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Outline for an ethnography of doubt

Pelkmans, Mathijs (2013) Outline for an ethnography of doubt. In: Pelkmans, Mathijs, (ed.) Ethnographies of Doubt: Faith and Uncertainty in Contemporary Societies. I.B.Tauris, London, UK, pp. 1-42. ISBN 9781848858107

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Abstract

Religious and secular convictions have powerful effects, but their foundations are often surprisingly fragile. New converts often come across as stringent believers precisely because they need to dispel their own lingering doubts, while revolutionary movements survive only through the denial of ambiguity. This book shows that a focus on uncertainty and doubt is indispensable for grasping the role of ideas in social action. Drawing on a wide range of cases, from spirit mediums in Taiwan to Maoist revolutionaries in India, from right-wing populists in Europe to converts to Pentecostalism in Central Asia, the authors analyse the ways in which doubt is overcome and, conversely, how belief-systems collapse. In doing so, Ethnographies of Doubt provides important insights into the cycles of faith, hope, conviction and disillusion that are intrinsic to the human condition.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL: http://www.ibtauris.com/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 11:58
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2013 12:10
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/49096

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