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Accepted Paper:

Kinship and the Perils of Grace in Aari, Ethiopia  
Julian Sommerschuh (Universit├Ąt Hamburg)

Paper short abstract:

I explain the ambivalence of kinship as a result of kinship exchange being animated by the logic of grace. Grace is key to the cultivation of loving kinship relations - even as it also threatens to undermine those same bonds.

Paper long abstract:

Why is kinship often not only a realm of love but also of intense conflict and negative sentiments? This paper examines the ambivalence of kinship among Aari in highland southwestern Ethiopia. Expanding Julian Pitt-Rivers' work on the perils of grace, I show that kinship failure in Aari is a product of the mode of exchange common among kin. Animated by the ideal of grace, exchange among kin produces love when it succeeds but 'sadness' when it fails. And occasional failure is inevitable since the ideal of grace is both incompatible with other ideals and self-defeating. Sadness can therefore be avoided only by avoiding to exchange with kin altogether.

Panel Mora01
Always something extra: ethnographies of grace
  Session 1 Wednesday 31 March, 2021, -