Cargo, Cult, and Culture Critique
- About the Book
Cargo cults have long exerted a remarkable attraction on Westerners, and the last decade has seen the publication of much new work on the subject. This collection of original essays is based on fieldwork in Melanesia, Fiji, Australia, and Indonesia by scholars who are influential in the contemporary debate on cargo. Conceived as a reader for undergraduate and graduate courses, the volume offers an up-to-date view of the subject and the debates it arouses among contemporary anthropologists.
Some contributors plead for the abolition of “cargo” because of its troublesome implications, but also because, in the authors’ view, cargo cults do not exist as identifiable objects of study. Others argue that it is precisely this troublesome nature that makes the term a useful analytical tool that should be welcomed rather than rejected. By delineating and substantiating key issues and positions in this lively and ongoing debate, this volume underscores and refines the contemporary reevaluation of cargo cults.
Scholars of the Pacific region and others interested in new religious movements should find this volume both enlightening and compelling.
Contributors: Nils Bubandt, Vincent Crapanzano, Douglas M. Dalton, Elfriede Hermann, Holger Jebens, Martha Kaplan, Karl-Heinz Kohl, Stephen C. Leavitt, Lamont Lindstrom, Ton Otto, Joel Robbins, Jaap Timmer, Robert Tonkinson.