Focusing on places, objects, bodies, narratives, and ritual spaces where religion may be found or inscribed, the authors reveal the role of religion in contesting rights to places, to knowledge and to property, as well as access to resources. Through analyses of specific historical processes in terms of responses to socio-economic and political change, the chapters consider implicitly or explicitly the problematic relation between science (including social sciences and anthropology in particular) and religion, and how this connects to the new religious globalization of the twenty-first century. Their ethnographies highlight the embodiment of religion and its location in landscapes, built spaces and religious sites which may be contested, physically or ideologically, or encased in memory and often in silence. Taken together, they show the importance of religion as a resource to the believers: a source of solace, spiritual comfort, and self-willed submission.
Frances Pine was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, and a Professor at the Institute of Gender Research at the University of Bergen and is now at Goldsmiths College, London University. She received her PhD from the London School of Economics, and taught at Cambridge, as a lecturer in the Social Anthropology Department and a Fellow of Girton College, before moving to the MPI. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Poland over the past 25 years. She is the co-editor of Surviving Post Socialism (Routledge 1998) and Memory, Politics and Religion: the Past meets the Present in Europe (LIT 2004), and author of numerous articles on kinship, economy and gender, eastern Europe, history, place and memory. Joao de Pina-Cabral is Research Coordinator at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, where he has been the President of the Scientific Board for the past six years. He has a BA Hons from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, a D.Phil. from the Institute of Social Anthropology of the University of Oxford, and his Habilitation has been granted by the University of Lisbon. He has carried out fieldwork and published extensively on Northwestern Portugal, Macau (south China) and Mozambique. His books in English include Sons of Adam, Daughters of Eve (Clarendon Press, Oxford), Between China and Europe (Continuum Books, LSE Monographs, London) and various co-edited volumes (JASO, Macmillan and Berg). He is presently the President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists.