Religion, Material Culture and Archaeology

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A&C Black, Nov 22, 2012 - Religion - 208 pages
Religion, Material Culture and Archaeology offers a new understanding of the materiality of religion. By drawing on the field of archaeological theory and method, the relationship between religion and material culture is explored. It is argued that the material elements of religious life have been largely neglected by the discipline of religious studies, while at the same time religion has been traditionally seen as problematic for archaeologists. Why do we not talk of the discipline of the archaeology of religion, in the same way we do the anthropology of religion, or the sociology of religion?

The volume considers the historical problems of approaching the material elements of religious life and bridges the methodological gap between religious studies and archaeology by proposing a new way of understanding the materiality of religion – as active, engaged and projecting a level of autonomous social agency. Finally, the critical examination of archaeological approaches to the materiality of religion is furthered through the consideration of non-archaeological ways of examining the social roles that material culture plays in human life.
 

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Contents

The Spiritual versus the Material?
1
2 Religion Material Culture and Archaeology
21
3 Archaeologies of Religion
71
4 Sacred and Profane Landscapes
109
5 Archaeology and the Materiality of Religion
149
Bibliography
175
Index
191
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About the author (2012)

Julian Droogan is a Lecturer at Macquarie University, Australia.

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