Remarkably, the acts of laughing and crying reveal there are no givens for individual behavior nor blueprints for human society.
Anthropology & Religion
Past Editor: Matthew Engelke
In Spain, the Catholic Church tries to erase the era of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula called al-Andalus. Two authors problematize the church's efforts.
For a few years in Oman, revolutionaries freed slaves, founded water cooperatives, and sent women to school. Then came the counterrevolution.
"We define ourselves more by certain emotions. I've never heard anybody say, 'I'm trying to get over my embarrassment and I feel so inauthentic.'"
“We bring our own creativity into what we see—the seams get filled in, smoothed over, by our looking.”
Capitalism seeks wealth to meet desires. But foraging societies follow “the Zen road to affluence”: not by getting more, but wanting less.
“If we want technologies that will not undermine our humanity, social analysts must join with other researchers.”
The US Religious Right wins elections, but advances nationalism and white supremacy. Why, then, should the Religious Left seek to emulate them?
“Borders continue to gather life’s promises, even when walls and checkpoints brutally divide nations and societies.”
In painting immigrants, George W. Bush seeks to ingratiate himself with the American public. But his crimes must be remembered.
An aerodynamicist and an anthropologist discuss the world of “Dune,” finding it as aesthetically beautiful as it is functionally implausible.
Today, trade and globalization often reinforce the incentives for coercion and violence. But what might the history of India reveal about the economic conditions of toleration?
Transhumanists want to transcend humanity. Where does that leave anthropology?
The writer went to Walden to reorient his world, so that the woods, rather than the town, centered his spiritual map.
Why excavate these Reformation characters—the preacher and the werewolf—now? What do they have to teach us?
Losing faith in Orthodox Judaism is an old story. But today it’s often the “heretics” who rely on faith, and the “faithful” who draw on science.
Anthropology’s attention to the granular texture of someone’s life is a beautiful training for being a fiction writer.
Today, Jewish philanthropy—like all philanthropy—is big business, thanks to US philanthropy’s torturous entanglement with US capitalism.
French colonial policies in Algeria created animosity between Jews and Muslims—animosity which the state continues to claim was timeless.
With so many crises—environmental, humanitarian, racial, viral, and economic—the work of “critique” can seem to be a luxury. But is it?