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Description - Religion, Culture, and the Monstrous: Of Gods and Monsters by Natasha L. Mikles

Religion, Culture, and the Monstrous: Of Gods and Monsters explores the intersection of the emerging field of "monster theory" within religious studies. With case studies from ancient Mesopotamia to contemporary valleys of the Himalayas to ghost tours in Savannah, Georgia, the volume examines the variegated nature of the monstrous as well as the cultural functions of monsters in shaping how we see the world and ourselves. In this, the authors constructively assess the state of the two fields of monster theory and religious studies, and propose new directions in how these fields can inform each other. The case studies included illuminate the ways in which monsters reinforce the categories through which a given culture sees the world. At the same time, the volume points to how monsters appear to question, disrupt, or challenge those categories, creating an 'unsettling' or surplus of meaning.

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