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Methodology & History in Anthropology
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A Moral Anthropology
Edited by William C. Olsen and Thomas J. CsordasAfterword by David Parkin
322 pages, index
ISBN 978-1-78920-213-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (May 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78920-214-4 eBook
“The various contributions offer a rich and highly variegated overview of how anthropologists have dealt with ‘evil’ and thus give a good idea of the baffling variety hiding behind this notion.” • Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam
Anthropologists have expressed wariness about the concept of evil even in discussions of morality and ethics, in part because the concept carries its own cultural baggage and theological implications in Euro-American societies. Addressing the problem of evil as a distinctly human phenomenon and a category of ethnographic analysis, this volume shows the usefulness of engaging evil as a descriptor of empirical reality where concepts such as violence, criminality, and hatred fall short of capturing the darkest side of human existence.
William C. Olsen is a lecturer for anthropology and African studies at Georgetown University.
Thomas J. Csordas is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and James Y. Chan Presidential Chair in Global Health at the University of California, San Diego.
Subject: Theory and Methodology Sociology Anthropology of Religion
William C. Olsen and Thomas Csordas
PART I: EVIL AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Chapter 1. From Theodicy to Homodicy: Evil as an Anthropological Problem
Chapter 2. On the Concept of “Evil” in Anthropological Analyses and Political Violence
PART II: EVIL AND SUFFERING
Chapter 3. Speak No Evil: Inversion and Evasion in Indonesia
Chapter 4. Mother Evil in Hell Valley: A Creole Transvalorisation of Evil in Trinidad
Chapter 5. Satan on the Old Kent Road: Articulations of Evil in a Pentecostal Diaspora
Chapter 6. The Transformation of Evil in Nepal
Chapter 7. Radical Evil and the Notion of Conscience: A Buddhist Meditation on Christian Soteriology
Chapter 8. Are Spirits Satanic? The Ambiguity of Evil in Niger
PART III: EVIL AND VIOLENCE
Chapter 9. Engaging Evil and Excess in Palestine / Israel
Chapter 10. The Violence of Evil: A Biocultural Approach to Violence, Memory, and Pain
Chapter 11. The Intention of Evil: Asram in Asante
William C. Olsen
Chapter 12. Monsters, Sadists, and the Unspectacular Torture Experience
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