Walking into the Void: A Historical Sociology and Political Anthropology of Walking (Contemporary Liminality)

Walking into the Void: A Historical Sociology and Political Anthropology of Walking (Contemporary Liminality)

By: Agnes Horvath (author), Arpad Szakolczai (author)Paperback

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The book starts by discussing the significance of walking for the experience of being human, including a comparative study of the language and cultures of walking. It then reviews in detail, relying on archaeology, two turning points of human history: the emergence of cave art sanctuaries and a new cultural practice of long-distance `pilgrimages', implying a descent into such caves, thus literally the `void'; and the abandonment of walking culture through settlement at the end of the Ice Age, around the time when the visiting of cave sanctuaries also stopped. The rise of philosophy and Christianity is then presented as two returns to walking. The book closes by looking at the ambivalent relationship of contemporary modernity to walking, where its radical abandonment is combined with attempts at returns. The book ventures an unprecedented genealogy of walking culture, bringing together archaeological studies distant in both time and place, and having a special focus on the significance of the rise of representative art for human history. Our genealogy helped to identify settlement not as the glorious origin of civilisation, but rather as a source of an extremely problematic development. The findings of the book should be relevant for social scientists, as well as those interested in walking and its cultural and civilisational significance, or in the direction and meaning of human history.

About Author

Agnes Horvath is a visiting research fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Moral Foundations of Economy and Society, University College Cork, Ireland. She has a Doctorate in Law (ELTE, Budapest, 1981), an MA in Sociology (University of Economics, Budapest, 1988) and a PhD in Social and Political Sciences (European University Institute, Florence, 2000). Horvath has published books and articles in English, French, Italian and Hungarian, including Modernism and Charisma (Palgrave, 2013), Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality (Berghahn, 2015, with Bjorn Thomassen and Harald Wydra), and The Dissolution of Communist Power: The Case of Hungary (Routledge, 1992, with Arpad Szakolczai). She also edited a special section on `The Gravity of Eros in the Contemporary' in the December 2013 issue of History of Human Sciences, and co-edited a special issue on `The Political Anthropology of Ethnic and Religious Minorities' for Nationalism and Ethnic Politics (Routledge, March 2017). She is one of the founding editors of the peer-reviewed academic journal International Political Anthropology. Arpad Szakolczai is Professor of Sociology at University College Cork. His books include La scoperta della societa (Carocci, 2003, with Giovanna Procacci) as well as Max Weber and Michel Foucault: Parallel Life-Works (1998), Reflexive Historical Sociology (2000), The Genesis of Modernity (2003), Sociology, Religion and Grace: A Quest for the Renaissance (2007), Novels and the Sociology of the Contemporary (2016), Permanent Liminality and Modernity (2017) and Comedy and the Public Sphere: The Re-birth of Theatre as Comedy and the Genealogy of the Modern Public Arena (2013), all published by Routledge. He has published articles in the American Journal of Sociology, Theory, Culture and Society, Cultural Sociology, Current Sociology, History of the Human Sciences, the European Journal of Social Theory, International Sociology, the British Journal of Political Science, East European Politics and Society, the European Sociological Review, the British Journal of Sociology and International Political Anthropology.


Preface Introduction Part I Walking into Sense 1 The Experience of Walking 2 The Language and Culture of Walking 3 The Dilemma of Representing the Void: Michel Foucault and Francis Yates Part II The Flourishing and Demise of Walking Culture 4 Chauvet: The Cave of Wonders, or Representation as Transgression 5 Pergouset: The Cave of Monsters, and its Aftermath 6 Natufian Settlement: Technology, Representation, Standing Reserve 7 Goebekli Tepe: Sanctuary as Trickster Bestiary, or the Revival of Transgression 8 Catalhoeyuk: The Culmination of Settlement 9 Tassili: Incubating Transformation, Or A Training Ground for The Magi Part III Returns to Walking 10 Walking in Philosophy and Religion 11 Walking in Mountains: The Vocation of Losing Oneself 12 Experiencing Walking Conclusion Bibliography Glossary Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781138214491
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 218
  • ID: 9781138214491
  • weight: 372
  • ISBN10: 1138214493

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