Humour and Religion: Challenges and Ambiguities

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Hans Geybels, Walter Van Herck
Bloomsbury Publishing, Jan 13, 2011 - Humor - 288 pages
Humour and Religion highlights the importance and functioning of humour in different world religions. Exploring the major religious cultures, the book looks at more constructive aspects to the relation between humour and religion, with humour seen as a pathway to spiritual wisdom.
Exploring how religions contain (implicit) references to the finitude and relativity of the human condition, and why humour and spirituality fit well together, contributors discuss what the meaning of humour in different religions is - Did it evolve historically? How does it function? How is humour related to the realization of spiritual goals?
Looking at religions from an external perspective, the contributors then analyze the way religion interacts with humour in society. How does a religion respond to sarcasm and irony? Are there limits to mockery and making fun of believers? Does humour have a pacifying effect when societal tensions run high or does it intensify the sensitivities?
This volume will provide essays of value to scholars in the various religions and literatures covered.

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About the author (2011)

Hans Geybels is Associate Professor at the Department of Pastoral Theology in the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
Walter Van Herck is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

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