A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-01-29
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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For anthropologists it has always been necessary to question and confront the components of religion, in order to understand its influence in society. In the second edition of the highly acclaimed Reader in the Anthropology of Religion, Michael Lambek collects some of the most significant classic and contemporary writings on the subject, creating an unparalleled guide to the past, present, and future of the field.Including nine additional selections, among them classic pieces by Pouillon, Burridge, and Meyerhoff, as well as more contemporary work by Harding, De Boeck, and Palmi , this volume examines numerous aspects of religion in a diversity of cultures, and expands upon the idea of what we mean by 'religion ', linking it to some of the broader questions of culture and politics. Lambek begins with a general introduction to familiarize the reader with the subject matter, and then prefaces each selection with helpful contextual remarks and suggestions for further reading. Additionally, the inclusion of research tools and an extensive bibliography indexed by both ethnographic region and religious topics and practices lends unsurpassed accessibility to this text.

Author Biography

Michael Lambek is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is author of The Weight of the Past: Living with History in Mahajanga, Madagascar (2002), Knowledge and Practice in Mayotte (1993), and Human Spirits (1981), and co-editor of Tense Past: Cultural Essays in Trauma and Memory (1996) and Illness and Irony: On the Ambiguity of Suffering in Culture (2004) (both with Paul Antze).

Table of Contents

Preface to Second Editionp. xi
General Introductionp. 1
The Context of Understanding and Debatep. 19
Opening Frameworksp. 21
Introductionp. 21
Religion in Primitive Culturep. 23
The Elementary Forms of Religious Lifep. 34
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalismp. 48
Religion as a Cultural Systemp. 57
Skeptical Rejoindersp. 77
Introductionp. 77
Remarks on Frazer's Golden Boughp. 79
Religion, Totemism and Symbolismp. 82
Remarks on the Verb "To Believe"p. 90
Christians as Believersp. 97
The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Categoryp. 110
Poiesis: The Composition of Religious Worldsp. 127
Signs and Symbolsp. 129
Introductionp. 129
The Logic of Signs and Symbolsp. 131
The Problem of Symbolsp. 139
On Key Symbolsp. 151
The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Mexican National Symbolp. 160
Structure, Function, and Interpretationp. 167
Introductionp. 167
Myth in Primitive Psychologyp. 168
Folk Dialectics of Nature and Culturep. 176
Land Animals, Pure and Impurep. 183
A Jivaro Version of Totem and Taboop. 196
Text-Building, Epistemology, and Aesthetics in Javanese Shadow Theatrep. 206
Moral Inversions and Spaces of Disorderp. 225
Introductionp. 225
The Winnebago Trickster Figurep. 226
Witchcraft and Sexual Relations: An Exploration in the Social and Semantic Implications of the Structure of Beliefp. 238
The Politics and Poetics of Transgressionp. 253
Conceptualizing the Cosmosp. 265
Introductionp. 265
Closure and Multiplication: An Essay on Polynesian Cosmology and Ritualp. 267
Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivismp. 280
Praxis: Religious Actionp. 299
The Movement in Ritual: Emergencep. 301
Introductionp. 301
The Control of Experience: Symbolic Actionp. 302
Form and Meaning of Magical Actsp. 311
Liminality and Communitasp. 326
Gender, Subjectivity, and the Bodyp. 341
Introductionp. 341
"Jewish Comes Up in You from the Roots"p. 342
Fate in Relation to the Social Structurep. 350
Medusa's Hair: An Essay on Personal Symbols and Religious Experiencep. 356
Spirits and Selves in Northern Sudan: The Cultural Therapeutics of Possession and Trancep. 368
The Poetics of Time in Mayan Divinationp. 386
What Ritual Does: The Foundations of Orderp. 397
Introductionp. 397
The Disconnection between Power and Rank as a Processp. 398
Enactments of Meaningp. 410
Historical Dynamics: Power, Modernity, and Changep. 429
Capitalism, Colonialism, Christianity, and Conflictp. 431
Introductionp. 431
New Heaven, New Earthp. 432
The Genesis of Capitalism amongst a South American Peasantry: Devil's Labor and the Baptism of Moneyp. 447
The Colonization of Consciousnessp. 464
Convicted by the Holy Spirit: The Rhetoric of Fundamental Baptist Conversionp. 479
On Being Shege in Kinshasa: Children, the Occult and the Streetp. 495
Religious Ethics and Politics in the State, Public Sphere, and Transnational Scenep. 507
Introductionp. 507
Civil Religion in Americap. 509
Shamanic Practices and the State in Northern Asia: Views from the Center and Peripheryp. 519
"Using the Past to Negate the Present": Ritual Ethics and State Rationality in Ancient Chinap. 533
Passional Preaching, Aural Sensibility, and the Islamic Revival in Cairop. 544
Moral Landscapes: Ethical Discourses among Orthodox and Diaspora Jainsp. 560
Candomble in Pink, Green and Black: Re-scripting the Afro-Brazilian Religious Heritage in the Public Sphere of Salvador, Bahiap. 573
Martyr vs. Martyr: The Sacred Language of Violencep. 590
Afterwordp. 597
Evidence and Presence, Spectral and Otherp. 598
Research Toolsp. 611
A Guide to the Literaturep. 613
Bibliographyp. 630
Indexp. 673
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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