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Below you will find topical book displays created by our librarians. New topical displays are presented each semester, available to browse physically at Wiggin Library or virtually on this guide. Looking for more resources on these topics? Contact us at email@example.com or explore the online catalog!
Performance & Religion
Aspects of Performance in Faith Settings: Heavenly Acts by Andrey Rosowsky
Publication Date: 2019
What is the role of performance in faith practices? How is performance understood in and across a range of faith settings? How are performance and faith conceptualised through different academic disciplines? This collection of essays addresses these questions, and others, as it explores the complex relationship present in the nexus between faith and performance. A naturally inter-disciplinary work, this book contains contributions from a diverse group of scholars representing a wide range of methodologies and theoretical perspectives. As sociolinguists explore how language performance shapes and is shaped by faith, social anthropologists and psychologists examine how identity performance is crucial in negotiating faith identities, and scholars from theatre and performance studies engage with ways material settings are performatively transfigured to create sacred spaces (to mention but a few approaches covered in this book), the reader is taken on a journey of the world’s faiths and their diverse practices.
Unbridled: Studying Religion in Performance by William Robert
Publication Date: 2022
A study of religion through the lens of Peter Shaffer's play Equus. In Unbridled, William Robert uses Equus, Peter Shaffer's enigmatic play about a boy passionately devoted to horses, to think differently about religion. For several years, Robert has used Equus to introduce students to the study of religion, provoking them to conceive of religion in unfamiliar, even uncomfortable ways. In Unbridled, he is inviting readers to do the same. A play like Equus tangles together text, performance, practice, embodiment, and reception. Studying a play involves us in playing different roles, as ourselves and others, and those roles, as well as the imaginative work they require, are critical to the study of religion. By approaching Equus with the reader, turning the play around and upside-down, Unbridled transforms standard approaches to the study of religion, engaging with themes including ritual, sacrifice, worship, power, desire, violence, and sexuality, as well as thinkers including Judith Butler, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Jonathan Z. Smith. As Unbridled shows, the way themes and theories play out in Equus challenges us to reimagine the study of religion through open questions, contrasting perspectives, and alternative modes of interpretation and appreciation.
Transgressive Devotion: Theology as Performance by Natalie Wigg-Stevenson
Publication Date: 2021
Academic theology is in need of a new genre. In "Transgressive Devotion" Natalie Wigg-Stevenson articulates a theological vision of that genre as performance art. She argues that theology done as performance art stops trying to describe who God is, and starts trying to make God appear. Recognising that the act of studying theology or practicing ministry is always a performance, where the boundaries between what we see, feel, experience and learn are not just blurred but potentially invisible, Wigg-Stevenson brings together ethnographic theological fieldwork, historical and contemporary Christian theological traditions, and performance artworks themselves.A daring vision of theology which will energise anybody feeling 'boxed in' by the discipline, Transgressive Devotion blurs borders between orthodoxy, heterodoxy and heresy to reveal how the very act of doing theology makes God and humanity vulnerable to each other. This is theology which is a liturgy of Divine incantation. In other words: this is theology which is also prayer.
The Performance of Religion: Seeing the Sacred in the Theatre by Cia Sautter
Publication Date: 2017
The performing arts are uniquely capable of translating a vision of an ideal or sacred reality into lived practice, allowing an audience to confront deeply held values and beliefs as they observe a performance. However, there is often a reluctance to approach distinctly religious topics from a performance studies perspective. This book addresses this issue by exploring how religious values are acted out and reflected on in classic Western theatre, with a particular emphasis on the plays put on during the Globe Theatre's yearlong season of 'Shakespeare and the Bible'. Looking at plays such as Much Ado About Nothing, Dr. Faustus and Macbeth, each chapter includes ethnographic overviews of the performance of these plays as well as historical and theological perspectives on the issues they address. The author also utilizes scholarship from other academics, such as Paul Tillich and Martin Buber, in examining the relationship between art and culture. This helps readers of this book to look at religion in culture, and raise questions and explore ideas about how people appraise their religious values through an encounter with a performance. The Performance of Religion: Seeing the sacred in the theatre treads new ground in bringing performance and religious studies scholarship into direct conversation with one another. As such, it is essential reading for any academic with an interest in theology, religion and ethics and their expression in culture through the performing arts.
Climate Change & Religion
Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith: How Changes in Climate Drive Religious Upheaval by Philip Jenkins
Publication Date: 2021
The world has repeatedly suffered severe climate-driven shocks, which have resulted in famine, disease, violence, social upheaval, and mass migration. Such episodes have often been understood in religious terms, through the language of apocalypse, millennium, and Judgment. And they have frequently had real religious consequences, for instance by spawning new religious movements and revivals, or driving the persecution of religious minorities. Philip Jenkins shows how climate change has redrawn the world's religious maps, and how man-made climate change is likely to do so once again.
Climate Change, Religion, and Our Bodily Future by Todd LeVasseur
Publication Date: 2021
This book explores the interface of bodies and religion by investigating the impacts human-induced global warming will have on the embodied and performed practices of religion in ecologies of place. By utilizing analytical insights from religion and nature theory, posthumanism, queer ecologies, ecological animisms, indigenous knowledges, material feminisms, and performance studies the book advocates for a need to update how religious studies theorizes bodies and religion. It does so by in the first half of the book advocating for religious studies as a field, and the academy as a whole, to take the ongoing and deleterious future impacts of climate change seriously--to re-member that those laboring as scholars in religious studies, and the communities they study, have always been bodies in material bio-ecological places--and to let this inform the questions religious studies scholars ask. The book argues that this will lead to very different forms of engaged, liberatory scholarship that demands a different type of scholarship and public advocacy for resilience in the face of climate change. The second half of the book offers case study examples of how scholars may better engage religious bodies within petrocultures, while attending to new, emerging materialist posthuman assemblages of religious bodies. This book will be of interest to those in religious studies, the environmental humanities, and those working at the interface of the body and the natural world.
Affect and Attention after Deleuze and Whitehead: Ecological Attunement by Russell J. Duvernoy
Publication Date: 2020
Russell Duvernoy develops 'resonances' between the metaphysics of Whitehead and Deleuze with regard to effects on attention and affect. The implications of these lead to an altered existential orientation, described by Duvernoy as ecological attunement.This original concept suggests that attention is ontologically creative, not just passively receptive, and feeling and affect are ontologically prior to the consolidation of lived subjectivity. The combined effects of these speculative claims cut deeply against the grain of prevailing habits with regard to subjectivity.Though these results are resolutely speculative, they unfold amidst intensifying ecological crisis and accompanying social, political and existential turbulence. What does it mean to pursue speculative thinking in this context? How do metaphysical concepts inform our lives and how might different concepts lead to different ways of life?Drawing on recent work by Massumi, Stengers, Debaise and Williams, this study explores their work in relation to other speculative trends in recent philosophy, including new materialisms, posthumanisms, speculative realism and object-oriented-ontology.
The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future by Prasenjit Duara
Publication Date: 2014
In this major new study, Prasenjit Duara expands his influential theoretical framework to present circulatory, transnational histories as an alternative to nationalist history. Duara argues that the present day is defined by the intersection of three global changes: the rise of non-western powers, the crisis of environmental sustainability and the loss of authoritative sources of what he terms transcendence - the ideals, principles and ethics once found in religions or political ideologies. The physical salvation of the world is becoming - and must become - the transcendent goal of our times, but this goal must transcend national sovereignty if it is to succeed. Duara suggests that a viable foundation for sustainability might be found in the traditions of Asia, which offer different ways of understanding the relationship between the personal, ecological and universal. These traditions must be understood through the ways they have circulated and converged with contemporary developments.