Master your Minecraft

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    The Powell's Playlist | October 21, 2014

    Anne Rice: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Anne Rice

    These are the songs that wake me up, take me out of my worries and anxieties, wash my brain cells, and send me to the keyboard to write with new... Continue »


On Order

New Hardcover
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Ethnic Studies- General

Other titles in the Oxford Ritual Studies series:

Subversive Spiritualities: How Rituals Enact the World (Oxford Ritual Studies)


Subversive Spiritualities: How Rituals Enact the World (Oxford Ritual Studies) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Even in the twenty-first century, some two-thirds of the world's peoples quietly live in non-modern, non-cosmopolitan places. In such places the multitudinous voices of the spirits, deities, and other denizens of the other-than-human world continue to be heard, continue to be loved or feared or both, continue to accompany human beings in all their activities. In Subversive Spiritualities, Frédérique Apffel-Marglin draws on a lifetime of work with the indigenous peoples of Peru and India to support her argument that the beliefs, values, and practices of such traditional peoples are eco-metaphysically true. In other words, they recognize that human beings are in communion with other beings in nature that have agency and are kinds of spiritual intelligences, with whom humans can be in relationship and communion.

Ritual is the medium for communicating, reciprocating, creating and working with the other-than-humans, who daily remind the humans that the world is not for humans' exclusive use. Apffel-Marglin argues that when such relationships are appropriately robust, human lifeways are rich, rewarding and, in the contemporary jargon, environmentally sustainable. Her ultimate objective is to re-entangle humans in nature, by promoting a spirituality and ecology of belonging and connection to nature, and an appreciation of animistic perception and ecologies. Along the way she offers provocative and poignant critiques of many assumptions: of the development paradigm as benign (including feminist forms of development advocacy), of most anthropological and other social scientific understandings of indigenous religions, and of common views about peasant and indigenous agronomy. She concludes with a case study of the fair trade movement, illuminating both its shortcomings (how it echoes some of the assumptions in the development paradigms) and its promise as a way to rekindle community between humans as well as between humans and the other-than-human world.

About the Author

Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Smith College

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Politics of Wilderness: The Nature/Culture Dualism Revisited

Chapter 2: Economics and the Making of Natural Resources

Chapter 3: Re-entangling the Material and the Discursive: Quantum Physics and Agential Realism

Chapter 4: The Spirit of the Gift in the Peruvian Andes: Yarqa Aspiy in Quispillacta

Chapter 5: Supersessionism and the Teaching of Agronomy in Peru

Chapter 6: Dancing with the Mountain in the Altiplano: The Festival of the Ispallas

Chapter 7: The State and Feminist Missionizing in Bolivia (with Loyda Sanchez)

Chapter 8: Beyond Absolute Time and Space: From Representation to Performativity in Rituals

Chapter 9: Fair Trade and the Possibility of Biocultural Regeneration

Epilogue: Performing the Lessons Learned



Product Details

Apffel-marglin, Frederique
Oxford University Press, USA
Apffel-Marglin, Frédérique
null, Frederique
General Religion
Theology | Anthropology of Religion
Religion & Theology | Anthropology of Religion
Religion & Theology | Symbol, Ritual & Practice
Religion Comparative-General
Ethnic Studies - General
Publication Date:
6.3 x 9.3 x 1 in 1.1 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Subversive Spiritualities: How Rituals Enact the World (Oxford Ritual Studies) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$120.25 Backorder
Product details 264 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199793853 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at