The material symbol has become central to understanding religion in late modernity. Overtly theological approaches use words to express the values and faith of a religion, but leave out the 'incarnation' of religion in the behavioural, performative, or audio-visual form. This book explores the lived experience of religion through its material expressions, demonstrating how religion and spirituality are given form and are thus far from being detached or ethereal. Cutting across cultures, senses, disciplines and faiths, the contributors register the variety in which religions and religious groups express the sacred and numinous. Including chapters on music, architecture, festivals, ritual, artifacts, dance, dress and magic, this book offers an invaluable resource to students of sociology and anthropology of religion, art, culture, history, liturgy, theories of late modern culture, and religious studies.

chapter 1|20 pages

Introduction: Material Varieties of Religious Expression

ByWilliam J. F. Keenan, Elisabeth Arweck

chapter 3|13 pages

The Shape of Faith or the Architectural Forms of the Religious Life

BySimon Coleman, Peter Collins

chapter 4|17 pages

Wrapped Attention: Revelation and Concealment in Nonconformism

ByPeter Collins, Pink Dandelion

chapter 7|10 pages

From Imitation to Modification and Creation: Religious Dance in Contemporary Germany

ByContemporary Germany Helga Barbara Gundlach

chapter 8|17 pages

Magical Ritual in Modern Pagan Witchcraft

ByMelissa Harrington

chapter 11|14 pages

The Sociology of Religion and Handel’s Reception

ByDavid Martin

chapter 15|16 pages

Appropriation of Sacredness at Fátima in Portugal

ByAli Murat Yel