The proposal of the new “Anthropocene” geological age in the beginning of the 21st century has led to humans being seen as the primary agents driving the large-scale destruction of our planet. This has led to the development of multispecies ethnographies focusing on the situated relatedness that binds humans into multispecies communities. There has been a shift in perspective from the behavior of humans as a single species to the entanglement of many species. In turn, multispecies ethnography has helped amplify the discipline through research on the entanglement of multiple species, interactions between art and performance geared at speculation and experiment, collaborations with other disciplines and practitioners, and conducting multi-sited research. This special issue features three multispecies ethnographies: one that focuses on how non-humans, as agents who have escaped human control, have entangled with many other species to survive and thrive, and two that argue that it is not always humans who have harmed the planet and destroyed nature everywhere.
In the past, Christianity was viewed by some as a "Repugnant Cultural Other" in anthropology studies, while others believed it should fall within this field. Against the background of the self-reflection of anthropologists, the number of anthropological studies of Christianity increased rapidly around the 1990s; however, these studies essentially objectified Western Christianity, classifying non-Western Christianity as "Other". The "Anthropology of Christianity" began around 2000 by reflecting critically on the attitude of these studies, but is yet in a nascent stage and faces problems. Nevertheless, it has a certain significance in that it enables us to rethink modernity—even anthropology itself—because there remain certain dichotomies such as modernity and non-modernity, Western and non-Western, and secular and religious. As they also confuse these dichotomies, non-Western anthropologists could contribute to this process of rethinking by joining the "Anthropology of Christianity".
Legal anthropology has produced numerous studies on law and society, mainly focusing on the significance of customs and social norms other than state law. Represented by legal pluralism in the 1980s, which claimed the coexistence of multiple legal systems in a society, it has successfully relativized the power of state law. However, its uneven emphasis on customary law may have narrowed and limited its research subjects. This article attempts to revitalize the original broader question of legal anthropology on law and society by reviewing recent ethnographies targeting professional and technical legal practice. It elucidates that the study of "making of law" as professional practice mediated by physical/technical devices suggests the new critical understanding of "what law is" or the relationship between state law and customs, as well as opening interdisciplinary dialogues with the studies of "law and development" and "nudges".