Religion and the Body / Edition 1

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Overview

The proliferation of studies on the 'body' (and subjects in close relation) is an obvious, even startling, feature of the literature of the social sciences and humanities in recent years. Such an explosion of interest makes the lack of a standard study of the 'body' and the major religions of the world the more surprising. In setting out to remedy this omission, Religion and the body aims above all to highlight the distinctive and unfamiliar ways in which diverse religious traditions understand the 'body', and also, in doing this, to raise to greater consciousness some of the assumptions and problems of contemporary attitudes to it. This volume brings together essays by established experts in the history of religion, the social sciences, and philosophy. Part I is devoted to an analysis of current secularized discourses on the 'body', and to exposing both their anti-religious and their covertly religious content. Part II and III provide essays on traditional 'Western' and 'Eastern' religious attitudes to the 'body'.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An unusually coherent anthology designed to remedy the 'lack of a standard study of the 'body' and the major religions.'" Ann Grodzins Gold, Religious Studies Review

"This extremely useful volume seeks to clarify the methodological issues in the study of the body and to provide an overview of attitudes toward the body in a number of religious traditions." Amy Hollywood, Church History

"This cultural and theoretical back drop is relevant to scholars interested in exceptional human experiences because they seem to be embodied experiences of transcending the body by hinting at a larger body of which we are all members." Exceptional Human Experience

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521783866
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2000
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions Series , #8
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of contributors
Preface
1 Introduction: religion and the body 1
Pt. I Contemporary Western Perspectives: Secularism and the Body
2 The body in Western society: social theory and its perspectives 15
3 Remarks on the anthropology of the body 42
4 The soul's successors: philosophy and the 'body' 53
Pt. II The Western Religious Inheritance: Judaism and Christianity on the Body
5 The body in Jewish worship: three rituals examined 71
6 'My helper and my enemy': the body in Greek Christianity 90
7 The body in Western Catholic Christianity 111
8 The image of the body in the formative phases of the Protestant Reformation 131
Pt. III Beyond the West: Eastern Religious Traditions and the Body
9 Zoroastrianism and the body 155
10 Medical and mythical constructions of the body in Hindu texts 167
11 The body in Theravada Buddhist monasticism 185
12 Some Mahayana Buddhist perspectives on the body 205
13 The Taoist body and cosmic prayer 231
14 Perceptions of the body in Japanese religion 248
15 'I take off the dress of the body': Eros in Sufi literature and life 262
16 The body in Sikh tradition 289
Index 306
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