Animism and the Question of Life

Author: Istvan Praet

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134500661

Category: Social Science

Page: 198

View: 4030

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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.

Animism in Southeast Asia

Author: Kaj Arhem,Guido Sprenger

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317336623

Category: Social Science

Page: 326

View: 3135

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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.

Routledge Handbook of Human-Animal Studies

Author: Garry Marvin,Susan McHugh

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136237879

Category: Social Science

Page: 332

View: 1364

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The Routledge Handbook of Human-Animal Studies presents a collection of original essays from artists and scholars who have established themselves internationally on the basis of specific and significant new contributions to human-animal studies. It offers a broad interpretive account of the development and present configurations of the field of human-animal studies across many cultures, continents, and times.

Anthropology and Nature

Author: Kirsten Hastrup

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134463286

Category: Social Science

Page: 270

View: 7336

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On the basis of empirical studies, this book explores nature as an integral part of the social worlds conventionally studied by anthropologists. The book may be read as a form of scholarly "edgework," resisting institutional divisions and conceptual routines in the interest of exploring new modalities of anthropological knowledge making. The present interest in the natural world is partly a response to large-scale natural disasters and global climate change, and to a keen sense that nature matters matters to society at many levels, ranging from the microbiological and genetic framing of reproduction, over co-species development, to macro-ecological changes of weather and climate. Given that the human footprint is now conspicuous across the entire globe, in the oceans as well as in the atmosphere, it is difficult to claim that nature is what is given and permanent, while people and societies are ephemeral and simply derivative features. This implies that society matters to nature, and some natural scientists look towards the social sciences for an understanding of how people think and how societies work. The book thus opens up a space for new forms of reflection on how natures and societies are generated.

Purity and Danger Now

New Perspectives

Author: Robbie Duschinsky,Simone Schnall,Daniel H Weiss

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315529718

Category: Social Science

Page: 298

View: 4081

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Mary Douglas’s seminal work Purity and Danger (Routledge, 1966) continues to be indispensable reading for both students and scholars today. Marking the 50th anniversary of Douglas’s classic, the present volume sheds fresh light upon themes raised by Douglas by drawing on recent developments in the social sciences and humanities, as well as current empirical research. In presenting new perspectives on the topic of purity and impurity, the volume integrates work in anthropology and sociology with contemporary ideas from religious studies, cognitive science and the arts. Containing contributions from both established and emerging scholars, including protégées of Douglas herself, Purity and Danger Now is an essential volume for those working on purity and impurity across the full spectrum of the social sciences and humanities.

Animism

Respecting the Living World

Author: Graham Harvey

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231137003

Category: Religion

Page: 248

View: 621

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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.

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Anthropology

Author: Helen Kopnina,Eleanor Shoreman-Ouimet

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1317667964

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 472

View: 7264

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Environmental Anthropology studies historic and present human-environment interactions. This volume illustrates the ways in which today's environmental anthropologists are constructing new paradigms for understanding the multiplicity of players, pressures, and ecologies in every environment, and the value of cultural knowledge of landscapes. This Handbook provides a comprehensive survey of contemporary topics in environmental anthropology and thorough discussions on the current state and prospective future of the field in seven key sections. As the contributions to this Handbook demonstrate, the subfield of environmental anthropology is responding to cultural adaptations and responses to environmental changes in multiple and complex ways. As a discipline concerned primarily with human-environment interaction, environmental anthropologists recognize that we are now working within a pressure cooker of rapid environmental damage that is forcing behavioural and often cultural changes around the world. As we see in the breadth of topics presented in this volume, these environmental challenges have inspired renewed foci on traditional topics such as food procurement, ethnobiology, and spiritual ecology; and a broad new range of subjects, such as resilience, nonhuman rights, architectural anthropology, industrialism, and education. This volume enables scholars and students quick access to both established and trending environmental anthropological explorations into theory, methodology and practice.

Brand Mascots

And Other Marketing Animals

Author: Stephen Brown,Sharon Ponsonby-McCabe

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134053908

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 2959

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Tony the Tiger. The Pillsbury Doughboy. The Michelin Man. The Playboy bunny. The list of brand mascots, spokes-characters, totems and logos goes on and on and on. Mascots are one of the most widespread modes of marketing communication and one of the longest established. Yet, despite their ubiquity and utility, brand mascots seem to be held in comparatively low esteem by the corporate cognoscenti. This collection, the first of its kind, raises brand mascots’ standing, both in an academic sense and from a managerial perspective. Featuring case studies and empirical analyses from around the world – here Hello Kitty, there Aleksandr Orlov, beyond that Angry Birds – the book presents the latest thinking on beast-based brands, broadly defined. Entirely qualitative in content, it represents a readable, reliable resource for marketing academics, marketing managers, marketing students and the consumer research community. It should also prove of interest to scholars in adjacent fields, such as cultural studies, media studies, organisation studies, anthropology, sociology, ethology and zoology.

The Handbook of Contemporary Animism

Author: Graham Harvey

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317544498

Category: Religion

Page: 544

View: 7252

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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.

Hunters, Predators and Prey

Inuit Perceptions of Animals

Author: Frédéric Laugrand,Jarich Oosten†

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1782384065

Category: Social Science

Page: 418

View: 7589

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Inuit hunting traditions are rich in perceptions, practices and stories relating to animals and human beings. The authors examine key figures such as the raven, an animal that has a central place in Inuit culture as a creator and a trickster, and qupirruit, a category consisting of insects and other small life forms. After these non-social and inedible animals, they discuss the dog, the companion of the hunter, and the fellow hunter, the bear, considered to resemble a human being. A discussion of the renewal of whale hunting accompanies the chapters about animals considered 'prey par excellence': the caribou, the seals and the whale, symbol of the whole. By giving precedence to Inuit categories such as 'inua' (owner) and 'tarniq' (shade) over European concepts such as 'spirit 'and 'soul', the book compares and contrasts human beings and animals to provide a better understanding of human-animal relationships in a hunting society.

An Introduction to the History of Religion (Routledge Revivals)

Author: F. B. Jevons

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317600053

Category: Religion

Page: 452

View: 6363

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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.

Living with Environmental Change

Waterworlds

Author: Kirsten Hastrup,Cecilie Rubow

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317753615

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 480

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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.

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: 711

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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.

A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion

Author: Craig Martin

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315474395

Category: Religion

Page: 214

View: 8385

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A Critical Introduction to the Study of Religion introduces the key concepts and theories from religious studies that are necessary for a full understanding of the complex relations between religion and society. The aim is to provide readers with an arsenal of critical concepts for studying religious ideologies, practices, and communities. This thoroughly revised second edition has been restructured to clearly emphasize key topics including: Essentialism Functionalism Authority Domination.? All ideas and theories are clearly illustrated, with new and engaging examples and case studies throughout, making this the ideal textbook for students approaching the subject area for the first time.

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: 6420

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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.

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: 5246

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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.

Totem and Taboo

Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics

Author: Sigmund Freud,Abraham Arden Brill

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Psychoanalysis

Page: 265

View: 4802

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Natural Materials of the Holy Land and the Visual Translation of Place, 500-1500

Author: Renana Bartal,Neta Bodner,Bianca Kuhnel

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1351809288

Category: Art

Page: 300

View: 2697

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Natural Materials of the Holy Land and the Visual Translation of Place, 500-1500, focuses on the unique ways that natural materials carry the spirit of place. Since early Christianity, wood, earth, water and stone were taken from loca sancta to signify them elsewhere. Academic discourse has indiscriminately grouped material tokens from holy places and their containers with architectural and topographical emulations, two-dimensional images and bodily relics. However, unlike textual or visual representations, natural materials do not describe or interpret the Holy Land; they are part of it. Tangible and timeless, they realize the meaning of their place of origin in new locations. What makes earth, stones or bottled water transported from holy sites sacred? How do they become pars pro toto, signifying the whole from which they were taken? This book will examine natural media used for translating loca sancta, the processes of their sanctification and how, although inherently abstract, they become charged with meaning. It will address their metamorphosis, natural or induced; how they change the environment to which they are transported; their capacity to translate a static and distant site elsewhere; the effect of their relocation on users/viewers; and how their containers and staging are used to communicate their substance.

African Literature, Animism and Politics

Author: Caroline Rooney

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134558856

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 1515

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This book marks an important contribution to colonial and postcolonial studies in its clarification of the African discourse of consciousness and its far-reaching analyses of a literature of animism. It will be of great interest to scholars in many fields including literary and critical theory, philosophy, anthropology, politics and psychoanalysis.

Religion and Ecological Crisis

The “Lynn White Thesis” at Fifty

Author: Todd LeVasseur,Anna Peterson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317242769

Category: Religion

Page: 206

View: 3047

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In 1967, Lynn White, Jr.’s seminal article The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis was published, essentially establishing the academic study of religion and nature. White argues that religions—particularly Western Christianity—are a major cause of worldwide ecological crises. He then asserts that if we are to halt, let alone revert, anthropogenic damages to the environment, we need to radically transform religious cosmologies. White’s hugely influential thesis has been cited thousands of times in a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to religious studies, environmental ethics, history, ecological science, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology. In practical terms, the ecological crisis to which White was responding has only worsened in the decades since the article was published. This collection of original essays by leading scholars in a variety of interdisciplinary settings, including religion and nature, environmental ethics, animal studies, ecofeminism, restoration ecology, and ecotheology, considers the impact of White’s arguments, offering constructive criticism as well as reflections on the ongoing, ever-changing scholarly debate about the way religion and culture contribute to both environmental crises and to their possible solutions. Religion and Ecological Crisis addresses a wide range of topics related to White’s thesis, including its significance for environmental ethics and philosophy, the response from conservative Christians and evangelicals, its importance for Asian religious traditions, ecofeminist interpretations of the article, and which perspectives might have, ultimately, been left out of his analysis. This book is a timely reflection on the legacy and continuing challenge of White’s influential article.