What do we talk about when we talk about "religion"? Is it an array of empirical facts about historical human civilizations? Or is religion what is in essence unpredictable--perhaps the very emergence of the new? In what ways are the legacies of religion--its powers, words, things, and gestures--reconfiguring themselves as the elementary forms of life in the twenty-first century? Given the Latin roots of the word religion and its historical Christian uses, what sense, if any, does it make to talk about "religion" in other traditions? Where might we look for common elements that would enable us to do so? Has religion as an overarching concept lost all its currency, or does it ineluctably retu...
This comprehensive guide offers an unrivalled introduction to recent work in the study of religion, from the religious traditions of Asia and the West, to new forms of religion and spirituality such as New Age. With an historical introduction to each religion and detailed analysis of its place in the modern world, Religions in the Modern World is ideal for newcomers to the study of religion. It incorporates case-studies and anecdotes, text extracts, chapter menus and end-of-chapter summaries, glossaries and annotated further reading sections. Topics covered include: * religion, colonialism and postcolonialism * religious nationalism * women and religion * religion and globalization * religion and authority * the rise of new spiritualities.
Is religion the same as culture? How does it fit with life in the modern world? Do you have to 'believe' to be part of one? From televangelism in the American South to the wearing of hijab in Britain and Egypt; from the rise of paganism to the aftermath of September 11th, this accessible guide looks at the ways in which religion interacts with the everyday world in which we live. A comprehensive introduction to the world of religion, it includes: * religion and culture * how power operates in religion * gender issues * the role of belief, rituals, and religious texts * religion in the contemporary world Religion: The Basics offers an invaluable and up-to-date overview for anyone wanting to find out more about this fascinating subject.
In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept. The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is a construction of European modernity, a construction that authorizes—for Westerners and non-Westerners alike—particular forms of "history making." -- James R. Wood
This text not only offers a fresh introduction to the different belief-systems flourishing across the modern world, but asks us to consider how the very boundaries of faith might be drawn now and in the future.
"... one of those rare edited volumes that advances social thought as it provides substantive religious and media ethnography that is good to think with." -- Dale Eickelman, Dartmouth College Increasingly, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and indigenous movements all over the world make use of a great variety of modern mass media, both print and electronic. Through religious booklets, radio broadcasts, cassette tapes, television talk-shows, soap operas, and documentary film these movements address multiple publics and offer alternative forms of belonging, often in competition with the postcolonial nation-state. How have new practices of religious mediation transformed the public sphere? How has the adoption of new media impinged on religious experiences and notions of religious authority? Has neo-liberalism engendered a blurring of the boundaries between religion and entertainment? The vivid essays in this interdisciplinary volume combine rich empirical detail with theoretical reflection, offering new perspectives on a variety of media, genres, and religions.
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, originally published in 2005, is a landmark work in the burgeoning field of religion and nature. It covers a vast and interdisciplinary range of material, from thinkers to religious traditions and beyond, with clarity and style. Widely praised by reviewers and the recipient of two reference work awards since its publication (see www.religionandnature.com/ern), this new, more affordable version is a must-have book for anyone interested in the manifold and fascinating links between religion and nature, in all their many senses.