The Routledge Handbook of Religion and the Body is the first comprehensive volume to feature multireligious cross-cultural perspectives on the body and embodiment. Featuring multidisciplinary approaches and methodologies from the humanities and the social sciences, it addresses the body and embodied religiosity in theological, ethical, and cultural contexts. Comprised of 30 chapters by a team of international contributors, the handbook is divided into four parts:

  • Theology and Embodied Religiosity
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Body Regulations
  • Ritual and Performance
  • Religion, Healing, and the Future of the Body

Each part examines central issues, debates, and problems in relation to global belief systems, including embodiments of love, transfiguration, the secular body, disability, body language, maternal bodies, embodied emotions, celibacy, ecology and the body, reshaping the corporal body, initiation rites, physiology, Tantra, Reiki practice, religious experience, technological body modifications, and ethics and the body.

Providing a breadth of rich and innovative research, it is a must-read for students and scholars in religious studies, theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, and cultural and gender studies.

Chapter 7 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at https://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.

chapter |12 pages


part I|148 pages

Theology and Embodied Religiosity

chapter 1|10 pages

Subtle Bodies and Ecology

Intersubjectivity, Alterity, and New Materialism

chapter 2|15 pages

Affect and Embodied Emotions

chapter 4|17 pages

Apophatic Theophanies

Incarnational Knowledge of God in Early Eastern Christianity

chapter 5|17 pages

Disability and Embodied Theology

chapter 6|18 pages

“We Shall Do and We Shall Understand”

Embodied Theology in Modern Judaism

chapter 7|16 pages


chapter 9|14 pages

Avoidance, Aversion, and Intellectualization

Embodied Brokenness in White Christianity

chapter 10|13 pages

Ecological Theology and the Body

part II|82 pages

Gender, Sexuality, and Body Regulations

chapter 11|12 pages

Bodies of Becoming

The Regulation of Religion and Gender and the Subjectivation of the Secular Body

chapter 14|15 pages

“I Too Desired a Child”

Sufi Hagiography, Ibn Khafif, and the Problem of Celibacy

chapter 15|13 pages

Corporeal Conscientization

Heralding the Good News of Black Women's Bodies

part III|117 pages

Ritual and Performance

chapter 18|13 pages

Holy Heads

Re-Membering John the Baptist and Husayn in Early Christian and Islamic Pilgrimage

chapter 19|18 pages

Mothers in the Temple

Motherhood, Filial Piety, and Salvation Rituals in Premodern Japanese Buddhism

chapter 20|14 pages

Body, Community, Cosmos

A Śaiva Siddhānta Rite of Initiation

chapter 21|15 pages

(In)Conspicuous Consumption

Food, the Child Body, and Inversion of Hard-Core Rituals in Hindu Tantras 1

chapter 22|13 pages

The Buddhist Body in a Pill

Notes Towards a Material History of Tantra in Tibet

chapter 24|15 pages

Sikh Langar

Tasting the Transcendent

part IV|92 pages

Religion, Healing, and the Future of the Body

chapter 27|13 pages

Spiritual Contraptions

Religious Experience and Psychiatrized Bodies in the Nineteenth Century

chapter 28|13 pages

The Thai Body

Understanding the Principles of Medicine, Physiology, and the Massage Tradition through Inscriptions, Texts, and the Material Culture of Wat Phō

chapter 29|14 pages

Religion, Body, Excreta

chapter 30|18 pages

The Future Body

Religious Approaches to Advanced Technological Body Modifications