This book takes the concept of repetition beyond older anthropological debates over habit, structure, or cultural continuity and demonstrates its value in attempts to comprehend the temporal, spatial and ideological fields in which contemporary social scientists must operate.
Repetition has an ambiguous value in human societies. It may contribute to desired social and cultural reproduction or, equally, represent experiences of being trapped in cycles of routine and stasis. In this book, six anthropologists demonstrate the capacity of repetition to open up fertile areas of comparative ethnographic and historical work. Focusing on religious case-studies drawn from around the world, contributors ask when and how repetition is observed by interlocutors or fieldworkers. In the process, they explore the ethical, political and experiential dimensions of repetition as it operates at numerous scales of activity, ranging from intimate ritual, to forms of religious dissent, to haunting forms of historical recurrence.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of History and Anthropology.
Introduction: Different repetitions: Anthropological engagements with figures of return, recurrence and redundancy
Andreas Bandak and Simon Coleman
1. The ultimate return: Dissent, apostolic succession, and the renewed ministry of roman catholic women priests
2. Repetition in the work of a Samoan Christian theologian: Or, what does it mean to speak of the Perfect Pig of God?
3. From excess to encompassment: Repetition, recantation, and the trashing of time in Swedish Christianities
4. Repetition and uncanny temporalities: Armenians and the recurrence of genocide in the Levant
5. The good and the bad of the same: On the political value of historical repetition in Angola
Ruy Llera Blanes
Afterword: Anthropology of/as repetition
Morten Axel Pedersen