The Body in Religion Cross-Cultural Perspectives

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2018-01-11
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Supplemental Materials

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The Body in Religion: Cross-Cultural Perspectives is a comprehensive survey of influential ways in which the body is imagined and deployed across the globe, through analysis of indigenous and world religions. The chapters structure the book with accessible and engaging topics, covering both classical and contemporary perspectives as well as beliefs and practices.

Filling a gap for an up-to-date and comparative approach to theories and practices of the body in religion, the book explores the similarities and differences among cultures on embodiment and its implications for religious institutions and spirituality. Yudit Greenberg brings her experience of teaching courses on the body in religion to draw examples from religions such as Jainism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shintoism, Paganism, aboriginal, African, Mayan, and Native American religions, in addition to the five major religions of the world. Classical and contemporary interpretations are discussed, including those by Merleau-Ponty, Bourdieu, Foucault and Bynum.

Topics covered include:
- God language and gender
- Female modesty and dress codes; circumcision and menstruation rituals
- Views on death and dying, and burial rites
- Disciplining the body through yoga
- Feasting and fasting rituals

Illustrated throughout with 30 images, The Body in Religion is designed for course use in religious studies and throughout the humanities and social sciences. A companion website provides a comprehensive resource guide for teachers, including suggested readings, questions for discussion, a syllabus, examination questions, topics for research papers, a glossary, and links to primary and secondary sources.

Author Biography

Dr. Yudit Kornberg Greenberg is the Cornell Endowed Chair of Religion and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, USA. Her fields of teaching and research include modern and contemporary Jewish thought, women and religion, and cross-cultural views of love and the body. She is the author of Better than Wine: Love, Poetry and Prayer in the Thought of Franz Rosenzweig, the 2 volume Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, and is editor of From Spinoza to Levinas: Hermeneutical, Ethical, and Political Issues in Modern and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy.

Table of Contents

Preface and Introduction
1. The Body in Creation Myths
2. Representation of the Divine in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Sacred Texts
3. Celebrating the Body in Religious Ritual
4. Notions of Purity in Biblical and Indigenous Traditions
5. Body Modifications
6. Marriage, Sexuality, and Modesty
7. Asceticism in Christianity and Jainism
8. Food: Laws and Practices
9. Erotic Desire and Divine Love in Religious Poetry
10. Death and the Afterlife
11. Asian Traditions and Views of Harmony, Health and Healing
12. Contemporary Issues in Body and Religion

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