The Bloomsbury Handbook of the Cultural and Cognitive Aesthetics of Religion (Hardcover)
Bridging the gap between cognition and culture, this handbook explores both social scientific and humanities approaches to understanding the physical processes of religious life, tradition, practice, and belief. It reflects the cultural turn within the study of religion and puts theory to the fore, moving beyond traditional theological, philosophical, and ethnographic understandings of the aesthetics of religion.Editors Anne Koch and Katharina Wilkens bring together research in cultural studies, cognitive studies, material religion, religion and the arts, and epistemology. Questions of identity, gender, ethnicity, and postcolonialism are discussed throughout. Key topics include materiality, embodiment, performance, popular/vernacular art and space to move beyond a sensory understanding of aesthetics. Emerging areas of research are covered, including secular aesthetics and the aesthetic of spirits. This is an important contribution to theory and method in the study of religion, and is grounded in research that has been taking place in Europe over the past 20 years. Case studies are drawn from around the world with contributions from scholars based in Europe, the USA, and Australia. The book is illustrated with over 40 color images and features a foreword from Birgit Meyer.
Anne Koch is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Salzburg, Austria. She is co-editor of the Journal of Religion in Europe and a steering committee member of the Religion in Europe group at the American Academy of Religion. Katharina Wilkens is Lecturer in the Study of Religion at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.