Thomas G. Kirsch 2010. ‘From the Spirit's Point of View’. Ethnography, Total Truth and Speakership. In: Beyond Writing Culture. Current Intersections of Epistemologies and Practices of Representation, edited by Olaf Zenker & Karsten Kumoll. Oxford: Berghahn, 89-112.
“In the present article, I … demonstrate, by way of an example from the anthropology of religion, that there is a peculiar inconsistency between the ethnographic claim to represent the ‘native point of view’ and certain tendencies in how self-identifications of interlocutors are dealt with by anthropologists. I [rehearse] the argument that this inconsistency has, for good or ill, a certain strategic value for those working in the field of anthropology because it allows them to come to terms with the conflicting objective in anthropology to seek propinquity-in-distance. It helps anthropologists in positioning themselves in the epistemological space between ‘ego’ and ‘alter’ and ‘realis’ and ‘irrealis’, an ambiguous space that is characteristic for much of cultural and social anthropology."