Category: anthropology

  • Post-truth anthropology – published in Anthropology Today

    A guest editorial on ‘Post-truth anthropology’ that I wrote for Anthropology Today is out today. It’s paywalled, I’m happy to send the text on request if you can’t access it. Edit: it has now been made open access for a period of 6 months — if it’s paywalled again by the time you read this and […]

  • Schumacher’s ‘Buddhist economics’

    I’ve been talking to a colleague recently about developing a project on religion and economics under the auspices of the Religion and Political Culture Network (RPCN) at the University of Manchester. This has got me thinking about Buddhism, economics and Buddhist economics, and has led me to reread Ernst Friedrich Schumacher’s classic essay Buddhist economics, […]

  • Needham’s review of Paul Veyne’s ‘Did the Greeks believe in their myths?’

    This post is a continuation of my thoughts in my previous post… Now to Needham’s review of Veyne’s book. The review is short, and much is taken up with flattering comments on Veyne’s style, but overall the conclusion is negative—he characterises the argument as ‘erratic and inconsistent’. On my reading, Needham makes three substantive points, which I shall […]

  • Rodney Needham and Paul Veyne on religious belief

    I recently came across a review by Rodney Needham of Paul Veyne’s Did the Greeks believe in their myths? I was quite intrigued by this as these two authors are representatives of two approaches to the study of religious belief and the anthropology of belief I have been thinking about for a while . They have often squabbled in my head, […]

  • The Meaning and End of Religion

    Over the weekend I read Wilfred Cantwell Smith‘s The Meaning and End of Religion (1962). I knew a little about this book from Talal Asad’s 2001 article (jStor paywall), which I suppose is the main way most anthropologists of religion have come to know its content too. Asad lavishes praise on Smith at the beginning of the […]

  • ‘Neoliberalism’ as ‘conceptual trash heap’

    This is my first post in a long time. Over the last year I moved to Manchester and started teaching full time. I hope to return to blogging from time to time. Recently I’ve seen the transcript of the 2012 GDAT debate on the concept of neoliberalism, which is due to be published in JRAI […]

  • Announcing: Ignorance Studies Listserv

      I’ve set up a JISCMail mailing list for discussion of the social scientific study of ignorance. The list will be publicly archived. To subscribe or contribute, click HERE. Get in touch with me if you have any questions. (The image above is ‘see, hear, speak no evil’ by Chris Walkington, and was the cover […]

  • Speaking Ethically Across Borders Conference: Registration Open!

    Registration is now open for the conference: Speaking Ethically Across Borders: Interdisciplinary Approaches 8-10 January 2014 CRASSH, University of Cambridge With lectures by: Michael Lambek (Toronto) and Simon Coleman (Toronto). Including papers by: Michael Lempert (Michigan), John Marenbon (Cambridge), Carlo Severi (EHESS), Hallvard Lillehammer (Birbeck). ***For registration and further details: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/25021 *** ***The Facebook page […]

  • Cultures of Belief — post-print version of article

    As promised, here’s a post-print version of my Cultures of Belief article, which was published in Anthropological Theory. cultures-of-belief-post-print The text is identical to the journal version, but the formatting is different — this is the version I’m allowed to distribute according to the publishing agreement. If you have access to the journal, for example […]

  • Cultures of Belief – New paper out in Anthropological Theory

    I’ve just had a new paper out in Anthropological Theory — this is behind a paywall, I’ll make a post-print version available through this website soon for those who don’t have access to the journal through an academic library. The paper is titled ‘Cultures of ignorance’. In a nutshell, the argument is that academic students […]