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In this collection of anthropological writings drawn from many different world areas, contemporary theoretical issues and conflicts in the anthropological study of religion are explored and illustrated. The editors present these anthropological writings on religion within a larger cultural matrix by drawing upon literature exhibiting an interdisciplinary as well as global approach.The book examines religion within social, political, and historical contexts to confront theoretical and methodological questions that apply across time and borders. How do belief systems respond to conquest and the imposition of foreign values, beliefs, and practices? What happens to religion when the colonial rulers depart? What are the relationships between gender, sexuality, and religious rules and restrictions? How is gender constructed and maintained within ideological systems? How do the beliefs and practices underlying possession and trance deal with illness and death, and how do they respond to science and other belief systems? Is religion a tool or weapon of the state--or an enemy of the people?
And how does religion, often erroneously perceived as changeless and constant, respond to the pressures and technologies of this rapidly changing world? Across the Boundaries of Belief examines these issues and many others.The readings derive from interdisciplinary as well as global literature, and the titles of the sections reflect the contexts within which religion is explored and portrayed in this collection: "Colonialism and the Post-Colonial Legacy," "Gender and Sexuality," "The Healing Touch and Altered States," "Religion and the State," and "Changes and Continuities." The book will help students and general readers to perceive religion as a pan-human institution embedded in social structures, political systems, and historical contexts.
Morton Klass is professor of anthropology at Barnard College.
Colonialism and Post-Colonial Legacies * Introduction * Anthropologists Versus Missionaries: The Influence of Presuppositions Claude E. Stipe * From Tup to the Land Without Evil: The Christianization of Tupi-Guarani Cosmologoy Judith Shapiro * Shamanism and Christianity: Modern-Day Tlingit Elders Look at the Past Sergei Kan * Reflections on Christianity in China Morton H. Fried Gender and Sexuality * Introduction * Menstruation and Reproduction: An Oglala Case Marla N. Powers * The Domestication of Religion: The Spiritual Guardianship of Elderly Jewish Women Susan Sered * Becoming a Mujercita: Rituals, Fiestas, and Religious Discourses Valentina Napolitano * Erotic Anthropology: Ritualized Homosexuality in Melanesia and Beyond Deborah A. Elliston The Healing Touch and Altered States * Introduction * Exorcists, Psychiatrists, and the Problems of Possession in Northwest Madagascar Lesley A. Sharp * The Woman Who Wanted to Be Her Father: A Case Analysis of Dybbuk Possession in a Hasidic Community Yoram Bilu * Hypnosis and Trance Induction in the Surgeries of Brazilian Spiritist Healer-Mediums Sidney M. Greenfield * Zar as Modernization in Contemporary Sudan Susan M. Kenyon Religion and the State * Introduction * Pockets Full of Mistakes: The Personal Consequences of Religious Change in a Toraja Village Douglas Hollan * Bandits, Beggars, and Ghosts: The Failure of State Control Over Religious Interpretation in Taiwan Robert P. Wellar * Muslim Identity and Secularism in Contemporary Turkey: The Headscarf Dispute Emelie A. Olson * The Interpretation of Politics: A Hopi Conundrum Peter M. Whitely Changes and Continuities * Introduction * Cargoism in Irian Jaya Today Benny Giay and Jan A. Godschalk * Transnational Popular Culture and the Global Spread of the Jamaican Rastafarian Movement Neil J. Savishinsky * On Founders and Followers: Some Factors in the Development of New Religious Movements Benton Johnson * Convicted by the Holy Spirit: The Rhetoric of Fundamental Baptist Conversion Susan F. Harding
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