Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Attention to material culture reveals generally shared responses across cultures to size, light, and representations of the human form. Even without specific cultural knowledge, monumental sculpture tends to provoke a sense of awe and small dark spaces a sense of foreboding and mystery. For this reason, whether for small-scale studies of individual practices or events or for comparative religion on a grander scale, attention to material culture has great explanatory potential. Before returning to the value of an appreciation of objects for understanding emotion and religion, this article presents a brief introduction to the term “material culture” and problems specific to the study of the material culture of religion. It then looks at intense emotions in extraordinary contexts, including the ecstasy of a shaman in trance, the anger of a crowd driven to violence, the weeping of saints, and the wonder of devotees in the presence of the miraculous. The article also considers objects that play a role in more pedestrian, though not necessarily less important, feelings.

Keywords: material culture, shamanism, saints, objects, violence, intense emotions, wonder, ecstasy, anger, weeping

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.