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Category Archives: Anth 1130

Accusing the Capitalist Witch

We’ve been discussing witchcraft in the Anthropology of Religion this week. The idea that accusing someone of witchcraft may be a way of enforcing norms against wealth accumulation or self-aggrandizement came up several times in our classroom conversations. Is anyone out there (in anthropology, in the mainstream press) considering that the outrage against AIG executives […]

Court of Appeals Rules in Favour of Navajos and Sacred Sites

Update The Farmington (NM) Daily Times covers the story. Original Post The Navajo Nation (Window Rock, Arizona) released a statement (pdf) saying that the US Court of Appeals overturned a recent District Court decision allowing Arizona Snow Bowl ski area to use sewage to make snow on San Francisco Peak. According to the release: … […]

Evolution, Primates, and Religion

From comes an interview with anthropologist Barbara King. The topic is the origins of religion and interview is prompted by King’s new book, “Evolving God: A Provocative View on the Origins of Religion.” King observes that non-human primates show empathy and meaning-making in their social actions. She draws conclusions about religion by analogy, suggesting […]

Vodou 2.0

A free magazine on campus includes this advertizement. The company’s website is under construction.

Vodou in San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle has published an interview with a New Orleans Vodou priestess.  The conversation is set in the context of the Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and the place of religion in times of crisis. Sphere: Related Content

What Do You Mean When You Say You Are Religious?

The Waterloo Record describes the results of research by University of Waterloo professors on Statistics Canada’s religion statistics. Among the findings: More than half of Canadians who do not attend religious services regularly practise some religious rituals — meditation, prayer or reading religious texts — at home or other location at least once a month. […]

Does ‘Truth’ Matter in Stories?

I continue to enjoy the conversations that erupt in the Anthopology of Religion. Yesterday, as part of a lecture on mythology, the characteristics of myth, and what anthropologists do with myths, I addressed the topic of urban legends. I have found that questions of urban legends always comes up — and decided this time around […]

Vodou in the News

For my anthropology of religion students … Yahoo News has published a story about Vodou and, particularly, the misconceptions about the religion that endure despite its recent recognition as the official religion of Haiti. (Via Anthropologist Community) Sphere: Related Content

Teachable Moment in the Anthropology of Religion

I showed the film Holy Ghost People in my Anthropology of Religion class last week. The film was made in 1967 and it depicts a service in the Holiness Church in West Virginia. It in, church members are shown in trances, speaking in tongues, convlusing, and handling poisonous snakes. I use the film in a […]

Timely Stories of Witches and Pastoralists

Two stories that appeared this week are timely for my classes. 1) Thanks first to Alex for the the link to the story about witch executions in Papua New Guinea. The article worked well in my Anthropology of Religion class, particularly after watching the film ‘Witchcraft Among the Azande’ last week. Alex’s comments about the […]