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Singular Pluralities

A Critical Review of Religious Pluralism

Anne-Sophie Lamine

From the 1980s onwards, much research has been carried out in order to analyze and compare the situation and the management of religious plurality in Western countries. While scholars in the social sciences of religion have seized on the question of plurality, those in migration studies have started to pay more and more attention to the religious dimension of migrants and their descent. Although macro-level plurality is more commonly investigated, internal religious plurality is of equal importance. This article provides a critical review of the various approaches of religious pluralism and emphasizes some under-investigated areas such as conflicts and internal plurality.

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Jens Kreinath and Refika Sariönder


The Alevi cem is a communal ritual that is performed weekly among members of a major religious minority in Turkey. Although formerly celebrated exclusively in rural village communities, this ritual became publicly accessible at the end of the 1980s when Alevi cultural associations were opened in the urban centers of Turkey. Since it was made public, the cem has undergone significant changes in the internal dynamics of its performance and in the formal design of its liturgy. By addressing multiple audiences in its urban milieu, the performance of the cem reveals moments of ritual reflexivity. Based on ethnographic research at a cultural association in Istanbul, this article focuses on a cem performance that led to ruptures and mishaps in the presentation of some ritual acts. We analyze the ritual leader’ s response to these incidents and the theoretical implications of this account for the study of ritual reflexivity.

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W(h)ither New Age Studies?

The Uses of Ethnography in a Contested Field of Scholarship

Matthew Wood

Since the 1980s, there has existed a field of scholarly inquiry into a range of phenomena termed New Age. The relative lack of ethnographic studies in this field was identified several years ago, in response to research that focused merely on the discourses within alleged key writings. However, the employment of ethnographic methods does not by itself resolve the problems inherent in other modes of research; attention also has to be paid to how ethnography is used in practice. This article examines ethnographies of the New Age in terms of the extent to which they contextualize data within their immediate social frames, by paying attention to actors' practices and interactions, and to the ways in which beliefs and discourses are constructed and contested. The article demonstrates the strong tendency among New Age ethnographic studies to veer from 'the social' and to rest instead on analytically problematic conceptualizations of agency. It argues that epistemological revision is required to form the basis of a more sociologically adequate understanding of the phenomena addressed.

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Erick White

Tambiah (1970) , A. Thomas Kirsch (1977) , and Barend Terwiel (1979) . Subsequent generations of South and Southeast Asian anthropologists working on Buddhism in the 1980s and 1990s were in time joined by a growing community of Himalayan anthropologists

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The Uncanniness of Missionary Others

A Discursive Analysis of a Century of Anthropological Writings on Missionary Ethnographers

Travis Warren Cooper

, material demise” (see Michaud 2007: 7 ). 6 Discourse Two: The Missionary as Practical Intermediary A number of works in the history of anthropology, concentrated in but not limited to the 1980s to 2000s, have problematized Discourse One’s dominance. In

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So What Is the Anthropology of Buddhism About?

David N. Gellner

assumptions of the 1970s and 1980s rather than renewing and rethinking itself in the way that other subfields have done. In fact, quite a large amount of relevant work has been and is being done, not least on issues of gender, 2 but no one (to my knowledge

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The Ethics of Collective Sponsorship

Virtuous Action and Obligation in Contemporary Tibet

Jane Caple

temple had been rebuilt by the villagers in the early 1980s. However, the walls were deteriorating, the pillars (crafted of wood taken from the nearby forest) had warped, and the roof had started to leak when it rained. At a meeting in front of the

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The Chaco Skies

A Socio-cultural History of Power Relations

Alejandro Martín López and Agustina Altman

millenarian movements led to a process of ethnic ‘invisibilization’ and the weakening of Guaycurú leadership, which would not regain momentum until the 1980s. All this occurred concurrently with an intensification of the process of subordinate incorporation

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Eileen Barker

Linda Woodhead, James T. Richardson, Martyn Percy, Catherine Wessinger, and Eileen Barker

court cases. Through the work of Inform she tried to mitigate unnecessary frictions and dampen the “deviance amplification” (p. 292) that would otherwise ramp up tensions between NRMs and wider society. By the late 1980s, Barker was very much part of the

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Legacies, Trajectories, and Comparison in the Anthropology of Buddhism

Nicolas Sihlé and Patrice Ladwig

well. The research that has focused on topics such as ‘Buddhist-inspired’ participation in violence and warfare illustrates what Sherry Ortner (2016) has labeled the rise of ‘dark anthropology’ since the 1980s. Ortner describes it as an “anthropology