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Synchronicity, Verisimilitude, and Storytelling

Michael Jackson

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University of California Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik


Most people have a story to tell about a remarkable coincidence that in some instances changed the course of their lives. These uncanny occurrences have been variously interpreted as evidence of divine influence, fate, or the collective unconscious. Less common are explanations that explore the social situations and personal preoccupations of the individuals who place the most weight on coincidences. Drawing on a variety of coincidence stories, renowned anthropologist Michael Jackson builds a case for seeing them as allegories of separation and loss—revealing the hope of repairing sundered lives, reconnecting estranged friends, reuniting distant kin, closing the gap between people and their gods, and achieving a sense of emotional and social connectedness with others in a fragmented world.