WORLD ANTHROPOLOGICAL UNION

CONGRESS 2024​

SELECTED PANEL

( pn93 )

New Traditionalism and Changing Patterns in Anthropological Knowledge

Organizers

    Ryzhakova Svetlana

    Russia

    Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Science

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

    Taivane Elizabete

    Republic of Latvia

    University of Latvia

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

Keywords:

traditionalism, anthropological knowledge, religions, ethnicity

Abstract:

In the history of the world’s religions and beliefs there is a trend that combine local and global features and patterns. The particular movements and groups emerged in those collaboration are diverse and been called variously as new traditional, revival, modern pagan, ethnic, tribal etc. Some of them, which come under the Theosophy, Anthroposophy or New Age frameworks, constitute communities that have drawn on the miscellaneous sets of ideas and practices from various traditions and parts of the world. Others insist on the locality as a crucial element of their outlook and daily usage. Yet their followers often communicate on a global level, borrow ideas and elements from each other, exchange their experiences, and interweave elements of various traditions of the world. Sometimes new traditionalists oppose the dominant religions in their region of origin, but in the other cases they trying to represent them, re-shaping and re-interpreting in a specific way. Global features are manifested in the universalism of their respective messages and the desire to spread it. They show creative rethinking the past, its transformation, imagination, and inclusion in a broad modern worldview context. Notably, such groups have a number of common features: appeals to local antiquity, to native, indigenous knowledge; rethinking the role of human beings in nature; romantic impulses, interest toward the mysticism and visionary, etc. New traditionalism has many faces: it may be characterized by anti-colonial appeal, but could play imperial card. Political factors play a substantial role in the configuration of particular groups although quite different in each specific case. The formation of “new-old” cultural forms is one of the manifestations of a dialectical process of confrontation / interaction of tendencies towards globalization and localization: increased attention to the local, own, “small” manifests on a new levels of technological and informational progress and communicative connectivity occur. This panel is aimed to study current outlook of the revivalism of ethnic, local and religious traditions of the world, and especially where their followers create the situations for a patterns change in the anthropological knowledge. How local and ethno-specific features became viral? What configuration emerges when several traditions, “large” and “small”, are clashed? How it challenges contemporary anthropology – in doing fieldwork, in creating a network of interpretations and in the application of knowledge during interactions of anthropologists with the broad public? We will focus also to the anthropological aspects of language as a mediator and as an identity symbol, and to the problem of translation as a tool to cross-cultural comparison. We invite participants to study the problems of variously manifested new traditionalism, both in small and large scales. Regarding the research methods we propose various interdisciplinary approaches. As the new traditionalists go back to the traditional values and put them into the context of modernity, postmodernity, and globalization, in the field of methodology there is an option to return to structuralism and phenomenology, to the methods free of essential claims, but also to the participatory reflection that in its turn is going the middle path between positivism and postmodernism. The search for new methods lets us discover deeper structures and meanings under the surface of tangible forms of beliefs. The participants of the panel are free to suggest other updated versions of traditional methods of research and the new ones while interpreting the new traditionalism. We accept papers on such topics as: various forms and manifestations of new traditionalism; factors influencing the grow of the traditionalism, such as globalization, technological progress, informational transformation of the society, cultural changes, political processes etc.; research methods for the anthropological study of the groups and communities which have considerable traditionalist agenda.