Religions in Practice: An Approach to the Anthropology of Religion

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9780205917662: Religions in Practice: An Approach to the Anthropology of Religion

Examines religious practices from an anthropological perspective
Religions in Practice, 6/e, offers an issues-oriented perspective on everyday religious behaviors – prayer, sacrifice, initiation, healing, etc. – by focusing on such topics as transnationalism, gender, and religious laws. The text examines a full spectrum of religions, from small-scale societies to major, established religions. The in-depth treatment of Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity is particularly noteworthy and easily supplemented with field projects directly related to the text.

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Review:

“Bowen's Religions in Practice provides a very compelling introduction to the anthropology of religion, integrating theoretical discussions with ethnographic material from a wide range of societies, especially Islam in its diverse manifestations. While covering traditional topics like magic, witchcraft, and spiritual healing, the book also breaks new ground by covering ultra-contemporary political issues like migration, nationalism, transnationalism, law, and secularism.”

  - Sean O'Neill, University of Oklahoma

 

“An excellent introduction to Anthropology of Religion. It lays out the issues clearly, describes different theoretical approaches, and illustrates its points with lots of examples.”

  - Mark Webb, Texas Tech University

 

“An eclectic book build around the practice of the world religions.”

  - Derrick Lemons, the University of Georgia

 

“Its coverage of a range of issues and phenomena is first-rate. A thorough and very useful textbook, with particularly helpful attention to theory, method, and non-Western religious phenomena.”

  - James Findlay, California State University Northridge

 

“Clear, anthropologically oriented discussion of the study of religion”

  - Eric Rovie, Georgia Perimeter College-Newton Campus

 

“It is a clearly written, comprehensive text on the anthropology of religion that focuses primarily on religion as practice rather than as a belief system. It is current and includes important topics relevant to the modern situation. It is well-balanced in terms of the presentation of theory/concepts and case examples.”

  - Frances Purifoy, University of Louisville

About the Author:

John R. Bowen is the Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and recurrent Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. He has been studying Islam and society in Indonesia since the late 1970s, and since 2001 has worked in France, England, and North America on problems of pluralism, law, and religion, and in particular on contemporary efforts to rethink Islamic norms and civil law. He also writes regularly for The Boston Review. His current two research projects concern sharia and civil law in England, and Islamic courts and property disputes in Indonesia.

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