Copyright Date: 2006
Published by: Harvard University Press
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    A deeply researched and vividly written study, this book depicts religion in place and in movement, dwelling and crossing. Drawing on insights from the natural and social sciences, Tweed's work is grounded in the gritty particulars of distinctive religious practices, even as it moves toward ideas about cross-cultural patterns. It offers a responsible way to think broadly about religion, a topic that is crucial for understanding the contemporary world.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-04451-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VII)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. VIII-X)
  4. Chapter One ITINERARIES: Locating Theory and Theorists
    (pp. 1-28)

    Books don’t spring into existence, but, although I didn’t realize it at the time, I now can mark the moment that I began the reflections that led to this book. It was a warm September night in Miami, Florida. There was nothing unusual about the weather or the place. Almost all September nights are warm in that subtropical city, where I lived and worked for five years. Yet that night in 1993 was significant because it was September 8, the feast day of Our Lady of Charity, the national patroness of Cuba. She was a shared symbol for hundreds of...

  5. Chapter Two BOUNDARIES: Constitutive Terms, Orienting Tropes, and Exegetical Fussiness
    (pp. 29-53)

    Despite warnings about the futility of efforts to define religion, many scholars still choose to “get up and start running.”¹ In this chapter I warm up for the sprint by discussing constitutive terms and arguing for scholars’ role-specific obligation to define them. Meeting that obligation, I suggest, means being clear about the type of definition offered and attending carefully to the choice of orienting trope, since definitions imply theories and employ tropes. Interpreters of religion have relied on a wide range of orienting metaphors, and I consider some of the most influential ones as I point to the implications of...

  6. Chapter Three CONFLUENCES: Toward a Theory of Religion
    (pp. 54-79)

    In this chapter, I meet my role-specific obligation to reflect on the field’s constitutive term by offering a definition of religion, a positioned sighting that highlights movement and relation. This definition, which draws on aquatic and spatial tropes, is empirical in the sense that it illumines what I observed among Cubans in Miami and stipulative in that I think it might prove useful for interpreting practices in other times and places:Religions are confluences of organic-cultural flows that intensify joy and confront suffering by drawing on human and suprahuman forces to make homes and cross boundaries.

    This definition, like most...

  7. Chapter Four DWELLING: The Kinetics of Homemaking
    (pp. 80-122)

    Even if the religious practices of first-generation Cuban exiles and other migrants seem to focus on remembering an earlier crossing and imagining a future one, they are about being in place as much as about moving across space. Consider my account of the 1973 consecration ceremony in Miami:

    More than ten thousand Cuban exiles gathered on a chilly Sunday afternoon in 1973 to dedicate the new shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami—waving flags, singing songs, and chanting petitions to the national patroness. After six years of work, the committee of laity and clergy that had assumed responsibility...

  8. Chapter Five CROSSING: The Kinetics of Itinerancy
    (pp. 123-163)

    I have analyzed how dwelling practices situate the religious in time and space, positioning them in four chronotopes: the body, the home, and the homeland, and the cosmos. Yet religions, I suggest, are not only about being in place but also about moving across. They employ tropes, artifacts, rituals, codes, and institutions to mark boundaries, and they prescribe and proscribe different kinds of movements across those boundaries. I argue that religions enable and constrain terrestrial crossings, as devotees traverse natural terrain and social space beyond the home and across the homeland; corporeal crossings, as the religious fix their attention on...

  9. CONCLUSION: An Itinerary
    (pp. 164-184)

    As with other travelers on other roads, all that’s left of this theoretical itinerancy is to return where I started and ask what all this moving around has meant. As I noted in Chapter 1, the Greek termtheōriaoriginally signified travel. In turn, theory, I suggested, is anitineraryin all three senses of that term: a proposal for a journey, a representation of a journey, and the journey itself. With this itinerancy planned and completed, like Bashō who left accounts of his travels, I want to conclude by offering a representation, a positioned sighting of where I’ve been....

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 187-252)
    (pp. 253-254)
    (pp. 255-260)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 261-278)