By Birgit Meyer, Dick Houtman

ISBN-10: 0823239454

ISBN-13: 9780823239450

Author note: Birgit Meyer (Editor), Dick Houtman (Editor)

That relation has lengthy been conceived in adversarial phrases, privileging spirit above subject, trust above ritual and items, that means above shape, and "inward" contemplation above "outward" motion. in any case, wasn't the competition among spirituality and materiality the defining attribute of faith, understood as geared to a transcendental past that was once immaterial by means of definition? Grounded within the upward thrust of faith as a contemporary classification, with Protestantism as its major exponent, this conceptualization devalues non secular issues as missing severe empirical, not to mention theoretical, curiosity. The resurgence of public faith in our time has uncovered the restrictions of this attitude.

Taking materiality heavily, this quantity makes use of as a place to begin the perception that faith inevitably calls for a few form of incarnation, in which the past to which it refers turns into obtainable. Conjoining instead of isolating spirit and topic, incarnation (whether understood as "the global turning into flesh" or in a broader feel) locations at heart level the query of the way the area of the transcendental, religious, or invisible is rendered tangible within the world.

How do issues topic in spiritual discourse and perform? How are we to account for the worth or devaluation, the appraisal or contestation, of items inside of specific spiritual views? How are we to rematerialize our scholarly methods to faith? those are the main questions addressed by way of this multidisciplinary quantity. targeting other forms of items that subject for faith, together with sacred artifacts, photographs, physically fluids, websites, and digital media, it deals a wide-ranging set of multidisciplinary stories that mix specified research and significant mirrored image.

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Extra resources for Things: Religion and the Question of Materiality (Future of the Religious Past)

Sample text

With this volume, we seek to initiate new lines of inquiry to explore how things matter in religion. ’’ The ‘‘thing’’ referred to here, as Freddie Rokem points out in his essay, is not only the appearance of the ghost of the recently buried king of Denmark but also the theatrical performance itself, facing the task of making the supernatural appear in a materially concrete form. More than the term object, which is usually invoked in the framework of a subject-object relation, in which the former supposedly wields control over the latter, thing suggests an extra dimension that expands the realm of rationality and utility.

18254$ $CH1 06-20-12 07:39:12 PS PAGE 24 PA R T I Anxieties about Things ................. 18254$ PRT1 06-20-12 07:38:10 PS PAGE 25 ................. ’’ I believe that the confusion of modern people who assume the autonomy of fact and matter arises at least in part from the paradox that, despite their inclination to associate the material with the concrete, their focus on the material is part of a sociohistorical process of abstraction. A genealogy of the modern fact shows that it cannot be understood as a Ding an sich without also recognizing that it is always a ‘‘fact for’’ or ‘‘evidence of’’ some larger system.

All of the vectors of contest over materiality that I have discussed—in a very sketchy and unsystematic fashion—play a role in understanding the complexity of this situation, to which we now turn. 33 ................. 18254$ $CH2 06-20-12 07:39:10 PS PAGE 33 PETER PELS Late Victorian ‘‘Materialism’’ The dominant Victorian use of materialism before Karl Marx does not rely on an opposition between materialism and idealism—that is a nineteenth-century philosophical innovation, which space does not allow me to deal with here.

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Things: Religion and the Question of Materiality (Future of the Religious Past) by Birgit Meyer, Dick Houtman

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