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Contemporary Religiosities: Emergent Socialities and the Post-Nation-State

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Contemporary Religiosities

Emergent Socialities and the Post-Nation-State

Edited by Bruce Kapferer, Kari Telle, and Annelin Eriksen

220 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-130-9 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (August 2010)

eISBN 978-0-85745-534-5 eBook

Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


These papers offer us many challenges as we come to consider the sacred and the secular, church and state, and associated moral concerns from new perspectives.  ·  Anthropological Notebooks

Pity the reviewer of a collection of eleven articles as stimulating but thematically diverse as this.  ·  JRAI

“… a wide-ranging collection of studies taking the pulse of modern religion and society. As has become apparent, it is no longer possible to hold religion and politics apart analytically, nor to rest comfortably in the assumptions of secularization…As the state changes (or wanes), other social forces will blend with it or replace it, and the authors here have done a valuable service in demonstrating just a few ways in which this is happening and will continue to happen.”  ·  Anthropology Review Database


The last decade has seen an unexpected return of the religious, and with it the creation of new kinds of social forms alongside new fusions of political and religious realms that high modernity kept distinct. For a fuller understanding of what this means for society in the context of globalization, it is necessary to rethink the relationship between the religious and the secular; the contributors - all leading scholars in anthropology - do just that, some even arguing that secularization itself now takes a religious form. Combining theoretical reflection with vivid ethnographic explorations, this essential collection is designed to advance a critical understanding of social and personal religious experience in today's world.

Bruce Kapferer is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and is currently Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway. His published books include: A Celebration of Demons (1983), Legends of People, Myths of the State (1988), and The Feast of the Sorcerer (1997). He has edited Beyond Rationalism (2003), and has coedited with Angela Hobart Aesthetics in Performance (2005) and, with Bjørn Bertelsen, Crisis of the State (2009).

Kari Telle is a Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Bergen, Norway, where she also coordinates the “Politics of Faith” research program. Her work in Indonesia deals with popular religion, ritual, conflict and security politics. Recent publications include: Swearing Innocence: Performing Justice and “Reconciliation” in Post-New Order Lombok(2009); Spirited Places and Ritual Dynamics among Sasak Muslims on Lombok (2009); Entangled Biographies: Rebuilding a Sasak House (2007).

Annelin Eriksen is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen. She has worked since 1995 in Vanuatu, first on Ambrym island and later in the capital Port Vila. Her work deals with social and cultural change, Christianity, and gender relations. Her most recent book is Gender, Christianity and Change (2008).

Subject: Anthropology of Religion Theory and Methodology


Introduction: Religiosities toward a Future—in Pursuit of the New Millennium
Bruce Kapferer, Annelin Eriksen, and Kari Telle

Chapter 1. The Politics of Conviction: Faith on the Neo-liberal Frontier
Jean Comaroff

Chapter 2. Strategic Secularism: Bible Advocacy in England
Matthew Engelke

Chapter 3. Pentecostal Networks and the Spirit of Globalization: On the Social Productivity of Ritual Forms
Joel Robbins

Chapter 4.  Healing the Nation: In Search of Unity through the Holy Spirit in Vanuatu
Annelin Eriksen

Chapter 5. What Happened to Cargo Cults? Material Religions in Melanesia and the West
Ton Otto

Chapter 6. Gold for a Golden Age: Sacred Money and Islamic Freedom in a Global Sufi Order
Nils Bubandt

Chapter 7. Sri Lankan Civil Society and Its Fanatics
Rohan Bastin

Chapter 8. Dharma Power: Searching for Security in Post–New Order Indonesia
Kari Telle

Chapter 9. An Ancient Case of Interrogation and Torture
Bruce Lincoln

Chapter 10. The Terrorist as Humanitarian
Faisal Devji

Chapter 11. Reflections on the Rise of Legal Theology: Law and Religion in the Twenty-First Century
John L. Comaroff

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