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The Mythology In Our Language

Author : Ludwig Wittgenstein
ISBN : 0990505065
Genre : Religion
File Size : 75.41 MB
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Once upon a time, anthropology had something to offer philosophy. It was a time when Continential thinkers drew on anthropology's theoretical terms--mana, taboo, potlatch--in order to reflect on the limits of human belief and imagination. Among these philosophic dialogues with anthropology, we find Ludwig Wittgenstein's Remarks on Sir James Frazer's magnum opus, "The Golden Bough." Now, Hau Books brings you the first translation by an anthropology--Stephan Palmie--of this masterpiece. Wittgenstein's remarks on ritual, magic, religion, belief, ceremony, and Frazer's own logical presuppositions are as lucid and thought-provoking now as they were over half-a-century ago. Anthropologists find themselves repeating many of Wittgenstein's same questions and confronting similar doubts today: Is metaphysics a kind of magic? What do we call "ritual"? Are humans simply "ceremonial animals"? This book is not only a fresh translation, but a fresh set of engagements with Wittgenstein's ideas from some of the world's most brilliant anthropologists. Contributors include: David Graeber, Veena Das, Michael Lambek, Heonik Kwon, Carlo Severi, Michael Taussig, Wendy James, Giovanni da Col, and Michael Puett. Here is a unique and well-overdue discussion of the mythologies in our language. Taking interdisciplinarity seriously, this volume returns to the ethnographic imagination that made great thinkers like Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and indeed Ludwig Wittgenstein take heed--and returns the favor to the philosophical tradition that found wonder and pause for thought in the anthropological canon.
Category: Religion

The Cooking Of History

Author : Stephan Palmié
ISBN : 9780226019734
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70.49 MB
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Over a lifetime of studying Cuban Santería and other religions related to Orisha worship—a practice also found among the Yoruba in West Africa—Stephan Palmié has grown progressively uneasy with the assumptions inherent in the very term Afro-Cuban religion. In The Cooking of History he provides a comprehensive analysis of these assumptions, in the process offering an incisive critique both of the anthropology of religion and of scholarship on the cultural history of the Afro-Atlantic World. Understood largely through its rituals and ceremonies, Santería and related religions have been a challenge for anthropologists to link to a hypothetical African past. But, Palmié argues, precisely by relying on the notion of an aboriginal African past, and by claiming to authenticate these religions via their findings, anthropologists—some of whom have converted to these religions—have exerted considerable influence upon contemporary practices. Critiquing widespread and damaging simplifications that posit religious practices as stable and self-contained, Palmié calls for a drastic new approach that properly situates cultural origins within the complex social environments and scholarly fields in which they are investigated.
Category: Social Science

Muhammad And The Golden Bough

Author : Jaroslav Stetkevych
ISBN : 0253214130
Genre : Religion
File Size : 72.78 MB
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Through its development of a methodology for analysing the mythic and folkloric traditions of pre-Islamic Arabia and the process of their incorporation into Islamic myth and Qur'anic texts,Muhammad and the Golden Boughoffers compelling insights for students of Islam, comparative religion, and cultural anthropology. By linking Arabic myth with a broad range of ancient and classical texts--including Gilgamesh, Homer, and the Hebrew Bible--the book makes a provocative contribution to Biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies, classics, and comparative literature. The richness of myth in Arab-Islamic culture has long been ignored or even denied. InMuhammad and the Golden BoughJaroslav Stetkevych demonstrates the existence of a coherent pre-Islamic Arabian myth that was subsequently incorporated into Islamic poetic tradition. The study dissects the intriguing Arab-Islamic myth built around Muhammad's unearthing of a "golden bough" from the grave of the last survivor of an ancient Arab people, the Thamud, who, according to the myth, were destroyed by a divine scourge for their iniquity. Stetkevych draws together the lore of pre-Islamic Arabia, the Qu'ran, and the Biography of the Prophet. Once reconstructed and deconstructed, the Arabian myth then serves as the basis for a comparative study that links Arabic mythic traditions with Gilgamesh, Homer, and the Hebrew Bible.
Category: Religion

Wittgenstein Grammar And God

Author : Alan Keightley
ISBN : 9781498207508
Genre : Religion
File Size : 70.62 MB
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Wittgenstein, Grammar, and God attempts to clarify the nature of what has come to be called the Wittgenstenian approach to religious belief, and to demonstrate the radicality of its challenge to contemporary ways of studying and assessing religion. Apart from Wittgenstein's own work, it pays close attention to his present day followers, D. Z. Phillips, R. Rhees, etc. It examines the central questions of the meaning of God and reductionism, but the book also tries to show how the debate about Wittgenstein impinges upon the problems of the contemporary theologian. In short, this study attempts to cast a fresh perspective on the quest for clarity on our understanding of religion.
Category: Religion

The Owners Of Kinship

Author : Luiz Costa
ISBN : 0997367598
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39.53 MB
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The Owners of Kinship investigates how kinship in Indigenous Amazonia is derived from the asymmetrical relation between an "owner" and his or her dependents. Through a comprehensive ethnography of the Kanamari, Luiz Costa shows how this relationship is centered around the bond created between the feeder and the fed. Building on anthropological studies of the acquisition, distribution, and consumption of food and its role in establishing relations of asymmetrical mutuality and kinship, this book breaks theoretical ground for studies in Amazonia and beyond. By investigating how the feeding relation traverses Kanamari society--from the relation between women and the pets they raise, shaman and familiar spirit, mother and child, chiefs and followers, to those between the Brazilian state and the Kanamari--The Owners of Kinship reveals how the mutuality of kinship is determined by the asymmetry of ownership.
Category: Social Science

Acting For Others

Author : Pascale Bonnemere
ISBN : 099736758X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52.29 MB
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For the Ankave of Papua New Guinea, men, unlike women, do not reach adulthood and become fathers simply by growing up and reproducing. What fathers--and by extension, men--actually are is a result of a series of relational transformations, operated in and by rituals in which men and women both perform complementary actions in separate spaces. Acting for Others is a tour de force in Melanesian ethnography, gender studies, and theories of ritual. Based on years of fieldwork conducted by the author and her husband and co-ethnographer, this book's "double view" of the Ankave ritual cycle--from women in the village and from the men in the forest--is novel, provocative, and one of the most incisive analyses of the emergence of ideas of gender in Papua New Guinea since Marilyn Strathern's The Gender of the Gift. At the heart of Bonnem�re's argument is the idea that it is possible for genders to act for and upon one another, and this, almost paradoxically, by limiting action through the obeying of taboos and other restrictions. With this first English translation by acclaimed French translator Nora Scott, accompanied by a foreword from Marilyn Strathern, Acting for Others brings the Ankave ritual world to new theoretical life, challenging how we think about mutual action, mutual being, and mutual life.
Category: Social Science

Two Lenins

Author : Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov
ISBN : 0997367539
Genre : History
File Size : 86.41 MB
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Highly innovative and theoretically incisive, Two Lenins is the first book-length anthropological examination of how social reality can be organized around different yet concurrent ideas of time. Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov grounds his theoretical exploration in fascinating ethnographic and historical material on two Lenins: the first is the famed Soviet leader of the early twentieth century, and the second is a Siberian Evenki hunter--nicknamed "Lenin"--who experienced the collapse of the USSR during the 1990s. Through their intertwined stories, Ssorin-Chaikov unveils new dimensions of ethnographic reality by multiplying our notions of time. Ssorin-Chaikov examines Vladimir Lenin at the height of his reign in 1920s Soviet Russia, focusing especially on his relationship with American businessperson Armand Hammer. He casts this scene against the second Lenin--the hunter on the far end of the country, in Siberia, at the far end of the century, the 1990s, who is tasked with improvising postsocialism in the economic and political uncertainties of post-Soviet transition. Moving from Moscow to Siberia to New York, and traveling form the 1920s to the 1960s to the 1990's, Ssorin-Chaikov takes readers beyond a simple global history or cross-temporal comparison, instead using these two figures to enact an ethnographic study of the very category of time that we use to bridge different historical contexts.
Category: History

From Atlantis To The Sphinx

Author : Colin Wilson
ISBN : 1578633060
Genre : History
File Size : 24.87 MB
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In this compelling book, Colin Wilson argues that thousands of years before ancient Egypt and Greece held sway, there was a great civilization whose ships traveled the world from China to Antarctica. Their advanced knowledge of science, mathematics, and astronomy was passed on to descendants who escaped to Egypt and South America. From Atlantis to the Sphinx bases this assertion on a true fact: that archaeologists and geologists are at odds over the age of the Sphinx. Archaeologists claim that the Sphinx dates to classical dynastic Egypt, around 2,400 b.c. But some geologists claim that it could have been built as early as 7,000 to 10,500 b.c. The geologists' claim is based on the curious fact that the erosion of the Sphinx is more characteristic of water erosion than that of wind and sand. Starting from the assumption that there was an advanced civilization in existence much earlier than previously thought, Wilson goes on to claim that it could very well be Atlantis--not a literal island that sank, but more of a great civilization that either declined naturally or experienced a great catastrophe, passing on only a fraction of its knowledge to other peoples. From Atlantis to the Sphinx delves into what might have been a completely different knowledge system from that of modern man--one as alien to us as that of the Martians. The book sets out to reconstruct that ancient knowledge in a fascinating exploration of the remote depths of history, a ground-breaking attempt to understand how these long-forgotten peoples thought, felt, and communicated with the universe.
Category: History

The White Goddess

Author : Robert Graves
ISBN : 9780374710385
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 20.94 MB
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The White Goddess is perhaps the finest of Robert Graves's works on the psychological and mythological sources of poetry. In this tapestry of poetic and religious scholarship, Graves explores the stories behind the earliest of European deities—the White Goddess of Birth, Love, and Death—who was worshipped under countless titles. He also uncovers the obscure and mysterious power of "pure poetry" and its peculiar and mythic language.
Category: Literary Criticism