Powers: Religion as a Social and Spiritual Force by Meerten B. ter BorgPowers: Religion as a Social and Spiritual Force by Meerten B. ter Borg

Powers: Religion as a Social and Spiritual Force

EditorMeerten B. ter Borg, Jan Willem van Henten

Paperback | February 1, 2010

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This book, the first themed volume in the series The Future of the Religious Past, elaborates the manifold and fascinating interconnections between power and religion. It carries forward the work of the series in bringing together scholars from many disciplines and countries to research forms of religion in a way unfettered by the idea that religion is solely or even primarily a matter of belief in specific tenets or intellectual systems-it is also a matter of multiple particulars in individual and social life, such as powers, things, gestures, and words.Dealing with the nexus of religion and power, the present volume radically undermines the idea that the political relevance of religion is a thing of the past. Its essays treat power as a central aspect of religion on many levels, from that of macro-politics through the links between religion and nationhood to the level of personal empowerment or its obverse, disempowerment.Power and religion are both omnipresent in human action and interaction. There is no human act that does not include some kind of faith in a positive outcome and no deed in which power does not play some role. People obviously can attempt to use religion as an instrument to enhance their power or improve their status, whether personally or at the level of the nationstate. Yet religion is in principle ambiguous in relation to power: It can disempower as well as empower, and it can even function as a critique of existing power relations. Moreover,there is the consolatory function of religion, offering ways of compensation, of healing, and of enduring feelings of powerlessness.Like the first volume in the series, Religion: Beyond a Concept, the essays in this volume strike a balance between broad analyses of the nature of religion and power in their modes of emergence today and specific case studies from anthropology, sociology, and the arts. It is noteworthy for the breadth of the material it treats and its reach outside the Christian West, while not taking anything in that Western tradition for granted, given the astonishing changes of supposedly familiar religious phenomena we are viewing in the contemporary world.
Meerten B. Ter Borg is Professor of Sociology of Religion and Noninstitutional Religion in the Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University. Jan Willem Van Henten is Professor of New Testament and Director of the GraduateSchool for the Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. His most recent book is Martyrdom and Noble Death (with Frie...
Title:Powers: Religion as a Social and Spiritual ForceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9.25 × 7.12 × 0.08 inPublished:February 1, 2010Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823231577

ISBN - 13:9780823231577


Table of Contents

Meerten B. Ter Borg and Jan Willem Van Henten: IntroductionPart I: MacropoliticsAndre Droogers: The Recovery of Perverted Religion: Internal Power Processes and the Vicissitudes of Religious ExperienceMark Juergensmeyer: Symbolic Violence: Religion and EmpowermentAvishai Margalit: Political Theology: The Authority of GodTalal Asad: Explaining the Global Religious Revival: The Egyptian CasePart II: The NationDavid Morgan: Seeing Nationhood: Images of American IdentityPeter Van Der Veer: The Visible and the Invisible in South AsiaAnna-karina Hermkens: The Power of Mary in Secessionist Warfare: Catholicism and Political Crisis in Bougainville, Papua New GuineaCheikh Gueye and Olivia Gervasoni: The Mourid Brotherhood at the Center of Senegalese Political Life: A Dialectic of State and Religious PowerShamil Jeppie: Sharia and State in the Sudan: From Late Colonialism to Late IslamismClaudio Lomnitz and Rafael Sanchez: "Volivarian" Anti-SemitismPart III: The Individual: Between Powerlessness and EmpowermentCatrien Notermans: The Power of the Less Powerful: Making Memory on a Pilgrimage to LourdesJose C. M. Van Santen: "Without my headscarf I feel naked": "Veiling," Laicite Politics, and Islamist Discourse in North CameroonMieke Bal: Religion and Powerlessness: Elena in Nothing is MissingPart IV: Relgion and Power: Artistic RepresentationsRokus De Groot: Music, Religion, and Power: Qawwali as Empowering DisempowermentJael Kraut: John Cage and the Mystification of Musical SilenceLaura Copier: Maternal Martyrdom: Alien3 and the Power of the Female MartyrNotesContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Essays on power as a central aspect of religion, including its intersections with politics, art, and other realms; topics include Catholicism and secessionist warfare in Papua New Guinea."