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Aesthetic Formations: Media, Religion, and the Senses

Overview

The central theme of this volume is the incorporation of newly accessible mass media into practices of religious mediation in a variety of settings, including Pentecostal-charismatic churches and Islamic movements, and the use of religious forms and images in the sphere of radio and cinema. Drawing on a long-term collaboration, the contributors examine the role of religion and media in the emergence and sustenance of new "aesthetic formations" that appeal to the body and the senses, and generate new styles of ...

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Overview

The central theme of this volume is the incorporation of newly accessible mass media into practices of religious mediation in a variety of settings, including Pentecostal-charismatic churches and Islamic movements, and the use of religious forms and images in the sphere of radio and cinema. Drawing on a long-term collaboration, the contributors examine the role of religion and media in the emergence and sustenance of new "aesthetic formations" that appeal to the body and the senses, and generate new styles of binding and moods of belonging in our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Aesthetic Formations invites us into the most exciting research on religion and media today. More than a collection of essays, the book has the coherence of a campaign, with each chapter theoretically coordinated and animated by vivid ethnographic accounts, full of wonders. A model of collaborative research, this book is a landmark in cultural studies of religion, media, the senses, and the social dynamics of conflict and community.”—David Chidester, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town, and Author of Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture

"This compelling volume argues that in order to understand the strong social connections that modern religions nurture, we need to attend to their aesthetic mediation in a variety of sensory forms and practices. The essays demonstrate the thesis in a concerted and accessible way that scholars and students of religion will welcome."—David Morgan, Professor of Religion, Duke University

“This is a groundbreaking new collection that invites us into the ‘intellectual space’ created by a lively and deeply original group of anthropologists whose work grapples with the experiential shape of religion in an increasingly mediated world. Their exciting new work offers us a welcome and at times dizzying jourbaney through contemporary postcolonial religiosity – from Latin America to Africa to South Asia – to understand how the uptake of new media forms intensifies and reshapes the sensory worlds of religious practices and identities, from their fundamental location in the body, and its extensions into the world via television, radio, and film. This is important and essential reading for anyone interested in religion or media, and dispels any lingering illusion that one precludes the other.”—Faye Ginsburg, David B. Kriser Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director, Center for Religion and Media, New York University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230622296
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/15/2010
  • Series: Religion/Culture/Critique Series
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Birgit Meyer is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at VU University Amsterdam. She is the author of Translating the Devil. Religion and Modernity Among the Ewe in Ghana (1999), and co-editor of Globalization and Identity (with Peter Geschiere, 1999), Magic and Modernity (with Peter Pels) and Religion, Media and the Public Sphere (with Annelies Moors). She is also co-editor of Material Religion.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Series Editor's Preface ix

Preface xi

Introduction: From Imagined Communities to Aesthetic Formations: Religious Mediations, Sensational Forms, and Styles of Binding Birgit Meyer 1

Part 1 Boundary Politics

1 "Don't Ask Questions, Just Observe!" Boundary Politics in Bahian Candomblé Mattijs van de Port 31

2 Purity and the Devil: Community, Media, and the Body. Pentecostal Adherents in a Favela in Rio de Janeiro Martijn Oosterbaan 53

3 "More Sexpression Please!" Screening the Female Voice and Body in the Bangladesh Film Industry Lotte Hoek 71

Part 2 Religion in the Public Realm

4 Tamil Mythological Cinema and the Politics of Secular Modernism Stephen Putnam Hughes 93

5 Islamic Renewal, Radio, and the Surface of Things Brian Larkin 117

6 The Sonic Architects of a New Babel: The Politics of Belonging of DJ Shadow and Fernando Clarke Francio Guadeloupe

Part 3 Mediating Immediacy

7 Breath, Technology, and the Making of Community Canção Nova in Brazil Maria José A. de Abreu 161

8 Modes of Binding, Moments of Bonding. Mediating Divine Touch in Ghanaian Pentecostalism and Traditionalism Marleen de Witte 183

9 Prophecy on Stage: Fame and Celebrities in the Context of the Raelian Movement Carly Machado 207

10 Seized by the Spirit. The Mystical Foundation of Squatting among Pentecostals in Caracas (Venezuela) Today Rafael Sánchez 225

Bibliography 247

List of Contributors 267

Index 271

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