Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


Exploring the Senses
  Axel Michaels, Christoph Wulf (ed.)

Routledge, New Delhi, India
December 2013
352 pages, £ 65.00

Exploring the Senses - South Asian and European Perspectives on Rituals and Performativity

This fascinating volume offers a transdisciplinary and transcultural approach to understanding the senses by exploring themes in anthropologies of sound, sight, smell, taste, touch, and movement as expressed through aesthetic, perceptual, religious, and spiritual experiences. In drawing upon comparative perspectives from Indian and Western theories, the essays demonstrate the integral relation of senses with each other as well as with allied notions of the body, emotion and cultural memory. Stressing the continued relevance of senses as they manifest in a globalized world under the influence of new media, this work will interest scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, ritual studies, psychology, religion, philosophy, and history




Axel Michaels & Christoph Wulf: Exploring the Senses in Rituals and Performances: An Introduction


I. Indian and Western Theories of Senses

Remo Bodei: The Windows on the World: The Senses and Inner Life

Angelika Malinar: Sense-Perception and Notions of the Senses in Sāṃkhya Philosophy

Grard Colas: Senses, Human and Divine

Anand Mishra: The Divine Embrace: Role of Senses in Puṣṭimārga

Monika Horstmann: Managing the Senses in Sant Devotion


2. The Anthropology of Senses

Christoph Wulf: The View: Control, Desire, Perception

William S. Sax: Seeing Ghosts in India and Europe

Annette Wilke: Sonic Perception and Acoustic Communication in Hindu India

Karsten Lichau: ‘Noise’ or ‘Silence’? Listening to Sacred Sound in 20th century Europe

Holger Schulze: The Sonic Persona: An Anthropology of Sound

Alain Montandon: Taste as an Aesthetic Sense

Astrid Zotter: Scent of a Flower: Notes on Olfaction in Hindu Worship

Axel Michaels: Untouchability and Tactility in Hindu Death Rituals (with a translation of chapter 95, “On carrying a corpse (murdā uthāunyā)”, of the Mulukī Ain of 1854)

Gabriele Brandstetter: Senses of Movement: Kinesthetics and Synesthetics in Contemporary Dance Practices

Jayachandran Palazhi: Memory, Experience and Imagination in Performance

Jan Weinhold: Family constellation therapy: body memory and the sense of space

Karin M. Polit: Performative Ritual as Sensual Experience of Body, Place and Sociality

Jrg Gengnagel: Movements in Space and the Senses. Aspects of Ritual and Locomotation in India


3. The Unity of Senses

Sundar Sarukkai: Unity of the Senses in Indian Thought

Theofanis Tasis: Politics of the Senses: On Vision and Hearing in Hannah Arendt’s “Vita Activa“

Mădălina Diaconu: The Sky Around Our Bodies: Climate and Atmospheric Perception


14 Jan 2014

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