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Encounters Of Body And Soul In Contemporary Religious Practices: Anthropological Reflections (Easa Series)

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ISBN 10: 085745207X / ISBN 13: 9780857452078
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: Encounters Of Body And Soul In Contemporary ...

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

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Synopsis:

Social scientists and philosophers confronted with religious phenomena have always been challenged to find a proper way to describe the spiritual experiences of the social group they were studying. The influence of the Cartesian dualism of body and mind (or soul) led to a distinction between non-material, spiritual experiences (i.e., related to the soul) and physical, mechanical experiences (i.e., related to the body). However, recent developments in medical science on the one hand and challenges to universalist conceptions of belief and spirituality on the other have resulted in “body” and “soul” losing the reassuring solid contours they had in the past. Yet, in “Western culture,” the body–soul duality is alive, not least in academic and media discourses. This volume pursues the ongoing debates and discusses the importance of the body and how it is perceived in contemporary religious faith: what happens when “body” and “soul” are un-separated entities? Is it possible, even for anthropologists and ethnographers, to escape from “natural dualism”? The contributors here present research in novel empirical contexts, the benefits and limits of the old dichotomy are discussed, and new theoretical strategies proposed.

About the Author:

Anna Fedele explores in her work the intersections of gender and religion, the importance of corporeality in religious contexts, and ritual creativity. She has done extensive fieldwork on alternative pilgrimages to French shrines and is the author of Looking for Mary Magdalene (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia (CRIA) of the Lisbon University Institute and a research fellow at the Groupe de Sociologie Politique et Morale of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales of Paris.

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