Bringing the Sacred Down to Earth: Adventures in Comparative Religion

Paperback | January 25, 2012

byCorinne G. Dempsey

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In Bringing the Sacred Down to Earth, Corinne Dempsey offers a comparative study of Hindu and Christian, Indian and Euro/American earthbound religious expressions. She argues that official religious, political, and epistemological systems tend to deny sacred access and expression to thegeneral populace, and are abstracted and disembodied in ways that make them irrelevant to if not neglectful of earthly realities. Working at cross purposes with these systems, attending to material needs, conferring sacred access to a wider public, and imbuing land and bodies with sacred meaning andpower, are religious frameworks featuring folklore figures, democratizing theologies, newly sanctified land, and extraordinary human abilities. Some scholars will see Dempsey's juxtapositions of Hindu and Christian religious dynamics, many of which exist on opposite sides of the globe, as a leap into a disciplinary minefield. Many have argued for decades that comparison is an outmoded, politically troubled approach to the human sciences.More recently opponents, represented by a growing number of religion scholars, are 'writing back' in comparison's defense, asserting the merits of a readjusted, carefully contextualized, new comparativism. But, says Dempsey, the inestimable advantages of the comparative method described byreligion scholars and performed in this book are disciplinary as well as ethical. As demonstrated in this stimulating book, the process of comparison can shed light on angles and contours otherwise obscured and perform the important work of bridging human contingencies and perception acrossreligious, cultural, and disciplinary divides.

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In Bringing the Sacred Down to Earth, Corinne Dempsey offers a comparative study of Hindu and Christian, Indian and Euro/American earthbound religious expressions. She argues that official religious, political, and epistemological systems tend to deny sacred access and expression to thegeneral populace, and are abstracted and disembodi...

Corinne Dempsey is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:January 25, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199860327

ISBN - 13:9780199860326

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Table of Contents

Icelandic and Indian Language NotesIntroduction: Adventures and Misadventures in Comparison1. The Suffering Indian Nun and the Wandering (Drunken) Irish Priest: Orientalism and Celticism Unplugged2. Arguing Equal Access to an Earthly Sacred: Christian and Hindu Theologies of Liberation3. Making and Staking Sacred Terrain: Rajneeshee and Diaspora Hindu Settlers and Unsettlers4. Embodying the Extraordinary in Iceland and India and the Difference Spirits MakePostscript: Unanticipated Adventures in Ritualized EthnographyNotesBiblographyIndex