Religion and the Body

Religion and the Body

by Sarah Coakley
     
 

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,… See more details below

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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521366694
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions Series, #8
Pages:
332
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of contributors
Preface
1Introduction: religion and the body1
Pt. IContemporary Western Perspectives: Secularism and the Body
2The body in Western society: social theory and its perspectives15
3Remarks on the anthropology of the body42
4The soul's successors: philosophy and the 'body'53
Pt. IIThe Western Religious Inheritance: Judaism and Christianity on the Body
5The body in Jewish worship: three rituals examined71
6'My helper and my enemy': the body in Greek Christianity90
7The body in Western Catholic Christianity111
8The image of the body in the formative phases of the Protestant Reformation131
Pt. IIIBeyond the West: Eastern Religious Traditions and the Body
9Zoroastrianism and the body155
10Medical and mythical constructions of the body in Hindu texts167
11The body in Theravada Buddhist monasticism185
12Some Mahayana Buddhist perspectives on the body205
13The Taoist body and cosmic prayer231
14Perceptions of the body in Japanese religion248
15'I take off the dress of the body': Eros in Sufi literature and life262
16The body in Sikh tradition289
Index306

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