Introduction: Embodying Religion, Gender and Sexuality

Sarah-Jane Page, Katy Pilcher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this introductory chapter we put forward an argument for the centrality of the body in studying religion, spiritualities, gender and sexualities. We argue that a “lived” (McGuire, 2008) approach to understanding religion and spiritualities necessitates an understanding of the everyday embodiment of gender and sexualities, and we make connections between feminist and queer theorisations to conceptualise these intersections. In doing so, we illuminate the ways that embodiment is shaped by six intertwining factors, namely:
space, time, power, relationality, projects of the self, and projects of religious/spiritual communities. Theoretically, we argue that there are three crucial ways in which embodied religion needs to be addressed utilising the lens of gender and sexualities. These are through: troubling boundaries between religion and the secular; power, regulation and resistance; and the symbolism and representation of gendered bodies, and the book is structured around these three themes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmbodying Religion, Gender and Sexuality
EditorsSarah-Jane Page, Katy Pilcher
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003130291
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameGendering the Study of Religion in Social Sciences


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