`Enriches the concpetual arsenal for interdisciplinary analysis of political, social and cultural change... stimulates more nuanced thinking about the cultural and political legacy of the Reformation era... manages both to clarify tensions surrounding cultural and social integration in the late 20th century while underscoring the real historical complexity of modern bodies' - American Journal of Sociology
Through an analysis of successive re-formations of the body, this innovative and penetrating book constructs a fascinating and wide-ranging account of how the creation and evolution of different patterns of human community are intimately related to the somatic experience of the sacred.
The book places the relationship between the embodiment and the sacred at the crux of social theory, and casts a fresh light on the emergence and transformation of modernity. It critically examines the thesis that the rational projects of modern embodiment have 'died and gone to cyberspace', and suggests that we are witnessing the rise of a virulent, effervescent form of the sacred which is changing how people 'see' and 'keep in touch' with the world around them.
Philip Mellor is Professor of Religion and Social Theory at University of Leeds. Chris Shilling is Professor of Sociology in SSPSSR at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. Having completed a BA in Politics and an MA in Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex, he was awarded his PhD in the Sociology of Education at The Open University. Growing increasingly dissatisfied with cognitive conceptions of agency and disembodied theories of social and cultural processes, his research and writing from the late 1980s has sought to contribute to the embodiment of sociology and sociological theory and to promote the interdisciplinary field of 'body studies.' He has lectured widely in Europe and North America, has written on embodiment in relation to a wide range of substantive issues (from religion, archaeology, sport, music and health and illness, to work, survival, technology and consumer culture) and his publicationshave been translated into a number of different languages. Chris Shilling's major books include Changing Bodies: Habit, Crisis and Creativity (Sage, 2008), Embodying Sociology: Retrospect, Progress and Prospects (editor, Blackwells, 2007), The Body in Culture, Technology and Society (Sage, 2005) and, with Philip A. Mellor, The Sociological Ambition (Sage, 2001) and Re-forming the Body. Religion, Community and Modernity (Sage, 1997). He is currently editor of The Sociological Review Monograph Series and is continuing to research and write on embodiment as a foundational grounding for social thought and social research.