Handbook of Contemporary Animism, First Impressions.

My comment – “Well written sir. Wow – “Oxfam have just pointed out that the richest 85, yes 85(!), human people in the world – you could fit them into a double decker bus- own as much wealth as the entire poorer half of humanity…” I am going to reblog this so thank your for your skillful insightful post. BB”

animist jottings

Where to Begin?  The Handbook of Contemporary Animism (HCA) is Graham Harvey’s latest edited collection.  It promises to be every bit as useful as his readers on Shamanism and Indigenous Religions, but at 581 pages is even longer, and since only seven of the forty chapters have previously appeared elsewhere, most of the contents is new material.   The book therefore reflects a lively sense of ongoing debate encompassing a range of viewpoints.  Those of us who came to ‘new’ animism after reading Harvey’s Animism, Respecting the Living World, will have high expectations of this book.

Harvey orchestrates the volume by providing introductions to each of its seven sections –Different Animisms, Dwelling in Nature/Culture, Dwelling in Larger-than-human Communities, Dwelling With(out) Things, Dealing with Spirits, Consciousness and Ways of Knowing, and Animism in Performance.  These are written with his usual energy, clarity, and commitment to pluralism.  “More excitingly, what is…

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