Witchcraft Oracles and magic among the Azande

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Author: Evans-Pritchard, Edward Evan (1902-1973) from the library of Professor George M Foster

Year: 1937

Publisher: Clarendon Press for the University of Oxford Press

Place: Oxford


xxv+558 pages with frontispiece, maps, plates, figures and index. Octavo (8 3/4" x 5 3/4") issued in blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Foreword by C G Seligman. From the library of professor George M Foster. First edition.

Sir Edward Evan (E. E.) Evans-Pritchard was an English anthropologist who was instrumental in the development of social anthropology. He was also Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford from 1946 to 1970. Born in Crowborough, East Sussex, England, he was educated at Winchester College and studied history at Exeter College, Oxford, where he was influenced by R. R. Marett, and then as a postgraduate at the London School of Economics (LSE). There he came under the influence of Bronis³aw Malinowski and especially Charles Gabriel Seligman, the founding ethnographer of the Sudan. His first fieldwork began in 1926 with the Azande, a people of the upper Nile, and resulted in both a doctorate (in 1927) and his classic Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande (1937). Evans-Pritchard continued to lecture at the LSE and conduct research in Azande and Bongo land until 1930, when he began a new research project among the Nuer. This work coincided with his appointment to the University of Cairo in 1932, where he gave a series of lectures on religion that bore Seligman's influence. After his return to Oxford, he continued his research on Nuer. It was during this period that he first met Meyer Fortes and A. R. Radcliffe-Brown. Evans-Pritchard began developing Radcliffe-Brown's program of structural-functionalism. As a result his trilogy of works on the Nuer (The Nuer, Nuer Religion, and Kinship and Marriage Among the Nuer) and the volume he co-edited entitled African Political Systems came to be seen as classics of British social anthropology. Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande is the first major anthropological contribution to the sociology of knowledge through its neutral—some would say "relativist"--stance on the "correctness" of Zande beliefs about causation. Evans-Pritchard's empirical work in this vein became well-known through philosophy of science and "rationality" debates of the 1960s and 1970s involving Thomas Kuhn and especially Paul Feyerabend.

George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. Provenance from the executor of Foster's library laid in.


Foster's stamp on title, some underlining by Foster. Inner hinges cracked, corners gently bumped. Jacket stain to spine edge wear, spine ends chipped with some small closed tears else a very good copy in good to very good jacket.

SOLD 2011

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