1st Edition

Indigenous Religions

Edited By Stephen Hunt Copyright 2010

    This volume on Indigenous Religions in The Library of Essays on Sexuality and Religion series focuses on indigenous religions and their attitudes towards human sexuality. Through previously-published articles the volume gives full scope to attitudes towards sexuality found in a vast range of contrasting expressions of religiosity outside of the so-called 'World Faiths'. Examples are taken from cultures as far afield as Africa, Australasia, South America and the Pacific islands. Part 1 includes a number of articles centring on the role of sexuality in rites of passage and initiation in relation to liminality, maturity and reproduction. Part 2 examines the relationship between sexuality, spirit possession and witchcraft. Part 3 includes such areas as religion, gender, patriarchy and both hetero-sexualality and non-heterosexuality. The final part considers sexuality and indigenous religions in a changing and globalised world and entails the themes of sexuality as expressed through 'cargo cults', pilgrimage and religiosity in the context of colonial dominance.

    Contents: Introduction; Part I Rites of Passage and Sexuality: The timing and role of initiation rites in preparing young people for adolescence and responsible sexual and reproductive behaviour in Malawi, Alister C. Munthali and Eliya M. Zulu; Coming of age in Samoa and Nebraska, David Weisberg; Learning the facts of life: past and present experiences in a rural Tanzanian community, Denise Roth Allen; Growing yams and men: an interpretation of Kiman male ritualized homosexual behaviour, J. Patrick Gray; Liminal meanings: sexually charged Giriama funerary ritual and unsettled participant frameworks, Janet McIntosh. Part II Spiritual Possession, Witchcraft and Sexuality: Perversion of power, witchcraft and the sexuality of evil in the South African lowveld, Isak Niehaus; Witchcraft and the exchange of sex, blood, and money among Africans in Cape Town, South Africa, Erik Bähre; 'Broken calabashes and covenants of fruitfulness': cursing barrenness in contemporary African Christianity, J.Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu; Male homosexuality and spirit possession in Brazil, Peter Fry; Women heal women: spirit possession and sexual segregation in a Muslim society, Pamela Constantinides. Part III Gender and Sexuality: Manhood, warriorhood and sex in Eastern Africa: perspectives from the 19th and 20th centuries, Dent Ocaya-Lakidi; Sex, food and female power: discussion of data material from Northern Mozambique, Signe Arnfred; Heteronormativity and the deflection of male same-sex attraction among the Pitjantjatjara people of Australia's Western Desert, Jon Willis; Sexuality and gender in certain Native American tribes: the case of cross-gender females, Evelyn Blackwood; Queer Nahuatl: Sahagún's faggots and sodomites, lesbians and hermaphrodites, Peter Sigal. Part IV Social Transformations and Sexuality: Sexuality and cargo cults: the politics of gender and procreation in West New Britain, Andrew Lattas; Myth, pilgrimage and fascination in the Aiyappa cult. A view from field work in Ta


    Stephen Hunt is Reader in Sociology at the University of the West of England, UK

    '...an insightful inclusion to the collection, moving away from dominant world religions to an exploration of religious practices and spiritualities that encompass ancient traditions.' Religion and Human Rights Journal ’...a fascinating insight into both the origins of early religious traditions and sexuality, and into the modern world of religion and sex. Hunt has accomplished a feat at collecting a rich and varied selection of essays and articles that create a thorough, well-developed three-dimensional context within which sex, religion and society intersect. These works are valuable tools to consider these intersections, the lives of both modern and historical humankind.’ Sexuality & Culture