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Faith embodied: A comparative analysis of the body’s connection to religion through ritual in the Hindu and Christian context

Ferrey, Jenna (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Academic discourse on comparative religion is compelled to explore the body. The body is the site of communication and experience. This paper seeks to examine the body in context of identity and religion. By challenging traditional assumptions of dualism and religious dismissal of embodied reality, scholars can engage with the lived experience of religion. Religious rituals point to the centrality of the body in religious experiences. A closer look at ritual and its relationship to faith and the body, provides a clearer understanding of the material element of expressions of faith. This paper looks at the way religious ritual interacts with elements of identity and social interaction. Through ritual the body emerges as a tool that is used as means of communion with the divine, and as such must be awarded value and meaning in a religious and academic sense. A re-examining of corporal religious experiences opens the door for a more genuine dialogue about religion and in an inter-religious sense. This paper explores several key rituals in the Hindu and Christian faith to provide a comparative analysis By locating the discussion within the rituals of the traditions we can connect theories and ideas to actual behaviours and social practices.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Sugirtharajah, Sharada and Cheetham, David
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Subjects:BR Christianity
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1075
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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