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Learning Religion: Anthropological Approaches

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Volume 17

Methodology & History in Anthropology

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Learning Religion

Anthropological Approaches

Edited by David Berliner and Ramon Sarró

248 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-374-9 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2007)

ISBN  978-1-84545-594-1 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2008)

eISBN 978-1-78238-213-3 eBook

View CartYour country: United States - edit   Buy the eBook! $34.95info on epub format Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This volume demonstrates that a formidable barrier divides social and the cognitive anthropologists. Sperber, Bloch, Whitehouse, and even the very Durkheimian Mary Douglas have been encouraging a merger between cognitive studies, hermeneutics, and ethnography, while others have been more reticent or antagonistic…Either way, this work has helped to advance the discussion.”   ·  Anthropos

“This volume is a valuable contribution to an emergent field of study, and will appeal to scholars who seek new interdisciplinary approaches.”   ·  Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale


As we enter the 21st century, it becomes increasingly difficult to envisage a world detached from religion or an anthropology blind to its study. Yet, how people become religious is still poorly studied. This volume gathers some of the most distinguished scholars in the field to offer a new perspective for the study of religion, one that examines the works of transmission and innovation through the prism of learning. They argue that religious culture is socially and dynamically constructed by agents who are not mere passive recipients but engaged in active learning processes. Finding a middle way between the social and the cognitive, they see learning religions not as a mechanism of “downloading” but also as a social process with its relational dimension.

David Berliner is an Assistant Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). He received his PhD from University of Brussels (2002). In 2001 he was a visiting PhD student at Saint Cross College, Oxford, and in 2003-2005 a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Ramon Sarró is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, Lisbon. He read anthropology in London (PhD 1999). In 2000-2002 he was the Ioma Evans-Pritchard Junior Research Fellow at Saint Anne's College, Oxford. His publications include Surviving Iconoclasm: Religious and Political Transformation on the Upper Guinea Coast (Edinburgh University Press, 2006).

Subject: Anthropology of Religion Theory and Methodology Sociology
Area: Asia Latin America and the Caribbean Asia-Pacific


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