Arguments and Icons: Divergent Modes of Religiosity

Paperback | June 15, 2000

byHarvey Whitehouse

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Why do initiations in Papua New Guinea often subject novices to violence and terror? Why do some cargo cults lead to regional unity and others to regional divisions? How have features of cognitive processing in missionary Christianity contributed to new forms of identity among Melanesians? Thetheory of `modes of religiosity' which Whitehouse here develops answers these and a range of other questions about Melanesia with reference to a set of interconnections between styles of religious transmission, systems of memory, and patterns of political association. Although building his argumenton detailed Melanesian ethnography, Whitehouse goes on to suggest that the theory of modes of religiosity may have wider applicability. Thus, in the final two chapters of this book, he explores such diverse topics as the spread of Reformed Christianity in sixteenth-century Europe, theinterpretation of Upper Palaeolithic cave art, the genesis of tribal warfare, and the impact of literacy on social transmission and organization.

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Why do initiations in Papua New Guinea often subject novices to violence and terror? Why do some cargo cults lead to regional unity and others to regional divisions? How have features of cognitive processing in missionary Christianity contributed to new forms of identity among Melanesians? Thetheory of `modes of religiosity' which Whit...

Harvey Whitehouse is at Queen's University of Belfast.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.47 inPublished:June 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198234155

ISBN - 13:9780198234159

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`Whitehouse's Inside the Cult (Oxford, 1995)...established a model for marrying cognitive science with field work. He's done it again.'Justin L. Barrett, Journal of Cognition and Culture