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Enjoying Religion - 
      Frans Jespers
    
      Karin van Nieuwkerk
    
      Paul van der Velde
    
      James S. Bielo
    
      Carole M. Cusack
    
      François Gauthier
    
      Ingvild Sælid Gilhus
    
      Frans Jespers
    
      Lisbeth Mikaelsson
    
      Catrien Notermans
    
      Paul van der Velde
    
      Karin van Nieuwkerk
    
      Jean-Pierre Wils

Enjoying Religion

Pleasure and Fun in Established and New Religious Movements

Frans Jespers (Redaktør) ; Karin van Nieuwkerk (Redaktør) ; Paul van der Velde (Redaktør) ; James S. Bielo (Innledning) ; Carole M. Cusack (Innledning) ; François Gauthier (Innledning) ; Ingvild Sælid Gilhus (Innledning) ; Frans Jespers (Innledning) ; Lisbeth Mikaelsson (Innledning) ; Catrien Notermans (Innledning) ; Paul van der Velde (Innledning) ; Karin van Nieuwkerk (Innledning) ; Jean-Pierre Wils (Innledning)

“Enjoying religion” seems to be a contradiction because religion is generally perceived as a serious or even suppressive phenomenon. This volume is the first to study the increase of enjoying religion systematically by presenting eleven new case studies, occurring on four continents. Les mer
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“Enjoying religion” seems to be a contradiction because religion is generally perceived as a serious or even suppressive phenomenon. This volume is the first to study the increase of enjoying religion systematically by presenting eleven new case studies, occurring on four continents. The volume concludes that in our late modern secular societies the enjoyment of religion or of its loose elements is growing. In particular when scholars concentrate on “lived religion” of ordinary people, the cheerful experiences appear to prevail. Many people use pleasant (elements of) religion to add meaning to their lives, to find spiritual fulfillment or a way to salvation, and to experience belonging to a larger unity. At the same time, diverse cultural dynamics of late modern society such as popular culture, commercialization, re-enchantment, and feminization influence this trend of enjoying religion. In spite of secularization, playing with religion appears to be attractive.

«It’s delightful to find a scholarly book that puts the fun back into religion. With its coverage of different religious traditions, and many perspectives, this fascinating collection enables the reader to draw interesting broader conclusions about how and why some forms of religion find it easier to embrace joy and sensuality than others.»

«Now that emotions in general are increasingly acknowledged as important for religious studies, this book pinpoints enjoyment in particular as a worthwhile flow of devotees’ pleasure and as a theoretical topic worthy of scholarly analysis. A mixture of academic disciplines combines here to cover traditional and niche-novelty forms of meaning-making events to stimulate future studies of human pleasure in ritual play.»

«Religion is sometimes associated with the ludic, the liminal, and the playful, but this marvelous volume explores the much-less discussed theme of enjoyment. In some very vivid chapters, the contributors take us across the world and across religions. They greatly extend our analytical vocabulary by demonstrating the numerous ways in which we need to take the enjoyment of religion much more seriously.»

Introduction: Investigations in Enjoying Religion
Frans Jespers

Part I Enjoying Established Religions

1. Enjoying Islam: Trajectories of Star Performers in the Egyptian Piety Movement
Karin van Nieuwkerk
2. Fun and Faith in the Ganges: The Bodily and Spiritual Pleasures of River Bathing
Catrien Notermans
3. Fun-damentalism: “As If” Experiences at a Creationist Theme Park
James S. Bielo
4. Tantra: Ecstatic Enjoyment Way beyond Boundaries
Paul van der Velde

Part II Enjoying Transformed Religion

5. Merry Christmas! Religion in Norway
Ingvild Sælid Gilhus and Lisbeth Mikaelsson
6. “Our Play Pleases the Man, the Spirits of the Desert, and Whatever”: Enjoying Religion at Burning Man
François Gauthier
7. Happinez, Zen, and Wealth
Frans Jespers
8. Celebrating With the Church of the SubGenius: X-Day Rituals of Bad Taste, Burning “Bob,” and the End of the World (Not)
Carole M. Cusack
9. Beyond Morality. On Religion in Aesthetic Form
Jean-Pierre Wils
Frans Jespers is associate professor of comparative religion at Radboud University, Nijmegen.
Karin van Nieuwkerk is professor of Islam studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen.
Paul van der Velde is professor of Asian religions at Radboud University, Nijmegen.