There is a proliferation of studies on the ‘body’, but no standard study in relation to the major religions which this volume aims to be. It highlights the distinctive and unfamiliar ways in which diverse religious traditions understand the ‘body’ and notes the assumptions and problems of contemporary attitudes to it. Religion and the Body brings together essays by established experts in the history of religion, the social sciences and philosophy. Part I is devoted to an analysis of current secularised discourses on the ‘body’, and to exposing both their anti-religious and their covertly religious content. Parts II and III provide essays on traditional ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ religious attitudes. Each focuses on devotional practices or relevant texts, and outlines the total context. The result is a rich source for comparative studies of the ‘body’, its relation to society and to the divine.