James S. Bielo is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Miami University.
Anthropologist Bielo uses a wide range of ethnographic examples to highlight human interactions with spirits, the embodiment of spirits in language and material objects, and the multiple roles of ritual, time, and place in religious expressions. He astutely focuses on interactions between major world religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism) and local religious traditions...Chapters follow a logical progression, giving readers a sense of the anthropology of religion as a discipline. 'Reflection Boxes' invite readers to think critically and analytically about particular anthropological issues by applying conceptual models to specific case studies. The book is well indexed and ends with useful suggestions for further reading. A highly accessible and authoritative text organized around key issues anthropologists encounter in the study of religion. Summing Up: Highly recommended. - S. D. Glazier, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, CHOICE Review What makes the text particularly helpful and interesting is Bielo's theoretical contribution...It also conveys something often lacking in academic books - a palatable passion for the subject. - Religion (review by Abby Day and Simon Coleman) this is a short but powerful book, and one that I would recommend to anyone who is searching for an engaging introduction to the anthropology of religion - Kate Yanina DeConinck, University of San Diego