Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

Interpreting Religion

Making Sense of Religious Lives

Edited by Erin Johnston and Vikash Singh

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

208 pages

Series

Interpretive Lenses in Sociology

ISBN

978-1529211610

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

May 31, 2022

Page count

208 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.

Experts from the US, UK, India and China explore religious phenomena using ethnographic, comparative historical, psychosocial and critical theoretical approaches. Each chapter addresses foundational themes in the study of religion – from identity and discourse to ritual, emotion and embodiment. Authors examine dynamic intersections of race, gender, history and the present within the religious traditions of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Cutting boldly across religious traditions and paradigms, the book investigates areas of harmony and contradiction across different interpretive lenses and achieves 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 Associate in Research with the Clergy Health Initiative 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