Devination: Perspectives for a New Milleniumby Patrick Curry
Pub. Date: 11/01/2010
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Divination is any ritual and its associated tradition performed in order to ask a more-than-human intelligence for guidance. A universal human practice, it has received surprisingly little academic attention. This interdisciplinary collection by leading scholars in the field is dedicated to fascinating new insights into divination and oracles arising from recent work in anthropology, religious studies, history and classical studies.
Central importance is given to the practical and theoretical perspectives of diviners as well as scholars of divination; several contributors are both. This book explores philosophical issues such as the nature of divinatory intelligence, the relationship between divinatory and metaphorical truth, the primacy of ontology over epistemology, the importance of reflexivity in scholarly studies of divination, and astrology as the principal Western form of divination. The ethnographic and historical examples range from contemporary Nigeria, urban Cuba, Mayan Guatemala and the shamanic cultures of the circumpolar Arctic to classical Greece and ancient Judea.
- Taylor & Francis
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Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction, Patrick Curry; Theorizing divinatory acts: the integrative discourse of dream oracles, Barbara Tedlock; 'Twinning' and 'perfect knowledge' in African systems of divination, Philip M. Peek; Memoir as method or 'What the devil was I up to anyway?', Laura Grillo; Central Asian and Northern European shamanism, Juha Pentikäinen; The carbon footprint of oracles: how green is divination?, Stuart R. Harrop; Embodiment, alterity and agency in divination: negotiating antinomies in divination, Patrick Curry; Chicane: double-thinking and divination among the witch-doctors, Geoffrey Cornelius; Darwin's fortune, Jonah's shipmates, and the persistence of chance, Evan Heimlich; Arrows, aiming and divination: astrology as a stochastic art, Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum; Life between lives therapy: a mystery ritual for modern times?, Angela Voss; Talking and walking with spirits: fresh perspectives on a medieval necromantic system, Paul Devereux; Clarifying divinatory dialogue: a proposal for a distinction between practitioner divination and essential divination, Anthony Thorley, Chantal Allison, Petra Stapp and John Wadsworth; Afterword: of ises and oughts: an endnote on divinatory obligation, Martin Holbraad; Index.
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