Praying with the Senses

Contemporary Orthodox Christian Spirituality in Practice

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Editor(s): 
Sonja Luehrmann
  • Bloomington, IN: 
    Indiana University Press
    , December
     2017.
     280 pages.
     $30.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780253031662.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Rico Gabriel Monge forthcoming.

Description

How do people experience spirituality through what they see, hear, touch, and smell? Sonja Luehrmann and an international group of scholars assess how sensory experience shapes prayer and ritual practice among Eastern Orthodox Christians. Prayer, even when performed privately, is considered as a shared experience and act that links individuals and personal beliefs with a broader, institutional, or imagined faith community. It engages with material, visual, and aural culture including icons, relics, candles, pilgrimage, bells, and architectural spaces. Whether touching upon the use of icons in the age of digital and electronic media, the impact of Facebook on prayer in Ethiopia, or the implications of praying using recordings, amplifiers, and loudspeakers, these timely essays present a sophisticated overview of the history of Eastern Orthodox Christianities. Taken as a whole they reveal prayer as a dynamic phenomenon in the devotional and ritual lives of Eastern Orthodox believers across Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Sonja Luehrmann is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. She is author of Secularism Soviet Style: Teaching Atheism and Religion in a Volga Republic and Religion in Secular Archives: Soviet Atheism and Historical Knowledge.

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