2nd Edition

Introducing Anthropology of Religion
Culture to the Ultimate

ISBN 9781138024915
Published November 20, 2014 by Routledge
356 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

This clear and engaging guide introduces students to key areas of the field and shows how to apply an anthropological approach to the study of religion in the contemporary world. Written by an experienced teacher, it covers major traditional topics including definitions, theories and beliefs as well as symbols, myth and ritual. The book also explores important but often overlooked issues such as morality, violence, fundamentalism, secularization, and new religious movements. The chapters all contain lively case studies of religions practiced around the world.

The second edition of Introducing Anthropology of Religion contains updated theoretical discussion plus fresh ethnographic examples throughout. In addition to a brand new chapter on vernacular religion, Eller provides a significantly revised chapter on the emerging anthropologies of Christianity and Islam. The book features more material on contemporary societies as well as new coverage of topics such as pilgrimage and paganism. Images, a glossary and questions for discussion are now included and additional resources are provided via a companion website.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations. Preface.  1.Studying Religion Anthropologically: Definitions and Theories  2. Religious Belief: Entities and Concepts  3. Religious Symbols and Specialists  4. Religious Language  5. Religious Action: Ritual  6. Religion, Morality, and Social Order  7. Religious Change and New Religious Movements  8. Translocal Religion: Islam and Christianity  9. Vernacular Religion  10. Religious Violence  11. Secularism and Irreligion  12. Religious Fundamentalism. Glossary. Bibliography.

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Jack David Eller is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Community College of Denver, USA. He is author of a major introductory textbook Cultural Anthropology: Global Forces, Local Lives (second edition, Routledge 2013).


"This book is the best example I know of its kind – an introductory text that combines sophisticated, cross-cultural, and historically nuanced discussion with an intuitive ordering of subjects. Eller is especially good at weaving together contemporary perspectives with classical anthropological theory. The book’s accessibility and erudition make it perfect for advanced undergraduate courses and graduate seminars alike." - Liam D. Murphy, California State University, Sacramento, USA

"The first edition of Introducing Anthropology of Religion was one of the most engaging, comprehensive, and theoretically sophisticated overviews ever published. Eller’s second edition includes a range of new and revised material as well as expanded web resources. Beginning students and specialists alike will learn much from this volume." - Stephen D. Glazier, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA