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Religion: Material Dynamics


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Material Dynamics

1. Animism
2. Sacred
3. Space
4. Time
5. Incongruity

6. Culture
7. Economy
8. Colonialism
9. Imperialism
10. Apartheid

11. Shamans
12. Mobility
13. Popular
14. Touching
15. Oceans
Conclusion: Dynamic Materiality


About the Author

David Chidester is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. His recent books include Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture, Wild Religion: Tracking the Sacred in South Africa, and Empire of Religion: Imperialism and Comparative Religion.


"Although the book is in many ways a textbook, Chidester has conceived something far more imaginative than a standard introduction to the world's religions. Instead, Chidester has chosen to critically analyze the emergence of "religion" as a category, not just once, but in multiple contexts and registers. Specifically, Chidester sets out to develop this critical approach to religion together with the themes and concerns of material culture. So the question becomes not just what religion is and how it is defined, but how the intellectual coordinates out of which "religion" emerges are organized by "material dynamics." * Reading Religion *
" . . . Chidester's analysis of the dynamic materiality of religion is a valuable corrective. In short, Religion demonstrates that all religion-no matter how world-denying-is material religion." * Nova Religio *
" . . . reflect[s] a healthy shift in the study of religions." * Journal of Religion *
"Chidester . . . successfully describe[s] the current state of the material turn in religious studies, which gives the book significant value." * Studies in Religion *
"I would warmly recommend the book as a well-informed and creative resource for approaching the study of religion." * Religion *
"[Chidester's] broad reading in global history and his deep understanding of the historiography of the academic study of religion will make this book very useful for students and scholars far beyond the modern era." * Journal of Contemporary Religion *

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