Introduction: lenience in systems of religious meaning and practice

Mayblin, M. and Malara, D. (2018) Introduction: lenience in systems of religious meaning and practice. Social Analysis, 62(3), pp. 1-20. (doi: 10.3167/sa.2018.620301)

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Questions of discipline are, today, no less ubiquitous than when under Foucault’s renowned scrutiny, but what does ‘discipline’ in diverse religious systems actually entail? In this article, we take ‘lenience’ rather than discipline as a starting point and compare its potential, both structural and ideological, in religious contexts where disciplinary flexibility shores up greater encompassing projects of moral perfectionism as opposed to those contexts in which disciplinary flexibility is a defining feature in its own right. We argue that lenience provides religious systems with a vital flexibility that is necessary to their reproduction and adaptation to the world. By taking a ‘systems’ perspective on ethnographic discussions of religious worlds, we proffer fresh observations on recent debates within the anthropology of religion on ‘ethics’, ‘failure’, and the nature of religious subjects.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Malara, Dr Diego Maria
Authors: Mayblin, M., and Malara, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Social Analysis
Publisher:Berghahn Journals
ISSN (Online):1558-5727

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