Jensen, Erik Frederick 1906-
JENSEN, Erik Frederick 1906-
PERSONAL: Born 1906, in England.
The Iban and Their Religion, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1974.
SIDELIGHTS: Erik Jensen wrote The Iban and Their Religion, an analysis of Iban culture as it has developed on the island of Borneo. The book also discusses Iban myths and legends, and it examines the relationship of agricultural concerns to the Iban conception of religion. "Jensen's study takes up the traditional view of myths as charters or explanations," affirmed D. A. Buchdahl in American Anthropologist. He added, however, that Jensen "also demonstrates how myths live fully within the community." According to Buchdahl, "For the Iban, the practical everyday world is filled with spirits, and they must, in order to survive, pay constant attention to them." A Choice reviewer deemed Jensen's book an "impressive study" and added that it "probably will remain the definitive account of the subjects discussed." Buchdahl, in his American Anthropologist appraisal, called The Iban and Their Religion "a wonderfully detailed study," and he declared that Jensen proves to be "thoroughly conversant with [Iban] history and idiom . . . and sensitive to the mood and style of [Iban culture]." In addition, Buchdahl noted that the book manages to "blend useful quantitative data with evocative descriptions of rites and worship," and he observed that it "provides a clear idea of . . . how religion enters significantly into the everyday life of individuals."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Anthropologist, June, 1977, D. A. Buchdahl, review of The Iban and Their Religion, pp. 407-410.
Choice, October, 1975, review of The Iban and Their Religion, p. 1041.*