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Making Things BetterA Workbook on Ritual, Cultural Values, and Environmental Behavior$
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A. David Napier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969357

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969357.001.0001

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(p.xviii) (p.1) Introduction
Making Things Better

A. David Napier

Oxford University Press

Where global priorities have suppressed the veracity of experiential differences, the field of religious studies has returned repeatedly to acknowledge them. Though many contemporary anthropologists are uneasy with the fact that ritually generated embodied practices may not always be accessible across cultures or to the lived experience of the ethnographer, religious studies is more happy to consider such differences. For its part, anthropology has moved in the direction of narrative—focusing on those lived experiences of others that are amenable to description. However, this was not always the case. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, anthropologists were uncompromising in their descriptions of other ways of thinking—especially those considered incommensurable with Cartesian, monotheistic modes of understanding.

Keywords:   Religious studies, Experience, Embodied practice, Monotheism, Cartesian thought

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