1. Introduction: religion and the body Sarah Coakley; Part I. Contemporary Western Perspectives: Secularism and the Body: 2. The body in Western society: social theory and its perspectives Bryan S. Turner; 3. Remarks on the anthropology of the body Talal Asad; 4. The soul's successor: philosophy and the 'body' Mary Midgley; Part II.The Western Religious Inheritance: Judaism and Christianity on the Body: 5. The body in Jewish worship: three rituals examined Louis Jacobs; 6. 'My helper and my enemy': the body in Greek Christianity Kallistos Ware; 7. The body in Western Catholic Christianity Andrew Louth; 8. The image of the body in the formative phases of the Protestant Reformation David Tripp; Part III. Beyond the West: Eastern Religious Traditions and the Body: 9. Zoroastrianism and the body Alan Williams; 10. Medical and mythical constructions of the body in Hindu texts Wendy Doniger; 11. The body in Theravada Buddhist monasticism Steven Collins; 12. Some Mahayana Buddhist perspectives on the body Paul Williams; 13. The Taoist body and cosmic prayer Michael Saso; 14. Perceptions of the body in Japanese religion Michael Pye; 15. 'I take the dress off the body': Eros in Sufi literature and life Annemarie Schimmel; 16. The body in Sikh tradition Eleanor Nesbitt.
A rich source for comparative studies of the 'body', and of its relation to society.
'An unusually coherent anthology designed to remedy the 'lack of standard study of the 'body' and the major religions' Coakley's introduction is wonderfully lucid ... a useful handbook of traditions and theories, rich in substance and analysis.' Religious Studies Review 'This volume stands out for its unusually wide selection of topics ... will certainly broaden the understanding and spur the reflection of anyone interested in the religious and social dimensions of the body ... an exceptional wealth of suggestive and stimulating ideas.' Heythrop Journal 'A rich profusion of essays spanning the world and history beyond the Christian and Judaic West to Eastern religious traditions.' The Tablet