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Palgrave Macmillan

Relating with More-than-Humans

Interbeing Rituality in a Living World

  • Book
  • © 2022


  • Addresses how various societies and subcultures use ritual to connect effectively with other-than-human beings
  • Uses global case studies across a diversity of contexts
  • Examines both indigenous cultures and modern, Western spiritual sub-cultures to support its argument

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Anthropology of Sustainability (PSAS)

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About this book

Within the social sciences, other-than-human being’s agency has often been denied and interbeings relationships have not been fully addressed. However, many indigenous worldviews and Western contemporary spiritual practices are shaping a very different reality, with various attempts to share the world with non-human beings, animate or inanimate, creating forms of relationships to “the living”.

This edited volume documents how humans deal with non-human entities in a large variety of cultural contexts. It focuses on ritual processes and how ritual creativity is mobilised to invent new ways of relating with more-than-humans. Comprising nine case studies, the volume is divided into three main sections that address successively daily interactions, political implications, and spiritual engagements. Cooperative interactions, kinship relations, senses of belonging, traditional healing techniques, non-human beings’ legal personality attribution, transformative experiences, and phenomenological relationalities are examined in various locations: West Africa, Buryatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Mexico, Nepalese Himalayas, Sweden and Wales.
Chapters "Relating with More-than-Humans: Interbeing Rituality and Spiritual Practices in a Living World—An Introduction" and "Ritual Animism: Indigenous Performances, Interbeings Ceremonies and Alternative Spiritualities in the Global Rights of Nature Networks" are available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via

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Table of contents (12 chapters)


“One greatest strength of the book is the roughly equal balance between studies focused on indigeneous studies ... and those concerned with spiritual practice in the cosmopolitan and urbanized west. ... This collection stands out for both its diversity and its depth of methodological and theoretical sophistication. I look forward to teaching these exciting case studies in the semester ahead.” (Dan McKanan, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol. 8 (1-2), 2024)

“[This book’s] chapters document and analyse a wide variety of ritualized practices in which privileged connections with more-than-human entities pertaining to the natural environment – plants, animals, minerals, the essential solvent for life on Earth, the Earth itself, and Nature as a whole – are put into effect. In doing so, they emphasize the growing importance of such entities in contemporary ceremonial. In complementary fashion, and to my mind more significantly, they also bear witness to the key role ritual plays in bringing these beings to body and mind.”

— Michael Houseman, Anthropologist and Professor Emeritus, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Université PSL, France

Editors and Affiliations

  • Université de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

    Jean Chamel

  • Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

    Yael Dansac

About the editors

Jean Chamel  is Senior SNSF Researcher in the Institute of Geography and Sustainability at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.

Yael Dansac is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Relating with More-than-Humans

  • Book Subtitle: Interbeing Rituality in a Living World

  • Editors: Jean Chamel, Yael Dansac

  • Series Title: Palgrave Studies in Anthropology of Sustainability

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-10293-6Published: 01 February 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-10296-7Published: 01 February 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-10294-3Published: 30 January 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2945-6657

  • Series E-ISSN: 2945-6665

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVI, 254

  • Number of Illustrations: 25 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Anthropology, Spirituality, Religious Studies, general, Ethnography, Religious Studies, general

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