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Priests and Programmers: Technologies of Power in the Engineered Landscape of Bali

By: J. Stephen Lansing

216 pages, Figs, tabs

Princeton University Press

Paperback | May 2007 | #169833 | ISBN-13: 9780691130668
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NHBS Price: £16.95 $21/€20 approx

About this book

For the Balinese, the whole of nature is a perpetual resource: through centuries of carefully directed labor, the engineered landscape of the island's rice terraces has taken shape. According to Stephen Lansing, the need for effective cooperation in water management links thousands of farmers together in hierarchies of productive relationships that span entire watersheds.

Lansing describes the network of water temples that once managed the flow of irrigation water in the name of the Goddess of the Crater Lake. Using the techniques of ecological simulation modeling as well as cultural and historical analysis, Lansing argues that the symbolic system of temple rituals is not merely a reflection of utilitarian constraints but also a basic ingredient in the organization of production.

[A]n enjoyable and stimulating book. -- Geoffrey Samuel Journal of Asian Studies Priests and Programmers is written with admirable clarity and should be of interest ... to anybody working on applied social research. -- Michael Hitchcock Contemporary South Asia [B]rilliant and delightful... [N]ot only has [Lansing] written a superb book, but he has contributed materially and humanely to the quality of life of the people he has studied. Too few scholars can make this claim. -- Bryan Pfaffenberger Technology and Culture


Contents

List of Figures xi List of Tables xiii Foreword xv Preface to the 2007 Edition xix Acknowledgments xxxi Introduction: The Gods of the Countryside 1 Chapter One: "Income to Which No Tears Are Attached" 17 Chapter Two: The Powers of Water 37 Chapter Three: The Waters of Power 50 Chapter Four: The Temple of the Crater Lake 73 Chapter Six: Massive Guidance 111 Conclusion: Sociogensis 127 Afterword by Valerio Valeri 134 Appendix A: Plan of the Temple of the Crater lake 145 Appendic B: Technical Report on the Ecological Simulation Model by James N. Kremer 153 Notes 159 Index 181

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Biography

J. Stephen Lansing is a Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and in the departments of Anthropology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. He is the author of "Perfect Order: Recognizing Complexity in Bali" (Princeton).

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