The Relational Dynamics of Enchantment and Sacralization - Changing the Terms of the Religion Versus Secularity Debate - Peik Ingman

The Relational Dynamics of Enchantment and Sacralization - Changing the Terms of the Religion Versus Secularity Debate - Peik Ingman

7. Re-enchanting Body and Religion in a Secular Society: Touch of an Angel

The Relational Dynamics of Enchantment and Sacralization - Changing the Terms of the Religion Versus Secularity Debate - Peik Ingman

Terhi Utriainen [+-]
University of Helsinki
Terhi Utriainen is Docent and Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religions at the University of Helsinki. Her research and teaching interests include ethnography of lived religion, gender and embodiment, ritual studies, death, dying and suffering. She is co-editor of Post-Secular Society (2012) and Between Ancestors and Angels: Finnish Women Making Religion (2014).

Description

Many modern Finnish women recount that angels can touch and enchant their minds, bodies and quotidian lives. Most of these women are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, but find the discourses and practices offered by the church increasingly secular and outdated and, most importantly, emotionally disengaging. Some of them also claim that they are not welcome in church with their newly found enchantment with angels, and instead they are told that their spirituality is too childish, sentimental or magical. Drawing on ethnographic material, this chapter argues that what is often depicted as “the touch of an angel” has become an intimate and both spiritually and bodily enchanting alterity for those engaged. Through such operations as ritual, metaphor and use of the subjunctive, angel enchantments articulate important relational matters of concern. These enchantments reveal intriguing, often transitory and sometimes unsettling dynamics of presence and absence of religious difference in a complex and precarious modern world.

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Citation

Utriainen, Terhi. 7. Re-enchanting Body and Religion in a Secular Society: Touch of an Angel. The Relational Dynamics of Enchantment and Sacralization - Changing the Terms of the Religion Versus Secularity Debate. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 125-143 Dec 2016. ISBN 9781781794753. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30127. Date accessed: 25 Sep 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30127. Dec 2016

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