Catalogue


More than belief : a materialist theory of religion /
Manuel A. Vásquez.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
description
382 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0195188543 (Paper), 9780195188547 (Paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
isbn
0195188543 (Paper)
9780195188547 (Paper)
catalogue key
7328495
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 349-373) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Manuel A. Vsquez teaches in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida. He has published numerous articles, chapters, and books on religion in Latin America and among U.S. Latinos. His research currently focuses on the intersection between religion and globalization, particularly on the dynamics of transnational religious networks and flows across the Americas.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-05-01:
Vasquez (Univ. of Florida) makes a major contribution in laying the groundwork for a materialist theory of religion that moves beyond the usual study of texts and creeds. His materialism differs from the Marxian emphasis on economics and class struggle because it includes a broader view of material culture and the postmodern themes of embodiment, practice, and emplacement. His goal is a materialist, nonreductive approach to the study of religion. Although Vasquez began this book as a primer for his graduate students by delineating the epistemological foundations of theories that attempt to overcome the Platonic and Cartesian mind/body split, this overview will be helpful to all scholars of religious studies. He moves from Spinoza and Nietzsche to the phenomenological work of Husserl, Heidegger, and Eliade. He also includes an overview and critique of Foucault's poststructuralism and Butler's social constructionism. For Vasquez, religious space or emplacement is also a key theme for the study of religion in a globalizing world where transnational religious movements are occurring. A unique feature is his attempt to include the brain studies of the neurosciences or the "embodied mind" into a cultural neurophenomenology of religion. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and researchers/faculty. L. H. Mamiya Vassar College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"More than Beliefshould find a wide-ranging audience. Vasquez provides accessible and astute summaries of theoretical approaches, while articulating a rigorous theory of material religion and offering a coherent methodology for the academic study of its practice. It is well suited for the graduate school classroom and should prove an invaluable resource for sociologists of religion."--Sociology of Religion "Manuel Vasquez's provocative book is must reading for everyone who wants to understand contemporary theories of religion. It not only offers a new framework for 'rematerializing' the study of popular piety but also provides nothing less than a strategic reinterpretation of the history of Western theories about what religion is and how it functions." -Thomas A. Tweed, author ofCrossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion
"Surveying a vast expanse of interdisciplinary terrain,More than Beliefshould find a wide-ranging audience. Vasquez provides accessible and astute summaries of theoretical approaches, while articulating a rigorous theory of material religion and offering a coherent methodology for the academic study of its practice. It is well suited for the graduate school classroom and should prove an invaluable resource for sociologists of religion." --Sociology of Religion "More than Beliefshould find a wide-ranging audience. Vasquez provides accessible and astute summaries of theoretical approaches, while articulating a rigorous theory of material religion and offering a coherent methodology for the academic study of its practice. It is well suited for the graduate school classroom and should prove an invaluable resource for sociologists of religion."--Sociology of Religion "Manuel Vasquez's provocative book is must reading for everyone who wants to understand contemporary theories of religion. It not only offers a new framework for 'rematerializing' the study of popular piety but also provides nothing less than a strategic reinterpretation of the history of Western theories about what religion is and how it functions." -Thomas A. Tweed, author ofCrossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2011
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Summaries
Main Description
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.
Main Description
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 textual methods 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 Vásquez maps out the dynamics of this paradigm 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 impact of 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 of religious life.
Main Description
This book challenges the traditional idea that religions can be understood primarily as texts to be interpreted, decoded, or translated. In More Than Belief , Manuel A. V squez argues for a new way of studying religions, one that sees them as dynamic material and historical expressions of the practices of embodied individuals who are embedded in social fields and ecological networks. He sketches the outlines of this approach through a focus on body, practices, and space. In order to highlight the centrality of these dimensions of religious experience and performance, V squez recovers materialist currents within religious studies that have been consistently ignored or denigrated. Drawing on state-of-the-art work in fields as diverse as anthropology, sociology, philosophy, critical theory, environmental studies, cognitive psychology, and the neurosciences, V squez offers a groundbreaking new way of looking at religion.
Main Description
This book challenges the traditional idea that religions can be understood primarily as texts to be interpreted, decoded, or translated. In More Than Belief , Manuel A. Vásquez argues for a new way of studying religions, one that sees them as dynamic material and historical expressions of the practices of embodied individuals who are embedded in social fields and ecological networks. He sketches the outlines of this approach through a focus on body, practices, and space. In order to highlight the centrality of these dimensions of religious experience and performance, Vásquez recovers materialist currents within religious studies that have been consistently ignored or denigrated. Drawing on state-of-the-art work in fields as diverse as anthropology, sociology, philosophy, critical theory, environmental studies, cognitive psychology, and the neurosciences, Vásquez offers a groundbreaking new way of looking at religion.
Main Description
This book challenges the traditional idea that religions can be understood primarily as texts to be interpreted, decoded, or translated. InMore Than Belief, Manuel A. Vsquez argues for a new way of studying religions, one that sees them as dynamic material and historical expressions of the practices of embodied individuals who are embedded in social fields and ecological networks. He sketches the outlines of this approach through a focus on body, practices, and space. In order to highlight the centrality of these dimensions of religious experience and performance, Vsquez recovers materialist currents within religious studies that have been consistently ignored or denigrated. Drawing on state-of-the-art work in fields as diverse as anthropology, sociology, philosophy, critical theory, environmental studies, cognitive psychology, and the neurosciences, Vsquez offers a groundbreaking new way of looking at religion.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Embodiment
The Rise of Foundational Dualism and the Eclipse of the Bodyp. 21
ôBody Am I Entirely, and Nothing Elseö: Non-Reductive Materialism and the Struggle against Dualismp. 43
Toward a Materialist Phenomenology of Religionp. 59
The Phenomenology of Embodiment and the Study of Religionp. 87
Religious Bodies as Social Artifactsp. 123
Holding Social Constructionism in Check: The Recovery of the Active, Lived Bodyp. 149
A Cultural Neurophenomenology of Religion: Enter the Embodied Mindp. 173
Practice
The Eclipse of Practice: Textualism at Largep. 211
ôCeci n'est pas un texteö: From Textualism to Practicep. 231
Emplacement
Expanding the Conversation on Emplaced Religionp. 261
Mobility, Networks, and Ecologyp. 291
By the Way of a Conclusionp. 321
Notesp. 329
Referencesp. 349
Indexp. 374
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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