Clifford Geertz, 1926-2006

jacket imageClifford Geertz, one of the most influential cultural anthropologists of the last four decades, died last Monday at the age of 80 of complications following heart surgery. As noted in his obituary in today’s New York Times, Geertz differentiated himself from his intellectual forebears by rejecting the view of anthropology as “an experimental science in search of laws” in favor of “an interpretative one in search of meaning.” Known for his extensive research in Indonesia and Morocco, Dr. Geertz’ work helped to define and give character to an intellectual agenda of non-reductive, interpretive social science that continues to provoke much excitement and debate about the nature of human understanding.
The University of Chicago Press published a number of Dr. Geertz’ works including The Religion of Java, Kinship in Bali, as well as a volume on Geertz, from the centennial session of the American Anthropological Association, Clifford Geertz by His Colleagues.