On Knowing Humanity
The development of a phenomenological approach to religion and the rise of perspectivism are challenging anthropology’s exclusive rootedness in the ontology of secularism. When considered with the increased interest in the anthropology of religion as an area of study, it is clear that there is a growing need for non-reductionist representations of Christian thought and experience in ethnography.
This volume is intended as a critique of anthropology’s epistemological and ontological assumptions and a demonstration of the value added by an expanded set of parameters for the field. The book’s core argument is that while ethnographers have allowed their own perspectives to be positively influenced by the perspectives of their informants, until recently anthropology has done little in the way of adopting these other viewpoints as critical tools for analysis precisely because it has represented those viewpoints from a limited epistemological perspective.
With chapters organized around topics in epistemology and ontology written by scholars of anthropology, theology and history, and an afterword by Joel Robbins, the book is essential reading for scholars of the anthropology of religion as well as other philosophically-oriented social scientists, theologians and those who are interested in gaining further insight into the human condition.
- 2017 Eloise Meneses, David Bronkema
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