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Play, Pain and Religion

ID: 2924 - View Book Page - Edit In OJS

Play, Pain and Religion is the first consideration of the practices associated with BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Submission and Masochism) in the context of Religious Studies scholarship. The focus is an exploration of BDSM experience as it emerges from the complex interactions of kink activities and relationship.

The book examines practitioner accounts of BDSM experience alongside those practitioner’s personal identification with terms such as ‘religious’ and ‘spiritual’. Experiences categorised by BDSM practitioners as spiritual are commonly described in the same terms, and given the same value, as descriptions of experiences which are not so categorised. The book thus argues that the significance of a given experience is not located solely within any intrinsic quality ascribed to it but in subsequent constructions around the nature and meaning of the event. It examines some such constructions, moving away from absolute definitions of religion or religions to consider the religious as an active process of meaning-, world- and story-making. By using this ‘religioning’ framework some ways in which BDSM can potentially be used in such processes are examined.

Published: Jul 27, 2021