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In: 'The House of the Priest'


English privateer and amateur ethnographer William Dampier’s work abounds with admiring descriptions of the knowledge and skills of the indigenous societies he encountered on his global voyages. These positive descriptions of indigenous culture make a surprising juxtaposition against the tenor of ethnography little more than a century later, when biological theories of race grounded disparaging attitudes toward indigenous cultures. This article explores the conditions of possibility of a historical moment during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century Anglophone world, in which it was possible to acknowledge some of the merits of indigenous knowledge. I argue that it was the framework of Baconian natural history, with its focus on useful knowledge, and its methodological emphasis on empirical data rather than theorizing, which made it possible for Dampier to treat indigenous societies not only as the objects of knowledge, but more importantly, as sources of knowledge.

In: Journal of Early Modern History
A Palestinian Life (1885-1954)
'The House of the Priest’ presents and discusses the hitherto unpublished and untranslated memoirs of Niqula Khoury, a senior member of the Orthodox Church and Arab nationalist in late Ottoman and British Mandate Palestine. It discusses the complicated relationships between language, religion, diplomacy and identity in the Middle East in the interwar period. This original annotated translation and accompanying articles provide a thorough explication of Khoury’s memoirs and their significance for the social, political and religious histories of twentieth-century Palestine and Arab relations with the Greek Orthodox church. Khoury played a major role in these dynamics as a leading member of the fight for Arab presence in the Greek-dominated clergy, and for an independent Palestine, travelling in 1937 to Eastern Europe and the League of Nations on behalf of the national movement.

Contributors: Sarah Irving, Charbel Nassif, Konstantinos Papastathis, Karène Sanchez Summerer, Cyrus Schayegh
In: 'The House of the Priest'
In: 'The House of the Priest'