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Engaging Evil: A Moral Anthropology

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Series
Volume 36

Methodology & History in Anthropology



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Engaging Evil

A Moral Anthropology

Edited by William C. Olsen and Thomas J. Csordas
Afterword by David Parkin

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322 pages, index

ISBN  978-1-78920-213-7 25% OFF! $140.00/£100.00 $105.00/£75.00 Hb Published (May 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-214-4 eBook


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Reviews

“The various contributions offer a rich and highly variegated overview of how anthropologists have dealt with ‘evil’ and thus give a good idea of the baffling variety hiding behind this notion.” • Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam

Description

Anthropologists have expressed wariness about the concept of evil even in discussions of morality and ethics, in part because the concept carries its own cultural baggage and theological implications in Euro-American societies. Addressing the problem of evil as a distinctly human phenomenon and a category of ethnographic analysis, this volume shows the usefulness of engaging evil as a descriptor of empirical reality where concepts such as violence, criminality, and hatred fall short of capturing the darkest side of human existence.

William C. Olsen is a lecturer for anthropology and African studies at Georgetown University.

Thomas J. Csordas is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and James Y. Chan Presidential Chair in Global Health.

Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology Sociology Religion



Contents

Introduction
William C. Olsen and Thomas Csordas

PART I: EVIL AND ANTHROPOLOGY

Chapter 1. From Theodicy to Homodicy: Evil as an Anthropological Problem
Thomas Csordas

Chapter 2. On the Concept of “Evil” in Anthropological Analyses and Political Violence
Byron Good

PART II: EVIL AND SUFFERING

Chapter 3. Speak No Evil: Inversion and Evasion in Indonesia
Andrew Beatty

Chapter 4. Mother Evil in Hell Valley: A Creole Transvalorisation of Evil in Trinidad
Roland Littlewood

Chapter 5. Satan on the Old Kent Road: Articulations of Evil in a Pentecostal Diaspora
Simon Coleman

Chapter 6. The Transformation of Evil in Nepal
David Gellner

Chapter 7. Radical Evil and the Notion of Conscience: A Buddhist Meditation on Christian Soteriology
Gananath Obeyesekere

Chapter 8. Are Spirits Satanic? The Ambiguity of Evil in Niger
Adeline Masqulier

PART III: EVIL AND VIOLENCE

Chapter 9. Engaging Evil and Excess in Palestine / Israel
Julie Peteet

Chapter 10. The Violence of Evil: A Biocultural Approach to Violence, Memory, and Pain
Ventura Perez

Chapter 11. The Intention of Evil: Asram in Asante
William C. Olsen

Chapter 12. Monsters, Sadists, and the Unspectacular Torture Experience
Nerina Weiss

Afterword
David Parkin
 

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