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The Joy of Religion

The Joy of Religion
Exploring the Nature of Pleasure in Spiritual Life

$29.99 (P)

  • Publication planned for: April 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from April 2020
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108460163

$ 29.99 (P)
Paperback

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About the Authors
  • All religions describe spiritual experience as pleasant, and the goal of the religious pursuit as profoundly joyful.  But many religions also condemn sensory pleasures and the desire for objects of pleasure.  In this book, Ariel Glucklich resolves this apparent contradiction by showing how religious practices that instill self-control and discipline transform one type of pleasure into the pleasures of mastery and play. Using historical data and psychological analysis, he details how the rituals, mystical practices, moral teachings, and sacred texts of the world's religions act as psychological instruments that induce well-being. Glucklich also shows that in promoting joy and pleasure, religion also strengthens social bonds and enhances an individual's pursuit of meaning. 

    • Offers a psychological-biological theory of religious experience and religious motivation as positive and pleasant dimensions of life
    • Brings together comparative material from a variety of cultures and historical periods
    • Documents and analyzes the role of pleasure in religion
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: April 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108460163
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 1 map 1 table
    • availability: Not yet published - available from April 2020
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Religion, Pleasure and Evolution
    1. The Variety and Mystery of Religious Pleasure
    2. The Nature and Cultivation of Complex Pleasure
    3. The Discovery of Mastery Pleasure
    4. Philo's Mastery, Plotinus' Play and the Mystic's Joy
    5. Pleasure, Play and Magical Thinking
    6. Church-Sect Theory and Pleasure
    7. Narratives and Rituals of Pleasure
    8. A Scholar's Shabbat in Central Virginia
    Conclusion

  • Author

    Ariel Glucklich, Georgetown University, Washington DC
    Ariel Glucklich is Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University. A scholar of Hinduism, he has also published in the field of religious psychology.  His book Sacred Pain won the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in 2002.

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