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QuAderns de l´Institut Català d´Antropologia Nº 23

Nombre de la Revista: QuAderns de l´Institut Català d´Antropologia
Número de Sumario: 23
Fecha de Publicación: 2007

QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia

Institut Català d'Antropologia

Nº 23  (2007)                                        ISSN: 0211-5557 

Más información en   http://www.antropologia.cat/.....




Coordinat per Carles Salazar i Carrasco

S . U . M . A . R . I .

Presentació.  Carles Salazar

ICA - QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia, Nº 25 (2009):                           360grados.org  
Introduction: cause and meaning in the anthropology of religion
Carles Salazar

Resum:  This paper provides a critical assesment of two major theoretical approaches to the anthropology of religion, the cognitive and the hermeneutical or symbolic approaches, with the aim of reaching some kind of accommodation or compatibility between the two. The paper starts by tracing the theoretical origins of the cognitive perspective to the so-called "cognitive revolution" initiated by Chomskean linguistics and prominent developments of evolutionary biology and psycology that gathered momentum in the decades to follow. The main contributions of cognitive scholars to the anthropological analysis of religion are highligthed alongside their limitations, which in essence have to do with the failure to grasp the symbolic nature of religious representations. In the end the paper suggest a possible way to overcome those limitations and make cognition compatible with hermeneutical analysis by drawing insights from Weber's observations on the nature of religious thought.


ICA - QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia, Nº 25 (2009):                           360grados.org  
The poverty of selectionism: a critical assessment of Darwin’s legacy for the study of religion
Lieve Orye

Resum:  The trend to take Darwin's legacy seriouly in the study of religion is gaining momentum. Especially in the cognitive approach to religion that builds its work on evolutonary psycology it allows for explanations bridging nature and culture. However, this seriousness usually does not involve a critical attitude towards (neo-) Darwinian theory with is simply considered "established". In this article I want to warn against the rather uncritical attitude that results from this, by pointing out the controversial nature of some underlying assumptions. A debate in anthropology between Maurice Bloch and Tim Ingold allows me to bring these underlying issues to the surface. Both share the view that anthropology should contribute to a science of human beings, both deplore much of the current situation in that discipline. However, for Bloch a scientific anthropolgy simply means taking seriously neo-Darwinian theory. Ingold on the other hand, makes a more extensive evaluation of anthropology and its link to Darwinian theory. As a consequence, a fundamentally different explanation for the current problematic state of anthropology as well as a fundamentally different view on evolution and development opens up. A study of religion, critical and scientifist, must take note of these developments.


ICA - QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia, Nº 25 (2009):                           360grados.org  
Ancestors and the afterlife
Rita Astuti

Resum:  The purpose of this paper analyze beliefs in afterlife among the Vezo of Madagascar. This analysis purpots to be an empirical investigation by means of a combination of ethnography and the experimental methods of developmental psycology. The conclusion challenges the unqualified idea that Vezo believe in the survival of a person's spirit after death. Research shows that the belief is not held universally and it is interpreted and elaborated in a great variety of ways by different people. In addition, Vezo believe in the survival after death of a person's spirit in some contexts but not in others. This does not make belief in the power of the ancestors any less compelling, but it shows that such belief is best approached contextually, in terms of when and where it is deployed rather than in terms of when and where it is deployed rather than in terms of whether it is held.


ICA - QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia, Nº 25 (2009):                           360grados.org  
Who gives innate gifts? Cognitive and cultural approaches to Turkic South Siberian shamanism
Charles Stépanoff

Resum:  In Siberia a lot of a facts confirm an essentialist interpretation of shamanism: frequent distinction between genuine and false shamans, physical particularities, like illness, attributed to shamans, absence of initiation, and hereditary mode of transmission of the "shamanic gift". This seems to draw shamans as individuals stroked by a genetic illnes, or as members of a peculiar species, either way, biologically different individuals. This kind of interpretation was not developed in the main anthropological analysis about Siberian shamanism. Cultural interpretations of "shamanic gift" were founded on explicit native explanations like myths, tales and narratives of the shamans about themselves. Theses narratives link shamanic function with the election of the specialist by a supernatural agents. Some narratives suggest that if this relationship appears to be broken, the shaman may lose his status and even be killed by his group. Indeed, the essentialist interpretation contrasts with numerous ethnographic descriptions in the world, even from Boyer himself, which underlines the relational foundation of religious competency. Neverthless, I argue that no one of those theses can be entirely rejected, and the apparent contradiction can be resolved if we take into account the contexts and different kinds of speech in which these models are actualized. One could say that some kinds of interaction favour cognitivist speech and others structuralist speech. This study is based on new fieldwork material from Tuva (South Siberia).


ICA - QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia, Nº 25 (2009):                           360grados.org  
Cómo los pueblos sin religión aprenden que ya tenían religión: notas desde la costa occidental africana
Ramon Sarró

Resum:  Basándose en el estudio de caso de los bagas de Guinea (África occidental) este artículo propone que la religión como institución social (un campo constituido por la "creencia", la "divinidad", el sacerdocio, el templo, la oración, etc.) no es sólo una estructura de acción y pensamiento, sino que funciona también como esquema con el que pensar la historia del pueblo. Así, mientras que en el pasado los musulmanes y los cristianos de Guinea acusaban a los bagas de "no tener religión" o de "no conocer a Dios", vemos que, ahora que la conversión a una de las dos religiones universales es completa en la etnia en cuestión, todos nuestros interlocutores bagas consideran que, de hecho, sus ancestros siempre fueron "religiosos" y presentan su ciclo iniciático (abandonado ahora) como si hubiera sido un campo coherente perfectamente "religioso", muy semejante al culto cristiano o musulmán que practica ahora. El artículo sugiere que hay distintos tipos de memoria en la creación de un campo religioso y de una historia religiosa, y por lo tanto espera contribuir al creciente estudio de la memoria, la historicidad y el funcionamiento de la "religión", considerando tanto las aportaciones cognitivas como el análisis hermenéutico-historicista.


ICA - QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia, Nº 25 (2009):                           360grados.org  
Why Africans do what they do. Arguments, discussions and religious transmission in Angolan Pentecostal churches in Lisbon
Ruy Llera Blanes

Resum:  In this article I intend to describe the processes through which senses and ideas of "Africa-ness" are set in discussion within Pentecostal churches of Angolan frequency in Lisbon. I will show how ideas os "Africa"- and, as referential, "Europe"- are invoked in their local sermons in the context of a pedagogy of religious experience, ideological creativity and determination of "cultural memory". In doing so, I will debate current approaches to memory and religious experience (namely the cognitive approach", in order to describe the processes of transmission that build on those ideas of Africa and Europe, and also make a stance for the importance of "arguments" and "discussion" in processes of religious definition and experience. I will argue that, in contexts of migration and ecounter, senses of religiosity are debated throught methods such as "topographical adscription", "epistemological definition" or "translation".


ICA - QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia, Nº 25 (2009):                           360grados.org  
Intenció i atzar en la historia del fetitxe
Roger Sansi

Resum:  El problema del fetitxe, tal com es va configurar històricament en l'Atlàntic des de l'època dels descobriments, va ser central per definir la diferencia entre subjectes i objectes, religió i economia, Europa i Àfrica en el pensament occidental il·lustrat. En aquest article, repassarem la configuració històrica del problema del fetitxe, i les lectures antropològiques que se n'ha fet, especialment en els últims vint anys, des d'una perspectiva historicista diametralment oposada a les teories cognitives de la religió, que en gran mesura perpetuen el discurs il·lustrat del fetitxisme. En la segona part de l'article, parlarem amb més deteniment d'un cas particular, el de Candomblé, presentant alternatives a les interpretacions cognitives i fetitxistes d'aquesta religió.


ICA - QuAderns de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia, Nº 25 (2009):                           360grados.org  
Moving statues and concrete thinking
Peter Mulholland

Resum:  In the early months of 1985 Irish newspapers reported a spate of apparitions that came to be known as the "moving statues". By late summer reports said 100,000 people had visited just one of many apparition sites. In this paper I will argue that the phenomenon was largely a media-created one; that only a relatively small number of people ever took the apparitions seriously; and that understanding why they did so requires a synthesis of sociological, historical, theological, and psychological approaches and insights..


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