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Getting more real with wonder: an afterword

Scott, Michael W. ORCID: 0000-0002-2301-6924 (2017) Getting more real with wonder: an afterword. Journal of Religious and Political Practice, 3 (3). pp. 212-229. ISSN 2056-6093

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Identification Number: 10.1080/20566093.2017.1351174


This Afterword is part apologia for an ontology-centred approach to the anthropology of wonder, part diplomatic mission to bring the articles in this special issue into dialogue to yield new insights about wonder. The latter endeavor identifies five key areas in which the articles enhance understanding about wonder. First, they help to clarify the relationship between wonder and socio-political change. Second, they present ethnographic examples of what makes wonder practices work. Elsewhere, I have suggested that wonder can be a practice through which people resist existing ontological premises and advance lived alternatives. Going beyond this observation, these articles disclose how wonder practices persist and become routinized. Third, these articles not only show how wonder confers authority, they also show that the authority wonder confers is ontological authority—authority to lay down or revise ontological premises and their ethical and political implications. Fourth, the articles attest that wonder engages our received imagery and discourses about origins and stimulates us to generate new versions that revise, replace, or compete with the old. A fifth issue raised is whether nonhumans can wonder. Pushing against anthropocentric tendencies in some of the contributions, I suggest how we might imagine a nonhuman affective cognate to wonder

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Author © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 10:39
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024 08:27
Projects: RES-000-23-1170
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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