The Languages of Religion : Exploring the Politics of the Sacred book cover
1st Edition

The Languages of Religion
Exploring the Politics of the Sacred

Edited By

Sipra Mukherjee

ISBN 9780367479213
Published January 14, 2020 by Routledge India
258 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book analyses the power that religion wields upon the minds of individuals and communities and explores the predominance of language in the actual practice of religion. Through an investigation of the diverse forms of religious language available — oral traditions, sacred texts, evangelical prose, and national rhetoric used by ‘faith-insiders’ such as missionaries, priests, or religious leaders who play the communicator’s role between the sacred and the secular — the chapters in the volume reveal the dependence of religion upon language, demonstrating how religion draws strength from a past that is embedded in narratives, infusing the ‘sacred’ language with political power.

The book combines broad theoretical and normative reflections in contexts of original, detailed and closely examined empirical case studies. Drawing upon resources across disciplines, the book will be of interest to scholars of religion and religious studies, linguistics, politics, cultural studies, history, sociology, and social anthropology.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Cultures of Sound: Lineages and Languages of Sutra Recitation in Goshirakawa’s Japan 2. Kaqchikel Spirituality in the shade of the Catholic Doctrine 3. Words Taken for Wonders: Conversion and Religious Authority among the Dalits of Colonial Chhattisgarh 4. Voices, Texts and Contexts in Filipino Christianity 5. The Translations of Buddhism, from Asia to the West: Shifting Languages, Adaptive Logics, Acculturations 6. A Language 'Clearly Understanded of the People': The Construction of an Anglo-Catholic Linguistic Identity 1850–2015 7. Biblical Semiotics: The Language of Survival 8. The Būdshīshiyya’s Tower of Babel: Cultural Diversity in a Transnational Sufi Order 9. Religion for Nation? Language Policy of the Churches in the Context of the Belarusian Nation-Building 10. The Paradox of the Term ‘Democracy’ in Arabic Discourse on the Islamic Movements 11. Reclaiming the Sacred: Bengali Muslim Community’s Quest for a Jatiya Identity

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Sipra Mukherjee is Professor in the Department of English, West Bengal State University, India. Her research interests are religion, caste, and power. Her publications include Interrogating My Chandal Life: An Autobiography of a Dalit (translation of Manoranjan Byapari’s Itibritte Chandal Jeeban, 2018), Modern English Literature, 1890–1960 (2016), Special Issue on Religion and Language, International Journal of the Sociology of Language (edited, 2013), and The Calcutta Mosaic: Minority Communities of Calcutta (co-edited, 2009).