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Jeanne Favret-Saada’s Minimal Ontology

Belief and Disbelief of Mystical Forces, Perilous Conditions, and the Opacity of Being

Theodoros Kyriakides

This article explores belief and disbelief in Jeanne Favret-Saada’s writings on witchcraft and connects them to the ontological turn in anthropology. The term ‘ontology’ carries a long philosophical trajectory, and its appropriation in anthropology

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The Return of the Animists

Recent Studies of Amazonian Ontologies

Luiz Costa and Carlos Fausto

The ethnography of lowland South American societies has occupied a central place in recent debates concerning what has been called the 'ontological turn' in anthropology. The concepts of 'animism' and 'perspectivism', which have been revigorated through studies of Amerindian ontologies, figure increasingly in the ethnographies of non-Amerindian peoples and in anthropological theory more generally. This article traces the theoretical and empirical background of these concepts, beginning with the influence of Lévi-Strauss's work on the anthropology of Philippe Descola and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, and proceeding with their impact on Amazonian ethnography. It then investigates the problems that two alternative traditions—one combining a cognitivist with a pragmaticist approach, the other a phenomenological one—pose to recent studies of Amazonian ontologies that rely on the concepts of animism and perspectivism. The article concludes by considering how animism and perspectivism affect our descriptions of Amerindian society and politics, highlighting the new challenges that studies of Amerindian ontologies have begun to address.

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Cosmogony Today

Counter-Cosmogony, Perspectivism, and the Return of Anti-biblical Polemic

Michael W. Scott

In this article I review critical thought about cosmogony in the social sciences and explore the current status of this concept. The latter agenda entails three components. First, I argue that, even where cosmogony is not mentioned, contemporary anthropological projects that reject the essentialist ontology they ascribe to Western modernity in favor of analytical versions of relational non-dualism thereby posit a 'counter-cosmogony' of eternal relational becoming. Second, I show how Viveiros de Castro has made Amazonian cosmogonic myth—understood as counter-cosmogony—iconic of the relational non-dualist ontology he terms 'perspectival multinaturalism'. Observing that this counter-cosmogony now stands in opposition to biblical cosmogony, I conclude by considering the consequences for the study of cosmogony when it becomes a register of what it is about—when it becomes, that is, a form of polemical debate about competing models of cosmogony and the practical implications that they are perceived to entail.

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Undoing Traceable Beginnings

Citizenship and Belonging among Former Burundian Refugees in Tanzania

Patricia Daley, Ng’wanza Kamata, and Leiyo Singo

insufficient for the positive self-identity that he craved—what the sociologist Anthony Giddens (1991) terms “ontological security.” For that, Zacharia needed to erase the affliction of his ethnic past. For over 40 years, refugees who fled Burundi in 1972

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Blue Sky Matter

Toward an (In-flight) Understanding of the Sensuousness of Mobilities Design

Ole B. Jensen and Phillip Vannini

737 and the DHC-2 we reflect on the different atmospheres of our flight experiences. Finally, we conclude with a brief reflection on the ontology of mobilities design. By introducing ideas drawn from alien phenomenology and flat ontology, 14 we

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Introduction

Jelena Tošić and Annika Lems

Chakrabarty's (2000) critique of historicism. Chakrabarty's postcolonial approach focuses on hegemonic images of history, both in terms of a specific ontological mode of seeing and interpreting the world from an ethnocentric historicist position and as an

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Introduction

The Borders of Religion

Ruy Llera Blanes, Simon Coleman, and Sondra L. Hausner

This volume of Religion and Society is marked by borders, boundaries, and limits. The borders here are those that make religion operative and politically powerful, as well as those that are enabled and put into place by religious arguments and worldviews. All these dimensions of borders are included in the special section of this volume, coordinated by Valentina Napolitano and Nurit Stadler, entitled “Borderlands and Religion: Materialities, Histories, and the Spatialization of State Sovereignty.” The section includes articles by Alejandro Lugo, Nurit Stadler and Nimrod Luz, Alberto Hernández and Amalia Campos-Delgado, and Alexander D. M. Henley. They dwell upon two of the most notorious and contentious borders in the world: the one that separates Lebanon and Palestine from Israel, and the one that separates the US from Mexico. Both Israel and the US are known for their fenced and walled frontier politics. From these contributions, we learn how borderlands and their religious framing become spaces of political negotiation by affirmation and/or by exclusion: they determine sovereignty, ontology, history.

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Pentecostalism and Egalitarianism in Melanesia

A Reconsideration of the Pentecostal Gender Paradox

Annelin Eriksen

cosmological idea that unites them all. Rather, according to Scott, they represent different ontologies. They live in a ‘poly-ontological’ world. Unity is never given, but always socially constructed. A ‘mono-ontology’ can take sameness for granted and thus

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Introduction

Narratives, Ontologies, Entanglements, and Iconoclasms

Sondra L. Hausner, Simon Coleman, and Ruy Llera Blanes

Theodoros Kyriakides, further pursues the relation between ontology and knowledge by comparing significant ethnographies on witchcraft in the history of anthropological thought. With a particular focus on the work of Jeanne Favret-Saada, Kyriakides argues

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The Religious Foundations of Capoeira Angola

The Cosmopolitics of an Apparently Non-religious Practice

Sergio González Varela

analyze the different efforts that capoeira teachers have made to characterize their practice as ambiguous and why they consider it ontologically ‘elusive’ and ‘indeterminate’. I further discuss how a problem of definition becomes at the same time an issue