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Sacred Nature (Hardback)

Animism and Materiality in Ancient Religions

P&S History > Social Science & Culture > Anthropology & Sociology

Edited by Nicola Laneri, Edited by Anna Perdibon
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Material Religion in Antiquity
Pages: 136
Illustrations: B/W
ISBN: 9781789259179
Published: 15th November 2022
Casemate UK Academic

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Sacred Nature: Animism and Materiality in Ancient Religions is the second volume of the series Material Religion in Antiquity (MaReA). The book collects the proceedings of the international online workshop carrying the same title organized by CAMNES, SoRS on 20–21 May 2021. Sacred Nature brings together the perspectives of scholars from different disciplines (archaeology, anthropology, iconography, philology, history of religions) about the notions of nature, sacredness, animism and materiality in ancient religions of the Old and the New World. The contributions highlight various ways of understandings the relationships that occurred between human beings, animals, plants, rivers, deities and the land in the religious life of ancient societies. In particular, each chapter explores entangled aspects of the perception of nature and its other-than-human inhabitants, and contributes to readdress some notions about nature, personhood/agency, divinity/sacrality, and materiality/spirituality in ancient religions and cosmologies. In this line, the book seeks to promote a starkly inter-disciplinary and religious-anthropological approach to the definition of ‘sacred nature’, especially engaging with the analytical category of animism as a fruitful conceptual tool for the investigation of human-environmental relations in the ancient religious conceptions, representations and practices. Dialoguing with animism and drawing upon the question on how an ancient religion happened materially, the volume presents key case studies that explore how nature and its non-human inhabitants were understood, represented, engaged with and interwoven in the sacred and sensuous landscapes of ancients.

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About Nicola Laneri

Nicola Laneri is Director of the School of Religious Studies at CAMNES/Lorenzo de’ Medici (Florence). He taught Archaeology of the Ancient Near East at the University of Catania, the University of Chicago, the Middle Eastern Technical University of Ankara and the Oriental Institute of Naples. From 2003 until 2016, he has been the director of the Hirbemerdon Tepe Archaeological Project (southeastern Turkey). He has published more than 80 scientific articles in journals and books.


About Anna Perdibon

Anna Perdibon is Assistant Director of the School of Religious Studies at CAMNES. She is a researcher, writer and teacher in the fields of religion and anthropology. 

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