Lévi-Strauss, the “father of modern anthropology”, is one of the most influential thinkers of the Twentieth Century. His development of “structuralism” – the identification of patterns of human cognition and behaviour – greatly influenced Althusser, Lacan, Foucault and Derrida. Levi-Strauss on Religion presents one of the only examinations of the importance of Levi-Strauss’ thought and work to the study of religion. The book examines his methodology as well as his contributions to the study of kinship, totemism, and myth. The issues raised by Levi-Strauss’ anthropological, political and philosophical texts are placed alongside contemporary debates in religious studies and the student is introduced to the thinkers and theories that informed his writings. This book will be invaluable to students of the anthropology and phenomenology of religion.
"The contents of this book are expressed in a scholarly and didactic tone that promote an easier understanding of the complex aspects of the structuralist proposals without sacrificing the depth contained in them." – Alexandre Surrallés, Religion and Society
"The book is a model of clarity in organisation and exposition. Tremlett's book is rich in bibliographical references and students will find an excellent introduction to the epoch-making structural findings and to the current state of the question." – Michel Despland, Numen
Introduction: An intellectual biography
1. Lévi-Strauss, linguistics and structuralism
2. Kinship as communication
3. The illusion of totemism
4. Myths without meaning?
5. Structuralism, shamanism and material culture
6. The structure of nostalgia
7. Lévi-Strauss and the study of religions
About the Author:
Paul-François Tremlett is a Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University.