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Architectural Renovations of Body-As-Temple

Carroll, T; (2016) Architectural Renovations of Body-As-Temple. The New Bioethics , 22 (2) pp. 119-132. 10.1080/20502877.2016.1194657. Green open access

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This paper addresses the Christian religious tradition of understanding the human body as the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ within the context of body modification in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Drawing on ethnographic research in Jerusalem and Kansas City, interviews with artists and Orthodox Christians, and theological discourses on the body and art, this paper seeks to understand how the body is treated by Orthodox Christians and evaluates the ethical commitments and contestations around the human body and religious practice. The paper focuses specifically on tattooing practices, which, though typically prohibited in conservative forms of Christianity, are nonetheless practiced as a means of devotion in specific Eastern Orthodox Christian settings. These modifications to the body are taken in dialogue with ritual and practical concerns exhibited in Eastern Orthodox burial practice. The paper argues that while there are commonalities across Eastern Orthodox practice, the ethical implications of specific actions are highly contextualized and must be interpreted within local regimes of aesthetic behaviour.

Type: Article
Title: Architectural Renovations of Body-As-Temple
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2016.1194657
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20502877.2016.1194657
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The New Bioethics on 21 July 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/20502877.2016.1194657
Keywords: Orthodox Christianity, body, tattoo, mortuary practice, evlogia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1540008
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