Sensual Religion: Religion and the Five Senses

Sensual Religion: Religion and the Five Senses


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Sensual Religion demonstrates the value of paying attention to the senses and materials in lived religion and also leads the way for improved studies of religion as sensuality. Each of the five senses - vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell - will be covered by two chapters, the first historical and the second contemporary. The historical discussions focus on the sensuality of religion in ancient Greece, Samaria, Rome and Byzantium - including reflections on their value for understanding other historical and contemporary contexts. Chapters with a contemporary focus engage with Chinese, African-Brazilian, Sikh, First Nations and Metis, and Spanish Catholic religious lives and activities. Beyond the rich case studies, each chapter offers perspectives and arguments about better ways of approaching lived, material and performative religion - or sensual religion. Historical and ethnographic critical and methodological expertise is presented in ways that will inspire and enable readers to apply, refine and improve on their practice of the study of religions. In particular, our intention is to foreground the senses and sensuality as a critical issue in understanding religion and to radically improve multi- and inter-disciplinary research and teaching about the lived realities of religious people in this sensual world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781794159
Publisher: Equinox Publishing
Publication date: 10/29/2018
Series: Religion and the Senses
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Graham Harvey is Professor of Religious Studies at the Open University, UK. His research is concerned with the performance and rhetoric of identities among Jews, Pagans and indigenous peoples. He is particularly interested in the new animism, embracing relational and material approaches to interactions between humans and the larger than human world. His recent publications include The Handbook of Contemporary Animism (2013) and Food, Sex and Strangers: Understanding Religion as Everyday Life (2013). Jessica Hughes is a Lecturer in Classical Studies at The Open University. She works on material religion, classical reception studies and the cultural history of the Italian region of Campania. She has recently published the monograph Votive Body Parts in Greek and Roman Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and is currently researching material religion and cultural memory at the Catholic Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary in Pompeii.

Table of Contents

Introduction Graham Harvey Smell 1. A Pleasing Odour for Yahweh: The Smell of Sacrifices on Mount Gerizim and in the Hebrew Bible Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme 2. Wafting Incense and Heavenly Foods: The Importance of Smell in Chinese Religion Shawn Arthur Taste 3. The Taste of Religion in the Roman World Zena Kamash 4. Eating Myths: Religion Stated in Food Language Patricia Rodrigues de Souza Sight 5. Sight and the Byzantine Icon Angeliki Lymberopoulou 6. 'Seeing' my Beloved: Darśan and the Sikhi Perspective Opinderjit Kaur Takhar Hearing 7. Resounding Mysteries: Sound and Silence in the Eleusinian Soundscape Georgia Petridou 8. Indigenous Song, the Sacred, and the Senses Byron Dueck Touch 9. The Texture of the Gift: Religious Touching in the Greco-Roman World Jessica Hughes 10. Touching, Crafting, Knowing: Religious Artefacts and the Fetish within Animism Amy Whitehead

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