Animism: Respecting the Living World

Paperback | October 26, 2005

byGraham HarveyOtherMichael J. Dwyer

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How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.

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How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native ...

Graham Harvey is lecturer in religious studies at the Open University. He is the author or editor of numerous titles, including Shamanism: A Reader and The Paganism Reader.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:262 pages, 5.5 × 8.6 × 0.6 inPublished:October 26, 2005Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023113701X

ISBN - 13:9780231137010

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Table of Contents

Part. I. From derogatory to critical term1. From primitives to personsPart. II. Animist case studies2. Ojibwe language3. Maori arts4. Aboriginal law and land5. Eco-pagan activismPart. III. Animist issues6. Signs of life and personhood7. Death8. Spirits, powers, creators and souls9. Shamans10. Cannibalism11. Totems12. Elders and ethicsPart. IV. Animism's challenges13. Environmentalisms14. Consciousness15. Philosophers and persons

Editorial Reviews

The strengths of this book are its fluid and engaging...writing; its openly committed stand on the central question, i.e., whether or not animals, plants, rivers, etc. are people, and its use of major ethnographic sources as evidence, together with conversations with indigenous peoples.