Anthropology of Religion Online

March 1, 2009 / 0 comments

Doug Padgett writes on the “General Characteristics of Contemporary Anthropology of Religion.” here. 1. Contemporary anthropology of religion sympathizes with the “practicalities” (William James’s word) of religious experience: religion on the ground, in the populace, and the tensions felt there between official, institutional notions and the polytheistic, even inclusive atmosphere of majority religious life. This…

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Imaginative Universe

February 7, 2009 / 0 comments

In “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture,” Geertz argues that it is not “ignorance as to how cognition works” that prevents understanding of another culture but rather “lack of familiarity with the imaginative universe within which their acts are signs.” Practicing the comprehension of alternative imaginative universes is, therefore, the ultimate preparation for…

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