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Winner, 2021 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences Winner, 2021 Ruth Benedict Prize, Association for Queer Anthropology Hijras, one of India's third gendered or trans populations, have been an enduring presence in the South Asian imagination-in myth, in ritual, and in everyday life, often associated in stigmatized forms with begging and sex work. In more recent years hijras have seen a degree of political emergence as a moral presence in Indian electoral politics, and with heightened vulnerability within global health terms as a high-risk population caught within the AIDS epidemic. Hijras, Lovers, Brothers recounts two years living with a group of hijras in rural India. In this riveting ethnography, Vaibhav Saria reveals not just a group of stigmatized or marginalized others but a way of life composed of laughter, struggles, and desires that trouble how we read queerness, kinship, and the psyche. Against easy framings of hijras that render them marginalized, Saria shows how hijras makes the normative Indian family possible. The book also shows that particular practices of hijras, such as refusing to use condoms or comply with retroviral regimes, reflect not ignorance, irresponsibility, or illiteracy but rather a specific idiom of erotic asceticism arising in both Hindu and Islamic traditions. This idiom suffuses the densely intertwined registers of erotics, economics, and kinship that inform the everyday lives of hijras and offer a repertoire of self-fashioning beyond the secular horizons of public health or queer theory. Engrossingly written and full of keen insights, the book moves from the small pleasures of the everyday-laughter, flirting, teasing-to impossible longings, kinship, and economies of property and substance in order to give a fuller account of trans lives and of Indian society today.
One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told -- Aron Ralston's searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home.
It started out as a simple hike in the Utah canyonlands on a warm Saturday afternoon. For Aron Ralston, a twenty-seven-year-old mountaineer and outdoorsman, a walk into the remote Blue John Canyon was a chance to get a break from a winter of solo climbing Colorado's highest and toughest peaks. He'd earned this weekend vacation, and though he met two charming women along the way, by early afternoon he finally found himself in his element: alone, with just the beauty of the natural world all around him.
It was 2:41 P.M. Eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, Aron was climbing down off a wedged boulder when the rock suddenly, and terrifyingly, came loose. Before he could get out of the way, the falling stone pinned his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall.
And so began six days of hell for Aron Ralston. With scant water and little food, no jacket for the painfully cold nights, and the terrible knowledge that he'd told no one where he was headed, he found himself facing a lingering death -- trapped by an 800-pound boulder 100 feet down in the bottom of a canyon. As he eliminated his escape options one by one through the days, Aron faced the full horror of his predicament: By the time any possible search and rescue effort would begin, he'd most probably have died of dehydration, if a flash flood didn't drown him before that.
What does one do in the face of almost certain death? Using the video camera from his pack, Aron began recording his grateful good-byes to his family and friends all over the country, thinking back over a life filled with adventure, and documenting a last will and testament with the hope that someone would find it. (For their part, his family and friends had instigated a major search for Aron, the amazing details of which are also documented here for the first time.) The knowledge of their love kept Aron Ralston alive, until a divine inspiration on Thursday morning solved the riddle of the boulder. Aron then committed the most extreme act imaginable to save himself.
"Between a Rock and a Hard Place" -- a brilliantly written, funny, honest, inspiring, and downright astonishing report from the line where death meets life -- will surely take its place in the annals of classic adventure stories.
First Published in 1996. Religious conversion is an immensely complex phenomenon. The term comprises such diverse experiences as increased devotion within the same religious structure, a shift from no religious commitment to a devout religious life, or a change from one religion to another. This study focuses on the conversion experiences of 70 native British converts to Islam. It addresses the following questions - why do people become Muslims, what are the backgrounds of the converts, what are the patterns of conversion to Islam, and how far are existing conversion theories applicable to the group under study. The full range of social and psychological forces at work in the conversion experience are examined with reference to the converts, whose whole life history - childhood, adolescent experiences and the conversion process itself - were examined in detail. Chapter 1 deals with the history and present situation of both life-long Muslims and converts living in Britain. Chapter 2 focuses on childhood and adolescent experiences reviewing the psychological and sociological theories of conversion and attempts to find out how far these theories are applicable to the converts to Islam. Chapter 3 examines the backgrounds of the converts regarding religion. It then analyzes the immediate antecedents of the conversion as well as the conversion process, focussing on version motifs. A conversion process model is also developed in this chapter. Chapter 4 looks at the post-conversion period to find out what changes the converts underwent. It also examines the relationship between converts, their parents and society at large. Chapter 5 reveals the findings on conversion through Sufism. Comparisons between conversion through Sufism and through new religious movements in the West are also made. This study should be an important addition to the study of religious conversion, as conversion to Islam either from outside or within Islam is widely neglected in the literature.
In this study, E. Frances King explores how people first learn to relate to the images and artefacts of religious belief within their domestic environments. As a sense of religious belonging is instilled on a daily basis in the home, it also becomes emotionally linked to family, community, and homeland, resulting in two different genealogies - one to do with faith and one to do with motherland - that become entangled.
Effortless Mindfulness promotes genuine mental health through the direct experience of awakened presence-an effortlessly embodied, fearless understanding of and interaction with the way things truly are. The book offers a uniquely modern Buddhist psychological understanding of mental health disorders through a scholarly, clinically relevant presentation of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist teachings and practices. Written specifically for Western psychotherapeutic professionals, the book brings together traditional Buddhist theory and contemporary psychoneurobiosocial research to describe the conditioned and unconditioned mind, and its in-depth exploration of Buddhist psychology includes complete instructions for psychotherapists in authentic, yet clinically appropriate Buddhist mindfulness/heartfulness practices and Buddhist-psychological inquiry skills. The book also features interviews with an esteemed collection of Buddhist teachers, scholars, meditation researchers and Buddhist-inspired clinicians.
Magic culture is certainly fascinating. But what is it? What, in fact, are magic writings, magic artifacts? Originally published in Hebrew in 2010, Jewish Magic Before the Rise of Kabbalah is a comprehensive study of early Jewish magic focusing on three major topics: Jewish magic inventiveness, the conflict with the culture it reflects, and the scientific study of both. The first part of the book analyzes the essence of magic in general and Jewish magic in particular. The book begins with theories addressing the relationship of magic and religion in fields like comparative study of religion, sociology of religion, history, and cultural anthropology, and considers the implications of the paradigm shift in the interdisciplinary understanding of magic for the study of Jewish magic. The second part of the book focuses on Jewish magic culture in late antiquity and in the early Islamic period. This section highlights the artifacts left behind by the magic practitioners-amulets, bowls, precious stones, and human skulls-as well as manuals that include hundreds of recipes. Jewish Magic before the Rise of Kabbalah also reports on the culture that is reflected in the magic evidence from the perspective of external non-magic contemporary Jewish sources. Issues of magic and religion, magical mysticism, and magic and social power are dealt with in length in this thorough investigation. Scholars interested in early Jewish history and comparative religions will find great value in this text.
God does not suggest, he commands that we do justice. Social justice is not optional for the Christian. All injustice affects others, so talking about justice that isn't social is like talking about water that isn't wet or a square with no right angles. But the Bible's call to seek justice is not a call to superficial, kneejerk activism. We are not merely commanded to execute justice, but to "truly execute justice." The God who commands us to seek justice is the same God who commands us to "test everything" and "hold fast to what is good." Drawing from a diverse range of theologians, sociologists, artists, and activists, Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, by Thaddeus Williams, makes the case that we must be discerning if we are to "truly execute justice" as Scripture commands. Not everything called "social justice" today is compatible with a biblical vision of a better world. The Bible offers hopeful and distinctive answers to deep questions of worship, community, salvation, and knowledge that ought to mark a uniquely Christian pursuit of justice. Topics addressed include: Racism Sexuality Socialism Culture War Abortion Tribalism Critical Theory Identity Politics Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth also brings in unique voices to talk about their experiences with these various social justice issues, including: Michelle-Lee Barnwall Suresh Budhaprithi Eddie Byun Freddie Cardoza Becket Cook Bella Danusiar Monique Duson Ojo Okeye Edwin Ramirez Samuel Sey Neil Shenvi Walt Sobchak In Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth, Thaddeus Williams transcends our religious and political tribalism and challenges readers to discover what the Bible and the example of Jesus have to teach us about justice. He presents a compelling vision of justice for all God's image-bearers that offers hopeful answers to life's biggest questions.
An unexpected fusion of two major western religious traditions, Judaism and Christianity, has been developing in many parts of the world. Contemporary Christian movements are not only adopting Jewish symbols and aesthetics but also promoting Jewish practices, rituals, and lifestyles. Becoming Jewish, Believing in Jesus is the first in-depth ethnography to investigate this growing worldwide religious tendency in the global South. Focusing on an austere "Judaizing Evangelical" variant in Brazil, Carpenedo explores the surprising identification with Jews and Judaism by people with exclusively Charismatic Evangelical backgrounds. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and socio-cultural analysis, the book analyses the historical, religious, and subjective reasons behind this growing trend in Charismatic Evangelicalism. The emergence of groups that simultaneously embrace Orthodox Jewish rituals and lifestyles and preserve Charismatic Evangelical religious symbols and practices raises serious questions about what it means to be "Jewish" or "Christian" in today's religious landscape. This case study reveals how religious, ethnic, and cultural markers are being mobilized in unpredictable ways within the Charismatic Evangelical movement in much of the global South. The book also considers broader questions regarding contemporary women's attraction to gender-traditional religions. This comprehensive account of how former Charismatic Evangelicals in Brazil are gradually becoming austerely observant "Jews," while continuing to believe in Jesus, represents a significant contribution to the study of religious conversion, cultural change, and debates about religious hybridization processes.
En medio de una situacion de extremo dolor el protagonista percibe
que, junto a su crisis de salud, sucumbe tambien su animo. Pero
algo extraordinario ocurre que cambia radicalmente las cosas. La
salida llega, y lo hace de un modo tan peculiar que el autor
comenta: "Te advierto que tendras que hacer un esfuerzo para creer
lo que a continuacion voy a contarte, pero creeme, vale la pena que
admitas la veracidad de mi relato..."
This book presents Islam as a lived religion through observation and discussion of how Muslims from a variety of countries, traditions and views practice their religion. It conveys the experiences of researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds and demonstrates the dynamic and heterogeneous world of Islam. The fascinating case studies range from Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon to the UK, USA, Australia and Indonesia, and cover topics such as music, art, education, law, gender and sexuality. Together they will help students understand how research into religious practice is carried out, and what issues and challenges arise.
This book argues that the standard arguments for and against the claim that certain Hindu texts and traditions attribute direct moral standing to animals and plants are unconvincing. It presents careful, extensive, and original interpretations of passages from the Manusmrti (law), the Mahabharata (literature), and the Yogasutra (philosophy), and argues that these texts attribute direct moral standing to animals and plants for at least three reasons: they are sentient, they are alive, and they possess a range of other relevant attributes and abilities. This book is of interest to scholars of Hinduism and the environment, religion and the environment, Hindu and/or Buddhist philosophy more broadly, and environmental ethics.
The debate about men and women in the church and in marriage continues to cause division among Christians. Most books on this issue are written from a firmly partisan point of view - complementarian or egalitarian. This one is unique. Andrew Bartlett draws on his theological learning and his skills as a judge and arbitrator to offer an even-handed assessment of the debate. His analysis is thorough but accessible. He engages with advocates of each view and all the key biblical texts, weighing the available evidence and offering fresh insights. He invites the reader to move beyond complementarian and egalitarian labels and seeks progress towards healing the division.
This book offers a new direction for the study of contemporary Islam by focusing on what being Muslim means in people's everyday lives. It complements existing studies by focusing not on mosque-going, activist Muslims, but on how people live out their faith in schools, workplaces and homes, and in dealing with problems of health, wellbeing and relationships. As well as offering fresh empirical studies of everyday lived Islam, the book offers a new approach which calls for the study of 'official' religion and everyday 'tactical' religion in relation to one another. It discusses what this involves, the methods it requires, and how it relates to existing work in Islamic Studies.
Becoming a Buddhist monk in Thailand has for a long time provided the opportunity for access to a good education and to social advancement, both to bright, poor rural youths and to members of the urban elite whose youth often become monks for a few months as a rite of passage into adulthood. Moreover, although women are not allowed to become fully fledged monks, recent developments have encouraged a special status akin to nuns for many devout Thai Buddhist women. All this has resulted in large numbers of well-educated, well-motivated Buddhist religious people, keen both to engage in religious contemplation and also determined to contribute to this-worldly social, economic, educational and medical development goals. This book, by a leading authority on the subject, considers the role of Thai Buddhist religious people in development within Thailand. It discusses how Thai Buddhism has evolved philosophically and in its organisation to allow this, examines various examples of Buddhist people's engagement in development projects, and assesses how the situation is likely to unfold going forward. In addition, the book considers the relationship between science and religion in Thai Buddhism and also some aspects of the parallel situation in Sri Lanka.
Can metta take me all the way to Enlightenment? How much meditation is good for you? Why visualize an Enlightened being? Can you tell if meditation is changing you? All of these questions and very many more are tackled in this substantial compilation of Sangharakshita's teachings on meditation. First published in 2012, this volume draws from previously published works and from the unpublished transcripts of seminars on a wide range of Buddhist texts, from the Pali canon to the songs of Milarepa. The dialogue form is a reminder that teaching is a communication, a creative meeting between the depth and breadth of Sangharakshita's knowledge and experience and the willingness of students to ask the kinds of questions any meditator would like to ask if they had the chance (or the nerve). Discussions reveal how Sangharakshita learned the practices on which his system of meditation - 'an organic, living system' - is based and how that system has evolved over the years. Amid much curiosity about dhyana and Insight, and explorations of how to deal with fear or distraction, doubt, drowsiness or desire, topics also include such matters as whether it's good to meditate in the open air and whether to include your least favourite politician in your metta bhavana. To this edition some extra material on 'just sitting' and the guru yoga has been added. Whether dipped into, consulted on a specific subject or read from cover to cover, the collection offers practical, inspiring and encouraging advice for new and experienced meditators alike. It is deeply imbued with the Buddhist vision of the role of meditation in the quest for Enlightenment.
Presenting qualitative and quantitative findings on the lived experiences of around seven hundred young adults from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and mixed-faith backgrounds, Religious and Sexual Identities provides an illuminating and nuanced analysis of young adults' perceptions and negotiations of their religious, sexual, youth and gender identities. It demonstrates how these young adults creatively construct meanings and social connections as they navigate demanding but exciting spaces in which their multiple identities intersect. Accessible quantitative analyses are combined with rich interview and video diary narratives in this theoretically-informed exploration of religious and sexual identities in contemporary society. A timely investigation revealing the multiplicity of contemporary identities, this book will appeal not only to sociologists and scholars of religion, but also to those working in the fields of youth studies, sexuality, gender and identity.
Why are all the major religions consumed with sex? What makes sex so important, whether Buddhism or Islam, Christianity or Mormonism? What is the impact of religion on human sexuality? This book explores this and more. It ventures into territory that has never been examined. You will be surprised at how much religion has influenced your sexuality, who you marry, the pleasure you get or don't get from sex, and what you can do about it.
Mindfulness-based approaches to medicine, psychology, neuroscience, healthcare, education, business leadership, and other major societal institutions have become increasingly common. New paradigms are emerging from a confluence of two powerful and potentially synergistic epistemologies: one arising from the wisdom traditions of Asia and the other arising from post-enlightenment empirical science. This book presents the work of internationally renowned experts in the fields of Buddhist scholarship and scientific research, as well as looking at the implementation of mindfulness in healthcare and education settings. Contributors consider the use of mindfulness throughout history and look at the actual meaning of mindfulness whilst identifying the most salient areas for potential synergy and for potential disjunction. Mindfulness: Diverse Perspectives on its Meanings, Origins and Applications provides a place where wisdom teachings, philosophy, history, science and personal meditation practice meet. It was originally published as a special issue of Contemporary Buddhism.
This book describes and analyses the structure and performance of Tibetan Buddhist death rituals, and situates that performance within the wider context of Buddhist death practices generally. Drawing on a detailed and systematic comparative survey of existing records of Tibetan funerary practices, including historical travel accounts, anthropological and ethnographic literature, Tibetan texts and academic studies, it demonstrates that there is no standard form of funeral in Tibetan Buddhism, although certain elements are common. The structure of the book follows the twin trajectories of benefiting the deceased and protecting survivors; in the process, it reveals a rich and complex panoply of activities, some handled by religious professionals and others by lay persons. This information is examined to identify similarities and differences in practices, and the degree to which Tibetan Buddhist funeral practices are consistent with the mortuary rituals of other forms of Buddhism. A number of elements in these death rites which at first appear to be unique to Tibetan Buddhism may only be 'Tibetan' in their surface characteristics, while having roots in practices which pre-date the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet. Filling a gap in the existing literature on Tibetan Buddhism, this book poses research challenges that will engage future scholars in the field of Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Anthropology.
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