The Routledge Handbook of Religion and the Body  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and the Body

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 8, 2023
ISBN 9780367528157
March 8, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
608 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and the Body is the first comprehensive volume to feature multireligious cross-cultural perspectives on the body and embodiment. Featuring multidisciplinary approaches and methodologies from the humanities and the social sciences, it addresses the body and embodied religiosity in theological, ethical, and cultural contexts. Comprised of thirty chapters by a team of international contributors, the handbook is divided into four parts:

  • Theology and Embodied Religiosity
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Body Regulations
  • Ritual and Performance
  • Religion, Healing, and the Future of the Body

Each part examines central issues, debates, and problems in relation to global belief systems, including: embodiments of love; transfiguration; the secular body; disability; body language; maternal bodies; embodied emotions; celibacy; ecology and the body; reshaping the corporal body; initiation rites; physiology; Tantra; Reiki practice; religious experience; technological body modifications; and ethics and the body.

Providing a breadth of rich and innovative research, it is a must-read for students and scholars in religious studies, theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, cultural and gender studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction Yudit Kornberg Greenberg and George Pati

Part I. Theology and Embodied Religiosity

1. Subtle Bodies and Ecology: Intersubjectivity, Alterity, and New Materialism Jay Johnston

2. Affect and Embodied Emotions Adam Beyt

3. Embodiments of Love in Jewish Sources Yudit Kornberg Greenberg

4. Apophatic Theophanies: Incarnational Knowledge of God in Early Eastern Christianity Lisa D. Maugans Driver

5. Disability and Embodied Theology Courtney Wilder

6. ‘We Shall Do and We Shall Understand’: Embodied Theology in Modern Judaism Sam S. B. Shonkoff

7. Transfiguration Márcio Vilar

8. The Ruse of Body Language among Muslim Traditionists Ossama Abdelgawwad

9. Avoidance, Aversion, and Intellectualization: Embodied Brokenness in White Christianity Marcia Mount Shoop

10. Ecological Theology and the Body Deborah Guess

Part II. Gender, Sexuality, and Body Regulations

11. Bodies of Becoming: The Regulation of Religion and Gender and the Subjectivation of the Secular Body Zaheeda P. Alibhai

12. Maternal Bodies and Religions Florence Pasche Guignard

13. Semen and the Self in a Teaching and Prayer Justin Jaron Lewis

14. "I Too Desired a Child": Sufi Hagiography, Ibn Khafif, and the Problem of Celibacy Matthew R. Hotham

15. Corporeal Conscientization: Heralding the Good News of Black Women’s Bodies Courtney Bryant

16. Islamic Shi’i Ethics and the Biopolitics of the Maternal Body Ladan Rahbari

Part III. Ritual and Performance

17. Tantric Bodies, AI Immortality, and a Yogurt Model of Self Loriliai Biernacki

18. Holy Heads: Re-Membering John the Baptist and Husayn in Early Christian and Islamic Pilgrimage Mary Thurlkill

19. Mothers in the Temple: Motherhood, Filial Piety, And Salvation Rituals In Premodern Japanese Buddhism Marta Sanvido

20. Body, Community, Cosmos: A Sìaiva Siddhānta Rite of Initiation Adam Newman

21. (In-)Conspicuous Consumption: Food, the Child Body, and Inversion of Hardcore Rituals in Hindu Tantras E. Sundari Johansen Hurwitt

22. The Buddhist Body in a Pill: Notes Toward a Material History of Tantra in Tibet James Gentry

23. Performing Kṛṣṇa’s Body in Kerala George Pati

24. Sikh Langar: Tasting the Transcendent Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh

Part IV. Religion, Healing, and the Future of the Body

25. Reiki Practice and the Body as Mediator for Religiosity Dori-Michelle Beeler and Jojan L. Jonker

26. Further Explorations of/in Daoist Embodiment Louis Komjathy 康思奇

27. Spiritual Contraptions: Religious Experience and Psychiatrized Bodies in the Nineteenth Century Kyle Derkson

28. The Thai Body: Understanding the Principles of Medicine, Physiology, and the Massage Tradition through Inscriptions, Texts, and the Material Culture of Wat Phō Saran Suebsantiwongse

29. Religion, Body, Excreta Sarah Nahar

30. The Future Body: Religious Approaches to Advanced Technological Body-Modifications Michael Caligiuri.


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Yudit Kornberg Greenberg is the George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Endowed Chair of Religion, Founding Director of the Jewish Studies Program, and Director of the Center for India and South Asia at Rollins College.

George Pati is the Surjit S. Patheja Endowed Chair in World Religions and Ethics and Professor of South Asian Religions and Cultures at Valparaiso University, IN.