Divination's Grasp

Divination's Grasp : African Encounters with the Almost Said

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Richard Werbner takes readers on a journey though contemporary charismatic wisdom divination in southern Africa. Beginning with the silent language of the divinatory lots, Werbner deciphers the everyday, metaphorical, and poetic language that is used to reveal their meaning. Through Werbner's skillful interpretations of the language of divination, a picture of Tswapong moral imagination is revealed. Concerns about dignity and personal illumination, witchcraft, pollution, the anger of dead ancestors, as well as the nature of life, truth, cosmic harmony, being, and becoming emerge in this charged African setting.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 356 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 30.48mm | 630g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 21 b&w illus., 3 tables
  • 0253018811
  • 9780253018816

Review quote

Werbner's Divination's Grasp documents a long and distinguished career in the service of anthropology. It will be a touchstone for anthropological studies of divination for years to come. * American Ethnologist *show more

About Richard Werbner

Richard Werbner is Professor Emeritus in African Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He is author of Reasonable Radicals and Citizenship in Botswana (IUP).show more

Table of contents

Preface IntroductionPart I. Socio-linguistics and poetics1. Deep Dialogue with Evans-Pritchard 2. In Praise of the Moral Imagination 3. Acrobatic Stylistics, Agonistic VisionPart II. From Tablet Archive to Wisdom Seances4. Poetics and Archives 5. Family Seances: Rhetoric, Deliberations and Decisions6. Cosmic and Personal Understandings: Diviners, Headmen, StrangersPart III. From Hooved Archive to Charismatic Seances7. A Charismatic Diviner's Archive: Hooved Divination 8. The Cross-Over: Originality, Hybridity and Metamorphosis9. The Charismatic Seance: Arguments, Intimacy and IntimationsConclusion: In ComparisonNotesBibliographyIndexshow more