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Religions in Practice, 6th Edition

By John R. Bowen

Published by Taylor and Francis

Published Date: May 30, 2013


Examines religious practices from an anthropological perspective


Religions in Practice, 6/e, offers an issues-oriented perspective on everyday religious behaviors — prayer, sacrifice, initiation, healing, etc. — by focusing on such topics as transnationalism, gender, and religious laws. The text examines a full spectrum of religions, from small-scale societies to major, established religions. The in-depth treatment of Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity is particularly noteworthy and easily supplemented with field projects directly related to the text.


Table of Contents

In this Section:
1) Brief Table of Contents

2) Full Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Studying Religion through Practice    

Chapter 2: The Twin Transformations of “Religion” 

Chapter 3: Domains and Boundaries of Religion

Chapter 4: Rituals of Transition 

Chapter 5: Healing through Religion

Chapter 6: Sorcery, Witchcraft, and Modernity

Chapter 7: Worship, Hierarchy, Conflict: Focus on Hinduism

Chapter 8: Imagery and Faith: Focus on Catholicism 

Chapter 9: Transatlantic Religion

Chapter 10: Boundaries and Selves in Orthodox Judaism

Chapter 11: Speech and Grace in Protestantism

Chapter 12: New Religious Movements 

Chapter 13: Revelation and Authority in Islam

Chapter 14: Migration and Adaptation: Focus on Muslims in Europe 

Chapter 15: Virtual Religion 

Chapter 16: Secularisms and Religions in Modern States 



Chapter 1: Studying Religion through Practice 

What Is “Religion”? 

An Anthropological Approach to Religion 

Practices, Contexts, Diversity


Chapter 2: The Twin Transformations of “Religion” 

Axial Age Transformations

Enlightenment Transformations        

Social Theory and the Anthropology of Religion


Chapter 3: Domains and Boundaries of Religion

Combining Religious Practices in Japan 

The State and Religion 

Imposed Definitions of Religion                           


Chapter 4: Rituals of Transition 

Rites of Passage 

The Pilgrimage to Mecca                        

Death Rituals and Society 

Regenerating Life from Death 

Grief and Ritual Form 


Chapter 5: Healing through Religion

Narratives and Healing

Modern Magic in Japanese New Religions 

What does Science say about Prayer?


Chapter 6: Sorcery, Witchcraft, and Modernity

African Sorcery and Witchcraft

Sorcery and Modernity 

Puritan Witchcraft  


Chapter 7: Worship, Hierarchy, Conflict: Focus on Hinduism

Sacrifice, Offerings, and Deities                       

Bathing at Benares 

Muslim—Hindu Violence 


Chapter 8: Imagery and Faith: Focus on Catholicism 

Relics and Images                                 

Mary in European Societies


Chapter 9: Transatlantic Religion

Mary in Mesoamerica

Africa and Brazil across the Atlantic

Black Carib Religion in Honduras and New York City 


Chapter 10: Boundaries and Selves in Orthodox Judaism

Taboos and Community in Judaism

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Communities

Growing Up Orthodox                          


Chapter 11: Speech and Grace in Protestantism

The Letter and the Spirit of Scripture                     

Singing and Certainty among U.S. Primitive Baptists 

Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches

Encounters and Conversions


Chapter 12: New Religious Movements 

Revitalization Movements 

Land, Wealth, and Religious Visions

Cults, Recruitment, and Violence 

Why Do People Join Violent Movements? 


Chapter 13: Revelation and Authority in Islam

The Qur’ân as Recitation of God’s Speech           


Interpretations of Sacrifice


Chapter 14: Migration and Adaptation: Focus on Muslims in Europe 

Migration and Transnational Ties

Adapting Sacrifice to France

Can European Societies Be Muslim? 


Chapter 15: Virtual Religion 

What Can You Do Online? 

Information, Communication, and Performance 

Experience and Community 

Comparative Communities 


Chapter 16: Secularisms and Religions in Modern States 

How to Think about “Secular States”

Religion and Public Life in the United States

Three European Variants

When Religion Underlies Law


Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-205-91766-6

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-91766-2

Format: Book

This publication is not currently for sale.