Animism and Anxiety: Religious Conversion Among the Kelabit of Sarawak

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Department 1



Book Summary: Based on original fieldwork, this book presents a number of case studies of animism from insular and peninsular Southeast Asia and offers a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon – its diversity and underlying commonalities and its resilience in the face of powerful forces of change. Critically engaging with the current standard notion of animism, based on hunter-gatherer and horticulturalist societies in other regions, it examines the roles of life forces, souls and spirits in local cosmologies and indigenous religion. It proposes an expansion of the concept to societies featuring mixed farming, sacrifice and hierarchy and explores the question of how non-human agents are created through acts of attention and communication, touching upon the relationship between animist ontologies, world religion, and the state. [From the Publisher]


Original version is available from the publisher: https://www.routledge.com/Animism-in-Southeast-Asia/Arhem-Sprenger/p/book/9780415713795

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