Michael Wilkinson, Eriksen, Annelin, Ruy Llera Blanes, and Michelle MacCarthy: Going to Pentecost. An Experimental Approach to Studies in Pentecostalism. New York: Berghahn Books, 2019. 227 pp. ISBN 978-​1-​78920-​139-​0. (Ethnography, Theory, Experiment, 7) Price: $ 120.00 in:

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Anthropos, Volume 115 (2020), Issue 1, ISSN: 0257-9774, ISSN online: 0257-9774,

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gendered differences of these various life stages. Chapter seven discusses local political organisation as well as the official administrative units implemented first by the colonial power and then taken over by the independent state; province (khayt), subdistrict (khum), and village (phum). Most interesting are the government programs as agents of social and economic change in that period. But my attention was caught by a small sec‐ tion in this chapter on the Issarak, a militantly national‐ ist and very violent independence movement with a communist fraction that later on was often seen as a pre‐ decessor to the Khmer Rouge. Throughout the ethno‐ graphy, Svay is portrayed as a very peaceful and harmo‐ nious village, and its inhabitants as rather inward look‐ ing and not very interested in the politics of the wider world. The only time, argues the author, where national political factionalism occurred was when people joined the Issarak movement during World War II and prior to independence. After independence “West Svay returned to its normal placidity and passivity concerning political affairs” (221). I could not help but wonder if, under the peace and harmony, conflicts did exist that could be de‐ ployed for political mobilisation, just as it had happened not much later with the Khmer Rouge. The last chapter looks at the relations of the village with the wider world. Due to the improved infrastruc‐ ture the village became connected to the capital Phnom Penh, but the most frequent contacts happen with nearby villages. For young people with access to educa‐ tion the city becomes a reference point for future dreams of a life outside the village, whereas for older people it is a place that invites misbehaviour and mis‐ conduct. In general, the outer world is viewed with sus‐ picion. What is striking from a present viewpoint is the distrust of strangers that Ebihara describes as well as the animosity towards certain ethnic groups, especially the Vietnamese. Both have been successfully deployed in political propaganda during the civil war and the Khmer Rouge to rally support for the communist revolution. Reading Ebihara through the political lens of today, the reader sometimes gets an uncanny feeling that there already might have been more conflicts than the anthro‐ pologist acknowledged. If there is any theory in this rich ethnographic work, it is in the conclusion. Here, the author compares her findings to other ethnographies of mainland Southeast Asia and, in the theoretical spirit of that time, tries to re‐ late her insights to debates about the concept of the peasantry. Given the political meaning of the concept of the peasant in Communist movements throughout main‐ land Southeast Asia in the late 1960 s and 70 s, I would have wished she would have come back to this concept in the essay that ends the book. Here Ebihara reflects her return to Svay in 1989, during which she did a de‐ tailed research on what had happened to the people of the village, relying on her census data of 1960. She got a devastating insight of loss as half of the village had died. Ebihara shows how the memories of past violence are inscribed in the landscape of Svay and the bodies of its inhabitants. But she also shows the resilience of people as they returned to Svay and rebuilt their worlds – as peasants. Sina Emde ( Eriksen, Annelin, Ruy Llera Blanes, and Michelle MacCarthy: Going to Pentecost. An Experimental Ap‐ proach to Studies in Pentecostalism. New York: Berghahn Books, 2019. 227 pp. ISBN 978-1-78920- 139-0. (Ethnography, Theory, Experiment, 7) Price: $ 120.00 “Going to Pentecost” is co-authored by three anthro‐ pologists with ethnographic research on Pentecostalism conducted in Vanuatu, Angola, and Papua New Guinea. The book is organized around four sections. The first in‐ cludes a methodological and theoretical exploration on an experimental approach for examining Pentecostalism that is simultaneously about place and space, local and global, territorial and non-territorial, rooted in the ev‐ eryday of the local but somehow transcendent as a cul‐ tural understanding of the world. The second section of‐ fers three ethnographic descriptions from each of the authors’ work about healing, prosperity, and the social ordering of urban settings. Part three follows with a more analytical and theoretical reflection on questions about borders and boundaries, neoliberalism and pros‐ perity, and individualism, absolutism, and pluralism. The final section is a series of reviews by prominent scholars including Matei Candea, Joel Robbins, Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, Knut Rio, and Birgit Meyer (the re‐ viewer did not read this section until after writing the review). The overall construction of the book is excel‐ lent, considering it is a multi-authored, multi-sited, ethnographic study of Pentecostalism that attempts to capture the non-territorial qualities of Pentecost. It is rich in description, theory, methodology, and analysis. It can be read in a variety of ways including a traditional linear fashion, or across each section with attention giv‐ en to one of the places and topics, or within one of the sections, such as part two and its detailed descriptions or part three with the extended analytical discussion. Having read the book in a more traditional manner, my review will continue with observations and discussions on three chapters from different sections for the ques‐ tions they raise. First, I offer some comment about the theoretical and methodological claims set out in the introductory sec‐ tion. The entire book rests on the assumptions of the au‐ thors and the claim to offer an experimental approach for researching religion generally, and Pentecostalism particularly. The argument revolves around a series of questions about the relationship between local/global and territorial/non-territorial approaches to globalization and religion. More specifically, they ask, how can we rethink the local by looking at the non-territorial aspects of Pentecostalism? The objectives, according to the au‐ thors, are to challenge territorial methodology, to exam‐ ine religion in a more wholistic way, and through com‐ 214 Book Reviews Anthropos 115.2020 parative work, make more connections across regions that help understand the role of contemporary religion. Following some work on the problems of defining Pen‐ tecostalism, the authors invoke the term Pentecost as a way of dealing with the problems of multi-sited ethnog‐ raphy that still privileges the local, in spite of its global or universal claims. The authors then argue that an unsited field allows the researcher to see something simi‐ lar regardless of location precisely because Pentecostals are transformed into Pentecost, that is, fully integrated into social life. Pentecost is an un-sited, non-territorial, analytical worldview or way of life; a Pentecostal world that represents a charismatic sociality without borders. The authors argue that by going to Pentecost, it can be found everywhere, which allows observers to see how social life is infused by Pentecostal sensibilities. The authors also revisit a long held debate within anthropol‐ ogy about comparative work and the various challenges of understanding local/global, continuity/discontinuity, suggesting that a wholistic approach that brings together the lateral and the frontal, can be resolved by observing Pentecost. To demonstrate the argument, the authors offer three descriptions of various Pentecostal activities and ask where is Pentecost, noting that it is not reducible to a place, denomination, congregation, or person and yet it is also particularized in specific ways across place, de‐ nomination, congregation, and person, illustrating a general or universal way of life that is rooted in the ev‐ eryday. For example, the discussion about healing in chapter one and the way it orders social life through the creation of borders like insider and outsider, confession and conversion, good and evil, exposure and conceal‐ ment, offers a theory of how the body works, the role of the Holy Spirit, demons and spirits, the establishment of yards, fences, houses, and the ordering of the neigh‐ bourhood with visible borders based on the invisible that in turn creates protected spaces. The chapter on healing could be read with other descriptions about prosperity or urbanization in the section. Or the reader could venture on to a more in-depth discussion about healing, borders, the body, and individualism in chapter four. One of the more interesting theoretical discussions revolves around prosperity in chapter five where the au‐ thors critically evaluate economic arguments that at‐ tempt to identify Pentecostalism as a type of neoliberal‐ ism that reduces Pentecostalism to materialist explana‐ tions. The authors, not wanting to discredit economic explanations, argue that Pentecost also represents a moral imperative about the good life where social rela‐ tions benefit from another kind of orientation around tithes, offerings, and gifts. Pentecostal prosperity is not simply a means for entering a global neoliberal econo‐ my but a way of living representing a cosmological shift that reorients Pentecostals around questions of life and death. Finally, readers will benefit from a range of review‐ ers’ comments on the anthropology of Christianity and specifically how this book raises questions about ethnography, comparative studies, individualism, pros‐ perity, and the experiment of Pentecost. “Going to Pen‐ tecost” raises important questions that intersect with theoretical issues in religion, globalization, and research about everyday life, that extend beyond the anthropolo‐ gy of Christianity and therefore, important for the broader more multidisciplinary study of Pentecostalism. Michael Wilkinson ( Ette, Ottmar, and Julia Maier: Alexander von Humboldt. The Complete Drawings from the American Travel Diaries. München: Prestel Verlag, 2018. 736 pp. ISBN 978-3-7913-8354-5. Price: € 148,00 This book is a beautiful piece of work even if quite a heavy one due to its size, the type of paper used and the sheer amount of full-colour illustrations from Alexander von Humboldt’s American travel diaries now housed in Berlin at the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The work, it is claimed, contains reproductions of the complete set of drawings that Alexander von Humboldt put into his American travel diaries, whereby “drawing” is understood to encompass all kinds of illustrations ranging from different kinds of (geometric) lines or sketches to representations of rivers, mountains, ani‐ mals, altitudes, structures, etc. The size of the volume reflects Alexander von Humboldt’s abundance of talent and energy, which allowed him to document almost ev‐ erything and create a total of 447 drawings in his di‐ aries. The book is divided more or less in two sections. Section 1 starts with a foreword by Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger, President of the institution which is home to the American diaries. Ottmar Ette, one of the co-editors, then, provides introductions into Alexander von Hum‐ boldt’s voyages to the Americas and his diaries. Ette is an expert on and author of many books about Alexander von Humboldt. Section 1 is concluded by the other coeditor’s, Julia Maier’s, editorial note in which she struc‐ tures the drawings referring them to particular topics as presented in section two of the volume. In section 2 of the volume, the drawings are struc‐ tured around five main topics or attributed functions: (1) Sky and Cosmos, (2) Surface and Interior of the Earth, (3) Living Beings, (4) Culture, and (5) Materiality. Each topic is divided into subtopics (for instance, the first one into Astronomy; Climate and Earth Atmosphere; and Optics). This classification makes Alexander von Hum‐ boldt’s drawings much more easily accessible for read‐ ers scanning them for particular features. This is obvi‐ ously a huge benefit, comparing it with otherwise hav‐ ing to go through the American travel diaries – span‐ ning no less than nine volumes – page by page in search of a particular theme-centered drawing. Of course, the volumes may also be downloaded for free at: . Another benefit of the work is provided by valuable explanations which the co-editors give for each drawing Book Reviews 215 Anthropos 115.2020

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Anthropos is the international journal of anthropology and linguistics, founded in 1906 by Wilhelm Schmidt, missonary and member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). Its main purpose is the study of human societies in their cultural dimension. In honor of Wilhelm Schmidt‘s legacy, the cultivation of anthropology, ethnology, linguistics, and religious studies remain an essential component oft he Anthropos Institute – the organizational carrier of the journal.


Anthropos - internationale Zeitschrift für Völkerkunde wird vom Anthropos Institut St. Augustin seit 1906 zweimal jährlich herausgegeben. Ursprünglich als Sprachrohr für katholische Missionarsarbeit geplant, gilt sie heute als wichtige Fachzeitschrift der allgemeinen Ethnologie. Sie behandelt sowohl kulturelle als auch sprachliche Themen in mehreren Sprachen, mit Schwerpunkt auf den Völkern des gesamtamerikanischen und afrikanischen Kontinents.