Policy Press

Interpreting Religion

Making Sense of Religious Lives

Edited by Erin Johnston and Vikash Singh

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

300 pages

Series

Interpretive Lenses in Sociology

ISBN

978-1529211610

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

300 pages

Series

Interpretive Lenses in Sociology

ISBN

978-1529211641

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Interpreting Religion

This edited collection harnesses a diversity of interpretivist perspectives to provide a panoramic view of the production, experiences, contexts, and meanings of religion.

Scholars from the US, South Asia and Europe explore religious phenomena using ethnographic, comparative historical, psychosocial, and critical theoretical approaches. Each chapter addresses foundational themes in the study of religion – from identity, discourse and power to ritual, emotion, and embodiment. Authors examine dynamic intersections of race, gender, history, and the present within the religious traditions of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, as well as among the non-religious.

Cutting boldly across religious traditions and paradigms, the book investigates areas of harmony and contradiction across different interpretive lenses to achieve a richer understanding of the meanings of religion.

"Scholars of religion too often speak only to narrow academic circles. But this valuable collection of essays shows that good scholarship is also attentive to how people in the real world interpret their faith." Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University

Erin F. Johnston is Senior Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at Duke University.

Vikash Singh is Associate Professor of Sociology at Montclair State University.

Introduction: Interpretive Approaches in the Study of Religion ~ Erin F. Johnston

1. Making Sense of Queer Christian Lives ~ Jodi O'Brien

2. Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma: Religion, Spirituality and Ritual among Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors ~ Janet Jacobs

3. Doing It: Ethnography, Embodiment, and the Interpretation of Religion ~ Daniel Winchester

4. Mind the Gap: What Ethnographic Silences Can Teach Us ~ Rebecca Kneale Gould

5. The Public Sphere and Presentations of the Collective Self: Being Shia in Modern India ~ Aseem Hasnain

6. Meaning and Power: Toward a Critical Discursive Sociology of Religion ~ Titus Hjelm

7. The Religion of White Male Ethnonationalism in a Multicultural Reality ~ George Lundskow

8. Totalitarianism as Religion ~ Yong Wang

9. The Heritage Spectrum: A More Inclusive Typology for the Age of Global Buddhism ~ Jessica Marie Falcone

10. Interpreting Nonreligion ~ Evan Stewart

Afterword: Approaching Religions – Some Refl ections on Meaning, Identity, and Power ~ Vikash Singh