A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion / Edition 2

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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 Palmie, 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 lends unsurpassed accessibility to this text.

About the Author:
Michael Lambek is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Michael Lambek has succeeded in putting together an impressivecollection of key texts and essays." (Culture and Religion,July 2009)

"The most comprehensive anthology on its subject, this is asplendid tool for teaching and a matchless scholarly resource."(International Review of Biblical Studies, 2008)

Praise for the first edition:

"[A] reader that ambitiously attempts to represent the fullbreadth, depth, and complexity of anthropology's investigationsinto religion. ... The masterly general introduction situates thisanthology within the long and often difficult anthropologicalengagement with this most mystified and powerful realm of socialaction. ... [A]n excellent text." (International SocialScience Review)

"A major guide to both the history of the anthropology ofreligion and new trends in research. ... Lambek has compiled anexcellent anthology." (Journal of Empirical Theology)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Lambek is Professor of Anthropology at theUniversity of Toronto and the London School of Economics andPolitical Science. He is author of The Weight of the Past:Living with History in Mahajanga, Madagascar (2002),Knowledge and Practice in Mayotte (1993), and HumanSpirits (1981), and co-editor of Tense Past: Cultural Essaysin Trauma and Memory (1996) and Illness and Irony: On theAmbiguity of Suffering in Culture (2004) (both with PaulAntze).

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Table of Contents

Preface to Second Edition.

General Introduction.

Part I: The Context of Understanding and Debate:.

Opening Frameworks: Introduction.

1. Religion in Primitive Culture: Edward Burnett Tylor.

2. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life: Emile Durkheim.

3. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: MaxWeber.

4. Religion as a Cultural System: Clifford Geertz.

Skeptical Rejoinders: Introduction.

5. Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough: Ludwig Wittgenstein.

6. Religion, Totemism and Symbolism: W. E. H. Stanner.

7. Remarks on the Verb “To Believe”: JeanPouillon.

8. Christians as Believers: Malcolm Ruel.

9. The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category:Talal Asad.

Part II: Poiesis: The Composition of ReligiousWorlds:.

Signs and Symbols: Introduction.

10. The Logic of Signs and Symbols: Susanne K. Langer.

11. The Problem of Symbols: E. E. Evans-Pritchard.

12. On Key Symbols: Sherry B. Ortner.

13. The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Mexican National Symbol: EricWolf.

Structure, Function, and Interpretation: Introduction.

14. Myth in Primitive Psychology: Bronislaw Malinowski.

15. Folk Dialectics of Nature and Culture: Marshall Sahlins.

16. Land Animals, Pure and Impure: Mary Douglas.

17. A Jivaro Version of Totem and Taboo: ClaudeLévi-Strauss.

18. Text-Building, Epistemology, and Aesthetics in JavaneseShadow Theatre: Alton Becker.

Moral Inversions and Spaces of Disorder: Introduction.

19. The Winnebago Trickster Figure: Paul Radin.

20. Witchcraft and Sexual Relations: An Exploration in theSocial and Semantic Implications of the Structure of Belief:Raymond C. Kelly.

21. The Politics and Poetics of Transgression: Peter Stallybrassand Allon White.

Conceptualizing the Cosmos: Introduction.

22. Closure and Multiplication: An Essay on Polynesian Cosmologyand Ritual: Alfred Gell.

23. Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism: EduardoViveiros de Castro.

Part III: Praxis: Religious Action:.

The Movement in Ritual: Emergence: Introduction.

24. The Control of Experience: Symbolic Action: GodfreyLienhardt.

25. Form and Meaning of Magical Acts: Stanley JeyarajaTambiah.

26. Liminality and Communitas: Victor Turner.

Gender, Subjectivity, and the Body: Introduction.

27. 'Jewish Comes Up in You from the Roots': BarbaraMyerhoff.

28. Fate in Relation to the Social Structure: Meyer Fortes.

29. Medusa’s Hair: An Essay on Personal Symbols andReligious Experience: Gananath Obeyesekere.

30. Spirits and Selves in Northern Sudan: The CulturalTherapeutics of Possession and Trance: Janice Boddy.

31. The Poetics of Time in Mayan Divination: Dennis Tedlock.

What Ritual Does: The Foundations of Order: Introduction.

32. The Disconnection between Power and Rank as a Process:Maurice Bloch.

33. Enactments of Meaning: Roy A. Rappaport.

Part IV: Historical Dynamics: Power, Modernity, andChange:.

Capitalism, Colonialism, Christianity, and Conflict:Introduction.

34. New Heaven, New Earth: Kenelm Burridge.

35. The Genesis of Capitalism amongst a South AmericanPeasantry: Devil's Labor and the Baptism of Money: MichaelTaussig.

36. The Colonization of Consciousness: John and JeanComaroff.

37. Convicted by the Holy Spirit: The Rhetoric of FundamentalBaptist Conversion: Susan F. Harding.

38. On Being Shege in Kinshasa: Children, the Occult and theStreet: Filip de Boeck.

Religious Ethics and Politics in the State, Public Sphere, andTransnational Scene: Introduction.

39. Civil Religion in America: Robert N. Bellah.

40. Shamanic Practices and the State in Northern Asia: Viewsfrom the Center and Periphery: Caroline Humphrey.

41. 'Using the Past to Negate the Present': Ritual Ethics andState Rationality in Ancient China: Mayfair Mei-hui Yang.

42. Passional Preaching, Aural Sensibility, and the IslamicRevival in Cairo: Charles Hirschkind.

43. Moral Landscapes: Ethical Discourses among Orthodox andDiaspora Jains: Anne Vallely.

44. Candomblé in Pink, Green and Black: Re-scripting theAfro-Brazilian Religious Heritage in the Public Sphere of Salvador,Bahia: Mattijs van de Port.

45. Martyr vs. Martyr: The Sacred Language of Violence: GalitHasan-Rokem.


46. Evidence and Presence, Spectral and Other: StephanPalmié.

Part V: Research Tools:.

A Guide to the Literature.



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