Communitas: The Anthropology of Collective Joy

Paperback | December 15, 2011

byEdith Turner

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In this seminal work, Edith Turner extends the concept of communitas that Victor Turner developed nearly four decades ago.

Communitas is inspired fellowship, a group's unexpected joy in sharing common experiences, the sense felt by a group when their life together takes on full meaning. Turner shows how communitas is a driving force in history as it operates personally, in religion, in revolution, in all domains of human life. It is grounded in lived events, and may occur as the climax to a process that takes people from violence to shared intimate transcendence. Turner establishes by narration and multicultural case studies the fundamental importance of communitas to human personal, social, and spiritual well-being. She even follows the instinctive response that humanity makes to the overall natural world, thus including the spiritual bonding of the human and the non-human. Then the book shows exactly how we align ourselves to recognize communitas in action. This is—its 'key.' At heart, this is a very religious book, or as Turner writes, a connection among 'nature, spirit-energy, and soul.'

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From the Publisher

In this seminal work, Edith Turner extends the concept of communitas that Victor Turner developed nearly four decades ago.Communitas is inspired fellowship, a group's unexpected joy in sharing common experiences, the sense felt by a group when their life together takes on full meaning. Turner shows how communitas is a driving force in ...

Edith Turner is a lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Virginia, specializing in the study of ritual, religion, and consciousness. She has been researching the field of symbol/ritual for nearly 60 years - formerly in collaboration with her husband, renowned anthropologist Victor Turner - and has conducted fieldwork in Zambia,...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.9 × 5.4 × 0.7 inPublished:December 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230339085

ISBN - 13:9780230339088

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Table of Contents

Introduction:Communitas and the Study of Anthropology *The Experience of Communitas * The Method of "Showing Through Stories" *Contrasts: Communitas and False Communitas * Festivals: July 4th, Carnival, and Clown * Music and Sport: Being in the Zone *The Communitas of Work: Surprising Conclusions * The Communitas of Disaster * The Sacredness of the People: The Communitas of Revolution and Liberation * The Communitas of Nonviolence * Nature and Spirit * Rites of Passage: Communitas in Times of Change * Conclusion: A Natural History of Joy

Editorial Reviews

"A monument to the serial careers of a remarkable anthropological couple."—Barbara Tedlock, professor of Anthropology, SUNY – Buffalo "Just suppose someone did know just exactly what community is, and how to resolve its complexities by revealing the communitas behind it, that would be Edie Turner, and this book would be the way she does it, for once and for all, and this time for real."—Roy Wagner, professor of Anthropology, University of Virginia