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Accepted Paper:

The Return of the Gods: perceptions of Bolivian socialist state among indigenous highlanders  
Nico Tassi (UCL)

Paper long abstract:

On the 21st of January the indigenous President of Bolivia Evo Morales has been invested in the pre-columbian site of Tiwanaku as the spiritual guide of the new 'Socialist' state and of all indigenous peoples through a spectacular religious ceremony. The election of Morales had been associated in the discourse of indigenous movements with the mythological and apocalyptic return of time and space which had been interrupted by the Spanish Conquest. My intention in this paper is to shed light on the contemporary perceptions of the New State among Bolivia's indigenous sectors. Indigenous highlanders have tended to interpret their relation with the state power as characterised by a ritualised form of reciprocal exchange and warfare. In this paper I will try to outline the contemporary understandings of the theocratic socialist state through emphasizing the dynamics of persistence and innovation in the traditional understanding of the colonial-republican state and even the Inca empire.

E-paper: this Paper will not be presented, but read in advance and discussed

Panel W051
From the mouth of God: 'the political' from a post-secular perspective