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The ‘Religionated’ Body: Fatwas and Body Parts

TitleThe ‘Religionated’ Body: Fatwas and Body Parts
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsMarcotte, RD
Book TitleMedicine, Religion, and the Body
Edition International Studies in Religion and Society
body parts; fatwas; Islam; organ donation; religionated bodies

This chapter looks at some of the issues that arise with meanings that are associated with Muslim bodies to illustrate the importance of the body in Islam as a reflection of social meanings and its significance as the object of power relations. In order to investigate how the body is imagined in Islam, it may be useful, for our purpose, to resurrect an obsolete mid-17th century verb in order to discuss the specific religious ontological statuses that are attributed to persons and bodies: to 'religionate' literally means 'to make religious'. Ethico-religious, social and physical segregation of 'religionated' bodies often finds its religious justification in the theological or religiolegal realms. The chapter focuses on the 'religionated' meaning of bodies. Bodies still often retain their 'religionated' constructions in contemporary fatwas on such issues as blood and organ donation, organ transplant, or dissection of cadavers for medical training.