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Religion and Science as Forms of Life
Anthropological Insights into Reason and Unreason
Edited by Carles Salazar and Joan Bestard
238 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-488-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 2015)
ISBN 978-1-78920-084-3 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (March 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78238-489-2 eBook
“The publication of this volume marks a rich addition to long-established anthropological fields of magic, religion, and science. More importantly, however, the book is an important, much-needed injection to arguably sidelined anthropological fields of belief, disbelief, and, relatedly, unresolved contradiction.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)
“The contributors accomplished what they set out to do. They crossed disciplinary lines, exchanging and cross-referencing essays, while maintaining functionality in their own areas of expertise. The book produces an enlightening and fruitful conversation about religion and science as forms of life. It is especially recommended for academic classrooms to encourage critical reasoning and debate.” • International Social Science Review
“Religion and Science as Forms of Life: Anthropological Insights into Reason and Unreason brings together various theoretical positions from which to consider how forms of knowledge are articulated, opposed or mingled together, and their impact in different social settings. It is of special interest for academics in the field of anthropology and sociology of religion, but it can also be of particular relevance to anyone interested in analyses that explore the categories of ‘superstition’ and ‘belief’.” • Anthropological Forum
“Drawing on an eclectic range of ethnographic, empirical and theoretical sources, this book is a fascinating and timely contribution to contemporary scholarly debates about that most troubled of interfaces, between religion and science.” • Alexander Smith, The University of Warwick
“The conceptualization of the volume in terms of science, religion and forms of life (although public life might also work) is original and compelling as a means of exploring the complex terrains and scales at which religion and science meet, are received and transform one another.” • Paul-François Tremlett, The Open University
The relationships between science and religion are about to enter a new phase in our contemporary world, as scientific knowledge has become increasingly relevant in ordinary life, beyond the institutional public spaces where it traditionally developed. The purpose of this volume is to analyze the relationships, possible articulations and contradictions between religion and science as forms of life: ways of engaging human experience that originate in particular social and cultural formations. Contributions use this theoretical and ethnographic research to explore different scientific and religious cultures in the contemporary world.
Carles Salazar is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Lleida. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and has carried out ethnographic fieldwork on cooperation, religion and kinship. His publications include Anthropology and Sexual Morality. A Theoretical Investigation (Berghahn, 2006) and European Kinship in the Age of Biotechnology, co-edited with Jeanette Edwards (Berghahn, 2009).
Joan Bestard is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona, where he is also director of the research center on Kinship and Family. He has done research on kinship and religion and is currently conducting research on religion in Southeast Poland. His recent publication is Familias (Madrid, 2012).
Subject: Anthropology (General) Anthropology of Religion
Introduction: Science, Religion and Forms of Life
PART I: COGNITION
Chapter 1. Maturationally Natural Cognition Impedes Professional Science and Facilitates Popular Religion
Robert N. McCauley
Chapter 2. Scientific vs. Religious ‘Knowledge’ in Evolutionary Perspective
Chapter 3. Magic and Ritual in an Age of Science
PART II: BEYOND SCIENCE
Chapter 4. Moral Employments of Scientific Thought
Chapter 5. The Social Life of Concepts: Public and Private 'Knowledge' of Scientific Creationism
Chapter 6. The Embryo, Sacred and Profane
Chapter 7. The Religions of Science and the Sciences of Religion in Brazil.
Chapter 8. Science in Action, Religion in Thought: Catholic Charismatics’ Notions about Illness
PART III: MEANING SYSTEMS
Chapter 9. On the Resilience of Superstition
João de Pina-Cabral
Chapter 10. Religion, Magic and Practical Reason: Meaning and Everyday Life in Contemporary Ireland
Chapter 11. Can the Dead Suffer Traumas? Religion and Science after the Vietnam War
Notes on Contributors
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