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Davies brings some newer concepts to these familiar ideas, such as 'the humility response' and 'moral-somatic' processes, revealing how our sense of ourselves responds to how we are treated by others as when injustice makes us 'feel sick' or religious ideas of grace prompt joyfulness. This sense of embodied identity is shown to be influenced not only by 'reciprocity' in the many forms of exchange, gifts, merit, and actions of others, but also by a certain sense of 'otherness, whether in God, ancestors, supernatural forces or even a certain awareness of ourselves.
Drawing from psychological studies of how our thinking processes engage with the worlds around us we see how difficult it is to separate out 'religious' activity from many other aspects of human response to our environment. Throughout these pages many examples are taken from the well-known religions of the world as well as from local and secular traditions.
1. Dynamics, feelings, and meanings
2. Ritual, values, and emotions
3. Identity depletion
4. Grief, intensive living, and charisma
5. Gender, identity, and purity
6. Love, mercy, humility, and betrayal
7. Merit, grace, and pardon
8. Moral-somatics, hope, despair, and suffering
9. Revelation, conversion, and spirit power
10. Sacred place, worship, and music Conclusion Bibliography