This book aims to highlight the distinctive and unfamiliar ways in which diverse religious traditions understand the 'body', and also, in doing this, to raise to greater consciousness some of the assumptions and problems of contemporary attitudes to it. It 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 secularized 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 to the 'body'. Each contributor focuses on some (especially characteristic) devotional practices or relevant texts; each carefully outlines the total context in which a distinctive religious attitude to 'bodiliness' occurs. The result is a rich source for comparative studies of the 'body', and of its relation to society and to the divine.