New Publication: Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion

We are pleased to announce that the volume Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion, edited by Dirk Johannsen, Anja Kirsch und Jens Kreinath is now available with Brill. It results from our cooperation in the framework of (DFG network, 2015-2019) and started with an international conference “Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion,” held June 16–18, 2016 in Oslo, which brought together members and friends of this network to discuss religious storytelling practices in aesthetic terms.

Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion presents the aesthetics of narrativity in religious contexts by approaching narrative acts as situated modes of engaging with reality, equally shaped by the immersive character of the stories told and the sensory qualities of their performances. Introducing narrative cultures as an integrative framework of analysis, the volume builds a bridge between classical content-based approaches to narrative sources and the aesthetic study of religions as constituted by sensory and mediated practices. Studying stories in conjunction with the role that performative acts of storytelling play in the cultivation of the senses, the contributors explore the efficacy of storytelling formats in narrative cultures from ancient times until today, in regions and cultures across the globe.

Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion

ed. by Dirk Johannsen, Anja Kirsch, Jens Kreinath

Series: Supplements to Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 14

Leiden: Brill 2020.


Preface Dirk Johannsen, Anja Kirsch and Jens Kreinath
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors
Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion: An Introduction Dirk Johannsen and Anja Kirsch

Encounters: Vernacular Religious Storytelling
1 One Ritual—Many Stories: On Making Sense of a Hindu Ritual Brigitte Luchesi 
2 Narrating Spirit Possession Katharina Wilkens
3 How to Sense a Ghost: On the Aesthetics of Legend Traditions Dirk Johannsen 
4 Studying Religions as Narrative Cultures: Angel Experience Narratives in the Netherlands and Some Ideas for a Narrative Research Program for the Study of Religion Markus Altena Davidsen and Bastiaan von Rijn
Identities: Narrating and Counter-Narrating Gods and People
5 Feeling Narrative Cultures: Analyzing Emotions in Religious Narratives with Examples from Old-Babylonian Ninurta Myths Laura Feldt 
6 Aztec Pictorial Narratives: Visual Strategies to Activate Embodied Meaning and the Transformation of Identity in the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2 Isabel Laack 
7 Transmedial Narrative Cultures: Upanishadic Spirituality in the Indian Tele-Serial „Upanishad Ganga“ Annette Wilke 
8 Storytelling and Mediation: The Aesthetics of a Counter-Narrative of Atheism in South India Stefan Binder
Arts: Narrative Craft Beyond Words
9 Braiding Ropes, Weaving Baskets: The Narrative Culture of Ancient Monasticism Ingvild Sælid Gilhus 
10 Immersing in the World of Radha and Krishna: Visual Storytelling in the Context of Religious Practice Caroline Widmer 
11 Foundational Narratives in Chan/Zen Buddhism and the Observation of the Ineffable: Two „Public Cases“ (gong’an/kōan) of the Gateless Barrier of Chan Lineage Martin Lehnert 
12 Poetic Imagination in Scientific Practice: Grand Unification as Narrative Worldmaking Arianna Borrelli 
13 What Happens When the Story Is Told? Reflections on the Aesthetics of Narrative Worldmaking and Aesthetic Sensation—Afterthoughts Jens Kreinath

Groupphoto at the International Conference in Oslo, June 2016.