Animism and the Question of Life

Author: Istvan Praet

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134500599

Category: Social Science

Page: 198

View: 6539

The central purpose of this book is to help change the terms of the debate on animism, a classic theme in anthropology. It combines some of the finest ethnographic material currently available (including firsthand research on the Chachi of Ecuador) with an unusually broad geographic scope (the Americas, Asia, and Africa). Edward B. Tylor originally defined animism as the first phase in the development of religion. The heyday of cultural evolutionism may be over, but his basic conception is commonly assumed to remain valid in at least one respect: there is still a broad consensus that everything is alive within animism, or at least that more things are alive than a modern scientific observer would allow for (e.g., clouds, rivers, mountains) It is considered self-evident that animism is based on a kind of exaggeration: its adherents are presumed to impute life to this, that and the other in a remarkably generous manner. Against the prevailing consensus, this book argues that if animism has one outstanding feature, it is its peculiar restrictiveness. Animistic notions of life are astonishingly uniform across the globe, insofar as they are restricted rather than exaggerated. In the modern Western cosmology, life overlaps with the animate. Within animism, however, life is always conditional, and therefore tends to be limited to one’s kin, one’s pets and perhaps the plants in one’s garden. Thus it emerges that "our" modern biological concept of life is stranger than generally thought.

Inherited Land

The Changing Grounds of Religion and Ecology

Author: Whitney A. Bauman,Richard R. Bohannon

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1630876240

Category: Religion

Page: 278

View: 2770

Religion and ecology has arrived. What was once a niche interest for a few academics concerned with environmental issues and a few environmentalists interested in religion has become an established academic field with classic texts, graduate programs, regular meetings at academic conferences, and growing interest from other academics and the mass media. Theologians, ethicists, sociologists, and other scholars are engaged in a broad dialogue about the ways religious studies can help understand and address environmental problems, including the sorts of methodological, terminological, and substantive debates that characterize any academic discourse. This book recognizes the field that has taken shape, reflects on the ways it is changing, and anticipates its development in the future. The essays offer analyses and reflections from emerging scholars of religion and ecology, each addressing her or his own specialty in light of two questions: (1) What have we inherited from the work that has come before us? and (2) What inquiries, concerns, and conversation partners should be central to the next generation of scholarship? The aim of this volume is not to lay out a single and clear path forward for the field. Rather, the authors critically reflect on the field from within, outline some of the major issues we face in the academy, and offer perspectives that will nurture continued dialogue.

The Handbook of Contemporary Animism

Author: Graham Harvey

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317544498

Category: Religion

Page: 544

View: 9751

The Handbook of Contemporary Animism brings together an international team of scholars to examine the full range of animist worldviews and practices. The volume opens with an examination of recent approaches to animism. This is followed by evaluations of ethnographic, cognitive, literary, performative, and material culture approaches, as well as advances in activist and indigenous thinking about animism. This handbook will be invaluable to students and scholars of Religion, Sociology and Anthropology.

Living with Environmental Change


Author: Kirsten Hastrup,Cecilie Rubow

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317753615

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 1038

Climate change is a lived experience of changes in the environment, often destroying conventional forms of subsistence and production, creating new patterns of movement and connection, and transforming people’s imagined future. This book explores how people across the world think about environmental change and how they act upon the perception of past, present and future opportunities. Drawing on the ethnographic fieldwork of expert authors, it sheds new light on the human experience of and social response to climate change by taking us from the Arctic to the Pacific, from the Southeast Indian Coastal zone to the West-African dry-lands and deserts, as well as to Peruvian mountain communities and cities. Divided into four thematic parts - Water, Landscape, Technology, Time – this book uses rich photographic material to accompany the short texts and reflections in order to bring to life the human ingenuity and social responsibility of people in the face of new uncertainties. In an era of melting glaciers, drying lands, and rising seas, it shows how it is part and parcel of human life to take responsibility for the social community and take creative action on the basis of a localized understanding of the environment. This highly original contribution to the anthropological study of climate change is a must-read for all those wanting to understand better what climate change means on the ground and interested in a sustainable future for the Earth.

Animism in Southeast Asia

Author: Kaj Arhem,Guido Sprenger

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317336623

Category: Social Science

Page: 326

View: 5686

Animism refers to ontologies or worldviews which assign agency and personhood to human and non-human beings alike. Recent years have seen a revival of this concept in anthropology, where it is now discussed as an alternative to modern-Western naturalistic notions of human-environment relations. Based on original fieldwork, this book presents a number of case studies of animism from insular and peninsular Southeast Asia and offers a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon – its diversity and underlying commonalities and its resilience in the face of powerful forces of change. Critically engaging with the current standard notion of animism, based on hunter-gatherer and horticulturalist societies in other regions, it examines the roles of life forces, souls and spirits in local cosmologies and indigenous religion. It proposes an expansion of the concept to societies featuring mixed farming, sacrifice and hierarchy and explores the question of how non-human agents are created through acts of attention and communication, touching upon the relationship between animist ontologies, world religion, and the state. Shedding new light on Southeast Asian religious ethnographic research, the book is a significant contribution to anthropological theory and the revitalization of the concept of animism in the humanities and social sciences.

An Introduction to the History of Religion (Routledge Revivals)

Author: F. B. Jevons

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317600053

Category: Religion

Page: 452

View: 1438

First published in 1902, this book investigates the history and development of early religion from an anthropological perspective. Rather than dealing with religions that grew from the teachings of their original founders, such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, Jevons considers those religions that were practised as a matter of custom and tradition. The title considers such subjects as the supernatural, life and death, animal sacrifice, and the worship of nature. It provides an introduction to the history of religion for students of religion, anthropology and folklore.

Religion, Media and Culture: A Reader

Author: Gordon Lynch,Jolyon Mitchell,Anna Strhan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113664959X

Category: Religion

Page: 296

View: 2493

This Reader brings together a selection of key writings to explore the relationship between religion, media and cultures of everyday life. It provides an overview of the main debates and developments in this growing field, focusing on four major themes: Religion, spirituality and consumer culture Media and the transformation of religion The sacred senses: visual, material and audio culture Religion, and the ethics of media and culture. This collection is an invaluable resource for students, academics and researchers wanting a deeper understanding of religion and contemporary culture.

Turbulent Times and Enduring Peoples

Mountain Minorities in the South-East Asian Massif

Author: Jean Michaud,Jan Ovesen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136827889

Category: Social Science

Page: 270

View: 2536

Scattered across the South-East Asian massif, a few dozen ethnic groups (numbering around 50 million) maintain highly original cultural identities and political and economic traditions, against pressure from national majorities. They face the same challenges. The means by which social change has been imposed by the lowlanders are similar from country to country, and the results are comparable. The originality of this book lies in the combination of multi-disciplinary mixing of social anthropology, history and human geography; multi-culturality grouping together several cultural contexts; trans-nationality straddling five countries and bridging the traditional divide between South China and Mainland South-East Asia; and history reaching back 300 years.

The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy

Négritude, Vitalism, and Modernity

Author: Donna V. Jones

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231518609

Category: Philosophy

Page: 240

View: 6661

In the early twentieth century, the life philosophy of Henri Bergson summoned the élan vital, or vital force, as the source of creative evolution. Bergson also appealed to intuition, which focused on experience rather than discursive thought and scientific cognition. Particularly influential for the literary and political Négritude movement of the 1930s, which opposed French colonialism, Bergson's life philosophy formed an appealing alternative to Western modernity, decried as "mechanical," and set the stage for later developments in postcolonial theory and vitalist discourse. Revisiting narratives on life that were produced in this age of machinery and war, Donna V. Jones shows how Bergson, Nietzsche, and the poets Leopold Senghor and Aimé Césaire fashioned the concept of life into a central aesthetic and metaphysical category while also implicating it in discourses on race and nation. Jones argues that twentieth-century vitalism cannot be understood separately from these racial and anti-Semitic discussions. She also shows that some dominant models of emancipation within black thought become intelligible only when in dialogue with the vitalist tradition. Jones's study strikes at the core of contemporary critical theory, which integrates these older discourses into larger critical frameworks, and she traces the ways in which vitalism continues to draw from and contribute to its making.


Respecting the Living World

Author: Graham Harvey

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231137003

Category: Religion

Page: 248

View: 5876

How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.

North Atlantic Studies

Author: Torben A. Vestergaard

Publisher: Aarhus Universitetsforlag

ISBN: 9788798342472

Category: North Atlantic Region

Page: 80

View: 6097

This volume of North Atlantic Studies is a theme issue of conference presentations on particular religious beliefs and practices in the North Atlantic area and in the American and Eurasian north. The central theme is the relationship between human society and other realms or worlds. The papers deal with interaction through ritual, shamanic practices, dreams, imagery etc. with the worlds of spirits, game animals, the dead, and others removed in time or space from the human actors. There are extensive cross cultural resemblances between such beliefs and practices within the northern regions. Historically such issues have been addressed in terms of climate, historical connection, evolution, structural or functional necessity, psychological mechanisms etc. and research in this field has taken place in different disciplinary frameworks with limited mutual contact. In the tradition of North Atlantic Studies scholars from different disciplines and research communities are brought together in the presentation of common themes in and around the North Atlantic areas. In this volume the contributors are anthropologists, archaeologists, a student of folklore, a biologist and, presenting a different viewpoint, a shamanic therapist.

Death and Dying

A Bibliographical Survey

Author: Samuel Southard

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group


Category: Reference

Page: 514

View: 2403

A burgeoning body of literature on death and dying is organized into this comprehensive annotated list--citing more than 2,200 books, articles, chapters, monographs, and reports primarily concerned with the counseling or theological aspects of death and dying. This bibliography covers a wide range of topics comprising the human experience of death and dying, accessing information from the pastoral to the medical, the historical to the topical, and the philosophical to the technical elements of thanatology.

Memory and the Mountain

Environmental Relations of the Wachagga of Kilimanjaro and Implications for Landscape Archaeology

Author: Timothy Clack

Publisher: British Archaeological Reports Limited


Category: Social Science

Page: 108

View: 7369

This book considers the relationships between memory, experience and landscape from insights gained conducting ethnographic research; its primary focus is the Wachagga of Kilimanjaro, East Africa. In so doing it aims to raise issues relating to interdisciplinary work involving ethnography and landscape archaeology.

Psychological anthropology

approaches to culture and personality

Author: Francis L. K. Hsu

Publisher: N.A


Category: Psychology

Page: 520

View: 2985

Animism in Rainforest and Tundra

Personhood, Animals, Plants and Things in Contemporary Amazonia and Siberia

Author: Marc Brightman,Vanessa Elisa Grotti,Olga Ulturgasheva

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857454684

Category: Nature

Page: 209

View: 4683

Amazonia and Siberia, classic regions of shamanism, have long challenged 'western' understandings of man's place in the world. By exploring the social relations between humans and non-human entities credited with human-like personhood (not only animals and plants, but also 'things' such as artifacts, trade items, or mineral resources) from a comparative perspective, this volume offers valuable insights into the constitutions of humanity and personhood characteristic of the two areas. The contributors conducted their ethnographic fieldwork among peoples undergoing transformative processes of their lived environments, such as the depletion of natural resources and migration to urban centers. They describe here fundamental relational modes that are being tested in the face of change, presenting groundbreaking research on personhood and agency in shamanic societies and contributing to our global understanding of social and cultural change and continuity.

Holy Confrontation

Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in the Philippines, 1521-1685

Author: Carolyn Brewer

Publisher: N.A


Category: Catholic Church

Page: 437

View: 1855


Intellectual Lineages in American Studies

Author: Rob Kroes

Publisher: Vu University Press


Category: Political Science

Page: 407

View: 7459

Children's Needs

Psychological Perspectives

Author: Alex Thomas,Jeff Grimes

Publisher: National Association of School Psychologists


Category: Education

Page: 673

View: 4005

This monograph was written as a reference for practitioners who need an authoritative source of information on a wide variety of topics beyond the classroom and the child's own personal characteristics that influence school success. Included are 93 separate chapters, written by a diverse group of school psychologists and arranged alphabetically according to the following topics: access/visitation arrangements; adoption; aggressive behavior, allergies, anger; anorexia and bulimia; anxiety; assertiveness; biracial identity; birth order; cancer; career development; cheating; childcare; chronic illness; communicable diseases; competition; computer learning; corporal punishment; courts; creativity; delinquency; dependency; depression; different cultural backgrounds; divorce; drug abuse; encopresis; enuresis; family size; fear of nuclear threat; fears and phobias; firesetting; foster homes; giftedness; grades; grandparents; head injury; health promotion; hearing; homework; homosexuality; hospitalization; household chores; humor; hyperactivity; language development; learning styles; lying; maladaptive habits; masturbation; medication; moral responsibility; moving; nailbiting; nutrition; obesity; organization; peer relations; perception of time; physical abuse; play; prejudice; prematurity; psychiatric involvement; psychological abuse; reactions to death; reading; religion; responsibility; running away; school entry decisions; seizures; self-control; sexual abuse; sexual interest; shyness; siblings; siblings of the handicapped; single-parent homes; stealing; stepfamilies; stress; study skills; suicide; teasing; television; temper tantrums; temperament; thumbsucking; troubled families; vision; and working parents. (NB)

Jenseits von Natur und Kultur

Author: Philippe Descola

Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag

ISBN: 3518768409

Category: Social Science

Page: 638

View: 4204

Seit der Zeit der Renaissance ist unser Weltbild von einer zentralen Unterscheidung bestimmt: der zwischen Natur und Kultur. Dort die von Naturgesetzen regierte, unpersönliche Welt der Tiere und Dinge, hier die Menschenwelt mit ihrer individuellen und kulturellen Vielfalt. Diese fundamentale Trennung beherrscht unser ganzes Denken und Handeln. In seinem faszinierenden Buch zeigt der große französische Anthropologe und Schüler von Claude Lévi-Strauss, Philippe Descola, daß diese Kosmologie alles andere als selbstverständlich ist. Dabei stützt er sich auf reiches Material aus zum Teil eigenen anthropologischen Feldforschungen bei Naturvölkern und indigenen Kulturen in Afrika, Amazonien, Neuguinea oder Sibirien. Descola führt uns vor Augen, daß deren Weltbilder ganz andersartig aufgebaut sind als das unsere mit seinen »zwei Etagen« von Natur und Kultur. So betrachten manche Kulturen Dinge als beseelt oder glauben, daß verwandtschaftliche Beziehungen zwischen Tieren und Menschen bestehen. Descola plädiert für eine monistische Anthropologie und entwirft eine Typologie unterschiedlichster Weltbilder. Auf diesem Wege lassen sich neben dem westlichen dualistischen Naturalismus totemistische, animistische oder analogistische Kosmologien entdecken. Eine fesselnde Reise in fremde Welten, die uns unsere eigene mit anderen Augen sehen läßt.