Mary Douglas’s seminal work Purity and Danger (Routledge, 1966) continues to be indispensable reading for both students and scholars today. Marking the 50th anniversary of Douglas’s classic, the present volume sheds fresh light upon themes raised by Douglas by drawing on recent developments in the social sciences and humanities, as well as current empirical research. In presenting new perspectives on the topic of purity and impurity, the volume integrates work in anthropology and sociology with contemporary ideas from religious studies, cognitive science and the arts.
Containing contributions from both established and emerging scholars, including protégées of Douglas herself, Purity and Danger Now is an essential volume for those working on purity and impurity across the full spectrum of the social sciences and humanities.
Table of Contents
1. Purity as danger: ‘Purity and Danger revisited’ at fifty 2. Purity and Punning: Political Fundamentalism and Semantic Pollution Chapter 3. Garbage at Work: Ethics, Subjectivation and Resistance 4. There’s Power in the Dirt: Impurity, Utopianism & Radical Politics 5. Disgust in the Moral Realm: Do All Roads Lead To Character? 6. Disgust, Disease, and Disorder: Impurity as a Mechanism for Psychopathology 7. Distinguishing Disgust From Fear 8. Clean-Moral Effects and Clean-Slate Effects: Physical Cleansing as an Embodied Procedure of Separation 9. Cleanliness Issues: From Individual Practices to Collective Visions 10. Purity and the West: Christianity, Secularism, and the Impurity of Ritual 11. Impurity without repression: Julia Kristeva and the biblical possibilities of a non-eliminationist construction of religious purity 12. Was Kristeva Right… about Qumran? Methodological Implications of a Theoretical Coincidence 13. Purity and Disgust in Shakespeare’s Problem Plays 14. Purity, Painting, and Peeing Out the Window
Robbie Duschinsky is University Lecturer in Social Sciences in the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge, UK.
Simone Schnall is Reader in Experimental Social Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, UK.
Daniel H. Weiss is Polonsky-Coexist Lecturer in Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, UK.