Religion and the Body

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $12.65
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 89%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $12.65   
  • New (2) from $116.61   
  • Used (8) from $12.65   


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'.
Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of contributors
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
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)