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Anthropology of CatholicismA Reader$
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Kristin Norget, Valentina Napolitano, and Maya Mayblin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288423

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Making a Home in an Unfortunate Place

Making a Home in an Unfortunate Place

Phenomenology and Religion

(p.256) 19 Making a Home in an Unfortunate Place
Anthropology of Catholicism

J. Michelle Molina

University of California Press

This chapter advocates moving the thought of French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) to the center of conversations that animate religious studies today, namely the themes of "embodiment," "materiality", and "intersubjectivity." Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology utilizes a notion of a lived world that accounts for humans and objects simultaneously as a “knot of relations.” Phenomenology in this vein is both a descriptive method, as well as a philosophic practice, that is, an intellectual stance that challenges scholars to loosen their hold upon the category of "religion." Meaning cannot be posited in advance as "religious" but rather, meaning is emergent, knotted into embodied relations. Thus, this chapter advocates utilizing phenomenological method to take note of the variety of concepts and objects, selves and others that emerge from embodied experience.

Keywords:   phenomenology, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, embodiment, materiality, intersubjectivity, spiritual exercise

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