Edith (Edie) Turner (1921-2016) was a British anthropologist, famous for her humanistic approach to religious and symbolic phenomena. She collaborated with her husband, Victor Turner (1920-1983), both during fieldwork among the Ndembu (Zambia), and in the creation of ritual-related conceptual tools, such as the notion of communitas, which are among the most influential of the 20th century. After settling with him in the United States in 1955, she took an anthropological path on her own account, but especially after her husband’s death, which gave more and more space to the experience of the reality of spirits and avoided imposing Western interpretations on the faith felt by social actors. Edith Turner unashamedly revealed her own mystical experience and remains an alternative, inspiring voice in the anthropological universe.
“Anthropology of Mysticism : An Intellectual and Intimate Portrait of Edie Turner”
Frank A. Salamone, 2018
Introduction In the interest of truth, it must be stated that I knew Edie (“never call me Edith”) Turner as a friend. I met her at an American Anthropological Association conference in Atlanta, Georgia, some years ago. We sat at the same table in a restaurant for a session of, I believe, senior anthropologists. I did not recognize the elderly lady who kept commenting to me on the presentations and discussions as Edie Turner. I smiled politely (...)