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Beyond Naturalism

From perception to reception in the local population's understanding of climate change in Cuba

Foto: Sugar de Santo

The scientific discourse on climate change encounters populations with non-naturalistic world conceptions, which shape the local understanding of this global environmental problem. While much research has been focusing on the observation (perception) of climate change impacts, few studies have been undertaken to understand the emic interpretation of climate change and the local reception of naturalistic notions of climate change. This project will focus on interpretations and receptions of climate change by Afro-Cuban religions, their conceptions of life and the environment. Natural phenomena, which science detects as the impacts of climate change, are differently conceived as energies of divine or spiritual forces by religious priests and their followers. The dynamics of the encounter of the natural sciences' climate discourse and religious conceptions in Cuba are at the center of this project and will provide new empirical data on local attitudes towards climate change and theorize the intersection of different conceptions of the world and theirontological axioms.

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Ernst Halbmayer
Scientific assistant: Dr. Lioba Rossbach de Olmos
Student assistant: Hanna Prautzsch
Conception: Dr. Lioba Rossbach de Olmos and Prof. Dr. Ernst Halbmayer
Duration: 2015 – 2017
Financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)  HA 5957/9-

  • Publications

    2018: (accepted)
    Lioba Rossbach de Olmos: Manejando incompatibilidades: El sistema de adivinación de ifá y el cambio climático en Cuba: In: Anthropos 114/1.

    Lioba Rossbach de Olmos: Die Orakel-App. Der Einzug des Smartphones in die afrokubanische Divination. In: Paideuma 63, pp. 67-88.

    Lioba Rossbach de Olmos: Klimawandel und Kultur: Annäherungen an ein aktuelles kulturanthropologisches Thema.  In: Curare 38 (4), pp. 282-290.

    Ernst Halbmayer and Lioba Rossbach de Olmos: Clima, atmósfera y ambiente: una pregunta más allá de las ciencias naturales. In: Batey: Revista Cubana de: Antropología Sociocultural VI/6, pp. 3-21.

    Lioba Rossbach de Olmos: Dossier: Cruces y entrecruzamientos en los caminos de los orichas: tradiciones en conflicto. In: Indiana 31, pp. 9-101.

    Ernst Halbmayer and Catherine Alès: Indigenous Creolization, Amerindian Hybridity and the Invention of Authenticity. In: Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America 11(1), pp. 29-102.

    Ernst Halbmayer (ed.): Dossier: Debating Animism, Perspectivism and the Construction of Ontologies. In: Indiana 29, pp. 8-169.

    Lioba Rossbach de Olmos: Religious Perspectives on Climate Change Among Indigenous Communities: Questions and Challenges for Ethnological Research. In: Gerten, Dieter and Sigurd Bergman (ed.): Religion in Environmental and Climate Change: Suffering, Values, Lifestyles. London, New York: Continuum International Publishing, pp. 200-214.

    Lioba Rossbach de Olmos: Del monólogo científico a las pluralidades culturales: dimensiones y contextos del cambio climático desde una perspectiva antropológica. In: Ulloa, Astrid (ed.) Perspectivas culturales del clima. Bogotá: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, pp. 55-82.