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The Religious Body Imagined

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This edited volume examines the ways in which the human body has been imagined, imaged, and discursively produced in particular places, times, and religious traditions. It brings together representative papers from most of the world’s major traditions and geo-historical locations, and explores the religious body’s various functions, roles, and transformative effects through a range of disciplinary and theoretical lenses (e.g. visual culture, literary, performance and cultural studies, ethnography, space / place, ritual, postcolonial theory and social justice as it pertains to embodiment). Most significantly, it is organized according to novel, thought-provoking thematic foci that advance the field and that can be generative for classroom use. Specifically, it includes twelve chapters organized into sections on the Gendered Body, LGBTQ Bodies, Migrating Bodies, Host Bodies, Sensational Bodies, and National Bodies. As a result, this volume contributes new and original research as well as theoretical insights that can substantially help to expand our understanding of the interdisciplinary field of religion and body in general.

Published: Jan 15, 2024

Section Chapter Authors
Introduction Pamela Winfield, Mina Garcia
Gendered Bodies
1. People of the Book, Women of the Body: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Women's Reproductive Literacy Michal Raucher
2. The Male Body and Catholic Piety in Early Modern Spain Elizabeth Rhodes
LGBTQ+ Bodies
3. Harvey Milk’s (Sacred and Sexual) Body William Gilders
4. Nonbinary Sexual and Gender Identities in the Community: The Khuntha as an Isolated Being in the Mosque Saqer Almarri
Migrating Bodies
5. Lope’s Hamete de Toledo: The Infidel’s Body as Conquered Land Mina Garcia
6. The Embodied Palimpsest: Dancing Kinesthetic Empathy in Bharatanatyam Katherine Zubko
Microcosmic Bodies
7. Religion and the Imperial Body Politic of Japan Pamela Winfield
8. Surveilled, Harmonized, Purified: The Body in Chinese Religious Culture Ori Tavor
Sensational Bodies
9. Seeing, Embodied and Lived: Creating Darshan in Transnational Gaudiya Vaishnavism Anandi Silva Knuppel
10. The Body is a Tool for Remembrance: Healing, Transformation and the Instrumentality of the Body in a North American Sufi Order Megan Adamson Sijapati