This book sheds an interdisciplinary light on ‘transforming bodies’: bodies that have been subjected to, contributed to, or have resisted social transformations within religious or secular contexts in contemporary Europe. It explores the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion that underpin embodied transformations. Using post-secularist, postcolonial and gender/queer perspectives, it aims to gain a better understanding of the orchestrations and effects of larger social transitions related to religion.
This volume is the outcome of the intensive collaboration of the authors, who for years have been meeting regularly in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to discuss themes related to religion and ‘the challenge of difference’, with an added afterword by Prof. Pamela Klassen from the University of Toronto. The book is divided in three subsections that focus on particular types of embodiment: body politics in governmental and NGO organisations; the role of the body in literary and/or autobiographical narratives; and ethnographic case studies of bodies in daily life.
Doing so, it provides an innovative exploration of contemporary religion and the body. It will, therefore, be of great interest to scholars of Religious Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Theology, and Philosophy.
List of contributors
Transforming Bodies and Religions: Introduction
Part 1 – Governing Bodies; Introduction to Governing Bodies
Jelle O. Wiering, An van Raemdonck, Anne-Marie Korte
1 The Secular Body in the Dutch Field of Sexual Health
Jelle O. Wiering
2 SRHR, The Liberated Body and the Primacy of Conscience: Probing Beyond The Secular/Religious Binary
An van Raemdonck
3 Blasphemous Popular Art, Queer Debate and the Religious/Secular Divide.
Part 2 – Narrating Bodies; Introduction to Narrating Bodies
Nella van den Brandt, Mariecke van den Berg, Megan Milota, Nawal Mustafa, Matthea Westerduin
4 Negotiating Difference and Transformation: Women’s Stories of Conversion to Judaism and Islam
Nella van den Brandt
5 Embodying Transformation: Religious and Gender Transitions in Jewish Autobiography
Mariecke van den Berg
6 “The Richest Material for Moral Reflection”: Narrated Bodies and Narrative Ethics
7 Exploring New Vocabularies in Conversations About Religion, Race, Politics, and Justice
Nawal Mustafa, Matthea Westerduin
Part 3 – Negotiating Bodies; Introduction to Negotiating Bodies-
Maria Vliek, Rahil Roodsaz, Lieke Schrijvers
8 (Re)Negotiating Embodiment When Moving Out of Islam: An Empirical Inquiry into ‘A Secular Body’
9 Vacillating In and Out of Whiteness: Non-Religiosity and Racial (Dis)identification among the Iranian-Dutch
10 Women Wearing the Tallit: Tracing Gender, Belonging, and Conversion of New Jewish Women
Lieke L. Schrijvers
Part 4 - Afterword
Corporate, Corporal, Collective: Reflections on Gender, Genres, and the Ongoing Troubling of the Categories of Religion and the Secular