More Than Belief: A Materialist Theory of Religion

Paperback | November 20, 2010

byManuel A. Vasquez

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Over the past several decades, postmodernist and postcolonial challenges to traditional theories and methods have revolutionized the social sciences. The discipline of religious studies, however, has been relatively slow to confront these developments, continuing to rely heavily on textualmethods and a framework that privileges belief over practice, doctrine over performance, text over context, and inner emotion over public ritual. Recently, however, developments in social theory have begun to transform the study of religion. In this book, Manuel Vasquez maps out the dynamics of thisparadigm shift, exploring systematically the epistemological and methodological challenges contemporary social theory poses for traditional approaches to religious studies. Offering a panoramic view of key debates on identity, culture, and society across the social sciences, he assesses the impactof these debates on the study of religion, offering specific examples of how they are shaping the study of particular religious traditions. He concludes by proposing a robust yet flexible materialist approach to the study of religion that will be capable of addressing the increasing complexity ofreligious life.

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Over the past several decades, postmodernist and postcolonial challenges to traditional theories and methods have revolutionized the social sciences. The discipline of religious studies, however, has been relatively slow to confront these developments, continuing to rely heavily on textualmethods and a framework that privileges belief ...

Manuel A. Vasquez is Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Florida.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:November 20, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195188543

ISBN - 13:9780195188547

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Embodiement1. The Rise of Foundational Dualism and the Eclipse of the Body2. "Body Am I Entirely, and Nothing Else": Non-Reductive Materialism and the Struggle against Dualism3. Toward a Materialist Phenomenology of Religion4. The Phenomenology of Embodiment and the Study of Religion5. Religious Bodies as Social Artifacts6. Holding Social Constructionism in Check: The Recovery of the Active, Lived Body7. A Cultural Neurophenomenology of Religion: Enter the Embodied MindPart II: Practice8. The Eclipse of Practice: Textualism at Large9. "Ceci n'est pas un texte": From Textualism to PracticePart III: Emplacement10. Expanding the Conversation on Emplaced Religion11. Mobility, Networks, and EcologyBy the Way of a ConclusionNotesReferencesIndex