Purity and Danger

An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo

Recommended by Mary Beard, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #25 in Anthropology

Professor Douglas makes points which illuminate matters in the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of science and help to show the rest of us just why and how anthropology has become a fundamentally intellectual discipline. less

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Mary Beard It’s regarded as quite old-fashioned now and the author Mary Douglas, who died recently, somewhat recanted on many of the things that she said. But, for me and still for many of my students, it’s a book that really opened my eyes. It showed me that you could theorize about things that you had always taken for granted and thought didn’t need explaining. Douglas set out to defamiliarize our own culture. One of her favourite party pieces is she goes through all the dietary prohibitions in Leviticus. She said, look at these carefully and you will see there’s a logic to them. What’s being... (Source)

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