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The Sacred Self Cover

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The Sacred Self

A Cultural Phenomenology of Charismatic Healing

Thomas J. Csordas

How does religious healing work, if indeed it does? In this study of the contemporary North American movement known as the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Thomas Csordas investigates the healing practices of a modern religious movement to provide a rich cultural analysis of the healing experience. This is not only a book about healing, however, but also one about the nature of self and self- transformation. Blending ethnographic data and detailed case studies, Csordas examines processes of sensory imagery, performative utterance, orientation, and embodiment. His book forms the basis for a rapprochement between phenomenology and semiotics in culture theory that will interest anthropologists, philosophers, psychologists, physicians, and students of comparative religion and healing.

Sacred Sites and the Colonial Encounter Cover

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Sacred Sites and the Colonial Encounter

A History of Meaning and Memory in Ghana

Sandra E. Greene

"Greene gives the reader a vivid sense of the Anlo encounter with western thought and Christian beliefs... and the resulting erasures, transferences, adaptations, and alterations in their perceptions of place, space, and the body."
-- Emmanuel Akyeampong

Sandra E. Greene reconstructs a vivid and convincing portrait of the human and physical environment of the 19th-century Anlo-Ewe people of Ghana and brings history and memory into contemporary context. Drawing on her extensive fieldwork, early European accounts, and missionary archives and publications, Greene shows how ideas from outside forced sacred and spiritual meanings associated with particular bodies of water, burial sites, sacred towns, and the human body itself to change in favor of more scientific and regulatory views. Anlo responses to these colonial ideas involved considerable resistance, and, over time, the Anlo began to attribute selective, varied, and often contradictory meanings to the body and the spaces they inhabited. Despite these multiple meanings, Greene shows that the Anlo were successful in forging a consensus on how to manage their identity, environment, and community.

Sacred Sound Cover

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Sacred Sound

Experiencing Music in World Religions

Includes CD with 40 selections of music and chants. See Table of Contents for CD track playlist.

This innovative book explores religion through music, one of the most universally recognized forms of human experience. The only art form named after a divinity, music has been documented from prehistory to the present age in virtually all known cultures. For many, music is a vehicle for spiritual growth and community empowerment, whether it’s understood as a gift of the gods or simply a practice for achieving mental states conducive to enlightenment.

Traditionally, when religious scholars talk about music, it’s as a kind of aesthetic supplement to the important spiritual content of a religion, analogous to stained-glass windows or temple paintings. In contrast, Sacred Sound: Experiencing Music in World Religions acknowledges the critical role of musical activity in religious life. Music, including chant and vocal utterance, is not incidental in religious practice but a sacred treasure that is central to the growth and sustenance of religions throughout the world. Musical sound is sacred in most religions because it embodies the divine and can be shared by all participants, enduring among diverse communities of people despite theological differences.

Covering six of the major world religionsJudaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism—the book is accompanied by a CD of forty selections of music and chant. Contributors are respected scholars in religious studies and musicology and provide insight from both disciplines. The first book of its kind, Sacred Sound is a milestone in the growing cross-disciplinary study of religion and music.

Sacred Spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba Cover

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Sacred Spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba

Jualynne E. Dodson

The investigation of Dodson and the African Atlantic Research team offers an interconnected examination of the history and embedded understandings of four religions while simultaneously offering a panoramic view of religious development in Cuba and practitioners' struggle for a self-defined, Africa-based nature for their religious activities on the island.

Sacred Steel Cover

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Sacred Steel

Inside an African American Steel Guitar Tradition

Robert L. Stone

In this book, Robert L. Stone follows the sound of steel guitar into the music-driven Pentecostal worship of two related churches: the House of God and the Church of the Living God. A rare outsider who has gained the trust of members and musicians inside the church, Stone uses nearly two decades of research, interviews, and fieldwork to tell the story of a vibrant musical tradition that straddles sacred and secular contexts._x000B__x000B_Most often identified with country and western bands, steel guitar is almost unheard of in African American churches--except for the House of God and the Church of the Living God, where it has been part of worship since the 1930s. Sacred Steel traces the tradition through four generations of musicians and in some two hundred churches extending across the country from Florida to California, Michigan to Alabama. Presenting detailed portraits of musical pioneers such as brothers Troman and Willie Eason and contemporary masters such as Chuck Campbell, Glenn Lee, and Robert Randolph, Stone expertly outlines the fundamental tensions between sacred steel musicians and church hierarchy.

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Sacred Stories

Religion and Spirituality in Modern Russia

Edited by Mark D. Steinberg and Heather J. Coleman

Sacred Stories brings together the work of leading scholars writing on the history of religion and religiosity in late imperial Russia during the critical decades preceding the 1917 revolutions. Embodying new research and new methodologies, this book reshapes our understanding of the place of religion in modern Russian history. Topics examined include miraculous icons and healing, pilgrim narratives, confessions, women and Orthodox domesticity, marriage and divorce, conversion and tolerance, Jewish folk beliefs, mysticism in Russian art, and philosophical aspects of Orthodox religious thought. Sacred Stories demonstrates that belief, spirituality, and the sacred were powerful and complex cultural expressions central to Russian political, social, economic, and cultural life.

Contributors are Nicholas B. Breyfogle, Heather J. Coleman, Gregory L. Freeze, Nadieszda Kizenko, Alexei A. Kurbanovsky, Roy R. Robson, Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, Gabriella Safran, Vera Shevzov, Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Mark Steinberg, Paul Valliere, William G. Wagner, Paul W. Werth, and Christine D. Worobec.

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Sacred Subdivisions

The Postsuburban Transformation of American Evangelicalism

Justin Wilford

In an era where church attendance has reached an all-time low, recent polling has shown that Americans are becoming less formally religious and more promiscuous in their religious commitments. Within both mainline and evangelical Christianity in America, it is common to hear of secularizing pressures and increasing competition from nonreligious sources. Yet there is a kind of religious institution that has enjoyed great popularity over the past thirty years: the evangelical megachurch. Evangelical megachurches not only continue to grow in number, but also in cultural, political, and economic influence. To appreciate their appeal is to understand not only how they are innovating, but more crucially, where their innovation is taking place.
 
In this groundbreaking and interdisciplinary study, Justin G. Wilford argues that the success of the megachurch is hinged upon its use of space: its location on the postsuburban fringe of large cities, its fragmented, dispersed structure, and its focus on individualized spaces of intimacy such as small group meetings in homes, which help to interpret suburban life as religiously meaningful and create a sense of belonging. Based on original fieldwork at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, one of the largest and most influential megachurches in America, Sacred Subdivisions explains how evangelical megachurches thrive by transforming mundane secular spaces into arenas of religious significance.

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Sacred Texts and Buried Treasures

Issues on the Historical Archaeology of Ancient Japan

William W. Farris

The Japanese have long sought inspiration and legitimacy from the written record of their ancient past. The shaping of bygone eras to contemporary agendas began at least by the early eighth century, when the first court histories, namely the Kojiki and the Nihon shoki, were compiled. Since the late nineteenth century, historians have extensively mined these texts and other written evidence and by the late 1970s had nearly exhausted their meager sources. Fortunately for all those interested in uncovering the origins of Japanese civilization, archaeologists have been hard at work. Today, thanks to this postwar "archaeology boom," Japan historians have never been closer to recreating the lives of prehistoric peasants, ancient princes, and medieval samurai. Sacred Texts and Buried Treasures offers substantial new insights into early Japanese history (A.D. 100-800) through an integrated discussion of historical texts and archaeological artifacts. It contends that the rich archaeological discoveries of the past few decades permit scholars to develop far more satisfactory interpretations of ancient Japan than was possible when they were heavily dependent on written sources.

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Sacred Uncertainty

Religious Difference and the Shape of Melville's Career

Herman Melville’s oeuvre sustains a fundamental tension among self, society, and others. Sacred Uncertainty explores religious difference that arises from these many voices, both within American culture and around the world. Melville’s work is notably shot through with allusions to other writers and thinkers, whom he regarded as his truest interlocutors—the figures of genius from whom he received, as he eloquently stated it in “Hawthorne and His Mosses,” a “shock of recognition.” There is almost certainly no more concrete or reliable way to get at Melville’s affirmations of (and arguments with) these interlocutors than in the markings and annotations that appear in his copies of many of their works, so Yothers examines Melville’s marginalia for clues to Melville’s thinking about self, others, and difference. His interrogations yield a richer understanding of one of the more vexing aspects of the great American novelist’s work.

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Sacred Violence

Torture, Terror, and Sovereignty

Paul W. Kahn

In Sacred Violence, the distinguished political and legal theorist Paul W. Kahn investigates the reasons for the resort to violence characteristic of premodern states. In a startling argument, he contends that law will never offer an adequate account of political violence. Instead, we must turn to political theology, which reveals that torture and terror are, essentially, forms of sacrifice. Kahn forces us to acknowledge what we don't want to see: that we remain deeply committed to a violent politics beyond law. Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities at Yale Law School and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. Cover Illustration: "Abu Ghraib 67, 2005" by Fernando Botero. Courtesy of the artist and the American University Museum.

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