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    Can there be religions without belief? Religion in Latin America

    Guardiola-Rivera, Oscar (2020) Can there be religions without belief? Religion in Latin America. In: Devy, G.N. (ed.) Environment and Belief Systems. Key Concepts. Key Concepts in Indigenous Studies. London, UK and New Delhi, India: Routledge. ISBN 9780367410186. (In Press)

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    This chapter deals with the problem of "dual organisations", posited by anthropologists and their interlocutors as crucial to the emergence of rule-based, legal and political institutions. In mainstream accounts of the history and philosophy of law and rights-based institutions, the question of these binaries originating in religious belief has been seen as holding the key to the totality of culture and politics. However, recent anthropological research has thrown these totalising accounts into doubt. By showing that "inconstancy" isn't a defect, lack or a pathology of belief that would render certain peoples less able to govern themselves, such investigations have thrown into question whether religious "belief" and its modern displacement into notions of trust, recognition, consent or "shared values" can indeed be treated as the most basic building block of cultural and legal-political institutions. This essay explores the implications of these investigations in the context of the Americas, and interprets the radicalization of dualisms in the creolising milieu of the Americas negotiations between indigenous peoples and Christendom. In the process, the essay also invokes Aristotle’s tri-partite geo-psychology, a crucial and half-forgotten element in the colonial origins of modern philosophy, global standardization and the body politics of the law also known as “philosophical geography” without which modern capitalism wouldn’t have emerged. It is the wager of this piece that the question of dual organizations and religious belief, radicalised in the indigenous thought of the Americas, merits renewed attention. If set in the framework of philosophical geography’s now half-forgotten significance in the colonial imposition of concepts of the human upon indigenous peoples and their conceptual universe, the dual structure of religious belief appears as part of a geopolitical design relevant until today.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge.
    School: School of Law > Law
    Research Centres and Institutes: Humanities, Birkbeck Institute for the (BIH)
    Depositing User: Oscar Guardiola-Rivera
    Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2020 09:59
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 12:40


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