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Overview

Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theorists such as Freud, Durkheim, Weber, and Marx built their intellectual edifices on what they thought would be the remains or ruins of religion in the wake of modernization. But today the decline and disappearance of religion can no longer be simply assumed. In the face of contemporary entanglements of religion and violence, the establishment of meaning and morality remains troubling; the experience of loss and change remains, paradoxically, constant; and new theoretical perspectives--feminism, race studies, postcolonial studies, queer studies, postmodernism--have emerged, challenging the works that mourned religion and created meaning in earlier periods. The effects of this ongoing experience of mourning and symbolic loss on culture, on subjectivity, and on the academic disciplines of religious studies, though immense, are poorly understood and underinterpreted.

In order to correct this lacuna in scholarly thought, this volume brings together a notable group of scholars who examine the ways in which recent cultural transformations inform the place of religion in the modern world. Methodologically, they represent the intersection of religious studies and the social scientific study of religion, bringing the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and anthropology into this dialogue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813927466
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Publication date: 10/03/2008
Series: Studies in Religion and Culture Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

William B. Parsons is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University. He and Diane Jonte-Pace coedited Religion and Psychology: Mapping the Terrain. Diane Jonte-Pace is Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. Susan E. Henking is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is the coeditor of Que(e)rying Religion.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix Mourning Religion: An Introduction 1 Part I Loss and Theory Formation in Religious Studies Symbolic Loss and the Re-creation of Meaning: Freud and Eliade as Culture Makers Peter Homans 13 The Persistence of the Past: Framing Symbolic Loss and Religious studies in the Context of Race Celia Brickman 44 Mourning and Method in Psychoanalytic Studies of Indian Religions William B. Parsons 63 Melancholia and Religion in French Feminist Theory Diane Jonte-Pace 81 Part II Mourning the (Dis)Contents of Religion Psychologia Perennis and the Academic Study of Mysticism William B. Parsons 97 Morning Modern Ethics on the Couch Ernest Wallwork 124 Mourning and Immortality: Ritual and Psychoanalysis Compared Harriet Lutzky 141 Part III Mourning Religion in Culture Theology and Mourning in Film: Loss and Redemption in the Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski Mary Ellen Ross 161 If Silence = Death, Then What Is Life? Renewing the Politics of Mourning Susan E. Henking 177 Nostalgia and the Disenchantment with Modernity: Memory Books as Adaptive Response to Shoah Bertram J. Cohler 201 Afterword: Conversations on Freud, Memory, and Loss Paul Ricoeur Peter Homans 221 Bibliography 239 Notes on Contributors 259 Index 261

What People are Saying About This

""The topic of mourning is of special concern now, for many reasons, which include not only the widespread fragmentation and dissolution of formerly trusted structures of meaning and hope (whether provided by religion or Enlightenment philosophy or various political ideologies) but also social and personal losses on a wide scale, epitomized in recent history by the AIDS epidemic and, above all, the Holocaust. In this volume, the mourning of religion on the part of modern interpreters of religion and psyche is set alongside the wider modern processes of mourning (or lack thereof) in the face of an array of losses both mundane and massive." -- Frank Burch Brown, Christian Theological Seminary and University of Chicago Divinity School

Frank Burch Brown

"The topic of mourning is of special concern now, for many reasons, which include not only the widespread fragmentation and dissolution of formerly trusted structures of meaning and hope (whether provided by religion or Enlightenment philosophy or various political ideologies) but also social and personal losses on a wide scale, epitomized in recent history by the AIDS epidemic and, above all, the Holocaust. In this volume, the mourning of religion on the part of modern interpreters of religion and psyche is set alongside the wider modern processes of mourning (or lack thereof) in the face of an array of losses both mundane and massive.

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