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Studying the Body in Rastafari Rituals: Spirituality, Embodiment and Ethnographic Knowledge

Waldstein, Anna (2016) Studying the Body in Rastafari Rituals: Spirituality, Embodiment and Ethnographic Knowledge. Journal for the Study of Religious Experience, 2 (1). pp. 71-86. ISSN 2057-2301. (KAR id:58669)

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Abstract

Rastafari spirituality is a nonsecular science that considers how various energies and powers influence socio-ecological systems. Rastafari people follow a number of spiritual prescriptions related to the body, including smoking, meditating, growing matted hair, eating an Afrocentric vegan diet and drumming/chanting. However, a person does not have to follow all of these practices to be Rastafari, rather they are means to achieve specific spiritual objectives. While anthropology is generally a secular discipline, by participating in various rituals, the body becomes an ethnographic tool that can lead to an awareness of how spiritual and material worlds interconnect. While I have collected data through conventional ethnographic methods, the most important insights have come through my own personal, bodily engagement in many Rastafari practices. Anthropological work on the ‘spiritual body’ provides a theoretical framework for making sense of experiences of embodied intersubjectivity that arise out of participation in various bodily rituals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: spiritual body, ethnography, intersubjectivity, meditation, nonsecular anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Anna Waldstein
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2016 14:48 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 16:05 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/58669 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Waldstein, Anna: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6384-5770
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