Espiritualidade e Sociedade

Jack Hunter

>    "Spirits are the Problem": Anthropology and Conceptualising Spiritual Beings

Artigos, teses e publicações

Jack Hunter
>  "Spirits are the Problem": Anthropology and Conceptualising Spiritual Beings

Jack Hunter
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol

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This paper examines a variety of different theoretical perspectives on the nature of spiritual beings from within the discipline of anthropology. It takes a broadly historical perspective, outlining the development of key approaches from the earliest pioneers to the present day.

It is argued that reductive explanatory models fail to account for the complexity of spiritual beings as social agents, especially in the context of the author's own research into contemporary trance mediumship, which forms the basis for this exploration of anthropology’s engagement with spirits. It is suggested that an ontologically open-minded, participatory and experiential approach to the nature of spiritual beings, which emphasises the many processes involved in their manifestation as socially active agents, represents a potentially fruitful direction for future research.

“Spirits are the Problem”

At a symposium on ‘Anthropology and the Paranormal’ held at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, in October 2013, folklorist David J. Hufford argued that for many in Western academia the belief in spirits represents the ‘cut-off point' between the ‘primitive’ and the ‘modern.’ His paper explored the processes of disenchantment that have gradually overcome Western academic thinking, and highlighted some of the problems that contemporary encounters with ostensible spiritual beings pose for the dominant framework of Western rationalist materialism (which actively constructs itself in opposition to the 'spiritual'). In this respect, so Hufford argues, ‘Spirits are the Problem.’ It is from Hufford’s paper, therefore, given on the very edge of the Pacific Ocean, that the title of this paper is drawn.

This paper will, then, survey a variety of different approaches to the 'problem of spirits' from within the discipline of anthropology, and in so doing will hopefully suggest some interesting directions for possible future research on contemporary entity encounters.

->   texto em pdf -
clique aqui para acessar -


Fonte: Journal for the Study of Religious Experience


Leiam de Jack Hunter:

>   Anthropology & the Supernatural: From Spirits to Consciousness
>   Beyond Castaneda: A Brief History of Psychedelics in Anthropology
>   "Between Realness and Unrealness": Anthropology, Parapsychology and the Ontology of Non-Ordinary Realities
>   Can Science See Spirits?
>   Contemporary Physical Mediumship: Is it Part of a Continuous Tradition?
>   Definitions, Origins, Functions and Experiences: Trends in the Anthropology of the Supernatural from Tylor to Turner
>   Music and Altered States of Consciousness in Shamanism and Spirit Possession: An Overview of the Literature
>   Numinous Conversations: Performance and the Manifestation of Spirits in Spirit Possession Practices
>   "Spirits are the Problem": Anthropology and Conceptualising Spiritual Beings
>   Talking With the Spirits: Anthropology and Interpreting Spirit Communicator

Leiam de Jack Hunter; Joey M. Caswell, Lucas W.E. Tessaro :
>   Phenomenological Convergence between Major Paradigms of Classic Parapsychology and Cross-Cultural Practices: An Exploration of Paranthropology






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