Author : Robert William Scribner
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These most recent essays of the late Bob Scribner show his original and provocative views as a historian on the German Reformation. Subjects covered include popular culture, art, literacy, Anabaptism, witchcraft, Protestantism and magic.