Chapter

Introduction

Meerten B. ter Borg and Jan Willem van Henten

in Powers

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231560
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823231560.003.0001

Series: The Future of the Religious Past

Introduction

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This book radically undermines the idea that the political relevance of religion is something of the past. It deals with the nexus of religion and power. Power is now seen as a central aspect of religion, not only because of the ingrained conviction of many—in the West as well as the East—that we are currently witnessing a strong revival of religion, but also because of a reassessment of religion in relevant scholarly disciplines, especially the sociology and anthropology of religion. Power and religion are omnipresent and pervade all human (inter)actions. Religion defines power relations as being self-evident, with a superhuman determination. It also helps in expressing feelings, offers ways of compensating and healing, and helps make feelings of powerlessness bearable. In addition to exploring these aspects of religion, this book also deals in detail with various tools that can be used by religion in order to achieve its goals, including visual imagery, art, film, and music.

Keywords: religion; power; power relations; sociology; anthropology; feelings; visual imagery; art; film; music

Chapter.  8978 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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