Reading Religion in Text and Context: Reflections of Faith and Practice in Religious Materials, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Reading Religion in Text and Context

Reflections of Faith and Practice in Religious Materials, 1st Edition

By Peter Collins

Edited by Elisabeth Arweck


210 pages

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Hardback: 9780754654827
pub: 2006-06-21
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315245256
pub: 2017-05-15
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To what extent is religion inherently textual? What might the term 'textual' mean in relation to religious faith and practice? These are the two key questions addressed by the eleven thought-provoking essays collected in this volume. Accounts of the content and structure of sacred texts are commonplace. The rather more adventurous aim of this book is to disclose (within the context of religion) the various ways in which meaning can be read of more or less obviously sacred writing and from discourses such as the body, the built and natural environment, drama and ritual.


'Rooted firmly in the conviction that 'reading' religion ought not to be restricted to familiar modes of literary scrutiny, this volume embraces an explicitly inclusive conception of textual analysis in assembling a number of original essays on an intriguing and diverse range of topics. It is, as its editors intend, a coherent collection of empirical articles on an important theoretical theme and should prove to be a valuable scholarly resource for many varieties of the academic study of religion.' Professor Roger O'Toole, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Canada.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, James A. Beckford; Reading Religion in Text and Context: an introduction, Peter Collins and Elisabeth Arweck; Catholicism and freedom: Dignitatis humanae - the text and its reception, James Sweeney; The left behind series as sacred text?, Malcolm Gold; Secularization: human rights and sacred texts, Paul Chambers; Relics and 'Baraka': devotion to the Prophet Muhammad among Sufis in Nottingham, UK, Ian G. Williams; Text and context in Sikkim, India, Vibha Arora; Making a joyful noise: the multiple forms and functions of music in modern revivalism, Nancy A. Schaefer; Reinventing Melchizedek: interpretations of traditional religious texts in the seminary context, Ewan Ingleby; Reading religious architecture, Peter Collins; Textuality and embodiment among charismatic Christians, Simon Coleman; The case of the left hand: the location of religion in an everyday text, Kim Knott; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Elisabeth Arweck is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Education, University of Warwick, UK. She is Editor (with Peter Clarke) of the Journal of Contemporary Religion and has published Researching New Religious Movements: Responses and Redefinitions (2006), Theorizing Faith: The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Ritual (2002) with Martin Stringer, and New Religious Movements in Western Europe: An Annotated Bibliography (1997) with Peter Clarke. Peter Collins is Lecturer in Anthropology at Durham University, UK. His recent publications include Religion, Identity and Change: Perspectives on Global Transformations (2004), and Locating the Field: Space, Place and Context in Anthropology (2006), both with Simon Coleman.

About the Series

Theology and Religion in Interdisciplinary Perspective Series in Association with the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group

The British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group began in 1975 and provides the primary forum in Britain for scholarship in the sociology of religion. The nature of religion remains of key academic interest and this series draws on the latest worldwide scholarship in compelling and coherent collections on critical themes. Secularisation and the future of religion; gender; the negotiation and presentation of religious identities, beliefs and values; and the interplay between group and individual in religious settings are some of the areas addressed. Ultimately, these books reflect not just on religious life but on how wider society is affected by the enduring religious framing of human relationships, morality and the nature of society itself. This series is part of the broader Theology and Religion in Interdisciplinary Perspective Series edited by Douglas Davies and Richard Fenn.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General