Religion, Dress and the Body
Edited by Linda Arthur
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Religion, Dress and the Body by Linda Arthur
Book DescriptionReligions constrain the bodies of their members through dress. In many cases, dress immediately identifies a member of the community to the outside world and separates them from a society that members believe is threatened by evil forces. Dress identifies the wearer's community to other groups and communities, and may also reflect one's status. Most interestingly, perhaps, dress is a measure of one's level of commitment to the community. While communities vary greatly in terms of what is permissible, strict conformity to internal codes invariably is interpreted as a sign of piety, whereas deviation implies at best self-indulgence and at worst contempt for community values. In order to control sexuality, women's bodies in particular are constrained in religious communities in terms of emotional expression, diet, and especially dress. This book investigates dress in American religious communities as a vital component of the social control of cultures, and also examines how people express themselves despite religious constraints. Gender issues feature prominently since the control of female sexuality within religious communities is a matter of vital concern to its members. Drawing on rich ethnographic case studies, this wide-ranging and interdisciplinary represents a major contribution to the study of both religion and dress.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781859732922
(234mm x 156mm x 14mm)
Imprint: Berg Publishers
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 1-May-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Linda Arthur
Undressing Religion, Paperback (December 2000)
From Islam to Confucianism to Voodoo, dress plays a pivotal role in religious expression. This book investigates how dress symbolically evidences both religious and social systems across a range of cultures, from Africa and South America to Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Caribbean.
Religion, Dress and the Body, Paperback (May 1999)» View all books by Linda Arthur
Dress provides a window for viewing culture, because it visually attests to the salient ideas, concepts and categories fundamental to that culture. This text examines how the metaphor of appearance is used within religious groups in the USA, to express religiosity, ethnicity and gender norms.
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Author Biography - Linda Arthur
Linda B. Arthur is Professor and Department Chair, Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, Washington State University.
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