Returning to Religion: Why a Secular Age Is Haunted by Faith

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November 2008



Explains why societies are not bound to embrace western liberal rationality as an evolutionary inevitability. The author shows that the opposite is true: that where a secular society represses the religious imagination, the human predisposition to religion will in the end break out in surprising, apparently secular, modes and outlets.


Jonathan Benthall is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University College London. A former Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and Founding Editor of Anthropology Today, his previous books are Disasters, Relief and the Media (1993) and The Charitable Crescent: Politics of Aid in the Muslim World (2003), both published by I.B.Tauris.


'Ranging widely and rooted in prodigious learning and many years of omnivorous anthropological observation, Returning to Religion is an erudite, yet delightfully lucid and uncluttered book. Thought provoking and informative on almost every page, it is a fascinating examination of the human as an incorrigibly religious being. From Abstract Expressionism to animal rights, from Nazism to new religions, and from Medecins Sans Frontieres to militant atheism, this analysis of the growth of 'religioid' movements is a breathtaking tour de force. It is one of most enjoyable books I have read for some time. I cannot commend it highly enough.'--""Christopher Partridge, Professor of Religion, Lancaster University""'Much debate surrounds the question of how religion should be defined - whether narrowly or rather broadly. Jonathan Benthall here follows the second path and makes a convincing case for the persistence of religion, or "religioid movements" as he says, even if these quests for human meaning take many, quite diverse forms. Readers of the book will have their minds stretched as they ponder phenomena as different from one another as animal liberation, environmentalism, psychotherapy, and even Medecins Sans Frontieres as giving expression to religious qualities. They will also rethink whether the so-called "secular world" in which we live today is as secular as they had first thought.'""- Wade Clark Roof, J F Rowny Professor of Religion and Society, University of California at Santa Barbara""
EAN: 9781845117184
ISBN: 1845117182
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: I B TAURIS
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2008
Seitenanzahl: 229 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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