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Faith and Social Science: Contrasting Victor and Edith Turner's Analyses of Spiritual Realities


Ezzy, D, Faith and Social Science: Contrasting Victor and Edith Turner's Analyses of Spiritual Realities, Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance, Berghahn, G. St John (ed), New York, pp. 309-323. ISBN 978-1-84545-462-3 (2008) [Research Book Chapter]

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Academics engage in a form of reflexive sequestration of religious experience in which they silence their own religious experiences, and the experiences of those they write about. The social sources of this silencing are not hard to identify. As Edith Turner herself notes, at the time that Victor Turner was working on his PhD in the 1950s "almost everyone in anthropology was a left-leaning atheist" (Engelke 2000: 847, the interview is reproduced in this volume). The successful completion of Turner's PhD required that he sequester his interests in, and accounts of, religious experience. In other words, an endemic methodological atheism has been central to anthropological theory and writing as a consequence of the constraining power of atheistic beliefs of key anthropologists, rather than a product of the irrelevance of religious experience to the cultures that anthropolOgists have studied.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social theory
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Religion
Objective Field:Religion and society
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
ID Code:52739
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2008-08-01
Last Modified:2012-02-16
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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