A Moment with Christ: the Importance of Feelings in the Analysis of Belief

Mitchell, Jon P (1997) A Moment with Christ: the Importance of Feelings in the Analysis of Belief. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (Incorporating Man), 3 (1). 79 - 94. ISSN 0025-1496

Full text not available from this repository.


This article considers an uncanny feeling experienced during fieldwork in Malta, and examines indigenous explanations of this and other similar feelings. In Malta, explanations of such strange or uncanny experiences vary, but religious explanations present themselves as particularly convincing. The religious indoctrination process involves the creation of powerful feelings, which are sedimented as memories in the body of the believer and serve as a reference point for subsequent strange experiences. I therefore argue that feelings are both produced by, and give meaning, to religious belief. It has become de rigeur to criticize the 'logocentrism' of anthropology and to favour an anthropology of the body. I suggest that such an approach should also incorporate the anthropology of feelings, but that this need not entail a shift in ethnographic writing.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Jon Mitchell
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:05
Last Modified: 21 May 2012 11:16
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10179
📧 Request an update