Healing Secular Life: Loss and Devotion in Modern Turkey
By Christopher Dole
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012, 291 pp.
Healing Secular Life is a study of the organizing force of secularism in contemporary Turkish life. Dole’s ethnographic entry is the practice of religious healing; specifically, the socially ambiguous work of two kinds of religious healer, the evliya or …
God’s Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes
by Elizabeth F. S. Roberts
University of California Press, 2012, 273 pp.
In God’s Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes, Elizabeth Roberts examines how science and spirituality are connected in the practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Ecuador. This alone is a significant contribution to the anthropology of assisted reproduction, …
Ancestors and Antiretrovirals:
The Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa
by Claire Laurier Decoteau
University of Chicago Press, 2013, 324 pp.
The specter of “tradition versus modernity” returns as a conundrum for understanding and signifying HIV/AIDS in post-apartheid South Africa in Claire Decoteau’s sociological monograph, Ancestors and Antiretrovirals. Interpretive social scientists like Decoteau are well trained to …
Editor’s note: In the wake of all the discussion about the ‘ontological turn’ at this year’s American Anthropological Association conference, we asked four scholars, “which texts or resources would you recommend to a student or colleague interested in the uses of ‘ontology’ as an analytical category in recent work in anthropology and science and technology studies?” This was the reading …
“Every kind of religion produces its own kind of secularism,” (Harding 2014).
“There were two classes of citizens: those that had won the war, and those who had lost. It was like in India—do you know of the caste system? It was the same here,” explained Cecilia at an exhumation of mass graves from the Spanish Civil …
Not Quite Shamans: Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia
by Morten Axel Pedersen
Cornell University Press, 2011. 272 pages, US$28.95, paperback.
The intersection between the collapse of the Soviet state and the resurgence of religious practices has by now acquired a substantial body of scholarship both in anthropology and in other disciplines. A number of recent accounts …