The ‘trans’ in the study of religion

Power and mobility in a multiscalar perspective

Authored by: Manuel A. Vásquez

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:


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Traditional modernist approaches to religion have tended to characterize it in static and essentialist terms. Clifford Geertz (1973), for example, conceptualizes religion as a self-contained and relatively coherent system of symbols through which individuals located in particular settings respond to the challenges of suffering, intellectual bafflement, and moral ambiguity. Mircea Eliade (1959), for his part, sees religion as the patterned experience of ‘hierophanies’, expressions of the sacred that create space and time, unique events that generate a centre and origin to which the believer wants to return.

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