Peter Nissen – Key Text: Colleen McDannell, Material Christianity. Over de materiële dimensie van christelijke religiositeit
In her book Material Christianity, published in 1995, the American scholar of religion Colleen McDannell calls attention to the importance of material culture in the everyday religious practice of American Christians in the 19th and 20th century. Her book demonstrates a breakthrough in the study of the history of Christianity: the one-sided emphasis on institutions and convictions gave way to an approach that also includes objects, places, practices, rituals, embodiment, and the senses. In this article McDannell’s book is introduced and situated within her own scholarly work, within the shift from Church history to the history of (Christian) religiosity and within the growing awareness of the importance of the material, physical, and sensory dimensions of religion.