This collection of essays on the themes of social organization, kinship and religion provides an excellent guide for English-speaking scholars to the understanding of French structuralist thought. In his introduction Luc de Heusch, a distinguished Belgian anthropologist, recalls his first contact with colonial Africa in the Belgian Congo in 1953-4. In Part I, conscious of the difference between French anthropology and the British tradition, he pursues a friendly dialogue with Mary Douglas, enters into a polemic with Rodney Needham concerning kinship structures, and discusses structural change with Edmund Leach. In Part II the author is concerned with the magico-religious field and proposes an original theory of symbolic systems elaborated round the trance. Upon publication, this was the first time that Luc de Heusch's important book Pourquoi l'epouser? (Editions Gallimard, 1971) had appeared in English. The theoretical essays it contains were revised by the author and a further essay was added, together with a new introduction and addenda in the form of theoretical discussions of two of the illustrative case studies.
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(228mm x 152mm x 13mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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