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Volume 16 (2022): Issue 1 (June 2022)

Volume 15 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)

Volume 15 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)

Volume 14 (2020): Issue 2 (December 2020)

Volume 14 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)

Volume 13 (2019): Issue 2 (December 2019)

Volume 13 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

Volume 12 (2018): Issue 2 (December 2018)

Volume 12 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)

Volume 11 (2017): Issue 2 (December 2017)

Volume 11 (2017): Issue 1 (June 2017)

Volume 10 (2016): Issue 2 (December 2016)

Volume 10 (2016): Issue 1 (June 2016)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 10 (2016): Issue 1 (June 2016)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

5 Articles

ARTICLES

Open Access

Searching for the Hidden God: The Intimacy of Sound and Listening among Krishna Devotees in Mayapur

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 3 - 24

Abstract

Abstract

This article looks at how the Krishna devotees in Mayapur, West Bengal, learn how to chant and listen to the sound of the holy name properly. They suggest that if one is ‘pure’ enough and knows how to listen one experiences the syneasthetic level of sound called pashyanti. At this level, one can reach beyond the duality of the ‘hidden and manifested’ worlds, the external and internal levels of sound; and one can ultimately see God face to face. This is also considered a level at which one can realise that the sound of God’s name and God himself are the same. I will focus on how the devotees learn to create this sense of intimacy with God through the sound of his holy name, and argue that listening is not merely a process connected to our auditory sense but rather a creative and engaging activity, a skill that one can develop.

Keywords

  • Hare Krishna devotees
  • religion
  • sound
  • skill
  • intimacy
Open Access

Maya Intimacy with the Mountains: Pilgrimage, Sacrifice and Existential Economy

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 25 - 41

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I present two very different and yet very similar ethnographic examples of mountain-related pilgrimage and sacrifice ritual performed by the present-day highland Maya. The question I ask is why the sense of sacredness, animation and power of the mountains endures among the traditionalist as well as Pentecostal Maya in spite of the extensive transformations of the world today. In so doing, I examine the native concept of the mountain not merely as a social or cultural representation, but as an expression of everyday lived experiences and existential relationships between people and the physical and spiritual world they inhabit. Finally, I argue that the experience of interaction, communication and intimacy between the Maya and their mountain deities can be best defined as a dynamic participation in the course of the world – an existential economy of ‘working the world’.

Keywords

  • Maya cosmology
  • pilgrimage ritual
  • cultural continuity
  • life-world
  • existential anthropology
Open Access

Exú’s Work – The Agency of Ritual Objects in Southeast Brazilian Umbanda

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 43 - 69

Abstract

Abstract

This article* concentrates on the material side of religious intimacy in Afro-Brazilian Umbanda through an ‘ontographic’ perspective as well as looking at materiality as evidence. It is based on an eleven-month fieldwork period among devotees, clients and individual practitioners of Umbanda in Southeast Brazilian metropolises, especially in São Paulo. In people’s experiences of spiritual work (trabalho) and spiritual development (desenvolvimento) carried out with Exús – guardians, guides and protectors who have, after their death, returned in order to work for people’s wellbeing – ritual objects (such as bodies, clothes, beverages, herbs, cigarettes, candles, songs) are seen as constitutive in knowledge production and life transformation. The central claim in this article is that diverse material and immaterial objects through which Exús interact and materialise, are neither primarily symbolic nor representative, but are re-configurative.

Keywords

  • Umbanda
  • Exú
  • ritual objects
  • materiality
  • Afro-Brazilian religion
  • São Paulo
Open Access

Healing Chains, Relationships of Power and Competing Religious Imageries in the Monastery of Saints Kosmas and Damian in Kuklen (Bulgaria)

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 71 - 99

Abstract

Abstract

This article* offers an anthropological analysis of a conflict over the use of a set of ‘healing chains’ and other focal objects kept in the Orthodox Christian monastery of Saints Kosmas and Damian in Kuklen, Bulgaria. In a nutshell, the conflict captures the leading religious imageries propagated by the custodians of the monastery on the one hand, and the spiritual leaders of a new religious movement, so-called Deunovians, on the other. The analysis helps situate some of the significant changes currently affecting the religious culture of Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria within a broader social and cultural context.

Keywords

  • healing chain
  • Orthodox Christians
  • Deunovians
  • religious imageries
  • Bulgaria

NOTES AND REVIEWS

Open Access

Funeral Rites from Moldova in a National Context

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 100 - 101

Abstract

5 Articles

ARTICLES

Open Access

Searching for the Hidden God: The Intimacy of Sound and Listening among Krishna Devotees in Mayapur

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 3 - 24

Abstract

Abstract

This article looks at how the Krishna devotees in Mayapur, West Bengal, learn how to chant and listen to the sound of the holy name properly. They suggest that if one is ‘pure’ enough and knows how to listen one experiences the syneasthetic level of sound called pashyanti. At this level, one can reach beyond the duality of the ‘hidden and manifested’ worlds, the external and internal levels of sound; and one can ultimately see God face to face. This is also considered a level at which one can realise that the sound of God’s name and God himself are the same. I will focus on how the devotees learn to create this sense of intimacy with God through the sound of his holy name, and argue that listening is not merely a process connected to our auditory sense but rather a creative and engaging activity, a skill that one can develop.

Keywords

  • Hare Krishna devotees
  • religion
  • sound
  • skill
  • intimacy
Open Access

Maya Intimacy with the Mountains: Pilgrimage, Sacrifice and Existential Economy

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 25 - 41

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I present two very different and yet very similar ethnographic examples of mountain-related pilgrimage and sacrifice ritual performed by the present-day highland Maya. The question I ask is why the sense of sacredness, animation and power of the mountains endures among the traditionalist as well as Pentecostal Maya in spite of the extensive transformations of the world today. In so doing, I examine the native concept of the mountain not merely as a social or cultural representation, but as an expression of everyday lived experiences and existential relationships between people and the physical and spiritual world they inhabit. Finally, I argue that the experience of interaction, communication and intimacy between the Maya and their mountain deities can be best defined as a dynamic participation in the course of the world – an existential economy of ‘working the world’.

Keywords

  • Maya cosmology
  • pilgrimage ritual
  • cultural continuity
  • life-world
  • existential anthropology
Open Access

Exú’s Work – The Agency of Ritual Objects in Southeast Brazilian Umbanda

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 43 - 69

Abstract

Abstract

This article* concentrates on the material side of religious intimacy in Afro-Brazilian Umbanda through an ‘ontographic’ perspective as well as looking at materiality as evidence. It is based on an eleven-month fieldwork period among devotees, clients and individual practitioners of Umbanda in Southeast Brazilian metropolises, especially in São Paulo. In people’s experiences of spiritual work (trabalho) and spiritual development (desenvolvimento) carried out with Exús – guardians, guides and protectors who have, after their death, returned in order to work for people’s wellbeing – ritual objects (such as bodies, clothes, beverages, herbs, cigarettes, candles, songs) are seen as constitutive in knowledge production and life transformation. The central claim in this article is that diverse material and immaterial objects through which Exús interact and materialise, are neither primarily symbolic nor representative, but are re-configurative.

Keywords

  • Umbanda
  • Exú
  • ritual objects
  • materiality
  • Afro-Brazilian religion
  • São Paulo
Open Access

Healing Chains, Relationships of Power and Competing Religious Imageries in the Monastery of Saints Kosmas and Damian in Kuklen (Bulgaria)

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 71 - 99

Abstract

Abstract

This article* offers an anthropological analysis of a conflict over the use of a set of ‘healing chains’ and other focal objects kept in the Orthodox Christian monastery of Saints Kosmas and Damian in Kuklen, Bulgaria. In a nutshell, the conflict captures the leading religious imageries propagated by the custodians of the monastery on the one hand, and the spiritual leaders of a new religious movement, so-called Deunovians, on the other. The analysis helps situate some of the significant changes currently affecting the religious culture of Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria within a broader social and cultural context.

Keywords

  • healing chain
  • Orthodox Christians
  • Deunovians
  • religious imageries
  • Bulgaria

NOTES AND REVIEWS

Open Access

Funeral Rites from Moldova in a National Context

Published Online: 18 Sep 2016
Page range: 100 - 101

Abstract

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