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  • Author or Editor: Erin F. Johnston x
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Based on one year of ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and enactive immersion, the author argues in this chapter that “becoming” an Integral Yoga practitioner is intimately bound up with a cognitive and perceptual reframing of the body—one marked by the cultivation of a sense of separation or “bodily detachment.” In the findings, the author highlights several key areas in which bodily detachment is cultivated. In doing so, this chapter attends closely to both the somatic/practical and the symbolic/discursive realms, tracing the dynamic interplay between them. It highlights the importance, in particular, of looking at talk and discourse in situ in order to better understand how religious practices and discourses become personally meaningful.

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This chapter provides an accessible introduction to interpretive approaches in the study of religion and identifies core themes and ideas that cut across the volume’s diverse chapters. In tracing areas of similarity and divergence across the different interpretive lenses that contributors bring to their empirical cases, this chapter will help readers see the relative merits of each approach and equip scholars interested in the interpretive study of religion with a useful orientation to the field.

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Making Sense of Religious Lives

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.

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