Religion and Sense of Touch
Religion and Touch - Christina Welch
Christina Welch [+]
University of Winchester
Amy Whitehead [+]
Plate says: ‘By focusing on the vital role that the sensual body plays in human experiences of the world, we are able to investigate religious traditions in ways that complement and expand traditional approaches to religion’ (2012: 162). Contributions to this collection have done just that. They have brought new, fresh and innovative ideas about how utilising the sense of touch can advance debates about sensually engaged religion. In taking a bottom-up approach to studying touch in religions, we are able to glean an abundance of possibilities that are visibly evidenced through practitioners’ performances. As the chapters demonstrate, touch is not privileged, highlighted or avoided to the same degree across the board but the roles of touch, as well as its absence, speak volumes about religious phenomena broadly. Although this volume has been unable to engage with the full range of touch-oriented religious activities that exist in the world, the contributors have provided exemplary case studies that signal new areas, approaches and methods for future research. We hope that this book provides a catalyst for such studies.