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On the Resilience of Superstition

Pina-Cabral, Joao (2015) On the Resilience of Superstition. In: Religion and Science as Forms of Life: Anthropological Insights into Reason and Unreason. Berghahn Books, Oxford and New York, pp. 173-187. ISBN 978-1-78238-488-5. E-ISBN 978-1-78238-489-2.

PDF (Pina-Cabral, Joao de. 2015. “On the Resilience of Superstition” in Religion and Science as Forms of Life: Anthropological Insights into Reason and Unreason. Carles Salazar and Joan Bestard (ed.s). Berghahn Books, pp. 173-187.) - Author's Accepted Manuscript
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Abstract

The concept of “belief” has always been taken seriously by anthropologists and philosophers; nevertheless, it has led to a long series of perplexities. To the contrary, the concept of “superstition” has simply been discarded as ethnocentric. The first has been pushed aside for its logical uncertainty; the second for its ethical uncertainty. Yet, the two concepts seem to be surprisingly resilient in face of the continued exercise of anthropological questioning. Furthermore, their capacity for survival appears to be connected precisely to that which connects them: superstition is unfounded belief but the issue of the foundation of belief is at the centre of the anthropological and philosophical perplexities that have haunted the concept of belief. In this paper I examine two examples – one of them a short story by Joseph Conrad – in order to show that today we can look differently at what superstition may be.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: superstition, belief, magic, Joseph Conrad, Stieg Larson
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Joao Pina-Cabral
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 15:53 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/50450 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Pina-Cabral, Joao: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7180-4407
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