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Things – Religion and the Question of Materiality - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Things: Religion and the Question of Materiality

Dick Houtman and Birgit Meyer


This volume addresses the relation between religion and things. That relation has long been conceived in antagonistic terms, privileging spirit above matter, belief above ritual and objects, meaning above form, and “inward” contemplation above “outward” action. After all, wasn't the opposition between spirituality and materiality the defining characteristic of religion, understood as geared to a transcendental beyond that was immaterial by definition? Grounded in the rise of religion as a modern category, with Protestantism as its main exponent, this conceptualization devalues religious things ... More

Keywords: Religion, Materiality, Matter, Protestantism, Images, Incarnations, Sacred artifacts, Bodily fluids, Public space, Digital technology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780823239450
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823239450.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dick Houtman, editor
Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Birgit Meyer, editor

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End Matter