The Routledge Handbook of Material Religion
Pooyan Tamimi Arab et al.
The Routledge Handbook of Material Religion, edited by Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Jennifer Scheper Hughes (University of California, Riverside), and S. Brent Rodríguez-Plate (Hamilton College), places objects and bodies at the centre of scholarly studies of religious life and practice.
Propelling forward the study of material religion, the Handbook first reveals the deep philosophical roots of its key categories and then advances new critical analytics, such as queer materialities, inescapable material entanglements, and hyperobjects that explode the small-scale personal view on religions.
The Handbook comprises thirty chapters, written by an international team of contributors who offer a global perspective of religious pasts and presents, divided into four thematic parts:
- Genealogies of Material Religion
- Materialising the Terms of the Study of Religion
- Entanglements, Entrapment, Escaping
- Hyperobjects, or How Ginormous Things Affect Religions
In these four parts, the study of material religion is redirected towards systematic, critical interrogations of the imbrication of religious structures of power with racial, economic, political, and gendered forms of domination.
From Spinoza’s political theology to African philosophies of ubuntu; from the queer materialities of Mesoamerican religion to the Satanic Temple of the United States; from Islamic love and sacrifice in human-animal entanglements to Shia militants’ attachment to weaponry; from epidemic cataclysm in Latin America to vast infrastructures and the gathering of millions in India’s Kumbh Mela, the study of material religion proves to be the study par excellence of the human condition.
The Handbook is essential reading for students and researchers in religious studies, anthropology, history, and media studies, and will also be of interest to those in related fields such as archaeology, sociology, and philosophy.