During the sixteenth century, Jesuit renovations of medieval Aristotelian conceptions of the soul afforded an important discursive field for René Descartes to craft a notion of the soul as a substance distinct from the body and defined by thought. Cartesianism, however, augmented rather than diminished the skeptical crisis over the soul and the mind–body union. This article explores the work of a Jesuit intellectual, René-Joseph Tournemine, whose attempt to navigate between Malebranche’s Cartesianism and the metaphysics of Leibniz proved influential during the eighteenth century in ways that intersect with the development of Enlightenment biological science. Tournemine’s theologically motivated conjectures about the nature of the mind–body union reinforced an important shift away from considering the soul as a metaphysical substance in favor of seeing it as a pervasive motive force or vital principle animating the human organism.
Humanists, Clashing Cartesians, Jesuits, and the New Physiology
Jeffrey D. Burson
Ontological Multiplicity and the Transformation of Animism in Southwest China
burial plot to open the path for the deceased into the ‘shadow realm’, or mhade . 2 In the ritual unfolding of a Nusu funeral, the yãn-hla (soul or doppelgänger) emerges from latency into full personhood, supplanting the corporeal existence of the
Anthropological Knowledge Making, the Reflexive Feedback Loop, and Conceptualizations of the Soul
Katherine Swancutt and Mireille Mazard
anthropology today. Our point of departure is ‘animism’, the locus classicus of anthropological theory. We situate our inquiry at the crossroads of ‘native’ and ‘non-native’ scholarship on animism and the soul, exploring how indigenous thinkers have adopted
On Writing, New Wave, and the Ends of Cultural Studies
vein that the very same critic asked in 1982: “How can I write about the deepest depths of the … pure soul?” 12 Unlike the commercial interests typical of mainstream music journalism, this idiosyncratic writing found in only a few cultish magazines
The concept of nafs is frequently mentioned in the Qur'an and in post-Qur'anic literature, where it is identified with the idea of the soul and individual moral behaviour. Accordingly, this concept appears in a number of Islamised societies, although it is usually associated with a wide range of different, localised socio-cultural meanings and understandings. In the Alawi-Nusairy society of south-eastern Turkey, the notion of nafs is a polysemic focal concept that encompasses ideas and practices simultaneously relating to the person, the society and the cosmos as a whole. To understand these notions and values, this article analyses the way in which the Alawites/Nusairies conceptualise the emergence of the nafs within the overall process of procreation and examines local beliefs in rebirth, 'metempsychosis' and 'gendered' souls.
Soul Retrieval in Neo-shamanism
It has been generally agreed that rituals of healing work through transforming the embodied self; thus, they are especially fit to be analyzed as rituals in their own right. This chapter focuses on the ritual of soul retrieval as it is practiced by Western urban neo-shamans. It argues that apart from giving the patient new memories and new narratives of the self, this version of soul retrieval works by staging a formalized context for forgiveness, here conceptualized as reconciliation between the self and the mundane and divine others. It is argued, however, that the mechanism of this healing ritual is better understood in the light of New Age ontologies of the self, consciousness, and the divine, making ‘ritual in its own right‚’ a good first step towards re-engaging with the social.
Movement, Kinetic Distribution, and Personhood among Siberian Eveny
( 2001: 48) characterized the human soul and particularly its capacity to leave the body momentarily in the event of temporary loss of consciousness, for example, during fainting fits, apoplexy, catalepsy, ecstasy, or dreams. However, the
Rabbi Howard Cooper
cauliflower soup that you could imagine. His soup spoke more eloquently of the spirit than all our high-flown rabbinic waffling. This was food for – and from – the soul. It tasted, so to speak, of heaven. For Lionel, the preparing and cooking and eating and
This article centers on the somatic modes through which ghosts, spirits, and other unseen beings are apprehended as felt experiences by the Bidayuh, an indigenous group of Malaysian Borneo. Such experiences reveal a local epistemology of supernatural encounters that associates vision with normality and its suspension with both sensory and social liminality. The second half of the article explores how this model has been extended to contemporary Bidayuh Christianity, thus rendering God, Jesus, and other personages viscerally real in people's lives. Drawing on the ethnography and recent developments in the anthropology of religion, I argue that these 'soul encounters' hold important theoretical and methodological lessons for anthropologists, pushing us to reshape our conceptions of belief, as well as our approaches to the study of ostensibly intangible religious phenomena.
A Comparative Approach to Mesoamerican Shamanism
Following the distinction between horizontal and vertical shamanism originally proposed by Stephen Hugh-Jones, this article examines the concept of nagualism in different Mesoamerican indigenous societies and the role that animal domestication has played in these conceptions. Through a comparative study of indigenous societies like the Nahua, Huave, and Tzotzil Maya, different relationships between the human and animal worlds are analyzed in order to show the changes in ontological frameworks that took place during the colonial period, through the introduction of extensive livestock farming. As a protective institution, post-colonial nagualism developed in indigenous societies that have domesticated animals because farmers see their relationship with their flocks similarly to the connection between themselves and their protecting spirits.