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Cosmogony today: counter-cosmogony, perspectivism, and the return of anti-biblical polemic

Scott, Michael W. ORCID: 0000-0002-2301-6924 (2015) Cosmogony today: counter-cosmogony, perspectivism, and the return of anti-biblical polemic. Religion and Society: Advances in Research, 6 (1). pp. 44-61. ISSN 2150-9298

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Identification Number: 10.3167/arrs.2015.060104


In this article I review critical thought about cosmogony in the social sciences and explore the current status of this concept. The latter agenda entails three components. First, I argue that – even where there is no mention of cosmogony – contemporary anthropological projects that reject the essentialist ontology they ascribe to Western modernity in favour of analytical versions of relational nondualism thereby posit a counter-cosmogony of eternal relational becoming. Second, I show how Viveiros de Castro has made Amazonian cosmogonic myth – read as counter-cosmogony – exemplary of the relational nondualist ontology he calls perspectival multinaturalism. Observing that this counter-cosmogony now stands in opposition against biblical cosmogony, I conclude by asking, what are the consequences for the study of cosmogony when it becomes a register of what it is about – when it becomes, that is, a medium of polemical debate about competing models of cosmogony and the practical implications they allegedly entail.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Berghahn Journals
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2015 13:37
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:02

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