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Taboo, Truth and Religion

Franz B. Steiner
Edited and with an Introduction by Jeremy Adler and Richard Fardon
With a Preface by Mary Douglas

304 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-711-2 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (October 1999)

ISBN  978-1-57181-712-9 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (October 1999)

eISBN 978-1-78238-802-9 eBook


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"These works ... must be read and reread for their brilliance as individual pieces, but reading them as a collectivity makes the experience all the more richer and intellecutally challenging."  · American Anthropologist

Franz Steiner's study of Taboo is internationally recognized as a classic in its field. In a newly researched introductory chapter, based on a thorough study of Steiner's unpublished papers, this edition for the first time places the book in its context and offers a new reading of the text. More than just a critique of existing taboo theories, as it has often been seen, this study offers a profound analysis of danger behavior and pollution in "non-civilized" societies. This provided an important starting-point for Mary Douglas' Purity and Danger. A key aspect of Steiner's achievement lies in his attempt to reconcile detailed, faithful ethnographic analysis with anthropological comparison. His analysis of taboo thus provides a case study with wide-ranging ramifications.

This new edition makes a classic text available once again to students and general readers. A major new introduction based on archival research offers, for the first time, a biography and critical study of Franz Steiner; it not only places him in the context of British and European thought but also shows his importance for contemporary debates, among them deconstruction and Orientalism.

Jeremy Adler is Professor of German at King's College London and specializes ininterdisciplinary subjects such as literature and science, poetry and painting, literature and anthropology. He is currently preparing a collected edition of Franz Steiner's poetry for theGerman Academy of Language and Literature, Darmstadt. 

Richard Fardon is Professor in West African Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and has intensively researched among Chamba-speaking people in Cameroon and Nigeria. He is currently completing an intellectual biography of Mary Douglas.

Series: Volume 2, Methodology & History in Anthropology
Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology Religion
Area: Europe Asia

LC: GN471.4 .S622 1999

BL: YC.2000.a.7755

BISAC: SOC019000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Methodology; REL000000 RELIGION/General

BIC: JHM Anthropology; HRA Religion: general




Contents

List of Illustrations
Contents of Volume II
Acknowledgements
A Note on Quotations

PART I: INTRODUCTIONS

Franz Steiner. A Memoir
Mary Douglas

An Oriental in the West: The Life of Franz Baermann Steiner
Jeremy Adler and Richard Fardon

PART II: TABOO

Chapter 1. The Discovery of Taboo
Chapter 2. Taboo in Polynesia (I)
Chapter 3. Taboo in Polynesia (II)
Chapter 4. A Victorian Problem: Robertson Smith
Chapter 5. Taboo and Contagion
Chapter 6. Taboo and the 'Holy'
Chapter 7. The Hebrew Bible: Snaith and Frazer
Chapter 8. Frazer and His Critic, Marett
Chapter 9. Taboo as Negative Mana
Chapter 10. Van Gennep and Radcliffe-Brown
Chapter 11. Wundt and Freud
Chapter 12. The Problem of Taboo

Bibliography. Reviews of Taboo

PART III: RELIGIOUS TRUTH

How to Define Superstition?

Enslavement and the Early Hebrew Lineage System: An Explanation of Genesis 47: 29-31, 48: 1-16

Chagga Law and Chagga Truth

Bibliography and References to Volumes I and II
Name Index to Volume I
Subject Index to Volume II

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