Mají brazilští domorodci právo zabíjet své děti? : lidská práva, kulturní relativismus a "jinakost" v religionistice


Brazilian indigenous cultures and the phenomenon of "indigenous infanticide" present a paradigmatic example of a fundamental challenge for disciplines such as religious studies and anthropology: How to approach otherness? After briefly outlining the obstacles encountered in confronting infanticide in the context of human rights and cultural relativism, this article redirects the symmetrical approach from these Western constructions to intercultural overlap. It shows how the Western-scholarship approach encourages the construction of protective cognitive barriers between scholars and otherness. In visualising otherness, given the optical consistency of visual culture (Svetlana Alpers, Bruno Latour), we distance ourselves when we construct a fixed distant point of view of linear perspective from which an unchanging researcher can observe, approach and leave an independent and unchanging phenomenon (William Ivins, Bruno Latour) located in qualitatively the same but distant space and time (Johannes Fabian). Different evaluations of infanticide in relation to our imagined distance reveal the illusory nature of such representation. Thus, the article suggests that the concept of "boundary object" is more appropriate for describing phenomena belonging to more "communities of practice" that do not reach interpretative consensus (Susan Leigh Star, Zdeněk Konopásek). These phenomena show interpretive flexibility as each "community of practice" relates it to different referential frames; they tend to serve as vehicles for transforming, instead of transmitting, knowledge. Similarly, in ritual theory, Caroline Humphrey and James Laidlaw show how in "liturgical" rituals, co-determination by diachronic meanings transmitted by tradition separates the intention from the identity of a (ritual) act and thus weakens the authorship of the ritual actor. These two models allow us to focus more on the transformative quality of interaction with cultural otherness (Rita Laura Segato), as evidenced by long stays in the Amazonian terrain challenging the identity of the researcher (Daniel Everett). At the overlap of cultural systems, we enter diverse, culturally shaped but synchronous temporal, spatial and symbolic frames of action to whose totality we are unable to relate. For scholars concerned with interpreting cultures, including those that have disappeared, the challenge is to experience the recognition of otherness as a shared performative action.

Klíčová slova:
cultural otherness; infanticide; cultural symmetry; boundary objects; authorship of one's acts



Crossref logo





PDF views