The analysis of religion has often placed an emphasis on beliefs and ideologies, prioritizing these elements over those of the material world. Through the ethnographic analysis of a variety of contemporary religious practices, Making Spirits questions the presumed separation of spirit and matter, and sheds light on the dynamics between spiritual and material domains. By examining the cultural contexts in which material culture is central to the creation and experience of religion and belief, this volume analyses the different ways in which the concepts of the material and spiritual worlds intersect, interact and inform each other in the reproduction of religious rites. Using examples such as spirit mediums, fetishes and ritual objects across a variety of cultures such as Latin America, Japan and Central Africa, Nico Tassi and Diana Espirito Santo offer insights that challenge accepted categories in the study of religion, making this book important for scholars of comparative religion, anthropology and sociology.
Diana Espirito Santo is currently a research fellow in social anthropology based at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (CRIA, FCSH-UNL). She works between Cuba and Brazil on themes of learning and cognition, personhood, materiality and cosmology in spirit mediumship practices. Nico Tassi is a research associate of the Programa de Ivestigacion Estrategica en Bolivia (PIEB) and visiting scholar at University College London. He has dedicated most of his academic work to the study of Bolivia's indigenous highlanders, focusing on religion and political economy, materiality and transcendence, trade and informality.
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.Hardback
Publication Date: 29 Apr 2013
Number of Pages: 320
Illustrations: 15 integrated bw illustrations