By Birgit Meyer
This publication examines the incorporation of newly available mass media into practices of non secular mediation in various settings together with the Pentecostal Church and Islamic routine, in addition to using non secular kinds and photo within the sphere of radio and cinema.
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Additional info for Aesthetic Formations: Media, Religion, and the Senses
The point is that as scholars we need to understand how and why the body has become such a powerful repository of truth and authenticity in our time (see also Shusterman 1997), which can be mobilized against experiences of loss and insecurity by being loaded with spiritual power. Thus we seek to grasp, on the one hand, the appeal of bodiliness and viscerality in appearing as harbingers of truth beyond discourse, and, on the other hand, the actual mobilization of the body into social formations and projects of binding and bonding.
I explain at some length in another publication that my understanding of the transcendental does not postulate the existence of a Numinous Power out there, but is grounded in the here and now, in that my interest lies in how religions induce experiences of the transcendental in the here and now (Meyer 2006a). I also opt for using the notion Introduction 14. 15. 16. 17. 27 of the transcendental because I share Vivian Sobchack’s proposition that human beings, as lived bodies, “have the capacity for transcendence: for a unique exteriority of being—an ex-stasis—that locates us ‘elsewhere’ and ‘otherwise’ even as it is grounded in and tethered to our lived body’s ‘here’ and ‘now’ ” (2008, italics in the original).
However, Mãe Stella’s performance of silence in front of a huge audience, as well as her explicit call “not to ask questions,” is emblematic of a deep concern in certain Candomblé circles that, for all of the successes that have been booked in Candomblé’s long struggle for social and political recognition, another kind of threat looms large at the horizon that urges the priesthood to police the boundaries of their imagined religious community ever more rigorously. Due to the overwhelming interest in Candomblé, the cult has become the object of literary interpretation, artistic elaboration, philosophical meditation, and anthropological explanation (not to mention commercial and political exploitation).