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Animism: Respecting the Living World

Animism: Respecting the Living World (book)

Animism: Respecting the Living World

Animism: Respecting the Living World is an introduction to animism, the oldest type of spiritual belief system in the world, and by far the longest running. Archeological evidence proves it to be over 70,000 years old. It is probably much older, and it still survives in many remote parts of the world.

How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings?

Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans?

In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities.

Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.

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