Animism: Respecting the Living World

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Columbia University Press, Oct 26, 2005 - Philosophy - 262 pages
How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.
 

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Graham examines modern animistic practices and how academia treats this religious expression. Often horribly dry, probably requires a pretty good grounding in academic discussion of religion to begin with. Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Graham Harvey (PhD, Religion, Newcastle) is Professor of Religious Studies at the Open University, London. He is the author of Animism: Respecting the Living World (Columbia/Hurst, 2005), Food, Sex, and Strangers: Understanding Religion in Everyday Life (Routledge, 2013), and Listening People, Speaking Earth: Contemporary Paganism 2/e (Hurst/NYU, 1997) and the editor of a number of books, including Handbook of Contemporary Animusm (Routledge, 2013), The Paganism Reader (Routledge, 2004), Shamanism: A Reader (Routledge, 2003), Indigenous Religions: A Companion (Palgrave, 2000), and Sensual Religion: Religion and the Five Senses (Equinox, 2018).