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Ethnologie als Xenologie

Bernhard Waldenfels und die Wissenschaft vom kulturell Fremden

Bernhard Leistle


This article explores the implications of Bernhard Waldenfels’s responsive phenomenology for the discipline of cultural anthropology or ethnology, insofar as it understands itself as the “science of the culturally Other”. It discusses Waldenfels’s own engagement with ethnology and shows the compatibility of his approach with discussions within the discipline. The intertwining of ownness and alienness that is central to Waldenfels’s account of experience is applied to the problem of culture in ethnology. This leads to an acknowledgement of a domain between cultures, a genuine interculturality, as the fundamental field of ethnological research, which, however, can only be addressed through indirect forms of representation. Such forms are identified in the practice of ethnographic citation, and through a reinterpretation of Horace Miner’s classical satire “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”, thus demonstrating the possibility of a prospective “responsive ethnology”.


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Published Online: 2020-03-31
Published in Print: 2020-04-07

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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