Undressing Religion: Commitment and Conversion from a Cross-Cultural Perspective
From Islam to Confucianism to Voodoo, dress plays a pivotal role in religious expression. This book investigates how dress symbolically evidences both religious and social systems across a wide range of cultures - from Africa and South America to Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Caribbean. In some of these cultures, dress is part of a system of social control. Gender issues feature prominently since the control of female sexuality is often of great importance to the world's religions. Members of each ethno-religious group actively construct their own lives, and use dress symbolically. A central tenet for many of these groups is that the soul is visually manifested on the body through dress. Drawing on rich ethnographic case studies, this wide-ranging and interdisciplinary volume represents a major contribution to the study of both religion and dress.