1st Edition

Religion and Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Edited By Stephen Ellingson, M. Christian Green Copyright 2002

    Issues of sexuality and gender are hotly contested in both religious communities and national cultures around the world. In the social sciences, religious traditions are often depicted as inherently conservative or even reactionary in their commitments to powerful patriarchal and pronatalist sexual norms and gender categories. In illuminating the practices of religious traditions in various cultures, these essays expose the diversity of religious rituals and mythologies pertaining to sexuality. In the process the contributors challenge conventional notions of what is normative in our sexual lives.

    Acknowledgements, Introduction , STEPHEN ELLINGSON , Part I/Fecundism, Ideologies of Reproduction, and Sexual Identity, 1 Cultural Production and Reproductive Issues , The Significance of the Charismatic Movement in Nigeria, TOLA OLU PEARCE, 2 Sex, Rhetoric, and Ontology , Fecundism as an Ethical Problem, WILLIAM R. LAFLEUR, 3 The Mythology of the Masquerading Post-Menopausal Women, WENDY DONIGER , , PartII/ Binary Sexual Categories , 4 Beyond Binary Categories, Mesoamerican Religious Sexuality, SYLVIA MARCOS , 5 The Hijras, An Alternative Gender in Indian Culture , SERENA NANDA, 6 Mimesis in the Face of Fear , Femme Queens, Butch Queens, and Gender Play in the Houses of Greater Newark , KAREN MCCARTHY BROWN , , Part III/ Power and Domination , 7 Tacit Containment , Social Value, Embodiment and Gender Practice in Northern Sudan , JANICE BODDY , 8 Millennial Capitalism, Occult Economies and the Crisis of Reproduction in South Africa, JEAN AND JOHN COMAROFF , , Contributors , Index


    Stephen Ellingson is assistant professor of sociology of religion and Director of the Lilly Program on Congregational Ministry at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. He is co-author of Organizational Ethics in Health Care. M. Christian Green, formerly of the Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics, is a researcher at the Religion, Culture, and Family Project at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

    "Ellingson's introduction to this volume asserts that "religion" is important "as a system of faith and ethics." Rooted in the Abrahamic traditions, such definitions are not necessarily pertinent to a "cross-cultural perspective" and are under renegotiation on the social sciences and humanities today. The eight distinguished senior scholars whose work Ellingson and Green have brought together write of religions and sexualities...Religion and Sexuality in Cross-cultural Perspective contains far more advanced and stimulating thinking-like the Comaroffs'-on both religions and embodiment... Journal of Anthropological Research 2003 ."