Materialising Religion: Expression, Performance and Ritual

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The material symbol has become central to understanding religion in late modernity. Overtly theological approaches use words to express the values and faith of a religion, but leave out the 'incarnation' of religion in the behavioral, performative, or audio-visual form. This book explores the lived expression of religion through its material expression, demonstrating how religion and spirituality are given form and are thus far from being detached or ethereal.

Cutting across cultures, senses, disciplines and faiths, the contributors register the variety in which religions and religious groups express the sacred and numinous. 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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: material varieties of religious expression, William J.F. Keenan and Elisabeth Arweck
Sacred landscapes, redundant chapels and carpet warehouses: the religious heritage of South West Wales, Paul Chambers
The shape of faith or the architectural forms of the religious life, Simon Coleman and Peter Collins
Wrapped attention: revelation and concealment in non-conformism, Peter Collins and Pink Dandelion
Festivity and the sacred: the symbolic universe in the festival of the 'Fallas' of Saint Joseph (València, Spain), Xavier Costa
From the 'upper room' to the 'Christian Centre': changes in the use of sacred space and artefacts in a Pentecostal assembly, Malcolm Gold
From imitation to modification and creation: religious dance in contemporary Germany, Helga Barbara Gundlach
Magical ritual in modern pagan witchcraft, Melissa Harrington
Sacre Bleu: faith, fashion and freedom: marist foundation garments 1817-62, William J.F. Keenan
The aesthetics of Latin American Pentecostalism: the sociology of religion and the problem of taste, Bernice Martin
The sociology of religion and Handel's reception, David Martin
Tibetan religious expression and identity: transformations in exile, Eve Mullen
How magic works: feminist witches' theories of ritual action, Kathryn Rountree
The Modern Pietà: gendered embodiment and the religious imaginary by the side of the dying, Terhi Utriainen
Appropriation of sacredness at Fátima in Portugal, Ali Murat Yel
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