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Accepted Paper:

The "transreligious" confluences and coincidences of Afro-Cuban religiosity and the anthropologist's personal "crisis".  

Author:

Anastasios Panagiotopoulos (CRIA-Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Paper short abstract:

I compare Afro-Cuban religiosity and an auto-ethnography in "crisis". I had been advised that the former was linked to the latter, but I only discovered it later and precisely through my research. I explore the term "transreligiosity" so as to account for these confluences and other transgressions.

Paper long abstract:

The general practitioner said calmly but decisively: "Your research has to do with your problem. It has affected you too much". My initial surprise was succeeded by the general suspicion that is always guarded against general practitioners and then by fury for the calm confidence displayed in his words. In this paper I explore the sudden and unplanned intersection of a personal "crisis" with the object and subject of one's own research without wishing to either fully merge them into an amorphous whole or pretend to be completely unrelated. I, rather, open a comparative dialogue between the two and explore what this dialogue can offer in the production of ethnographic theory. I introduce, employ and analyse the term of "transreligiosity" as an extremely useful one when it comes to account for these onto-epistemic confluences, as well as much broader issues of religiosity and its transgression of "frontiers" which cannot be adequately captured by the traditional frameworks of "religion", "science" and "secularism". The ethnographic focus is my research on Afro-Cuban religiosity and an initially unexpected kind of auto-ethnography. Among others, I compare the effects, affects and peculiar coincidences produced by the ritual preparation of an Afro-Cuban doll and the preparation of another doll, as this was prescribed by a psychotherapist, the specialist confirming in an uncanny way the early, and arrogant to my then interpretation, words of the general practitioner, but also prompting us to stretch the "voodoo" efficacy of dolls.

Panel P115b
Other Worlds, Other Bodies?: Ethnography, Experience and Epistemological Embodiment