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Naming the Witch

Naming the Witch (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Naming the Witch explores the recent series of witchcraft accusations and killings in East Java, which spread as the Suharto regime slipped into crisis and then fell. After many years of ethnographic work focusing on the origins and nature of violence in Indonesia, Siegel came to the conclusion that previous anthropological explanations of witchcraft and magic, mostly based on sociological conceptions but also including the work of E.E. Evans-Pritchard and Claude Levi-Strauss, were simply inadequate to the task of providing a full understanding of the phenomena associated with sorcery, and particularly with the ideas of power connected with it.

Previous explanations have tended to see witchcraft in simple opposition to modernism and modernity (enchantment vs. disenchantment). The author sees witchcraft as an effect of culture, when the latter is incapable of dealing with accident, death, and the fear of the disintegration of social and political relations. He shows how and why modernization and witchcraft can often be companions, as people strive to name what has hitherto been unnameable.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPopular beliefs & controversial knowledgeConspiracy theoriesPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPopular beliefs & controversial knowledgeFolklore, myths & legendsPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPopular beliefs & controversial knowledgeHoaxes & deceptionsReligion & BeliefsAlternative belief systemsOccult studies Publisher: Stanford University Press Publication Date: 23/11/2005 ISBN-13: 9780804751957  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

James Siegel is Professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies at Cornell University.

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