The Palm at the End of the Mind: Relatedness, Religiosity, and the Real

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9780822343813: The Palm at the End of the Mind: Relatedness, Religiosity, and the Real
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In many societies and for many people, religiosity is only incidentally connected with texts or theologies, church or mosque, temple or monastery. Drawing on a lifetime of ethnographic work among people for whom religion is not principally a matter of faith, doctrine, or definition, Michael Jackson turns his attention to those situations in life where we come up against the limits of language, our strength, and our knowledge, yet are sometimes thrown open to new ways of understanding our being-in-the-world, to new ways of connecting with others.

Through sixty-one beautifully crafted essays based on sojourns in Europe, West Africa, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and taking his cue from Wallace Stevens’s late poem, “Of Mere Being,” Jackson explores a range of experiences where “the palm at the end of the mind” stands “beyond thought,” on “the edge of space,” “a foreign song.” Moments of crisis as well as everyday experiences in cafés, airports, and offices disclose the subtle ways in which a single life shades into others, the boundaries between cultures become blurred, fate unfolds through genealogical time, elective affinities make their appearance, and different values contend.

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"Elegant and harrowing, this book from renowned ethnographer Michael Jackson takes us to the borderlands of human experience, where normal habits of thought and rules of social location are lost or ruptured, 'where we confront sides of ourselves that ordinarily do not see the light of day, yet from which new modes of consciousness may take shape.' As Jackson moves fluidly between storytelling, poetry, memoir, metaphysics, social commentary, interior exploration, and existential reflection, we travel with him around the globe and through incongruous histories: 'penumbral domains' that he argues do not belong exclusively to the language of religion, or even to language itself. "The Palm at the End of the Mind" insists on the integrity of transmutations, even terrible ones, for these are still eternally precious and deeply true. It bears witness to the cosmic connections forged in such mystery, refusing to let us look away. Long after its last page, it haunts, it sings, it prophesies. This is a brilliant ethnography of the heart."--Kimberley Patton, Harvard Divinity School

About the Author:

Michael Jackson is Distinguished Visiting Professor in World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. His many books of anthropology include Excursions, In Sierra Leone, and At Home in the World, all also published by Duke University Press. He is the author of a memoir, six books of poetry, and two novels.

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In many societies and for many people, religiosity is only incidentally connected with texts or theologies, church or mosque, temple or monastery. Drawing on a lifetime of ethnographic work among people for whom religion is not principally a matter of faith, doctrine, or definition, Michael Jackson turns his attention to those situations in life where we come up against the limits of language, our strength, and our knowledge, yet are sometimes thrown open to new ways of understanding our being-in-the-world, to new ways of connecting with others. Through sixty-one beautifully crafted essays based on sojourns in Europe, West Africa, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and taking his cue from Wallace Stevens s late poem, Of Mere Being, Jackson explores a range of experiences where the palm at the end of the mind stands beyond thought, on the edge of space, a foreign song. Moments of crisis as well as everyday experiences in cafes, airports, and offices disclose the subtle ways in which a single life shades into others, the boundaries between cultures become blurred, fate unfolds through genealogical time, elective affinities make their appearance, and different values contend. Seller Inventory # AAC9780822343813

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