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The anthropologist Robin Horton is widely regarded as one of the most creative and critical thinkers of his generation. This collection of some of his classic papers on African religion, written between l960 and l990 is also a wide-ranging inquiry into religious thought, particularly its relationship to aesthetic and scientific thought. Horton criticizes recent orthodoxies in this area, and instead proposes an "Intellectualist" alternative that stresses similarities between the religious and the scientific.
Reviews & endorsements
"The reader is quickly drawn into Horton's world of intellectual debates on African belief, ritual and cosmology in the context of closed and open systems. The result is an intellectual feast which weaves human nature, idea, belief and action through classical, modern and postmodern theory." African Studies ReviewSee more reviews
"This is a profound, provocative, detailed and absorbing book, which deserves a wide readership." Expository Times
"The 1993 publication of Robin Horton's Patterns of Thought in Africa and the West, which collects some of his most important essays on African religion and modern science, offers an occasion to review the lifelong effort of this distinguished anthropologist and philosopher to demonstrate the kinship between primitive and modern thought and, more generally, between religion and science. Horton, who is English, has lived and taught for many years in Nigeria and is an expert on the Kalabari people, from whom he draws many of his examples of religious thinking." Robert S. Segal, Annals of Scholarship
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- Date Published: July 1997
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521369268
- length: 484 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
- weight: 0.71kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Beginnings: l. A definition of religion, and its uses
Part II. Mainly Critical:
2. Neo-Tylorianism: sound sense or sinister prejudice?
3. Levy-Bruhl, Durkheim and the scientific revolution
4. Back to Frazer?
5. Professor Winch on safari
6. Judaeo-Christian spectacles: boon or bane to the study of African religions?
Part III. Mainly Constructive:
7. African traditional thought and Western science
8. Paradox and explanation: a reply to Mr Skorupski
9. Tradition and modernity revisited
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