Pastoral Care & Counselling

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An accessible, balanced undergraduate textbook on anthropological theory. Jerry D. Moore's "Visions of Culture" presents students with a brief, readable treatment of theoretical developments in the field from the days of Tylor and Morgan through contemporary postmodernists and cultural materialists. The key ideas of 21 major theorists are briefly described and linked to biographical and fieldwork experiences that helped shape those theories. An assessment of the scholar's impact on contemporary theorizing is presented, along with numerous explanatory examples, illuminating quotes from the theorists' writings, and a description of the broader intellectual setting in which these anthropologists worked. An ideal book for classes on the theory or the history of anthropology.

Author Biography: Jerry D. Moore is a professor of anthropology at California State University, Dominquez Hills.

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Editorial Reviews

An undergraduate text on anthropological theory, surveying theoretical developments in the field from the days of Tylor and Morgan through contemporary postmodernists and cultural materialists. Organized by major themes, chapters describe key ideas of 21 major theorists and assess each scholar's impact on contemporary theorizing. Includes quotes from theorists' writings. For courses in theory and history of anthropology. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761970965
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 9/17/2002
  • Series: Ethics in Practice Series
  • Pages: 104
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon Lynch is Professor in the Sociology of Religion in the Faculty of Lifelong Learning at Birkbeck College. He joined Birkbeck from the University of Birmingham in May 2007, where he had been Senior Lecturer in Religion and Culture.

Professor Lynch's work focuses on the relationship between religion and culture, and contemporary religious movements, in the West. He was employed as a consultant to help to draw up the research priorities for the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society research programme, the largest research programme on religion to have been commissioned in the UK, and continues to serve on the steering group for that programme. He is also a member of the ESRC's Virtual College, representing work in the field of the sociology of religion.

Professor Lynch is the chair of the British Sociological Association's Sociology of Religion study group. He is has also been the co-founder and lead convenor of the UK research network for Theology, Religion and Popular Culture, and is co-chair of the Religion, Media and Culture Group within the American Academy of Religion. In addition to his academic work, Professor Lynch also writes and speaks on issues of religion and contemporary society in various media, and is a regular speaker at conferences and workshops exploring issues of contemporary spirituality.

Professor Lynch's original doctoral study explored the relationship between belief, values and psychotherapy, and he subsequently trained as a psychodynamic counsellor. His early writing discussed theoretical and ethical issues in counselling and psychotherapy, and he edited Clinical Counselling in Pastoral Settings (Routledge, 1999).

On starting his academic appointment at Birmingham in 1999, his interests moved more towards sociological and cultural approaches to studying significant sources of meaning and value for people living in an increasingly de-Christianised Western society. This led him to write After Religion: Generation X and the Search for Meaning (DLT, 2002), a critical examination of an emerging literature on the spirituality of young adults, alienated from institutional religion. In turn, this project led to more detailed research on significant values and meanings amongst participants in the mainstream techno and hard-house club scene, as well as a subsequent book exploring theological and religious studies approaches to researching media and popular culture (Understanding Theology and Popular Culture, Blackwell, 2005). He has has developed an international profile in the field of religion, media and culture, and recently edited of collection of leading essays exploring key issues for the future of this field (Between Sacred and Profane: Researching Religion and Popular Culture, IB Tauris, 2007).

His interest in sources of meaning and value in contemporary Western society also led him to explore a growing literature suggesting that there is a significant spiritual movement taking place outside the conventional spaces and boundaries of institutional religion. This project, published as The New Spirituality: An Introduction to Progressive Belief in the Twenty-First Century (IB Tauris, 2007) led Lynch to conclude that this 'spirituality' did not at present involve substantial numbers of people, nor was it confined to a world of alternative spiritualities beyond institutional religion, but that it was an ideological movement that cut across and beyond a range of religious traditions and represented a contemporary extension of a more established movement of religious liberalism in the West. At a time in which popular and media discourse about religion often presents the polarised alternatives of conservative/fundamentalist religion or atheism/secularism, Professor Lynch has been keen to argue that this alternative movement of the religious Left should not be ignored as a possible source of ideas and practices for the future.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
Introduction: What's the Point? 9
Pt. 1 Founders 15
Ch. 1 Edward Tylor: The Evolution of Culture 17
Ch. 2 Lewis Henry Morgan: The Evolution of Society 29
Ch. 3 Franz Boas: Culture in Contest 42
Ch. 4 Emile Durkheim: The Organic Society 53
Pt. 2 The Nature of Culture 65
Ch. 5 Alfred Kroeber: Configurations of Culture 69
Ch. 6 Ruth Benedict: Patterns of Culture 79
Ch. 7 Edward Sapir: Culture, Language and the Individual 88
Ch. 8 Margaret Mead: The Individual and Culture 101
Pt. 3 The Nature of Society 113
Ch. 9 Marcel Mauss: Elemental Categories, Total Facts 117
Ch. 10 Bronislaw Malinowski: The Functions of Culture 128
Ch. 11 A. R. Radcliffe Brown: The Structures of Society 140
Ch. 12 Edward Evans-Pritchard: Social Anthropology, Social History 152
Pt. 4 Evolutionary, Adaptationist, and Materialist Theories 165
Ch. 13 Leslie White: Evolution Emergent 169
Ch. 14 Julian Steward: Cultural Ecology and Multilinear Evolution 181
Ch. 15 Marvin Harris: Cultural Materialism 190
Ch. 16 Eleanor Burke Leacock: Feminism, Marxism, and History 201
Pt. 5 Structures, Symbols, and Meanings 211
Ch. 17 Claude Levi-Strauss: Structuralism 215
Ch. 18 Victor Turner: Symbols, Pilgrims and Drama 228
Ch. 19 Clifford Geertz: An Interpretive Anthropology 238
Ch. 20 Mary Douglas: Symbols and Structures, Pollution and Purity 248
Ch. 21 James Fernandez: The Play of Tropes 261
Postscript: Current Controversies 271
Index 277
About the Author 283
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