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Ordinary Lives and Grand Schemes: An Anthropology of Everyday Religion

Edited by Samuli Schielke and Liza Debevec Berghahn Books, 2012

“This volume is very well put-together. The editors have done a good job to rein in the various authors to a single collective argument…It’s an important volume on an important issue.” · Jon Mitchell, University of Sussex

“The topic of everyday religion is becoming an increasingly attractive in the social sciences of religion, as an alternative to more orthodox and canonical accounts of religious phenomena… This volume sets out to debate the concept of ‘everyday religion’ in a very explicit and straightforward manner…The final result is a convincing volume with diverse and challenging case studies that open different paths for the discussion of the main theme.” · Ruy Blanes, Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon

Everyday practice of religion is complex in its nature, ambivalent and at times contradictory. The task of an anthropology of religious practice is therefore precisely to see how people navigate and make sense of that complexity, and what the significance of religious beliefs and practices in a given setting can be. Rather than putting everyday practice and normative doctrine on different analytical planes, the authors argue that the articulation of religious doctrine is also an everyday practice and must be understood as such.

Samuli Schielke is a research fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. His research interests include Islam, festive culture, subjectivity and morality, and migration and aspiration in Egypt.

Liza Debevec is a research fellow at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts. Her research focuses on the anthropology of everyday life practices in urban Burkina Faso.

Series: Volume 18, EASA Series

Subject: Religion, Anthropology, Sociology



Samuli Schielke and Liza Debevec

Chapter 1. Divination and Islam: Existential Perspectives in the Study of Ritual and Religious Praxis in Senegal and Gambia Knut Graw

Chapter 2. Postponing Piety in Urban Burkina Faso: Discussing Ideas on When to Start Acting as a Pious Muslim Liza Debevec

Chapter 3. Everyday Religion, Ambiguity and Homosocial Relationships in Manitoba, Canada from 1911 to 1949 Alison R. Marshall

Chapter 4. ‘Doing Things Properly’: Religious Aspects in Everyday Sociality in Apiao, Chiloé Giovanna Bacchiddu

Chapter 5. The Ordinary within the Extraordinary: Sainthood Making and Everyday Religious Practice in Lesvos, Greece Séverine Rey

Chapter 6. Say a Little Hallo to Padre Pio: Production and Consumption of Space in the Construction of the Sacred at the Shrine of Santa Maria delle Grazie Evgenia Mesaritou

Chapter 7. Going to the Mulid: Street-smart Spirituality in Egypt Jennifer Peterson

Chapter 8. Capitalist Ethics and the Spirit of Islamization in Egypt Samuli Schielke

Afterword: Everyday Religion and the Contemporary World: The Un-Modern, or What Was Supposed to Have Disappeared but Did Not Robert A. Orsi

Notes on Contributors