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Beyond Rationalism

Rethinking Magic, Witchcraft and Sorcery

Edited by Bruce Kapferer

284 pages, 17 color photographs

ISBN  978-1-57181-418-0 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (February 2003)

eISBN 978-0-85745-855-1 eBook


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"…Kapferer’s introduction is an intellectual tour de force, perhaps the most important rethinking of the problems of rationality that underlie the study of witchcraft and sorcery since Evans-Pritchard."  ·  American Anthropologist

"…teems with interesting theoretical insights, and all the chapters are particularly strong in delineating local meanings within the framework of broader processes."  ·  African Studies Review

"... shows that the discourses on 'occult economies' are multiple ... The presented essays are an excellent illustration of their variety of forms and constitute a valuable contribution to their understanding."  ·  Anthropos

This book seeks a reconsideration of the phenomenon of sorcery and related categories. The contributors to the volume explore the different perspectives on human sociality and social and political constitution that practices typically understood as sorcery, magic and ritual reveal. In doing so the authors are concerned to break away from the dictates of a western externalist rationalist understanding of these phenomena without falling into the trap of mysticism. The articles address a diversity of ethnographic contexts in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.

Bruce Kapferer is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, Adjunct Professor at James Cook University and Honorary Professor at University College London.

Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology Religion
Area:

LC: GN475 .B49 2003

BL: m03/26903

BISAC: SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General; REL000000 RELIGION/General

BIC: JHM Anthropology; HRA Religion: general




Contents

Introduction: Outside All Reason - Magic, Sorcery and Epistemology in Anthropology
B. Kapferer

Chapter 1. Anthroposophy and Voodoo in Dominican-Haitian Borderlands
M. Brendbekken

Chapter 2. The Smell of Death: Theft, Disgust and Ritual Practice in Central Lombok, Indonesia
K.G. Telle

Chapter 3. Sorcery, Modernity and the Constitutive Imaginary: Hybridising Continuities
B. Kapferer

Chapter 4. The Sorcerer as the Absented Third Person: Formations of Fear and Anger in Vanuatu
K. Rio

Chapter 5. Sorcerous Technologies and Religious Innovation in Sri Lanka
R. Bastin

Chapter 6. Maleficent Fetishes and the Sensual Order of the Uncanny in South West Congo
R. Devisch

Chapter 7. Fantasy in Practice: Projection and Ontrojection, or the Witch and the Spirit-Medium
M. Lambek

Chapter 8. The Discourse of 'Ritual Murder': Popular Reaction to Political Leaders in Botswana
O. Gulbrandsen

Chapter 9. Strange Fruit: The South African Truth Commission and Demonic Economies of Violence
A. Feldman

Notes on Contributors
Bibliography
Index

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