Book

Subversive Spiritualities

Frederique Apffel-Marglin

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199793853
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919246 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793853.001.0001

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

Subversive Spiritualities

Show Summary Details

Preview

This book takes as a starting premise the insight that non-humans have agency, which was established predominantly in the field of science studies. It argues that rituals engage not “supernatural beings” but humans with other-than-humans. Other-than-humans are entities characterized by an entanglement of the human and the non-human aspects of the world. The book rejects the label “supernatural beings” since it implies a realm of nature as a pre-given universal reality outside and independent of human observation. These other-than-humans are entities stabilized through iterative ritual enactments that have acquired names, personalities and narratives that embody both aspects of the non-human place and aspects of the human collectivities in that place. Using the insights of one of the founding figures of quantum mechanics, Niels Bohr, and his theory of complementarity as interpreted by physicist-cum-philosopher Karen Barad, the book argues that neither time, space, or nature are universal pre-givens. Rather, these come into being through specific acts of observation. The book argues that rituals are akin to quantum experimental acts of observation insofar as they enact or perform a particular instance of the real. Ritual action is iterative because it aims at stabilizing enacted worlds that are inherently dynamic; rituals seek to establish the continuity of those enacted worlds as livable worlds. This view challenges the understanding of ritual as involving an imaginative projection on the part of humans onto the non-human and/or social human world, a move that is both anthropocentric and dualist. It also offers an alternative to the onto-epistemology of representationalism that divides the representing human mind from the represented world.

Keywords: rituals; enactment; representationalism; anthropocentrism; science studies; onto-epistemology; agency; dualism; entanglement

Book.  264 pages. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

Introduction in Subversive Spiritualities

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

The Politics of “Wilderness” in Subversive Spiritualities

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Beyond Absolute Time and Space in Subversive Spiritualities

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

See all items in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.