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Religion in Context

Religion in Context
Cults and Charisma

  • Author: I. M. Lewis, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Date Published: June 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521566346


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About the Authors
  • Religious power assumes many strikingly different forms, which are often regarded as unique, unrelated, and even mutually exclusive. Religion in Context, however, adopts a holistic approach and argues that these apparently contradictory mystical experiences are in fact part of a web of mutually defining and sustaining elements. Stressing the importance of rigorous social contextualisation, I. M. Lewis analyses phenomena such as spirit-possession, witchcraft, cannibalism, and shamanism, revealing connections between them and with the world religions. This expanded and updated edition illuminates critical aspects of religious power, and demonstrates the value of a comparative approach to formulating anthropological theory. It will be of value to students of anthropology, religion, and to anyone concerned with the nature of religion in the modern world.

    • Fully up-to-date and expanded version of a popular textbook on religion and society
    • Illustrates the strengths of a comparative approach in social anthropology
    • Offers a stimulating approach to controversial questions of belief and religious practice
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book, complete with punctilious notes for each chapter and a well selected bibliography, may serve as a stimulus for the thinking anthropologist as well as a valuable choice for the attentive reader.' Man

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521566346
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 137 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.25kg
    • contains: 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Anthropological fieldwork and the context of belief
    2. The spirit spider and the Pangolin
    3. Possession cults in context
    4. Witchcraft within and without
    5. The cannibal's cauldron
    6. The Shaman's career
    7. Expelling spirits, controlling women
    8. the power of the past: African 'survivals' in Islam

  • Author

    I. M. Lewis, London School of Economics and Political Science

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