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6. The Embodiment of Worship: Relations among Postural, Psychological, and Physiological Aspects of Religious Practice

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1. Title Title of document 6. The Embodiment of Worship: Relations among Postural, Psychological, and Physiological Aspects of Religious Practice - Studying the Religious Mind
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Patty Van Cappellen; Duke University;
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Megan Edwards; Duke University Social Science Research Institute; United States
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies; Anthropology; History
4. Subject Keyword(s) cognitive science of religion; anthropology of religion; evolutionary religion; religion and culture; history of religion; ethnography; lived religion; psychology of religion; religious experience; religious behaviour; rites; rituals; worship
5. Subject Subject classification cognitive science of religion; anthropology; history
6. Description Abstract In addition to a set of beliefs, religion is fundamentally a corporeal practice. Across religions, specific postures adopted for prayer and worship may not simply reflect arbitrary customs but are closely intertwined with religious experience. This contribution reviews embodiment theory and related empirical evidence showing how body postures influence our emotions, thoughts, and decision-making. We propose a typology of postures adopted in religious practices along the dimensions of expansiveness-constrictiveness and upward-downward body orientation, and review the corpus of published/unpublished research on the embodiment of worship. We further discuss that in addition to enabling the experiential and ritualistic aspect of religion, embodiment serves at least four functions: communicative, social, cognitive, and intrapersonal. Finally, we suggest contextual and individual differences variables that may constrain the choice and psychological consequences of postures within and outside religious contexts. Together, we emphasize that the locus of religion’s psycho-social “effects” is not only in the mind or the brain but in the full body.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 04-Oct-2022
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.43006
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Studying the Religious Mind
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd