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Title: Embodied knowing in eco-paganism
Author: Harris, Adrian Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 7055
Awarding Body: University of Winchester
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2008
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Although embodied knowing is fundamental to our experience, no previous study has detailed its role in a specific spiritual group. This thesis offers a new model of embodied situated cognition, and develops an embodied hermeneutics which uses Focusing in phenomenological research. I apply these tools to the first detailed ethnography of Eco-Paganism to reveal powerful processes of connection which have considerable significance for religious studies and ecopsychology. Chapters 2 and 3 survey the literature on Eco-Paganism and embodied cognition. Chapter 4 uses the latter to synthesise a model of embodied situated cognition which I call the 'enactive process model', because it draws primarily on enactivism (inter alia, Varela et al., 1991), and Gendhn's process philosophy (Gendlin, 1997). Current research shows that key aspects of cognition are situated and embodied (inter alia, Varela et al, 1991), such that we often think with place (inter alia, Preston, 2003). This raises epistemological questions which I address in a discussion of embodied philosophy in Chapter 5. I then explain my embodied hermeneutics methodology, and the practical application of the Focusing Interview technique, in Chapter 6. My fieldwork autoethnography, Chapter 7, provides an intuitive, felt understanding of life on a road protest site, and is followed by ethnographies of urban and protest site Eco-Paganism in Chapters 8 and 9. Chapter 10 discusses six processes which create a sense of connection to the organic environment, which include the felt sense (Gendlin, 1981) and the wilderness effect (Greenway, 1995).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available